Getting a flat stomach is the result of a healthy diet and strong abdominal muscles. If the abdominal muscles are limp and untrained, they can not keep the internal organs in place. The result is a bulging, aesthetically ugly belly. Women often don’t want a real six-pack, because for many this is not the ideal female figure. A flat, well-trained abdomen is the goal of many women who start with abdominal muscle training. That’s why there are two typical goals for women who start with abdominal training: bikini body and losing targeted weight.
In this article I would like to introduce 3 proven steps on how to get a flat stomach and lose belly fat. I also introduce exercises for strong abdominals and foods that promote your fat burning.
Getting a flat stomach in 3 proven steps
Mother Nature is very clever and provided us with a survival mechanism that we barely need today. We store fat. This fat is nothing more than an energy storage for times when there is a lack of food. Men store this energy reserve especially on the stomach. Women have their energy stores mainly on stomach, legs and buttocks.
So to get a flat stomach, we need to tap this energy reserve, we need to burn fat. When you start burning your fat you also burn fat on your stomach and get a nice, flat stomach.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to activate fat burning directly at the problem areas. Our body always burns body fat evenly throughout the body. But, since we usually have the highest body fat percentage on the stomach (because it is our “main memory”) you will see very fast results when losing weight here.
Follow these 3 steps for getting a flat stomach and lose belly fat:
- Step 1: Check energy balance
- Step 2: Change your food
- Step 3: Activate your muscles
A flat stomach is only possible by losing weight. To lose weight, you should follow the next steps and absolutely avoid mistakes like eating high calorie foods while you are on jour weightloss journey.
Getting A Flat Stomach Step # 1: Check your energy balance
Fat burning is not magic but a biological, physical function of the body. When you deprive your body of energy your body taps the energy reserves on your stomach, legs and buttocks. Fat is being burned.
In order to activate this fat burning in your body you must deprive your body of energy (calories) so that it taps the energy reserves.
There are 2 simple options for your weightloss diet:
- Eat less calories than your body needs per day
- Burn more calories than you supply to your body, for example by doing exercises
We take in calories every day in the form of foods. Each food has a certain amount of calories. Through digestion, exercise and many more things our body uses up that energy (calories). This amount of daily calories (energy) varies from person to person and from day to day.
If you consume less energy (calories) or consume more than you take in, your body lacks energy. He then taps this missing energy from the fat storage of your stomach, legs and buttocks. You burn fat and your belly is getting flatter.
Therefore, I recommend you to calculate your energy needs in the first step. I was shocked when I did this for the first time. I saw what I really ate all day. I thought I was eating healthy, but the opposite was true.
Getting A Flat Stomach Step # 2: Change food
As you already know from my description above, each food has a certain amount of energy. And every food triggers different physical reactions. There are foods that promote your fat burning and there are foods that inhibit them.
I roughly divide all foods into 3 groups:
- Foods that contain predominantly protein
- Foods that contain mostly carbohydrates
- Foods that contain predominantly fat
Almost all foods have each of these 3 nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), some more, others less.
Especially foods that contain mostly protein promote a flat stomach. In one study a link between protein intake and a flat stomach was discovered. The more and the higher the quality of the protein that the participants consumed, the less belly fat they had.
In addition, it has been proven that a diet containing many protein-containing foods and low-carbohydrate foods stimulates thermogenesis. An effect that stimulates the heat production of the body.
Various studies have also shown that adding more protein to the diet reduces cravings by up to 60%, stimulates the metabolism (and burns 80-100 calories more per day) and helps you eat less (saving excess calories, up to 400 calories) during the day.
A diet that contains low-carbohydrate foods but many protein-containing foods leads to weight loss, reduces hunger and improves mood and sometimes even health.
When I started weight training I heard from all sides: “Avoid fatty foods, because fat makes you fat!” Unfortunately, this is a false statement. Subjects who ate little carbohydrate decreased 2-3 times as much fat as persons who ate low-fat foods.
- Eat more protein foods
- Reduce carbohydrate foods such as bread, potatoes, noodles, cereals, fruit juice, sugar, lemonade and so on
- Eat more healthy, fatty foods like salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, linseed oil, olive oil, coconut oil and so on
The best sources of protein are:
- bright meat
- Dairy products
- soy products
- many vegetables
The best carbohydrate sources are:
- dark rice
- many types of fruit
- many vegetables
Getting A Flat Stomach Step # 3: Activate your muscles with ab exercises
Our musculature protects and supports our body. But not only that! Our muscles need calories (energy) even when doing nothing. This increases your basal metabolic rate (energy requirement per day). In short, this means:
The more muscle you have, the easier and better you can burn fat
To boost your fat burning I therefore strongly recommend strength training. Strength training also stimulates your metabolism and keeps it up, even hours later.
Check the article: Abs Workout:What are the best ab exercises to get a six-pack
One study showed that a 30-minute strength training increased the metabolism of some participants up to 38 hours afterwards. People often make the mistake and spend hours on the treadmill. A fairly high amount of time, which is not needed.
In another study weight training was compared to endurance training. All participants made a low-calorie diet (as I would recommend for getting a flat stomach!). The result was:
Participants who performed intensive resistance training kept their muscles active and their metabolism remained active. This was not the case with extensive endurance training.
- Avoid hours of endurance training
- Activate your muscles through intense, short resistance training
It is important that you do your resistance training on a low-calorie diet because you actively burn calories, boost your metabolism for hours and protect your muscles from degeneration.
I recommend to do a simple full body workout like the famous Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred
What should the training for a flat stomach look like?
For getting a flat stomach it is important to have regular training. Ideally, you will be having 2-3 weight training sessions of 20 to 30 minutes each week and at least two 30-60 minute cardio workouts.
Plank (2 to 3 sets of 30 to 60 seconds)
- Go on your knees
- Place your forearms on the floor, your elbows are under your shoulders, your gaze goes to the floor
- Lay down thighs; Feet are together, tiptoeing on the floor
- Tense the stomach and lift the hips until a line is formed from the head to the feet
- Hold in this position for 30 to 60 seconds
Hanging Knee Raises (2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions)
- Includes chin-up bar with wide handle
- Lift your feet off the ground, keep the basic tension throughout your body, your legs are almost stretched out
- Tighten the toe towards the shins, then pull the knees as far as possible
- Keep the end position short, then release slowly and in a controlled manner
Dumbbell Side Bends (2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions per side)
- Standing upright with a dumbbell, the arms are long
- Put the free hand on the hip
- In the other direction, bend the upper body sideways until the dumbbell is almost at knee level; Feet stay on the floor, upper body upright
- Hold briefly, then slowly straighten up
Sit ups with weights (3 to 4 sets of 20 to 30 repetitions)
- Place your back on the floor with your legs slightly angled at a foot’s length from each other
- The hands hold a weight at a slight distance from the chest
- Lift the upper body out of the abdomen
Wood Chop (3 to 4 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions per page)
- Set up about shoulder width. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands and reach out
- Slightly squat and place the weight approximately at knee height to the left of your legs
Do not bend your back, just stay straight. The knees are pointing forward all the time
- Now move the dumbbell from bottom left to top right. Hold your arms straight and pull the weight diagonally upwards by turning your upper body
- In this movement also stretch your legs so that you stand upright at the end and hold the weight with your arms straight above your head