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4 Best Morning Drinking Habits To Support Belly Fat Loss

Making these small shifts first thing in the morning can help you manage your weight loss goals.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Losing weight can be a difficult journey, but losing weight around your abdominal area can be even more challenging. Because much of the fat you see in your belly area is visceral fat, which is the dangerous fat that sits around your organs, there isn't a way to simply target this area with just one type of workout or one type of food. This means that simply increasing the number of crunches you do every day won't be enough on its own.

Instead, targeting abdominal fat means making lasting dietary and exercise changes that can sustainably help you shrink this fat around your stomach. Some of these changes include increasing your protein intake, lowering your consumption of sugar and alcohol, and adding more fiber to your daily meals.

One place to start with these changes is in your morning routine. Read on to learn some of the best morning drinking habits that can support your belly fat loss goals, then, check out 22 Tips To Lose Belly Fat Without Dieting.

Drink lemon water

water with lemon

It's always a good idea to start your day with a glass of water so that you can rehydrate after a night of sleep. And according to Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements, "Adding lemon to your morning cup of water is a great way to support your weight loss and belly fat loss efforts."

Although the research is limited on the benefits of lemon water over regular water, drinking lemon water can be a tasty way to consume more water in general, which is beneficial for healthy weight loss.

For one, drinking water before a meal can help you feel more full and possibly consume fewer calories at breakfast. One study found that consuming about two cups of water before breakfast helped participants consume around 13% fewer calories during their meal.

Drinking plenty of water is also known to help you maintain a healthy metabolism, which ultimately can help with weight loss and management. One study shows that water can help increase thermogenesis, which is the process that burns calories.

So, if you need a little more motivation for staying hydrated in the morning, adding lemon to your water can help.

Limit sugary coffee drinks when you can

Swinging through the Starbucks drive-thru is a fun way to treat yourself, but you may want to limit how many sugary coffee drinks you're consuming if your goal is to lose belly fat.

Research has shown that consuming too much added sugar can lead to more fat tissue around the stomach, and some studies have found that drinking your added sugar can specifically lead to a greater risk of abdominal fat.

One of the main reasons for this is that sugar-sweetened beverages often contain more added sugar in one serving than is recommended to consume in an entire day. For example, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 10% of your daily calories from added sugar (which would be about 200 calories for a 2,000-calorie diet), but a Starbucks grande Pumpkin Spice Latte has 50 grams of sugar, which is about 200 calories from sugar in just one drink.

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Add oats to your smoothie

banana oat smoothie

According to Best, another helpful tip for your morning drinking habits is to add some oats to your favorite smoothie. "Oats add extra fiber and bulk to your smoothie, which improves the satiating factor of your smoothie and can help prevent overeating between meals," says Best.

Oats are high in soluble fiber, which research has shown can help reduce the risk of belly fat by lowering appetite and increasing the diversity of helpful bacteria in your gut.

Best suggests that if you're going to try this tip, "The best oats to use are instant oats, as they will blend more easily to prevent any clumping or grit texture."

 6 Best Smoothie Recipes to Target Belly Fat Faster, Say Dietitians

Try a protein shake

According to Nutrition & Metabolism, eating a high-protein diet can aid in weight loss by helping to maintain metabolism and reduce appetite, and it has also been linked to a reduction in visceral fat specifically. According to a 2021 report, an increase in protein with a mild increase in calories was associated with reduced abdominal fat and an improved gut microbiota.

One study of about 200 participants who were considered "overweight" found that a high-protein diet (about 27% of daily calories were from protein) led to more belly fat loss than a standard protein diet (16% of daily calories).

Unfortunately, meeting the recommended daily amount of protein (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight) can be difficult, let alone getting enough for a "high-protein" diet.

Determining how much protein you'd need for a high-protein diet depends on your specific needs and health goals, but if you know you could use more protein in general, supplementing protein with a protein shake in the morning, either store-bought or homemade, may be beneficial. If you're able to, you may want to stick to a protein powder or shake that is lower in added sugar, as many brands still sneak in sugar calories for added flavor.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha