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20 Easy Ways to Flatten Your Belly Fast, Says Top Nutritionist

Practice portion control, hydrate right and more tips to stay slim.

Over the years, I've had the privilege of helping hundreds of people transform their lives and lose weight through practical, scientifically-backed nutrition advice. And as a top nutritionist and the creator of, I believe in making gradual, healthy swaps in your diet rather than overhauling your entire way of eating. Weight loss should not feel like a punishment but a natural part of a lifestyle that fits seamlessly into your life. That's why I put together these 20 east ways to flatten your belly fast.

What you'll discover here is doable and won't feel like a punishment. I always emphasize that reducing calories doesn't mean sacrificing essential nutrients. In my experience, the word 'diet' truly means a way of life—it's something you live with, not something that dictates your life. With these principles in mind, I've developed straightforward, effective strategies specifically designed to flatten your belly quickly. These aren't just quick fixes—they're about making small, manageable changes that lead to sustainable health and satisfaction. Whether you're looking to revitalize your eating habits or just trim down your belly fat, these easy-to-follow tips are here to guide you toward a healthier, slimmer you.

Practice Portion Control

Man Eating Small Portion Anti-Aging

Although the concept of portion control doesn't often make it to media headlines or best selling books, it's the one food-related habit that I wish got more traction. Portion control allows eating anything and everything you enjoy… but within the amounts that your body needs. It's a more realistic approach to enjoying how you look and feel without needing to follow unrealistic 'allowed' and 'avoid' lists and without jumping onto a trendy diet that's unbalanced or unhealthy.

RELATED: If You Want to Lose Weight, "Avoid These Foods Like the Plague," Fitness Expert Says

Hydrate Right

Variety of cold drinks in small bottles

We all know how important it is to consume water, especially if you're trying to lose weight, so jazzing up this beverage is key to healthfully and deliciously hydrating. I love to keep a big pitcher of water filled with ripe cut fruit in the fridge. Not only does it look beautiful (I actually serve this at dinner parties) but it also provides hydration with benefits (from the nutrition value the fruit brings). Watermelon, strawberries and ripe peaches work particularly well for this. You can also add cut fruit (like lemon, lime and orange slices) to ice cube trays.

Swap Out and Sub In

woman checking labels at the grocery store

Swap out high calorie, low value ingredients for lower calories, healthier versions. Some examples include using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or using mashed avocado instead of butter in quick breads and baked goods. Here's where reading food labels and comparing products is key to showing the differences between everyday products to keep on hand.

RELATED: 9 High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss That Will Keep You Full and Satisfied

Spice It Up


Add a little heat or a little sweet to bring some life and boost the flavor of your food. For example, sprinkling some cinnamon sugar (which hardly has any sugar) atop cottage cheese and fruit will help make that cottage cheese more attractive.

Dress for Success

balsamic vinaigrette

Add balsamic vinegar to your favorite salad dressing in equal parts and cut calories in half.

Skip Skipping

A close up of a piece of pepperoni pizza

No matter how much you think skipping your favorite will save you calories, it'll probably wind up costing you in the end. Including 'reasonable' portions of your favorite foods along your weight loss journey will keep this food from glittering when you're "done". You should never be "done" with a diet of eating tasty, healthy foods.

RELATED: Ozempic Foods to Avoid: 7 Things You Can't Eat on Weight-Loss Drugs

Shake up Snacking


Make snacks fun and delicious like flavored yogurt dip with fresh fruit, hummus and veggies, trail mix with nuts, cold cereal and chocolate chips. Snacks are speed bumps that help you stay energized between meals and activities — but the wrong snacks can zap your energy.

Don't be a Cereal Killer

Woman eating cereal

If you love sugar sweetened cereal you don't have to stop eating them. Just combine your fave with equal amounts of one that hardly has any sugar to slash sugar content.

Keep a Diary

older woman writing list
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Journaling what you're eating and how you're feeling throughout your day can help you capture important information about your habits and your eating patterns. In my experience, my clients who kept food diaries wouldn't up losing weight just by seeing what, when and how much they were really eating in a day.

Cook Your Way Thin

Older couple cooking together

Suggest family meal prep sessions where everyone picks a healthy ingredient to include in the meal, making it a fun and inclusive activity. Challenge listeners to create recipes using a set number of ingredients or specific nutritious foods, promoting creativity and health awareness.

RELATED: Lose 50 Pounds by Following 2 Simple Rules, Successful Dieter Says

Don't Always Desert Dessert


You'd be surprised how using less sugar and unhealthy fats in desserts could still produce a treat that tastes delicious with less calories. Try subtly cutting back on high calorie ingredients in recipes and make simple changes without compromising flavor. One of my great go-tos is a high-fiber Nutty Apple Pear Cobbler filled with whole grains and made with no added sugar. It's a healthy sweet treat you can feel good about eating! Or freeze a banana for a tasty frozen treat.

Make it Mindful

Woman eating small bowl of healthy food

Promote the practice of eating without distractions, savoring each bite, which can lead to better portion control and a more enjoyable eating experience. Yes, this means eating more mindfully, which is not a new concept, but I don't think it's a practice that even needs a classification. It's just a healthy habit that may not bring results that are fast…but it certainly is one that could bring results that will last.

Create Powerful Combos


Add lots of veggies to a pasta dish, add clear broth to cream soup and make a habit of combining lower calorie options with some of your favorite higher calorie dishes.

Forget Fads

sad woman on diet

Too many people fall prey to fad, restrictive diets that suck them up into the tornado of eating too little and then too much, leading to a weight chart that resembles the pattern of a roller coaster. This pattern of eating ultimately takes a toll physically and emotionally.

The best diets include a variety of foods without vilifying any particular food group. Diets that are not super restrictive will more likely be sustainable, meaning that it's not just about losing weight, it's also about maintaining that loss while also living your life and enjoying what you're eating.

Delete Deprivation

fad dieting with an empty plate, pea on empty plate, aging quicker

Deprivation is never a desired side dish! I have been counseling clients for decades and most of my clients come to me after being on a multitude of restrictive diets that brought about weight loss followed by weight gain once the diet was done. By making subtle, realistic changes, there's a greater chance that those modifications will last.

Get Enough Sleep

Serene calm african american woman sleeping in comfortable bed lying on soft pillow orthopedic mattress, peaceful young black lady resting covered with blanket on white sheets in bedroom, top view

Did you know that poor sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism? Being too tired is like being too hungry or too drunk and all of those states can lead to apathy when it comes to making wise food choices.

Move Your Body

Portrait of good looking and fit elder woman working out on treadmill. Stylish senior woman looking younger than her age. Man with towel on shoulder on foreground, blured. Couple in gym.

Working out is not an invitation to eat larger portion sizes, but physical activity including dancing, walking your dog, and everyday activities, can help you to look and feel your best. It might be a good idea to employ some tools, like apps, favorite music, equipment, and so on, that can make exercising more trackable and perhaps make you more accountable.

Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, is the host of the Media Savvy Podcast, creator of, and author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table, You can find her @bonnietaubdix on Instagram.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RDN, CDN
Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RDN, CDN is an award-winning author and the director and owner of BTD Nutrition Consultants, LLC. Read more
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