To have flat abs, you’ve got to have a low body-fat percentage as well as muscular tone in your stomach. Therefore, to develop flat abs, your efforts should include workouts that burn a high number of calories for fat loss and also build tone in your abs. To effectively lose fat, you’ll also need to follow a healthy eating plan. How long it will take you to get flat abs depends on how much excess fat you have at your stomach.
Lowering Body-Fat Percentage
The fat tissue you have at your stomach is completely separate from the muscle tissue, so to have a flat stomach, you have to first focus on lowering your body fat. You lose fat by consuming fewer calories than you burn every day. Decrease how many calories you eat by making healthy eating decisions and limiting high-fat foods. Increase the calories you burn with frequent bouts of exercise. Every time you burn 3,500 more calories than you eat, you’ll lose a pound of fat.
Lowering Calorie Intake
When you’re making efforts to lower your calorie intake, you still need to ensure you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs for proper functioning. The American Council on Exercise recommends trying to lower your calorie intake by 500 calories every day and suggests doing so by simply decreasing the size of your meal portions. In addition, limit your alcohol and soda intake as these are high in calories and don’t provide any nutrients. Focus on consuming primarily vegetables, fruits, multigrains and low-fat dairy foods.
Increasing Calories Burned
To burn a high number of calories quickly, incorporate regular bouts of cardio or interval workouts into your daily regimen. Exercises like jogging, biking and swimming are effective for calorie burning. Get 30 to 60 minutes in on most days. You can also do high-intensity interval workouts, which involve short bursts of all-out exercise followed by periods of rest. Workouts are shorter, lasting just 10 to 20 minutes, but are effective at burning calories and also keeping your metabolic rate elevated for the rest of the day. In addition to your organized workout, increase the calories you burn everyday by getting up and taking short walks to avoid sitting for long hours.
Develop Ab Tone
Once you lose stomach fat by participating in cardio and eating healthy, your abdominal muscles will become visible. Therefore, as you’re making efforts to lower fat, simultaneously participate in an abdominal-strengthening program so that once your body fat percentage is low, your visible muscles are tone. Perform an ab workout 3 days per week and on nonconsecutive days. Complete two to three sets of each exercise, performing each set to exhaustion. A 2001 study by the American Council on Exercise found that bicycle crunch, vertical leg crunch and crunches on an exercise ball are among the best for targeting your abs.
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