"To peel off belly fat, ditch refined grains like white bread and white rice and eat more whole grains, such as oatmeal, barley, farro, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice," Gomer said.
You've probably heard that whole grains are healthier than their refined counterparts, but there's science to back it up; a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate whole grains over refined grains lost more belly fat.
Not only do refined grains spike your blood sugar and mess with your insulin levels, which can lead to weight gain, they are also high-calorie but not satiating. Gomer said it's easy to overeat these types of foods, which are calorie-dense. "Dry and refined carbohydrates like pretzels, flour tortillas, popcorn, rice cakes, baked chips, and dried cereals add up to a hefty 1,400 to 1,750 calories per pound," she said. "You could easily swallow a few bites and take in 1,000 calories long before you sense any fullness."