The road to a flatter stomach is very difficult to traverse. Even with some of the best diet plans for weight loss, regular exercise and living a healthier lifestyle, the chances of seeing a flat, perfectly sculpted midsection in the mirror are just as good as seeing Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster; they just don't seem to exist! If you've been scratching your head, trying to figure out how to get rid of that excess body fat around your tummy or that unsightly muffin-top, then you should check out some of the suggestions below for the best ways to get a flat stomach:
Avoid the Crash Diets
While there are some crash diets out there that can definitely help you shed the pounds fast, they are almost impossible to stick to. These crash diets are usually set up with a 1,200 calorie intake per day, which means you are basically starving all the time! For most people, it's almost impossible to go through the entire crash diet, and in the worst cases, they end up binging because they are so hungry.
- Crash diets are also ineffective for permanent weight loss, since a healthy diet and exercise are needed to maintain the loss in weight.
- Once the weight is regained, some people tend to go back to their crash diets to drop the weight again.
- This type of yo-yo dieting is terrible for your midsection because the episodes of starvation can cause your body to store fat.
- That fat your body is storing can head straight towards your belly, and can also lead to cellulite.
Abdominal Workouts Alone Won't Cut It
If you are overweight or suffering from obesity, abdominal workouts alone won't get you a flat tummy. Many people spend weeks, and even months, doing sit-ups and crunches every single day to get that toned stomach they've always wanted. When they don't see the results they are looking for, they give up on the whole idea of working out and getting a flatter midsection. Don't let this happen to you!
First, you need to understand that abdominal workouts are great for toning and tightening your stomach to get those rock hard abs. However, if you have excess fat covering your abdominals, you will be unable to see the results of your daily crunches and sit-ups. Doing spot exercises and just working out your abdominals is not enough to get a flatter stomach. For the best results, start with dieting and regular exercise to lose the excess fat around your belly, then add your abdominal workouts for that thinner, more sculpted look.
Healthy Eating Habits
Start thinking of ways to eat healthier and stick to a nutritious diet, devoid of any fatty foods that can hurt your midsection. Here are some food and nutrition tips for a flatter stomach:
- Eat more whole grains. Studies have shown that a diet rich in whole grains can help people lose weight and get a flatter belly. The increased intake of fiber can lead to steadier bowel movements.
- Not all fats are bad. Try eating more monounsaturated fats in foods like avocados and sunflower seeds. Monounsaturated fat is considered the "good" fat, and can help trim the "bad" fat from around your belly.
- Fruits have fiber too. Get more fruits in your diet like apples and oranges. These fruits are also great sources of fiber, and have the added benefit of vitamin C.
- Avoid foods that cause bloating. Another key ingredient to a flat tummy is to reduce bloating. Foods filled with the "bad" fats like trans-fat, carbonated drinks and foods high in sodium are the usual culprits for a bloated stomach.
Coupled with a healthy diet, regular exercising will get you a flat stomach in no time. If you aren't used to exercising regularly, start off slow by finding ways to exercise without the gym, like weekend hikes or being more active at the office or at home. Once you start seeing results, you might feel more motivated to go to the gym and increasing your workout. This will gradually help you get the flat stomach you've been looking for.
Intense Workouts for Toned Abs
Once you've achieved a flatter stomach, you might feel compelled to step things up a notch to get those six-pack abs you've only seen on celebrities. This is where those hundred crunches per day come in handy. If you want to get washboard abs, you need to do a little more than dieting and exercise.
- Start pushing yourself harder at the gym and work up a real sweat. Regular exercise is great for staying healthy and fit, but doing the same exercises everyday can make your workouts stagnant.
- Try alternative exercises you aren't used to like yoga, dancing or kickboxing.
- If you aren't using them already, free weights are a great way to intensify your workout. If you're afraid of getting bulky, don't use too much weight for your exercises.
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to tone your midsection. HIIT focuses on intense workouts in short bursts that have been shown to be very effective at burning belly fat.