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1. Will eating smaller meals curb my hunger? Contrary to what you've heard, the five-small-meals-a-day mantra doesn't work for everyone. The new thinking? You'll eat healthiest if you eat your way--meaning, if you prefer substantial meals fewer times a day, there's no reason to force yourself to do the opposite, says nutritionist Alan Aragon.
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2. How do I know which fats are OK to eat? It's been scientifically proven: Eating fat helps you become slim, says Aragon. In fact, the Institute of Medicine recommends that fatty foods make up 20 to 35 percent of your total calories. However, you have to include the right fats--primarily monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like nuts, avocados and healthy oils.
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3. Is counting calories the only way to guarantee a flat stomach? What matters most for shedding belly fat boils down to calories in versus calories out. However, if worrying about Every. Single. Calorie. is stressing you out, put away the calculator. Instead, fill your plate with whole, energy-dense foods, such as lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
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4. Aren't protein shakes just for bodybuilders? Don't be fooled by labels. Anyone, jock or not, can benefit from the belly-flattening power of protein powder. Opt for whey protein over soy: According to a study in The Journal of Nutrition, participants whose diets included whey protein for 23 weeks had less body fat and a smaller waist than those who consumed soy protein.