How to get a flat stomach
Having a flat stomach is a sign of general good health. People with toned stomachs are seen as more attractive, more youthful and more successful. The good news is that it is possible for anyone of whatever age and weight to attain a flat stomach. All you will need to do is to understand a few fundamental principles and apply them. It may involve a transformation of your lifestyle, but the results will be worth it. You will look younger, have more energy and be healthier. You will be happier, more optimistic and more confident with people. Let me show you how to get a flat stomach.
One of the most common workout myths is that you can spot reduce excess belly fat by doing hundreds of sit-ups. Sure, sit-ups will tone the abs. However they will not shift the fat. Your newly toned abs will still be hidden away under a layer of fat.
There are many diet myths around. Many people believe that how to get a flat stomach is through extreme dieting. Extreme dieting puts the body in starvation mode. Although body fat will disappear, so will muscle. What people do not realize is that muscle is important for burning fat. Extreme diets are not sustainable, and eventually people will start to revert to their old eating habits. When they do, they have very little muscle left to burn the fat, and they pile the pounds back on.
Three key principles
Fortunately anyone can develop a flat stomach through with the correct application of three key principles
- Strength training
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Wholefood diet
If you want to lose your belly fat, you will have to make a change in your lifestyle. It will require some discipline and determination. At first it will seem like hard work. But the human body is very adaptable and as you get used to your new lifestyle and start to see and feel the benefits, you will enjoy your new routine.
Strength training for a flat stomach
Strength training is important lose weight and have the toned physique you desire. Strength training is important to increase the muscle mass in your body. Having muscle mass is essential for losing weight. The muscles of your body burn the fat reserves in your body, even when you are watching TV or sleeping. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn.
Many people are afraid of strength training. They believe that strength training will turn them into a pumped up bodybuilder with huge, bulky muscles. This is not true. Bodybuilders follow highly specialized routines involving weight lifting for 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. On top of that they consume six meals a day, topped up with protein supplements.
The strength training advocated here is based on the methods used by professional athletes. Professional athletes do not want bulky bodies. They need functional strength that will make them quick and powerful.
Proper strength training will help you develop lean muscle mass for a slim, toned look. You should train your entire body to maximize muscle growth and fat burning. The most efficient and effective exercises are compound movements which target many muscle groups at the same time, including your abs. You should also hit your abs separately for maximum effect.
Flat stomach cardio
Cardiovascular exercise, or ‘cardio’ is exercise that that works the heart and lungs. During cardiovascular exercise the heart beats faster, your lungs work harder and you start to feel out of breath. Cardiovascular exercise is beneficial for our general health as it reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. It is also very beneficial for burning fat.
There are two broad forms of cardiovascular exercise:
- Long Slow Distance
- High Intensity Interval Training
Long Slow Distance [or LSD] involves working the heart at a moderate intensity for a long period of time. An example of LSD would be going for a 1 hour jog around the park.
High Intensity Interval Training [or HIIT] involves working the heart a high intensity, resting, and repeating. An example of High Intensity Interval Training would be sprinting for 30 seconds, jogging for 30 seconds, and repeating this for 20 mins.
Although calories are burnt with both LSD and HIIT, scientists have found that during a session of HIIT as much as nine times more fat was burnt compared to a session of LSD. They found that with LSD the calories are taken from fat and muscle cells, whereas with HIIT the calories are taken mostly from the fat cells. Furthermore scientists found that with HIIT the body continues to burn calories for up to 48 hours after the exercise session, whereas with LSD the body stops burning calories after the exercise session ends.
LSD training does have still have its place, for example if you are training for a marathon or a triathlon. But HIIT is definitely the most effective cardio for burning fat.
Wholefoods for a flat stomach
There is a new fad diet coming out every few months. Each diet promises miraculous rapid weight loss. Although that may be true, the diets are not based on sound nutritional principles and are not sustainable.
You should ignore the the latest celebrity diet and eat a wholefood diet based on common sense principles. Follow a diet modeled on the nutritional programs of athletes. An athlete’s diet is based on lean protein, whole grains [such as brown rice and bread], vegetables, fruit and nuts. These are healthy foods which you can eat until you have satisfied your hunger, without fear of getting fat. The foods you must avoid are: sugar, saturated fat and artificial additives. Cutting out sugar and is crucial for fat loss. Sugar in your diet is just empty calories, with no nutritional benefit. Sugar is converted into fat, and that is what you don’t want.
The final step
Now you understand the principles of how to get a flat stomach. The final step is to apply them. The flat stomach workout is a simple but effective four day a week routine combining strength training and HIIT cardio. Combine this with the flat stomach diet which swaps unhealthy processed food with delicious wholefoods. You will need to be disciplined and determined, but you can do it. You can see results in as little as 2 weeks.