Flat, washboard abs--it's most everyone's dream, as well as a sign of good health. We all would love to have a toned, flat stomach we could show off, but flattening our bellies seems like the impossible dream. However, with a few tips and techniques, it is possible to tone and flatten your belly.
Things You'll Need
- An exercise plan
- Foods rich in MUFAS (monounsaturated fatty acids)
- A commitment to eating healthy and exercising
- An hour a day dedicated to exercise
- Foods rich in fiber
- Internet access or a subscription to a fitness magazine or access to a gym with trainers
- Green tea
Flattening your belly begins foremost with what you put in your mouth. Foods rich in MUFAS (avocados, oils, nuts and seeds, olives and yes, chocolate, but dark chocolate, and not the candy-bar type) has been proven to help reduce the accumulation of belly fat. Get at least 1 serving of one of these foods 3 times a day.
Get out and move. After what you put in your mouth, what you do with your body will determine if you can flatten your belly. Get at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise every day, along with a properly executed abdominal workout. If you aren't sure what a properly executed abdominal workout entails, ask a trainer at a gym, pick up a fitness magazine, or research online. Ideally, you want a full-hour workout that incorporates strength training as well as cardio, as the more muscle you build, the more fat you burn.
Practice good posture. Slouching means you aren't using your torso to prop up, so you don't use your abdominal muscles either. When you have good posture, you use your core muscles (the muscles around your midsection).
Take up yoga or Pilates. There is a reason these practices have been around for centuries--they do a body good. The combination of stress relief, strengthening and focus helps to bring your body and mind in-line. Both practices also help in toning and lengthening your muscles, which in turn gives you a leaner overall body.
Destress however you can. Stress often leads to emotional eating and has been linked to fat deposits in the belly area. If it helps, take up meditation.
Don't eat after 9 p.m. (8 p.m. if you go to bed before midnight). Or if you are night owl, don't eat within 3 hours of going to bed.
Get a healthy dose of fiber daily.
Ease up on the salt and gassy foods that cause you to bloat.
Drink green tea to help flush out toxins in your body.
Eat often, but in small portions. The less your body peaks and falls on the blood sugar scale, the less likely it will be to overeat and/or store unwanted fat. Ideally, cut calories, but don't starve yourself. If you eat the right foods and eat often enough, you won't find yourself eating huge portions and overeating in general.