How to Flatten Your Stomach Fast Without Spending a Fortune or Living at the Gym

You'll need more than just crunches to get a flat stomach.
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A flat stomach is one of the most enviable body parts for a woman. Marketers know and capitalize on this, promoting hundreds of products that promise to shrink your belly and give you six-pack abs. But you don’t need to buy pills or expensive equipment to get a flatter stomach. You don’t even need to spend hours at the gym. What you do need to do is have a consistent workout and diet regimen that is geared toward getting rid of stomach fat.


Step 1

Begin with a healthy eating plan. Cutting calories through your diet is much easier than burning calories through exercise. The Mayo Clinic recommends cutting 500 calories from your daily intake to burn 1 pound of fat per week. This can often be done without too much inconvenience if you simply eliminate some high-calorie foods from your meals. If you want to exercise to burn those calories instead, it could take almost an hour of exercise a day.

Step 2

Cut down on refined carbohydrates including rice, pasta and white bread and fill up instead on high protein meat, fish and poultry along with vegetables. A study published in the February 2006 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" concluded that high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are more effective for fat loss than high-carb diets.

Step 3

Get rid of all the empty calories you eat and drink throughout the day. Sodas, desserts and high-fat or salty snacks such as potato chips or pretzels are full of calories but don’t offer any nutritional value. Replace them with protein-rich nuts and high-fiber fruits that will keep you full for hours.


Step 1

Perform some kind of exercise every day. If you’re in a hurry to flatten your stomach, opt for aerobic exercise as your main exercise option. A study published in the December 2012 issue of the "Journal of Applied Physiology" concluded that aerobic exercise is better than resistance training for reducing fat mass.

Step 2

Keep your cardio workout to about 30 minutes. While you’ll be tempted to do more cardio to burn more calories, you may be wasting your time. A study published in the August 2012 online issue of the "Journal of Applied Physiology" found that people who perform 30-minute cardio workouts actually lose more weight than those who perform 60 minutes of cardio.

Step 3

Skip slow and steady cardio such as jogging, walking or slow cycling and opt for interval training instead. A study published in the November 2008 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) reduces abdominal fat much better than low-intensity exercise. Another study published in the June 2012 issue of the "Journal of Obesity" also proved the superiority of interval training, concluding that completing three 20-minute high-intensity workouts a week is all it takes to lose significant abdominal fat. HIIT workouts consist of alternating short periods of high-intensity exercise with longer periods of active recovery or low-intensity exercise.

Step 4

Incorporate some resistance training to your exercise regimen. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends training each major muscle group two or three days a week using a variety of exercises and equipment. While it’s not as efficient for burning fat, it will help give you a flatter stomach in the long run because it will increase your muscle tone. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat so it will keep your metabolism revved and burning calories even when you’re sitting on the couch.

Step 5

Go easy on abdominal exercises. They’ll strengthen your core muscles but they’ll do little to get rid of belly fat and, unfortunately, as long as you have belly fat, you’ll never see what’s underneath, even if it’s a full six pack.

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