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6 Best Rice Recipes to Shrink Belly Fat, Say Dietitians

Losing weight doesn't have to mean giving up carbs.
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Whether eaten as an entrée or a side dish, rice is an incredibly versatile grain that serves as a staple food for more than half of the world's population.

Unfortunately, when thinking about weight loss-friendly meals, carbs, including rice, have taken on a bad rap. However, depending on the type and how it's prepared, rice can still be part of your weight loss plan and help you achieve your belly fat loss goals.

To get some recipe inspiration, we asked our medical expert board members Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins, to pick out some of the best rice dishes that can help shrink belly fat. Read on to see what these registered dietitians had to say. Then, for more recipes, check out the 8 Best Protein Smoothie Recipes to Help Lose Abdominal Fat.

Immune Boosting Faux Fried Rice

immune boosting faux fried rice
Courtesy of The Nutrition Twins

If you're a fried rice fan, then this recipe is right up your alley. While many fried rice dishes have more than 300 calories per cup, this "lightened-up" version is only 126 calories per serving—and it packs a major nutritional punch.

Made with cooled or chilled brown rice, this recipe can help promote belly fat loss, as the resistant starch that forms during the rice's cooling process has been found to increase fat burning and reduce fat storage in the body, The Nutrition Twins explain. Additionally, the dish is teeming with anti-inflammatory ingredients like olive oil, ginger, kale, asparagus, and broccoli.

"This is a big deal because chronic inflammation is linked to weight gain, as well as more difficulty in losing weight," The Nutrition Twins say.

Get the recipe from The Nutrition Twins.

DIY Brown Rice Salmon Sushi

DIY brown rice salmon sushi
Courtesy of The Nutrition Twins

One of the best parts about making your own sushi at home is that you have complete control over what goes in it. Like the faux fried rice recipe, these easy-to-make rolls call for cold brown rice. The Nutrition Twins note that this type of rice "contains more fiber than traditional [white] rice, which means it slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full longer." Plus, the resistant starch found in cold rice has been found to support a healthy gut microbiome, which has been linked to lower levels of body fat.

In addition to offering a good source of fiber, these rolls are loaded with protein—17 grams to be exact.

"Salmon, like all protein-rich foods, helps to regulate hormones that control appetite and helps you to feel satisfied," The Nutrition Twins say.

As a bonus, the salmon offers plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which are celebrated for their ability to reduce inflammation, boost cognitive function, and promote heart health.

Get the recipe from The Nutrition Twins.

Healthy Kimchi Fried Rice

healthy kimchi fried rice
Courtesy of The Healthy Maven

With protein and fiber being two essential components of a weight loss-supporting meal, this nutrient-dense recipe covers all of your bases.

"The carrots, mushrooms, kimchi, and scallions bring the fiber, while the eggs provide protein," The Nutrition Twins say. "Kimchi shines when it comes to weight loss and may be especially beneficial for helping obese people to decrease body weight, body mass index, body fat percent, and waist-hip ratio."

Get the recipe from The Healthy Maven.

Brown Rice Pudding

brown rice pudding
Courtesy of The Nutrition Twins

Who says you can't eat dessert when you're trying to lose weight? This simple, sweet, and creamy brown rice pudding is a healthier take on the classic dessert, thanks to the unprocessed whole grain rice.

"Plus, it contains cinnamon, which helps to stabilize blood sugar, preventing energy highs and lows that typically result in overdoing it on sugar, as the body craves the quickest energy source it can find—sugar," The Nutrition Twins say.

Beyond blood sugar management, cinnamon has also been found to help lower inflammation, reduce the risk of disease, and aid in weight loss.

Get the recipe from The Nutrition Twins.

Healthy Fried Rice

healthy fried rice
Courtesy of Well Plated by Erin

Cauliflower has been having a moment over the past few years. And one of its most popular iterations is the star of this low-carb dish: cauliflower rice.

"Cauliflower rice is a no-brainer for weight loss hopefuls with its sweet, delicious flavor, a texture similar to rice, but only 25 calories per cup, compared to 200 calories in a cup of rice," The Nutrition Twins say. "And the waistline savings really add up given that most people have more than a cup."

Aside from being low-calorie, cauliflower is chock-full of weight loss-promoting fiber, which is also found in the carrots, onions, and bell peppers. Meanwhile, the eggs and edamame provide protein to increase satiety.

Get the recipe from Well Plated by Erin.

Simple Vegetable Rice Soup

simple vegetable rice soup
Courtesy of The Schmidty Wife

Whether you're pressed for time or simply don't feel like whipping up an elaborate meal, this dish will do just the trick, only requiring 30 minutes. Warm and comforting, this vegetable rice soup is packed with fibrous vegetables like carrots, onions, and celery.

"One of the real beauties of this rice recipe is that research shows that when you eat a low-calorie soup before a meal, it can help you reduce your total calorie intake at that meal by 20% compared to not eating the soup at all," The Nutrition Twins say.

Get the recipe from The Schmidty Wife.

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Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna