Trim your waistline and enjoy the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean in this healthy flat-belly meal plan.

Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., R.D., C.D.
February 13, 2020
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Losing belly fat can come with some serious health benefits, beyond just boosting your confidence. Having a larger midsection usually means there's more visceral fat (the type of fat that surrounds your organs), which research shows can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. Decreasing the amount of visceral fat means your risk for developing those diseases goes down. The good news is that you don't need to follow any crazy fad diets to lose this weight. A healthy balanced diet will do the trick, like the Mediterranean diet.

See More: 30 Days of Mediterranean Flat Belly Dinners

In this healthy meal plan, we combine research-backed flat-belly foods—like peanuts, avocado, artichokes and chickpeas—with 2020's best diet, the Mediterranean diet, to help you reduce your waistline while reaping the health benefits (and flavors!) of the Mediterranean. This flat-belly diet plan incorporates fat-burning foods and is set at 1,200 calories a day to promote a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week, with modifications to bump up the calories to 1,500 or 2,000 calories a day, depending on your calorie needs. Although weight loss plays an important role, lifestyle factors like quality sleep, exercise and stress reduction can also help lower belly fat.

Mediterranean Foods to Eat More of for a Flat Belly:

  • Beans and lentils: Fiber-packed legumes, especially chickpeas, are a frequent flier in this healthy diet.
  • Whole grains: Oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta and breads are high in fiber and far more nutritious than their refined-grain counterparts.
  • Nuts and seeds: All varieties of nuts and seeds are an easy and delicious feature in the Mediterranean diet.
  • Fish: Seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon, anchovies and sardines, packs in the protein and heath benefits.
  • Healthy fats: Unsaturated fats like olive oil, avocado and olives add flavor and help fight inflammation.

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make the Parmesan & Vegetable Muffin-Tin Omelets to have for breakfast throughout the week. For easy clean-up, use these reusable silicone muffin cups (To buy: amazon.com, $8 for a 12-pack). Pack up the egg cups in a reusable silicone bag to take to-go. (To buy: amazon.com, $10 for a 1)
  2. Prepare the Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5. Store these healthy lunches in an air-tight meal-prep container to keep fresh (To buy: amazon.com, $30 for 5). Store dressing separately in a leak-proof container (To buy: amazon.com, $11.50 for 8) and wait to add till ready to eat to prevent wilting.

Day 1

Breakfast (229 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (77 calories)

  • 1 small apple

Lunch (360 calories)

P.M. Snack (70 calories)

  • 2 clementines

Dinner (480 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,217 calories, 83 g protein, 117 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 50 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 936 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus increase to 2 cups yogurt and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts at breakfast and add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to A.M. snack.

Day 2

Breakfast (250 calories)

A.M. Snack (62 calories)

  • 1 cup blackberries

Lunch (337 calories)

P.M. Snack (77 calories)

  • 1 small apple

Dinner (481 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare 2 servings Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding to have for breakfast on Days 3 and 4.

Daily Totals: 1,207 calories, 66 g protein, 110 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 57 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 1,510 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1 small pear to lunch and add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 30 unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack and 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 3

Breakfast (233 calories)

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (337 calories)

P.M. Snack (166 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

Dinner (359 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,188 calories, 53 g protein, 116 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 63 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 1,361 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1 clementine and 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 whole-wheat English muffin with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast and add 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast (233 calories)

A.M. Snack (113 calories)

  • 1 1/4 cups nonfat plain kefir

Lunch (337 calories)

P.M. Snack (84 calories)

  • 1 small pear

Dinner (453 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,219 calories, 52 g protein, 105 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 70 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 1,251 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 whole-wheat English muffin with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast and add 12 walnut halves to P.M. snack.

Day 5

Breakfast (250 calories)

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

  • 1 large pear

Lunch (337 calories)

P.M. Snack (45 calories)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain kefir

Dinner (448 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Save 2 servings of the Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots & Olives to have for lunch on Days 6 and 7.

Daily Totals: 1,210 calories, 57 g protein, 116 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 57 g protein, 62 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 1,450 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1 medium apple with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 40 unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack and add 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to lunch.

Day 6

Breakfast (229 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (101 calories)

  • 1 medium pear

Lunch (344 calories)

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Dinner (452 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare 1 serving Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding to have for breakfast tomorrow

Daily Totals: 1,221 calories, 78 g protein, 122 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 52 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 1,345 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Increase to 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts at breakfast and add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack and increase to 1 whole avocado at dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast (233 calories)

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (344 calories)

P.M. Snack (127 calories)

  • 1 clementine
  • 12 unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (415 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,214 calories, 50 g protein, 122 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 63 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 1,187 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1 whole-wheat English muffin with 1 1/2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 small pear to lunch, increase to 1/3 cup almonds at P.M. snack and add 1 slice White Bean & Avocado Toast to dinner.

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