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Fitness Coach Shares the Top 3 Snacks to Burn Belly Fat

Potato chips won't help you, but these healthy treats will.

They say abs aren't made in the gym—they're made in the kitchen. That adage, it turns out, is less about what you do in the kitchen and more about what you don't do. You could make yourself steamed broccoli and baked chicken for all three meals, but if you don't exhibit moderation during snack time, you could undo all of your hard-earned progress.

"The one thing most overweight people have in common is they constantly eat throughout the day," Gerard Hall, a fitness coach and influencer, said in a now-viral TikTok. "It is much better to eat meals, not snacks."

But let's be reasonable here. Snacking is one of life's greatest pleasures; no one, even those looking to lose weight and eviscerate belly fat, should be expected to give snacks up entirely. There's good news on that front, too. According to Hall, three snacks aren't only acceptable but actively support any belly fat-melting goals, allowing you to have your cake (not literally) and eat it too.

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

Belly fat is different than other fat

woman outside squeezing belly fat

The first thing you need to know about belly fat is that it's somewhat different than fat that's found elsewhere on the body. Broadly speaking, human bodies have two types of fat. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat that exists just below your skin. But around your abdomen, deeper in your gut, you'll find visceral fat.

Visceral fat is biologically intended to protect your organs, so it's actually healthy to have some of it on your frame. (Your organs very much appreciate the protection!) But it nevertheless behooves you to keep visceral fat levels in check.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a high belly fat ratio is correlated with a litany of health conditions, including but not limited to sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Melting belly fat doesn't require a special regimen or bespoke diet. The Cleveland Clinic notes that, for the most part, the methods for losing belly fat are more or less the same as the methods for losing any other type of fat: exercising regularly, sleeping a full eight hours, and adopting a balanced diet. When it comes to your diet, swapping out your standard snacks for the following three recommendations can help.

RELATED: 4 Simple Exercises for a Flat Belly at Any Age.

Hard-boiled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs on wood surface
Olexandr Panchenko / Shutterstock

You likely rely on eggs as the cornerstone of a low-fat, high-protein breakfast, or as an additional protein on an existing meal (like fried rice). But most egg dishes are rife with oil or butter, neither of which are trusty allies on your quest for melting belly fat. The solution? Hard-boil them!

"If you have a hard time controlling your hunger, you should always keep some hard-boiled eggs stored in your refrigerator," Hall recommends. "Each time you get hungry and it isn't mealtime, just grab an egg or two and just eat the egg whites."

"The egg whites barely have any calories [but] will fill you up," he adds.

Haven't quite mastered the art of boiling an egg? Worry not: Our colleagues at Eat This, Not That! have a recipe for perfect hard-boiled eggs down to a science. And you can make them in a batch. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hard-boiled eggs can be kept in the fridge for up to seven days, so long as they're not left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

RELATED: 4 Probiotics That Trigger an Ozempic-Like Weight Loss Effect, Doctors Say.

Cottage cheese

Bowl of Cottage Cheese

"[Cottage cheese] is a great snack to have before bed because it has no carbohydrates and it provides a long-acting protein called casein," Hall says.

What is casein? Compared to well-known dietary staples like whey and animal protein, casein is a bit of a quiet flyer. According to the Cleveland Clinic, casein sports several under-the-radar benefits. In addition to all of the standard perks of protein—like reduced hunger and increased muscle growth—casein is also comprised of all nine essential amino acids and is a solid source of bone-strengthening calcium.

RELATED: 10 Best Foods to Eat in the Morning for a Faster Metabolism, Nutritionists Say.

Natural peanut butter

Open Jar of Peanut Butter on counter with peanuts strewn about
sweet marshmallow / Shutterstock

There's a reason peanut butter is beloved by hikers, climbers, and other distance athletes: Nothing fills you up faster or keeps you fuller longer. (That's in addition to the generous protein-to-calorie ratio.)

"Two to three spoonfuls of natural peanut butter should be enough to take away the hunger until mealtime," Hall notes.

You'll just want to be extra careful about ensuring you only get the natural kind of peanut butter. Check the ingredients list for unhealthy additives like salt, sugar, or palm oil. If the brand you're eyeing has them, eye another.

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. If you have health questions or concerns, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Ari Notis
Ari is an editor specializing in news and lifestyle. Read more
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