In the last article “Want a Flat Stomach? Here are 5 Things That You Must Not Do” , I wrote about the 5 things that you have to avoid in order to get a flat stomach. So now you know what to avoid. But what do you need to do instead? Lets address in this article the 4 things required to achieve a flat stomach.
1. Eat Just Below Your Maintenance Calories Level – Everyone has a maintenance calories level at which they neither gain weight or lose weight in the short term. Most people know their maintenance calorie level or you could find it out by trial and error. For the detailed oriented people, you could multiply your body weight (lbs) by 11. This gives you a rough estimate of your daily calorie requirements. Once you have determined your maintenance calories level, reduce your food consumption very gradually. In terms of calories, this reduction must not be more than 10%. Read How To Lose Weight Correctly if you want a more detailed explanation of your daily caloric requirements.
It may be very tempting to drastically cut down on food consumption but here lies the single major reason for not being able to achieve a flat stomach. For more detailed information on why starvation does not get you a flat stomach, please read Why Fad Diets Don’t Work.
2. Start an Exercise Regime centered Around Weight Resistance Training – Weight resistance exercises are any exercises that imparts a challenging load on your muscles. These exercises could be done with dumbbells or with your own bodyweight. Example of exercises with dumbbells are squats,lunges,etc. Examples of exercises using your own bodyweight are push ups, pulls ups, etc. The one question most people have is how is a flat stomach attained by exercising the legs. This is the logic that most people cannot understand and where they actually go wrong. As I have mentioned before, fat is burnt in your body in layers similar to the layers of an onion. It must come off in layers as well. Thus when you do weight resistance exercises, it removes 1 layer of fat from your entire body. The fat must be removed layer by layer. You should do at least 3 sessions of weight resistance exercises for up to 45 minutes in a week. Those who try to circumvent this will never be able to attain a firm and flat stomach.
3. Do Interval Type Cardio Exercises –Doing steady type jogging or walking or swimming is not going to get you a flat stomach. For those still in doubt, please read the earlier 3 articles entitled
- “Jogging – The losing battle to fight weight loss”
- “Why jogging is a losing battle for weight loss”
- “Swimming – Another losing battle for weight loss”
Instead, do interval type cardio exercises. Interval training is where you take an exercise and exert in bursts. Take jogging for example. In order to do intervals for jogging, you should run at your maximum possible intensity for 1 to 2 minutes and then walk at a slow pace for 2 minutes to catch your breath. These are also called wind sprints because they absolutely get the wind out of you. 1 minute of sprinting followed by 2 minutes of walking is 1 cycle. Even a well trained person will find it challenging to do 8 cycles of these. And let me tell you, these type of exercises really burn abdominal fat. Do note that someone who has not exercised before, should build up stamina gradually until the point where he or she can do sprints. If you are too overweight, forget about intervals and concentrate on resistance training instead. This will help reduce the stress on your joints and provide the best returns for your time investment.
4. Stay Away from Alcohol – Alcohol is the antithesis of a flat stomach. If you absolutely cannot keep away from alcohol, then you should just about forget the dream of a flat stomach. Alcohol is like jet fuel in the body. The body prefers to burn alcohol when its available rather than fat or carbohydrates. In fact, research has shown that the body’s fat burning ability shuts down when alcohol is consumed. For a more detailed explanation on how alcohol disrupts fat burning, please read “Effects of Alcohol on Weight Loss – Part 1 and Part 2“.
Anyone who is diligent with the above steps, will surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, will attain a flat stomach. The above steps are what make up correct weight loss. Correct weight loss is healthy and sustainable. If you are going to lose weight or work towards a flat stomach, once and for all do it right!