A flat stomach and shapely thighs and butt adorn many celebrities and athletes. Not only does such a body shape improve your appearance, but it also improves your health and quality of life. Excess abdominal fat is a predictor of several serious health problems, and a lack of muscle tone makes you more susceptible to injury. A nutritious diet and regular exercise, including cardiovascular activity and strength training, can help you achieve the body shape you desire and improve your health.
Allow one to two days of rest between each strength-training session to give your muscles time to recover and rebuild bigger and stronger.
Eat a carb-rich snack before your workout for energy and a protein-rich snack after your workout for recovery.
Get plenty of sleep and reduce stress in your life, both of which have been shown to help reduce stomach fat.
Create a calorie deficit each day to lose overall body fat and achieve a flat stomach. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. Create a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories to lose one to two pounds of body fat each week. You can do this by reducing your caloric intake, exercising more or a combination of both.
Eat a nutritious diet of whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, whole grains, nuts and seeds and low-fat dairy. Rather than dieting, simply cutting out processed, high fat, sugar-laden foods from your diet will help you shed excess pounds and keep them off long term. Make healthy eating a lifestyle to lose your belly now and maintain a flat stomach in the future.
Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise, such as running, swimming, brisk walking, biking and aerobics, for at least 30 minutes each day. For increased calorie burn, exercise for 60 minutes each day or increase the intensity of your workouts by performing interval training. Interval training alternates periods of high-intensity activity with periods of recovery. For example, on a treadmill sprint at an all-out pace for 30 to 60 seconds, then jog at a moderate pace for 90 seconds to two minutes. Repeat this sequence for the duration of your workout. If you engage in more intense cardiovascular exercise, five sessions per week is adequate to avoid injury and overtraining.
Strength train with moderate to heavy weights, paying special attention to the lower body to build muscle in your butt and thighs. Perform compound exercises, which activate more muscle fibers at once and encourage greater lean mass gains. Do squats, lunges, deadlifts and step ups using barbells, dumbbells, weight machines and your own body weight. Train your legs one or two days per week, performing two to four sets of each exercise. Use a weight heavy enough that your muscles are fatigued by the last rep of an eight- to 12-repetition set. Don't forget to train your upper body as well with pushups, rows and shoulder presses.
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