A bulging midriff or muffin top can keep you from wearing the fashionable clothes you enjoy. Ditch the tent-like tops and your self-consciousness by flattening your stomach. Aside from eating healthier and exercising to lose the jiggly belly fat, you can flatten your tummy with muscle-toning exercises. Avoiding belly-bloating foods and drinks can also help you get a stomach you're not afraid to reveal.
Lose excess belly flab for a flatter-looking stomach by reducing your daily caloric intake. Cut 250 to 500 calories each day for a loss of one-half to 1 pound each week. Substitute mustard for mayo to save 100 calories, or drink herbal tea instead of cola or sugary coffee beverages to easily eliminate around 250 calories.
Swap water for sweet sodas or fruit juices to further cut calories and eliminate the belly bloat caused by the sugar and carbonation. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily to reduce hunger and remain hydrated.
Consume a diet of fresh produce, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy, while avoiding foods that lead to gas and belly bloat, such as cabbage, legumes and broccoli. Eat small meals throughout the day to avoid a bloated belly from overeating and keep your body fueled for exercise.
Move your body and get your heart pumping for at least five hours per week to lose weight all over and around your stomach. Spread the five hours across the week in a way that makes sense for your schedule. Engage your stomach muscles while exercising by swimming, jogging or using a rowing machine.
Flatten your abs with the magic carpet ride ab exercise. Get into regular or modified pushup position with a towel beneath your feet or knees. Slide your feet or knees in toward your belly, using your stomach muscles to control the movement. Slide back out to return to the starting position. Aim for three sets of 10 reps each, starting out with as many as you can.
Whittle your middle for a flatter-looking belly with bird-dog exercises. Get down on all fours and extend your left leg straight behind you, while reaching your right arm straight out in front of you. Keep your leg and arm parallel to the floor. Draw them both in simultaneously. Repeat this exercise eight to 24 times on each side before repeating it with the other leg and arm.
Flatten your abs while working your obliques -- the muscles along your sides -- by alternating regular stomach crunches with side reaches. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Lift your head, neck and chest while reaching your arms in between your knees. Lower your upper body to the floor without allowing your head or neck to touch it. Lift again while rotating to your left and reaching toward the outside of your left knee. Lower again, before lifting and rotating toward your right. Repeat the series of three moves eight to 12 times.
- Give your bod a break between strength-training exercises. Take one day off in-between so your muscle tissue can recover as it builds up.
- Touch base with your doctor to get the okay before starting a new diet or exercise regimen.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.