If you take in more calories than you burn off, you put on pounds everywhere -- including in your middle. You need to cut about 500 calories a day to lose a pound. That may sound like a lot, but look at cutting the highest-calorie foods from your diet first. Cookies, french fries, soda, and juice pack many calories into a few sips or bites. Replace those first with low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like broccoli, apples, brown rice, and brothy soups.