If you’ve ever struggled with trying to get a flat tummy; or you’ve ever thought a flat tummy just isn’t possible for you — maybe because you’ve blamed your genes, child-birth or a cesarian, then I have some really good news for you!
There isn’t just one strategy that will help you achieve weight loss and a flat tummy. All five are important.
I’ve been helping people get flat tummies for years. While my experience has spanned the world of athletic performance and injury rehab, one of the most common desires I hear, and take great pleasure in helping people achieve, is a flat tummy. My own partner, Holly, is one of them. After four children in five years together, and five cesarians by 32 - yes, 5 🖐️ (ask me more in the comments) - I’m working with her because she wants to get her flat tummy back.
Sure, scars make a difference. It makes it hard to achieve a flat stomach when you’ve got a scar that folds the tummy over like a beer belly. But not impossible. Achieving a flat tummy can’t be achieved with just one strategy. There isn’t ONE thing you can do to get a flat tummy. In my experience, it’s a multifaceted approach.
5 Steps to Get a Flat Tummy
- Do your vacuuming exercises
Possibly THE most important thing you can do for your tummy is vacuuming exercises. No, I’m not referring to some sort of invasive surgery. I’m referring to exercises that suck (and not suck in a bad way) 😜 These are bracing exercises — more commonly known as planking exercises.
- Raise your heart rate and drop it, repeatedly
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has pretty much become the staple workout-type of the fitness industry. Your heart is a muscle and it likes to be worked. Strengthen your heart muscle by raising your heart rate and dropping it. Repeating this process burns more calories in less time and improves fitness faster than any other means.
- Get your cardio on
Long slow cardio has pretty much been eradicated from most personal trainer’s recommendations for weight-loss. However, research from the University of Sydney in 2014 found that aerobic exercise is better for weight-loss. HIIT training certainly makes you fitter in less time, but aerobic training of 45 minutes in duration, creates a ‘fat-furnace’ effect and more effectively removes abdominal fat.
- Ditch the drink
One of the quickest ways to getting a flat tummy is by ditching those calorie-laden drinks. If it’s colourful, it’s most likely full of calories. And the worst thing about liquid calories is they deliver that sugar straight to your blood stream, which causes a spike in your insulin. This results in fluctuating energy levels in the short term, fat accumulation and weight-gain in the medium term, and can lead to diabetes and insulin-resistance in the long term.
- Stop before you’re done
Eating fast, or without being mindful, can result in overeating, as can going back for seconds straight after finishing your meal. It’s pretty common knowledge these days that it takes a while for your gut to tell your brain that it’s full. Eat slowly, enjoy your meal, savour the taste, and take a break for at least 15 minutes before eating again once you finish your meal.
There isn’t just one strategy that will help you achieve weight loss and a flat tummy. All five are important. Vacuuming exercises teach you how to brace effectively, HIIT training burns loads of calories and even increases muscle mass, aerobic training burns abdominal fat like no-other, swapping coloured drinks for that clear magic elixir dramatically reduces fat, and mindful eating in small amounts helps to prevent you from overeating.
The most common complaint I hear when I suggest longer-lasting, moderately intense aerobic exercise (Ie. going for a 45-60 minute walk/run, at a pace when you’re walking where you can only just hold a conversation) is, “I don’t have time”. My response, “Do you want a flat tummy or not?” If you really want a flat tummy, you’ll make the time.
Question: What do you want a flat tummy for? Is it an event, to fit into a particular dress, or will it allow you to do something? "Just because” won’t cut it here. You have to connect with a meaningful purpose. Share your purpose below.
If you want more guidance, send me an email. I love connecting with my readers on a personal level.
Source: University of Sydney
[Image source: Eat This]
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