Having a flat stomach without excessive fat is a goal for many of us, yet, sometimes we struggle with the execution of how to actually get the desired result. Getting caught doing too many sit ups and not seeing results can be quite overwhelming and often the problem does not necessarily lie in the amount of exercising but is affected by a few other factors. Let’s talk some flat stomach tips and help you get that great looking stomach!
Nutrition Is Essential
The problem is usually not the amount of exercise done but the amount of food consumed. Establishing a sound and healthy nutrition plan to get into the caloric deficit and progressively lose fat over a period of time is a must when trying to flatten your stomach and getting those abs popping! All of us actually have abdominal muscles regardless of seeing the individual packs in the mirror or not, the problem is usually the fat covering the abdominal area that prevents the “6-pack” to show.
Caloric Density In Fats
Calories can be invisible little agents of evil when thinking of fat loss in terms of caloric intake. Burning off calories is much harder than consuming them and unfortunately eating 1,000 calories in junk processed food is much easier than having to burn those 1,000 calories later on. Generally, certain foods such as fats can sneak up on you quite easily when you consider that 1g of fat contains 9 calories in comparison to approximately 4 calories packed withing proteins and carbohydrates. Do not get me wrong, a controlled intake of healthy fats is essential for your body to function properly as well as transforming your physique, in fact, healthy fats such as omega-3, and omega-6 do not make you FAT, rather they assist your body with functioning correctly. However, some people have the tendency of soaking any food in oils before cooking to “give it taste”. Using oils in your diet is perfectly fine, although I will note that for example, one tablespoon of olive oil contains around 120 calories. And if you have ever cooked with one tablespoon, you know it does not change the taste of the food that much if you’re cooking dinner for a couple of people.
Seeds, nuts, and other sources of healthy fats such as avocado, milk, or fatty fish such as salmon are not to be avoided. However, you need to look at your current nutrition plan and evaluate if those 8 ounces of cashew nuts are the best option for a mid-afternoon snack if your goal is to get rid of some stomach fat and flatten your belly. In the end of the day, fats are an essential component and macronutrient of any diet but you need to consider the caloric density and review if you’re not going over your daily caloric limit solely because of an uncontrolled use of fats, they can add up.
If you’re looking to flatten your stomach, getting rid of unnecessary bloating in the abdominal area can work miracles without having to lose an absurd amount of weight and deprive yourself of food. Several factors can affect bloating such as excessive sodium intake, excessive meat and dairy consumption, overeating, or not eating enough fibre and healthy foods that will assist with preventing constipation and supporting a healthy bowel movement. Don’t worry, bloating is a very common issue, many people around you struggle with it at some point in their life and it is easily fixable with a few simple shifts in your nutritional plan.
Sodium (or table salt) holds water and if sodium intake is overly excessive in your diet from processed foods, a variety of condiments, or spices, your body will naturally hold in more water due to the sodium in your diet. In fact, high sodium intake also negatively impacts your blood sugar as the walls of your veins and arteries expand under the larger flow of blood due to the water retention from salt. Some of the foods high in sodium include soy sauce, candy, processed foods, granola bars, etc. Controlling sodium intake does not mean you have to skip on salting your foods, however, drowning your chicken in soy sauce, including high sodium ham, and eating a lot of processed foods can get large amounts of sodium inside of your body that you can easily avoid by shifting towards more health oriented foods like complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, produce, fresh fruit and vegetables etc.
Even though healthy nutrition and leading a clean and healthy lifestyle will affect your physical appearance more than vigorous running on a treadmill, exercise should not be neglected and can, in fact, speed things up in terms of losing that body fat around your stomach area. It is impossible to command your body to target a specific area for fat losing, but ensuring you get yourself to the gym, workout, and engage in physical training of some sort, this will help you burn a few hundred extra calories, increase muscle size, and possibly burn more fat. Doing 20 sets of crunches without focusing on nutrition or a proper training program will most likely not help you get a flatter stomach. Check out some of the training routines included here at The Zone that includes a variety of compound exercises that ensure your core is activated and your abdominal area is getting stronger with each workout.
Take Home Message
A flat stomach is a goal many of us are pursuing but sometimes we do not think all the factors of our body through. Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of what you can try to do to impact flattening your belly and speed up the process of achieving the visible abdominal packs you always wanted! Do not forget that for natural lifters and people simply leading a healthy lifestyle, results and physical appearance changes generally take time and they are closer to being a 10-mile run, instead of a sprint. Buckle up, equip yourself with a healthy nutrition plan focused on losing fat, effective training program and enjoy the ride!