It’s not all crunches and planking
Let’s start off with the reality here.
I can’t tell you how to get a flat stomach within the next week.
It just doesn’t work.
To get a flat stomach it takes work, done consistently, for quite a while.
It’s not as easy as taking some magic pills or weight loss milkshakes.
Unfortunately, it actually takes some work – which is why a lot of people struggle.
But if you want to make a difference and struggle a little less, here is my advice for getting a flat stomach.
Below I’m going to show how you can get a flat stomach.
You are what you eat
If you want a flat stomach, you have to get rid of what is already there.
Unfortunately, what’s usually there is a bit of excess fat.
And one of (what should be) the most obvious ways to lose some weight is to improve what you eat.
Notice I don’t say “go on a diet”.
Instead we want to alter our diet – a more permanent solution than starving yourself for a few weeks.
Aim for filling foods which are low in calories.
Vegetables are perfect for this as they will keep you feeling satisfied and not cost you tons of calories. Also, they have lots of nutrients inside which can help us further.
Another major point about altering what you eat is trying to cut out the rubbish.
Less chocolates, sweets and fat filled crisps.
Snacks are generally a weakness for most people who want a flatter stomach and they can quickly add up.
If you start exercising and managing to burn a few hundred calories, this could be reversed quite easily with a couple of packets of crisps.
And if you don’t exercise every day (which is fine), those additional calories aren’t being burnt off, which will lead to your stomach becoming less flat.
Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals may seem like a good way of eating less and therefore losing some weight.
However, that isn’t how it always work out.
If you skip breakfast, you may make worse choices later in the day.
If you manage to make it to lunch without snacking, you may decide you deserve something more filling.
At that point, you’re hungry and not thinking clearly so you end up at a fast food restaurant.
If you had a Big Mac meal it could easily be 1300+ calories.
And it wouldn’t fill you up for very long.
Instead, you could have oats for breakfast and a home-made stir fry for lunch and that could easily total less calories than your Big Mac.
Plus, it is more nutritious and fills you up.
Missing meals means your body starts to conserve energy, meaning you feel drained and unmotivated.
That means you’re more likely to make worse choices.
Plus, it slows your metabolism which means your body reduces the number of calories it will burn throughout the day.
This is the opposite of what we want to do.
If it is practical for you, ideally you should be eating 3-6 smaller meals per day, to maximise our metabolism and keep our body burning as many calories as possible.
Lift some things up
If you want to make it easy on yourself to get and maintain a flat stomach, lifting weights will help.
When you increase your muscle mass, it means you have more tissue which is burning extra calories.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to become bulky.
Instead, resistance exercises can help make you look lean and will definitely help flatten your stomach.
Plus, as well as increasing the calories you burn naturally, it obviously burns calories while you are doing it.
If you’re not a fan of jogging or spending hours on the Cross-trainer, resistance training could be a better fit.
You don’t need huge weights, or even a gym membership.
There are plenty of bodyweight exercises to keep you going and help you burn calories, lose weight and improve your body.
You can even do different styles of exercise (such as HIIT) to help you burn extra calories in a shorter amount of time.
Whatever you end up doing, try prioritising resistance training over cardio.
More moving means more weight loss.
I know we have just talked about lifting weights and doing resistance training, but there are other hours outside of the time you may spend exercising.
If you want to maximise the number of calories you burn, you need to try to be as active as possible throughout the whole day.
Here are some easy ways to keep moving:
take the stairs
go for a walk at lunch
don’t sit on the sofa until after 7pm
park further from work/ get off the bus a stop earlier
Not only will these keep you active, they might actually help you make better decisions and stay motivated too.
If you are consciously doing more exercise, you’ll also unconsciously make better choices with your food too.
Get some more z’s
If you want a flat stomach, losing weight is essential.
And if you want to lose weight, getting enough sleep is essential.
When you don’t get enough sleep your appetite is increased meaning you are more likely to overeat.
Plus, if you get more sleep you are more likely to make better food choices and fight cravings.
Think about it, when do you most want to eat chocolate and ice cream…
…when you’re sat in front of the TV on an evening feeling tired.
Having enough sleep means your metabolism is going to be working at its best, so you’ll burn more calories too.
Some ab exercises
Most people think of a flat stomach and think of millions of sit-ups.
That’s probably the most useless thing you can do out of everything I have told you.
Everything else I’ve mentioned should come first.
Ab exercises will help tone your stomach muscles, but they won’t burn many calories and so they won’t do the biggest job of helping you lose weight.
Once you are doing everything above, then maybe you could add some stomach exercises to help that area tone up.
These can be incorporated into your exercise sessions.
My top recommended ab exercises would be:
crunches (done slowly with control)
To me these are the most effective ones.
When done properly, they work the stomach muscles well plus are hard work so burn more calories.
You don’t need a mountain of abdominal exercises that take you hours to complete.
Instead, you could just add these few to the beginning or end of your workout, making it a couple of minutes longer.
And that would be all you need.
This is how you can get a flat stomach
Getting a flatter stomach is many people’s dream, yet it takes some work.
It doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow the advice I’ve just given but also it’s not as easy as staying where you are.
Unfortunately, it won’t happen in a week following some crazy diet.
You won’t get a flat stomach doing 3000 crunches a day.
But you can get one by improving what you eat, adding some extra activity to your routine and gradually losing weight.