Phelps described refined sugar as the "number one enemy" of women who are working to reduce belly fat. "Reduce or better yet eliminate refined sugar all together," she suggested. Phelps also recommended eliminating processed foods from your diet, noting that if a food item comes in a package and has a list of unrecognizable ingredients, it's best to keep it out of your shopping cart and fridge.
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods, but increase your consumption of protein and veggies. "Consuming adequate protein will not only keep you satisfied and prevent snacking on items that aren't in line with your goals and healthy habits, but it also preserves and supports muscle, which keeps your metabolism humming along and torching calories," Phelps told POPSUGAR.
Marissa West, founder of West Kept Secret, recommended eating a breakfast that includes both protein and fiber. Most health professionals consider breakfast the most important meal of the day, and West said that apples are a great addition to your morning routine. "Apples are packed with carbohydrates that are used for energy, not stored as fat, which in turn revs up your metabolism," she said.
West suggested mixing other protein- and fiber-rich foods, such as oats, walnuts, and honey, with apple slices. "Soluble dietary fiber and protein-packed foods are effective against belly-fat accumulation," she explained.
West also recommended swapping out your morning coffee or tea in favor of warm lemon water. "It nourishes the body with vitamin C, which assists with burning belly fat on a cellular level," she told POPSUGAR.