22 meals to melt belly fat in 2022 – eat this not that


The pandemic has radically changed our way of life. Suddenly, working at home makes us move much less than before. Ordering take out is easier than ever, and being at home makes it easy to grab a snack whenever we feel like it.

While it’s not exactly possible to reduce belly fat, eating fewer calories than you burn results in overall weight loss, including your belly. Eating for weight loss is very specific and requires a few essential components.

  • Protein: Important for feeling full, maintaining muscle mass and improving our metabolism, protein is essential with every meal while trying to lose weight.
  • Fiber: Carbohydrates, high-fiber vegetables and fruits are invaluable when dieting in order to feel full and satisfied at the same time. Focusing on about a cup of carbohydrate with each meal is a good place to start for most.
  • Volume: When you need to eat a little less, it helps to add more to your plate to make yourself feel less helpless. Fruits and vegetables are a great “addition” to the diet to increase the total volume of food without extreme restrictions. Focus on half of your plate coming from veg at a main meal to start.
  • A calorie-conscious mindset: You don’t have to start counting every calorie to lose weight. However, it helps to be aware of the high calorie foods in your diet and to start trading. Swap creamy dressings for lighter sauces, swap high-fat meats for leaner cuts, and swap dessert for a lighter option.

A new year is a new beginning. A chance for you to set new goals, change your lifestyle and adapt to the new normal in a peripandemic world. Rest assured, we’ve got you covered with 22 delicious, weight loss-friendly meals. Then, for even more healthy meal inspiration, check out our list of these 100 easiest recipes you can make.

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This high protein and fiber breakfast is sure to keep you satisfied and full for hours. The soluble fiber in black beans can help lower cholesterol, stay regular, and increase satiety for a great start to the day.

Get our black bean omelet recipe.

Pork tenderloin with grilled pineapple salsa
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sweet and savory, this meal ticks all the boxes. The pork tenderloin is super lean, which makes it perfect for your New Years weight loss goals.

Get our Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa recipe.

Grilled mahi mahi with salsa verde
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Looking to add variety to your dinner schedule? Fish is a great addition to your plate for low fat, low calorie protein options and endless ways to season it! Start with our super easy salsa verde recipe.

Get our recipe for Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Salsa Verde.

Low-calorie grilled Caesar salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Caesar salad can be heavy if ordered. Luckily, we’ve lightened up this fan favorite with a homemade option. Top it off with grilled chicken to keep you feeling fuller for longer – you’ll thank us later!

Get our healthier grilled Caesar salad recipe.

Serious gluten-free chili
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Turkey is significantly leaner than beef, and you won’t even be able to tell the difference once it’s seasoned in this hearty chili. The high protein and fiber combo will keep you full for hours!

Get our Hearty Turkey Chili Recipe.

Paleo Moroccan salmon with quinoa
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This tasty dish is packed with fiber, heart-healthy fats and protein, a winning combination for weight loss without starving you.

Get our Moroccan-inspired Quinoa and Salmon Pilaf recipe.

Paleo chicken with tomatoes, olives and capers
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This Mediterranean themed chicken dish is super satisfying if you run out of fun ways to incorporate chicken into your week. Pair it with a starchy food like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or potatoes for a balanced dinner.

Get our recipe for Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers.

Paleo Teriyaki Apple Pork Chop
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Brighten up your lean protein options with this delicious combo of sweet and savory. Pork is known as the “other white meat” for its leanness, which makes it a great addition to your weekly weight loss rotation!

Get our recipe for Teriyaki Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples.

low-calorie tortilla soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Soup is a great way to get lots of veggies and broth into your diet – two foods that help keep you fuller and bulkier with no added calories!

Get our Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe.

Healthy Chicken Cacciatore
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Tomatoes and chicken broth come together in this dish to make a creamy, light sauce! Serve this dish on a bed of brown rice or whole wheat pasta, and you’ve got a super filling, balanced meal.

Get our chicken cacciatore recipe.

Low Calorie Chicken Enchiladas
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Instead of sour cream, we use mole and chicken broth in this traditional Spanish dish. No compromise on flavor here! Choose a whole grain tortilla for more fiber and to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Get our recipe for chicken enchiladas.

Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The creamy and spicy sauce here is made with Greek yogurt instead of full cream. We have lightened this recipe without compromising on taste or texture.

Get our Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe.

Healthy Greek Salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This classic combo never gets old. If you’re bored with salads, this recipe could be your saving grace. Chicken, feta, and olives help keep you full longer, so don’t skip the toppings.

Get our Greek Chicken Salad Recipe Recipe.

Healthy Spanish Garlic Shrimps
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Shake up your weeknight with a seafood recipe. This garlic Spanish shrimp is tangy and flavorful and pairs well with Cajun sides, vegetables and rice, or over a whole grain pasta option.

Get our Spanish Garlic Shrimp Recipe.

pumpkin mole chili bowls with spoons
Blaine moats

This recipe is a little festive, but don’t hit it until you’ve tried it. The creamy pumpkin balances the earthy notes of cocoa to deliver a super tasty punch to the taste buds. Plus, the lean beef and beans make this a high protein meal!

Get our Pumpkin Mole Chili recipe.

Paleo turkey bolognese
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Swap your traditional noodles for some spaghetti squash here for a high fiber, low carb meal that tastes amazing and will keep you full for hours.

Get our Paleo Turkey Bolognese with Garlic Spaghetti Squash recipe.

bowl of butternut squash hash with celery
Posie Brien / Eat this, not that!

This less starchy breakfast hash is lightened with traditional potatoes. Seasonings and sausages complete this tasty breakfast to keep you full longer.

Get our butternut squash mince recipe.

two bowls of instant chicken and rice soup with bread
Kiersten Hickman / Eat this, not that!

This version of Chicken Noodle Soup will make you feel super cozy this winter. Milk and broth come together to create unparalleled creaminess with far fewer calories than traditional creamy soups.

Get our Instant Chicken and Rice Soup recipe.

bowl of overnight chia pudding with chia seeds on marble countertop
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

A few tablespoons of chia seeds literally go a long way! Chia seeds expand in liquid, so soaking them overnight really increases the bulk. Personalize yours with toppings that satisfy: nuts, fruit, granola, or honey work well here.

Get our chia pudding recipe for the night.

Healthy Pesto Minestrone
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This heart-healthy option will keep you feeling full with the added fiber. Bonus – there’s a good dose of fat in the pesto to add more flavor and increase the satisfaction factor here.

Get our minestrone pesto soup recipe.

Breakfast hash with sweet potato and chicken sausage
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

We love a hot chopped breakfast in the morning, and this sweet potato-chicken sausage combo doesn’t disappoint. In fact, we think it’s even better the next day as leftovers!

Get our hash recipe for breakfast with sweet potatoes and chicken sausage.

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Paleo Sandwich
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A little sweet and a little spice here offers the best of both worlds. This sandwich is super balanced with lean protein and high fiber carbs if you’re using a whole wheat bun!

Get our Spicy-Sweet Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich Recipe.


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