Want a Flat Stomach? Follow These 3 Steps
It’s no secret – we all want it. It’s plastered on every magazine cover, displayed in movies and TV shows. It’s exposed at beaches, pools, parks, etc. It’s admired by men and women alike, yet it’s one of the hardest things to get; a flat stomach. For most people, the abdominal area (midsection) seems to be the most difficult place to lose weight. I get asked all the time, “why is it so hard to lose my belly fat?” Well, the answer is simpler than you think. Here are 3 steps to burning belly fat and getting the flat stomach you’ve always wanted.
1) Abs develop in the kitchen, not the gym
It’s the most important step in attaining a flatter stomach. I never recommend crash diets you read about in magazines; I always suggest simple nutrition guidelines. There are plenty of foods that promote fat loss by boosting your metabolism naturally. For example, grapefruit is known to reduce insulin levels which assists your body in converting calories to energy. Nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc.) are low in calories and help you stay fuller longer, while increasing your resting metabolic rate. Whole grains are high in fiber and when consumed for breakfast, have been proven to reduce the amount of food you consume throughout the day. Eating vegetables, fruits and lean proteins like chicken and fish also aid in burning calories and provides your body the nutrients and energy it needs to lose the extra weight and build muscle. Eating smaller, healthier meals will keep your metabolism high and keep your caloric intake low.
2) Focus on full body workouts
There’s a rule in weight loss called ‘first to come, last to go’. Simply put, it describes where your body will burn fat first and where it will burn fat last. A lot of people tend to gain weight in their midsection first, ultimately making it the last place to lose it. Therefore, by making abdominal exercises your main priority you’re not getting yourself any closer to getting those sexy abs you want. Instead, focus on full body exercises and incorporate some type of cardio in every workout. Engage your core (tighten/flex your abs) in every exercise, from squats to bench press. Your core is like your bodies center of gravity. It’s used in practically every form of movement, so while working every muscle group your abs become the secondary muscle worked. As long as your engaging your core in every set of every exercise, your abs are working constantly. Abs are the one muscle group that can be worked everyday.
3) Drink Plenty of Water
This is one step that has slipped past many consumers throughout the years. Studies have shown that drinking two glasses of water before every meal will help you eat less and lose more weight. Water is helpful in boosting your metabolism, especially in the morning. It’s been said that drinking a glass of ice cold water as soon as you wake up causes your metabolism to jump-start itself. Drinking adequate amounts of water also keeps you hydrated which will ultimately keep you from indulging in high calorie, sugar-filled foods and beverages. Our bodies often confuse dehydration with hunger. So when you ‘feel’ hungry, you may actually be dehydrated. The next time you feel the urge to snack, try drinking a tall glass of cold water. If your hunger pains subside, not only have you prevented yourself from consuming unnecessary calories; but you’ve also given your metabolism a boost to continue burning the calories you ingested in your last meal. Also, try not to get caught up in the hoopla about water retention and excess water weight. As long as you maintain a strict exercise and eating schedule, you’ll seat that out in the gym.
Remember, the key to losing weight is the same as getting a flatter stomach. Limit your daily caloric intake, eat clean, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. Those abs are waiting to be seen, but first, you need to get rid of what is surrounding them. Once they come out to play, you’ll want to show them off to the world – so go for it!