Tips to Help Flatten Your Stomach

by Kaitlin Condon, Demand Media
    A flat stomach can be achieved with a balance of good diet and exercise.

    A flat stomach can be achieved with a balance of good diet and exercise.

    Regardless of what you may think, doing hundreds of crunches a day will get you nowhere when it comes to a flat stomach. While crunches may help to strengthen your core, a slim waistline comes from the combination of a healthy diet and a solid workout regimen. Once you have a consistent diet and workout plan in place, you'll be on your way to a trim, toned tummy.

    Eat Well

    The saying "abs are made in the kitchen" isn't something catchy that trainers made up for fun, it really is true. A nutritious diet rich in whole foods and low in unhealthy refined carbs and fatty foods will help you shed body fat for a lean figure. Focus your diet around lean protein, low-fat dairy, complex carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and vegetables to help you get the flat belly you desire.

    Cardio

    There's no better way to burn fat than aerobic activity. While beginners will benefit from simply walking or jogging, more advanced exercisers will need to ramp up their cardio to burn the fat off. One sure way to burn calories is with high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. Alternating intervals of intense work and rest, HIIT allows exercisers to get the most out of their workout in 30 minutes or less. This method of training burns away fat as well as improves endurance.

    Weight Training

    Weight training won't burn as many calories as cardio exercise will, however weight training builds muscle, which helps to increase metabolism. An increased metabolism means your body will be burning more calories even when you are at rest on your couch. Strength train two to three times a week, targeting your major muscle groups such as your glutes, hamstrings and quads one day and your shoulders, biceps, chest and back on another. Consult a trainer for help to get you started on the right weight training plan for you.

    Core Exercises

    Your core includes your abdominal muscles as well as the muscles of your lower back and hips. These exercises will help shape and flatten your tummy and help protect your lower back. Choose exercises like plank, leg lifts and stability ball crunches. These exercises engage your entire core instead of just your abdominal muscles.

    About the Author

    Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.

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