How to Get a Small Tummy

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A small, tight stomach is an attribute desired by all. However, many find losing excess fat in the abdominal area a difficult feat, as it requires discipline in both your diet and your fitness routine. While many exercise regimens focus on specific muscles, the attempt to spot reduce fat always ends with disappointing results; this is because, when trying to spot reduce, you engage muscles that are too small and insignificant to make a difference in the overall enhancement of fitness and strength. Instead, combine a healthy diet with both cardiovascular exercise, which burns calories, and strength training, which burns fat, to achieve a small tummy.

You Are What You Eat

  • Understand how food affects your body. You may have heard the phrase, “Abs begin in the kitchen.” Your diet plays the lead role when it comes to achieving a small stomach. This does not mean simply counting calories. Instead, it is important to understand how certain foods react with your body. Some foods, such as refined carbohydrates, cause your insulin levels to spike, actually encouraging the storage of fat.

  • Choose organic foods and avoid prepackaged or ready-to-eat meals such as boxed dinners, which often contain added fats, sugars and unrefined flours. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts and whole grains are tummy-friendly.

  • Keep to the perimeter of the grocery store for the most natural options, and read the ingredient list on anything else. Anything labelled “refined” or “enriched” should be left on the shelf.

Get Your Heart Pumping

  • Blast away fat with cardiovascular exercise. Performing cardio expends a high amount of calories, or energy, at one time. Combine this exercise with an organic, low-calorie diet plan and your body will begin tapping into previously stored fat calories.

  • Change things up in your routine. One of the best things about cardio exercise is the variety. Anything that raises your heart rate and works up a sweat is acceptable. Some common workouts include running, bicycling, fitness classes, swimming and playing sports.

  • Dedicate yourself to exercise. Hitting the gym once or twice will prove disappointing. For maximum results, fit in five to seven days of cardio exercise a week.

A Core Program

  • Build a strong, toned core through strength training. While a good diet and cardiovascular exercise both help in fat loss, make sure you have a strong set of abs to show off when that fat shield is gone. Weight lifting or resistance training is the most effective way to strengthen, shape and tone your ab muscles into a six-pack.

  • Stay consistent. Aim for three nonconsecutive days of strength training per week.

  • Perform basic moves to increase core strength, including the plank, crunches or situps and pushups. Intermediate or advanced exercisers may use hand weights or resistance bands to increase difficulty.

Keep Calm to Burn on

  • Lowering your stress level can have a positive body impact. Stress triggers a hormone that encourages the body to store fat, so managing your stress levels is an important factor in achieving a small tummy.

  • Practice patience with your fitness regimen, as results are not instantaneous. Focus on the good you are doing for yourself and keep in mind your goal body as a way to stay motivated.

  • Engage in breathing exercises to remain calm throughout your day. Once every hour, take five to 10 deep belly breaths, inhaling for five counts and exhaling for 10 counts.

Tips & Warnings

  • As with any new health regimen, it is important to first consult with your doctor, as certain exercises and diets may not be suitable for all.
  • Avoid crash dieting or fasting. These extreme weight-loss methods cause nutritional deficiencies and may lead to illness. Instead, consume an appropriate amount of calories from an organic diet.
  • It is also important to only perform exercises that you are comfortable with. Ask a friend, family member or trainer to help you with proper form if needed.

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