Getting a flat stomach is everyone’s most desired wish, but not all dreams are fulfilled that easily. Flat stomach is the most talked things among girls, especially during the summers when its time to head to the beach and flaunt that beautiful bikini body! Losing that belly fat to get a flat stomach may be hard work, but not impossible. Let me share you some advice on how to achieve it before summer is here (which will be here in no time), and you host a pool party.
1. Watch your diet carefully
All the efforts you put in to losing that excessive belly fat, will remain useless unless you change your diet. In fact, your diet contributes 80% in determining the amount of belly fat. Foods to avoid for a flat tummy include processed and pre-packaged foods, fast foods, fried foods and high-fat salad dressings. Generally avoid food with high sugar content, for example cakes, meal replacement shakes, ready packs of Instant oatmeals, etc. Also limit your daily carbohydrate intake in order to minimize your calorie intake, as high calorie intake is the main trigger for large bellies. The recommended carb intake for a flat stomach is 30 grams or less for every meal.
Instead, indulge more in low-fat proteins, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. However, do not eat more than two fruits a day, especially sugary fruits like fig, mango, lychee, cherries, etc. Instead include less sugary fruits likes raspberries, avocado or blackberries.
2. Know the Effective Exercises to Perform for a Flat Belly
While spot training does not work, there are certain special exercises you can perform for a flat stomach. Cardio exercises are a good example of such exercises. Also perform toning exercises regularly, but on a non-consecutive basis. You can plan your toning exercises to be every other day, skipping a day in between your sessions in order to gain the most effective results. Most of these abs-toning exercises are really simple and can be done at home. They include:
• Leg raises
These are performed by lying flat on the back and raising both legs towards the ceiling while the legs are flexed. Lower both flexed legs slowly towards the floor and just before they touch the ground, raise them back up slowly. While doing this, place your hands behind your buttocks for extra spinal support. For effective results, perform these exercises in three rounds, each round consisting between 10 and 25 raises, depending on your comfort level.
This is done by lying flat on the stomach, then placing the forearms onto the mat and lifting up so that the shoulders are above the elbows. The legs should then be extended behind you, while ensuring your body is straight. Keep the abs tight and maintain the position for at least ten seconds, then repeat some more times, each time challenging yourself to hold your breath longer.
• Side planks
this is a plank done on the side. Get on your right, with the legs straight and stacked on top of each other. The right arm should be propped up on the elbow, while the left should be under the hip. Remain in a steady position for at least 10 seconds. Switch sides and repeat the exercises.
3. Maintain a stress-free lifestyle
High stress levels have been proven to cause weight gain, hence a huge belly. To avoid this, live a positive and happy life. Stress causes a rise in the levels of cortisol, leading to increased fat deposit in the abdomen, hence a large belly.
Other key points to consider for a flat stomach include limiting the daily caffeine intake.
4. Stay Hydrated
Train yourself to drink a lot of water, aiming for the recommended eight glasses a day. Also eat a lot of food rich in fiber. These two practices come in handy in maintaining a flat stomach because they prevent accumulation of gas and bloating. The daily recommended fiber intake is approximately 25 grams for women and 37 grams for men.
Other ways bloating can be prevented are through regular exercising, avoiding overeating and limiting one’s sodium intake.
Also limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Excessive alcohol can cause the body to retain water, making your stomach look swollen and bloated. Carbonated drinks also need to be avoided because they trap gas in the intestines, leading to bloating.
Some sugar-free foods that contain sugar alcohols also need to be avoided. The sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol act as laxatives and often cause gas and bloating.
5. Correct your eating habits
Eat your food slowly. Eating hurriedly can cause bloating. To avoid this, always eat at least three meals a day. Never miss breakfast. Skipping certain crucial meals can make you binge-eat later, the end result being you consuming too many calories, leading to a huge belly.
Instead, eat slowly and always serve yourself with food that is just enough rather than filling up the whole plate.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
Many people love to stay up late due to their busy schedules or they stay up watching TV, for example. This is a very bad habit that is causing you to have a huge belly. When you get inadequate sleep, your biorhythms are off, leading you to eat more. When the body is tired, it produces more ghrelin, which increases the body’s cravings for sugar and other foods with large and unhealthy amounts of calories.
Inadequate sleep can also change the body’s system of producing hormones, thereby affecting the cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensivity is a key factor leading to high amounts of belly fat. Therefore, for a flat stomach, ensure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
7. Make Vitamin C a Key Component of Your Diet
Vitamin C is important in keeping the amount of belly fat at a minimum. When you are under pressure, the body produces more Vitamin C, which helps balance the rise in cortisols that occur due to stress. Vitamin C is also an ingredient used by the body to manufacture carnitine, which is in turn used by the body to turn fat into fuel, therefore burning a lot of fat. Whenever you are experiencing stress or any other factor that is known to increase the amount of belly fat, increase your intake of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits like oranges are rich in Vitamin C. Other fruits rich in Vitamin C include bell peppers, kale and kiwi fruits.
Consume these fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C regularly and you will notice the difference in the size of your belly.