We’ve already explained that following a healthy diet was essential to having a prominent abdominal wall, in the Abs Are Made In The Kitchen article. Now it’s time to lay down the 6 ways to a flat stomach.
- Reduce Carbs Consumption
Limiting carb intake is definitely one of the most effective ways to quickly lose belly fat. Stop consuming added sugars altogether. If you’ve read our What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Junk Food article, you know that products containing added sugar is often in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is directly linked to weight gain (and ultimately obesity), as well as diabetes. So when you do have carbs, make sure it is from a fruit, vegetables or whole grains.
- Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol (beer, wine, spirits and coolers) is full of sugars and sometimes gas, which cause blood sugar spike and bloating.
- Add proteins to every meal
Muscles are obviously required in order to have rock hard abs, or just a toned stomach and that’s when proteins come in. Proteins have a thermic effect, which means that 20 to 35% of calories are burnt while you digest. Proteins are necessary to grow and repair muscle tissue. The amount of protein your body needs depends on your weight: Ideally, it comes to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. (Or 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.) Proteins will also make the feeling of satiety last longer.
- You should not be afraid of fat
Dietary fat is different than body fat. Increasing dietary fat consumption can actually help you lose belly fat and uncover your abs. Getting 25 to 30% of your daily calories from diverse sources of healthy fat such as nuts, nut butters, fish oil and avocado, is strongly recommended to have energy, help keep metabolism going and hormones regular.
- Get Enough Sleep
Basically, sleep engages a virtuous circle: the more you sleep, the more your muscles grow; and the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. It should also be mentioned that a night of 7 to 9 hour of sleep can help keep stress hormone (cortisol) down. Stress is indeed related to weight gain and belly fat. To go even further on the importance of sleep, studies prove that one night of sleep deprivation has the same effect on your body than six months of an unhealthy diet.
- Do Cardio and Diversify Ab Workouts
Cardio will help you burn fat, while abs will help building muscle and you need a combination of both exercises to obtain a flat stomach. If you are used to exercising, 60 to 90 minutes of cardio two to three times a week is advised. If you are not as sporty, start with 20 minutes two to three times a week and work your way up every week.
As far as abs are concerned, there are different exercises that you can perform to work on the whole abdominal wall. Take a look at all the exercises you can try.
Please note that this article is written to help you realize what you should do if you want to lose belly fat. We do not encourage anyone to go from zero to having a crazy restrictive diet that will make you feel horrible about yourself instead of having the positive physical (and mental) effects expected. If you are used to consuming a lot of fatty foods and sugars, say three chocolate bars a day, try to eat one a day to start. In a few weeks, you’ll have one every other day, etc. The transition to a healthier lifestyle does not have to be radical. Be gentle with yourself and your body; having a healthy lifestyle is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s perfect that way. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. You are your own kind of beautiful and on your own journey to living your life to its highest potential.
From Ze Square Editors, with Love.