Blog, Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition

7 Tips To Get A Flatter Stomach

Here are my 7 tips to get a flatter stomach..

1. Cardio Exercises:
Cardio Exercises are exercises that will heat up your core temperature and improve circulation. I recommend doing exercises such as; Interval Cardio Training. 30 minutes of cardio gets you further than 30 minutes of crunches on the floor. To burn off the layer of excess fat, that is hiding your stomach muscles doing hundreds of exercises like crunches and sit ups will NOT do the trick! 

2. Weight Training Exercises:
Weight Training or Strength Training will improve your muscular tone as well as increase your metabolism, this will enable you to burn calories faster over time. Vary your exercises to work the entire abdominal region separately. I recommend you combine different workouts. Crunches will work the upper abdomen, leg raises will work the lower abdomen, and side bends work the obliques (love handles).

My overall favourites are plank variations. To make it more challenging try adding weights to your workout routine. Raising your metabolic rate is crucial to burn fat – even when you aren’t doing anything. Mix up your training sessions try HIIT workouts and Yoga or Pilates to improve posture and strengthen the core. 

3. Diet:
No amount of exercise will get you a flatter stomach if your diet is bad. Focus on eating healthy foods and cut down on junk food and sugar. Sugar increases insulin production, which slows down your metabolism. This also encourages fat storage around your mid-section. Sugar can also lead to tiredness and cravings. It’s a vicious cycle!

A diet rich in protein can help reduce overall belly fat. Cut out refined carbs i.e. white bread, pastas, potatoes, and white rice. Switch to whole grain breads and grains. Eat raw foods, they take longer to digest and will keep you fuller for longer. Try cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, dark leaf lettuce, onions, pears, tomatoes, watercress, broccoli, bananas, apples, and berries. Also get in the habit of consuming good fats such as; olives, avocados, flaxseed and fish.

4. Water:
Water Intake is very important for health in general and to lose weight. Replace all regular beverages, soda and sugared drinks with water. The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks causes gas and slows down the process of the stomach emptying itself and can cause bloating. I recommend drinking fresh lemon water, this naturally speeds up your metabolism and makes a very refreshing, healthy drink. 

5. Reduce Sodium Intake:
Salt can lead to bloating in the belly. If you are worried your food will taste bland then garnish your food with herbs or spices. Try flavouring food with a little fresh tomato salsa or cayenne pepper – which boosts metabolism. If you must use salt then opt for natural sea salt or Himalayan Salt. This is lower in sodium than traditional table salts. Steer clear of all soy sauces, these are high in sodium. 

6. Stop stressing:
Anxiety can produce extra Cortisol – a stress hormone. Cortisol encourages the body to store fat, particularly around the stomach. According to researchers at Yale University, your midsection is four times as likely as the rest of your body to store stress induced fat. An increase in stress levels can also make us more likely to reach for fattening foods. 

7. Get Some Sleep:
Lack of sleep can lead to stressful days. This in turn can lead to erratic eating patterns, emotional eating, and increase in appetite and binge eating. Strive to go to sleep early – no later then 10 or 10:30 pm. Try to do this five nights a week and aim for at least eight hours of sleep a night.

NOTE: Our Abs need rest and recovery just like the rest of your body. It’s only during rest and recovery that your muscles build and you will see the result of your hard work. Another point to take into consideration is genetics and hormones, these also play a large role on achieving those flat abs.

Thanks for reading!

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Dal Dhaliwal is a health and wellbeing expert, educator and special advisor on physical activity. She is also an active professional speaker and TV/ radio presenter. Dal helps entrepreneurs and professionals with their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. She consults and presents for some of the UK's leading businesses and organisations within the wellness, sports and business arena.