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How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Belly Fat?

If you struggle with belly fat, it’s a good idea to shed the extra pounds. Weight accumulation around the midsection increases your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Eating healthier foods and cutting back on calories promotes belly fat loss. Eating the right foods will help you get the necessary nutrition without feeling hungry.

Calorie Consumption

Weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than your body needs. The excess energy is stored as fat, which causes belly fat. The amount of calories you need varies based on your gender, age and activity level. Women’s calorie needs are generally less than men’s. Women ages 19 to 30 need about 2,000 to 2,200 daily calories with moderate activity, according to the American Heart Association. Women ages 31 to 50 need about 2,000 daily calories. As you reach age 50, your calorie needs decline to 1,800 daily. To lose belly fat, reduce your calorie intake slightly below these levels, depending on your age. Once you reach your fat loss goal, resume the recommended calorie intake to maintain a healthy body weight.

Maximizing Calorie Intake

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Lose belly fat by selecting foods that are low calorie and leave you feeling satisfied. For example, fruits and vegetables such as melon, berries, apples, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower are good choices. Whole grains, like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta are a few more choices. Select lean sources of protein, such as fresh water fish and chicken without the skin. Also, eat low-fat dairy sources, such as skim milk and cottage cheese.

Belly Fat Foods

When planning your calorie intake, also consume foods that promote midsection weight loss. For example, foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon or flaxseed, improve your metabolism, according to “Fitness” magazine. Eat about an ounce of almonds daily. This food is high in magnesium, which aids in energy production and building lean muscle mass. Almonds also keep blood sugar levels stable, preventing overeating.

Foods to Avoid

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Avoid high-calorie snack foods, such as cookies and chips. Also, avoid foods that are high in saturated fats. Select beverages such as water or unsweetened tea instead of soda and juice. Calories in high-sugar beverages add up significantly over the course of the week. When eating fats, stick to monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oil and avocados.