Having a flat stomach to flaunt is a dream everyone has irrespective of age and gender. If you are a man, you are probably looking at rippled six-pack abs and as a woman, perhaps, you are aiming for a flat toned stomach.
It is simple psychology actually. Human beings are driven by vanity and if we look good (read appreciated by others), we feel good. But there is more to a flat stomach than mere aesthetic appeal. Central obesity is bad for health and is a high risk factor for diseases like diabetes and cardiac illnesses. So if you have decided to ‘cut the flab from your ab’, congratulations. You will not only look ‘fab’, it is the step in the right direction for your health.
But alas, the process is not easy. As with anything else that is highly desirable, a sexy and toned midsection is a lot of hardwork.
Be prepared to work hard for a flat stomach
But hardwork that eventually gives the desired results.
If you find that your efforts for attaining a flat stomach are not getting you anywhere, rest assured, you are doing it wrong. Once you learn how to get a flat stomach the healthy way, you can have the results that you’ve been longing for. The mantra for getting a flat stomach is comprehensive solution involving the right foods and exercise.
And remember there are really NO quick fixes or miracle cures for a flat stomach. However appealing the advertisement for such a product is, you must know that it is not true.
While it is appealing to go on a crash diet to achieve quick results, the results are short lived. Besides it leads to yo-yo dieting and can also cause depression when the lost weight comes right back on.
Instead, life-style changes are more effective and are far easier to stick to, giving long lasting results in the battle for a flat stomach. Your diet is the first place to look.
The choices that you make when selecting foods are incredibly important. High protein, lean foods are an excellent way to fill up. They provide energy and are the building blocks for muscle, whilst not being major causes of fat deposits.
Foods rich in lean protein are good choices
Sugars and carbohydrates on the other hand quickly metabolize, giving a sugar rush and then a crash. This causes hunger pangs that lead you to snack in between meals, defeating your very purpose of achieving a flat stomach. Besides, excess sugars from the carbs are converted easily into fat for storage and no prizes for guessing that fats have a particular affinity for your midsection
If you are serious about getting a flat stomach, you should avoid sugary food and processed foods These include pastries, carbonated drinks, foods made from refined flour like white bread, pasta etc.
A no-no for a flat stomach
You should also avoid foods that cause bloating. Unfortunately some people are more sensitive than others to gassy foods, but everyone is likely to have some foods that cause bloating. When this happens the tummy will tend to swell a little and become more round-counter productive when you are working hard to get a flat stomach. In general foods high in fiber are good, because they tend to fill you up for longer. But did you know there are two types of fiber? Soluble, as found in rice is wonderful. Insoluble fiber however, as found in bran tends to cause fermentation in the gut-leading to bloating.
Sticking to safe flat stomach foods is therefore especially important before a day at the beach, or before that big night out.
You may find it surprising, but making little changes in eating patterns can significantly help your efforts to get a flat stomach.
Do not eat your meals in a rush. Too many people eat on the run, and end up eating too much as a result. It takes the body at least twenty minutes to realize that you are full, so if you are finishing a meal in under that time then you may never realize till it’s too late that you’ve eaten enough, or too much. It is a good idea to chew the food thoroughly before swallowing to prolong the meal time. Another simple tip- finish what is in your mouth, before picking up the next morsel.
Eating in front of the TV can make you eat more
Do not eat with the TV on. When you are watching the TV you are more likely to eat more and ignore your body’s signals that tell you that you’ve had enough to eat. This leads to overeating, too many calories taken in and the fat storage that we all hate.
Social eating is an excellent way to moderate your eating speed. Cultures that chat whilst they eat tend to have less of a problem getting or maintaining a flat stomach because they eat more slowly. Make dinner a family ritual.
Family that eats together stays together and has a flatter stomach
Eat together as a family, share your experiences of the day and move closer towards getting that flat stomach, while you are also getting closer to the family. Now that is a win-win situation, isn’t it?
Remember that slower eating allows the body to recognize the fact that it is full, so that you can stop eating at the right time.
Exercise is possibly the most important aspect to consider when you are trying to get a flat stomach. Flat stomach exercises aim towards burning the fat around the abdominal muscles and toning and strengthening those muscles.
In fact certain exercises work locally on the abdominal area, while others will help you to burn fat all over.
Most commonly the term ‘flat stomach exercises’ conjures up images of punishing sit-ups and crunches.
Crunches and Sit-ups are effective flat stomach exercises
While these are important and effective exercises for getting a flat stomach, they are not the only ones.
Yoga and Pilates for flat stomach are also popular exercise options. Yoga postures can help you get a flat stomach because they require careful balance.
Bow pose and cobra pose (picture below) are effective Yoga postures for a flat stomach
That level of balance requires the muscles of your abdomen to be taut, holding you upright and still.
Pilates exercises work by strengthening your core and focusing on
Holding the ‘plank’ is a great way to tone up the abdominal muscles
Plyometric exercises (jumping exercises) focus on burning calories and help in reducing belly fat and getting you closer to the goal of a flat stomach. Jumping jacks,
Squat Thrust Jump
Squat Thrust Push-ups and Cartwheels are some plyometric exercises that are beneficial.
Finally do not underestimate the power of regular cardio training and strength training in achieving your flat stomach goal. Cardio exercises promote an intense burning of calories and burn fat from all over the body, keeping you fit and healthy. Strength training increases the metabolic rate and causes prolonged burning of calories and fat, critical to attain a flat stomach.
Just because you have a busy schedule, there is no reason to give up on your flat stomach dream. There are flat stomach exercises that you can be doing almost anywhere. Whether you are grocery shopping or sitting at your desk at the office, you can be working those abdominal muscles that you need to tighten up.
The easiest flat stomach exercise isn’t really an exercise at all. It is simply a matter of maintaining your posture and sitting up straight and tall. Having a good posture makes your stomach look flatter, but more importantly it works the muscles that tend to sag. This right posture helps to tone and strengthen the muscles, giving you a permanently flat stomach over time.
The right sitting posture can help you get a flat stomach and also prevent other problems like cervical spondylosis
Sucking your stomach works in the same way as minding your posture. Firstly, by sucking it all in you have an instantly more flat stomach. But over time it works as a flat stomach exercise, toning those abdominal muscles. (So next time you suck in your stomach to impress someone at a party..Good job!)
Even watching TV or working on the computer can become a flat stomach exercise! Try sitting on an exercise ball instead of the sofa, because the muscles that are needed to keep you from wobbling on the ball are exactly the ones that help to hold the abdomen flat.
Get a flat stomach by sitting on an exercise ball
Flat Stomach – No More an Impossible Dream
It is possible to get a flat stomach by making the right changes in your life, and your overall health will improve at the same time.
Dream no more. You can do it