How do you get a flat stomach? It’s a question frequently posed on gym floors and typed into Google.
But the truth is, your tummy looks great just as it is. Plus, contrary to popular belief, its shape is not an indicator of health.
What’s more, scientifically speaking, there’s no hard and fast way to get rid of belly fat. You may have heard that you can ‘spot reduce’ this area, but ask any PT worth their REPS Level 3 qualification – the certificate your fitness pro should have – and they’ll bust this belly myth in the time it takes to burpee.
That’s because your body is a genius machine which cleverly decides where to store fat so it can tap into this handy energy resource on a rainy day. In cavewoman times, this was a matter of survival.
But if you still feel like your body’s ability to hang onto reserves is a little too efficient for your desk-based job, then there are some healthy habits you can introduce to switch it into fat-burning gear.
Spend the next seven days eating, training and sleeping right and we think you’ll feel pretty great.
What is the best way to lose belly fat and get a flat stomach? 7 expert tips
Monday: Work Your Core
Exercise is key if you want to get a flat stomach – and it’s your core in particular that requires working.
But forget doing endless crunches. PT Kristoph Thompson says: ‘Exercises from standing, lunging or sitting translate to much better functional strength than those done lying down.’ Try out these simple moves.
Tuesday: Eat Ab-Friendly Food
The adage ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ is actually true. Meals that are full of lean protein, slow-release carbs and digestion-friendly fibre will keep you feeling both satisfied and energised for an active day.
Look for recipes that contain fish and nuts, too. Swedish researchers discovered that the former keeps you feeling fuller than an equivalent serving of beef, while the latter contains a high dose of magnesium that a 2003 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found keeps blood sugar levels steady. Both of which should assist you in making good decisions come your 3pm tea break.
Wednesday: Get Planking
The humble plank should certainly be included in your flat-tummy arsenal. It will strengthen the stabiliser muscles you need for HIIT – the proven workout to torch fat.
Try this yoga-inspired upgrade on the classic plank to give your obliques a good seeing to. Tip: Keep hips high and stretch your finger to the sky.
Thursday: Power Up With Protein
You already know that protein is essential for both reducing hunger, boosting metabolism and aiding muscle gain, but did you know that it’s less likely to cause bloating around your middle than other macro groups?
Friday: De-Bloat In A Day
It’s now almost the weekend, and perhaps you’re feeling a little gassy after a long week?
Try these tips to reduce bloating with a balanced eating and drinking plan throughout the day. But please, if you’re planning to have a tipple, make sure you’ve eaten plenty beforehand. You’ll thank us in the morning.
Saturday: Catch up on sleep
So much of your body’s fat burning happens while you’re sleeping. Not only do you process the food you’ve eaten that day, but your muscles continue to metabolise and repair through the night.
Also, you will be more likely to eat rubbish if you’ve under-slept. So hit snooze, and enjoy a lie in – as well as increasing your chances of getting a flat stomach.
Sunday: Find Your Balance
So much core strength is to do with balance and vice versa – build one with the other.
PT Lee Mullins recommends tensing your stomach to maintain your footing on the train or the bus? It works for getting you in seriously good balance (and abs to match). Trust us.
Now you know how to get a flat stomach the sensible way, try this 30-minute workout to find out how fit you really are.