Gaining weight in the stomach area can be attributed to diet, hormones, genetics and lack of exercise. Losing belly fat follows the same principles as losing fat from other areas of the body: you must work off more calories than you take in. Consume calories from healthy sources such as lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains. Engage in regular physical activity to burn off excess weight and strengthen your abdominal muscles using targeted exercises.
Eat a diet high in lean protein. Good protein sources include legumes, tofu, eggs, chicken and fish.
Replace saturated fats with healthy, unsaturated fats. Avoid deep-fried foods, butter and cream. Instead eat sources of healthy fat including nuts, avocados and flaxseed oil.
Include six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. These foods are not only high in vitamins and minerals, they are high in fiber. Fiber makes you feel fuller for longer and keeps your digestive system efficient.
Replace refined carbohydrates like white pastas, breads and rice, with whole grains like oats, barley, brown rice, quinoa. Whole grains are nutritious and high in fiber.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week. Moderate to vigorous physical activity will burn off excess weight and increase your metabolism. Try walking, jogging, playing sports, aerobics classes, workout DVD's or swimming.
Strengthen your abdominal muscles with crunches. While crunches won't cause you to lose weight, they will flatten your belly and increase muscle mass. Lay on your back with your feet planted flat and your knees bent. Put your hands behind your head and tuck your chin into your chest. Lift your upper body toward your knees, hold, then drop back down to the floor. Perform up to 60 crunches each day.