How to Get a Flat Stomach with Fitness

Do you dream of walking down the beach with a beautiful, flat tummy or even showing off your six-pack abs to the world? You aren’t alone. People spend millions, if not billions of dollars each year in the quest for a flat stomach. Store shelves and infomercials are filled with ab devices that promise to transform that spare tire under your shirt into rock hard abs. You, however, are smart enough to know that there’s no magic belly formula to getting a flat stomach. Instead, the answer to how to get a flat stomach is – drum roll, please – hard work, proper nutrition, and a little help from your genes.

Let’s look at how to achieve a flat stomach (or at least a flatter stomach), and we’ll also show you how to develop a fitness plan for a flat stomach.

Puncturing the Spot Shrinking Myth

Before we explain how to get a flat stomach, it’s important to demolish one of the most pernicious fitness myths that never seems to die. This is the myth of spot shrinking, or the idea that you can selectively lose weight in one portion of your body.  

Your body doesn’t work that way. If you perform 1,000 crunches a day (please don’t try this at home), you’ll certainly build up your ab muscles, but you won’t burn away your stomach fat. When you lose weight, you lose it throughout your body, never in a single area.

Fat and Muscle – The Two Keys to a Flatter Stomach

The path to a flatter stomach requires you to understand and work on two separate puzzles:

  •         Losing weight
  •         Building muscle

Of these, losing weight will provide you with more dramatic results. You will never be able to achieve a flatter stomach if you don’t first achieve a healthy body weight. You can have all the ab muscles in the world, but no one will ever see them beneath a layer of fat.

Only after you’ve worked to reduce fat will your ab muscles have a chance to shine through. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore your abs while you’re trying to lose weight. Slimming down and building your abs aren’t mutually exclusive. As you implement a plan to lose weight, you can also adopt a fitness plan for a flat stomach, which includes a wide range of ab exercises.

Let’s look at each of these two factors in turn.

Eating Healthier for a Flatter Stomach

Losing weight to achieve a flat stomach is just like losing weight in general. The same principles apply. First, look at your diet. Are you eating too many calories each day? Take a look at the government’s guidelines for caloric consumption based on your gender, age, and activity level.

Start keeping a food journal and count your calories. If you find that you are regularly overeating, consider ways to cut excess calories. Good contenders for foods and drinks you should dump are anything with lots of sugar or refined carbs. Think:

  •         Sodas
  •         Candies
  •         Chips
  •         Fried fast food
  •         Alcohol
  •         Cereal
  •         White bread and white rice
  •         Fruit juices

Switch these foods out for healthy foods that are high in protein and healthy (omega 3 fats), like:

  •         Chicken
  •         Green leafy vegetables
  •         Fish
  •         Beans
  •         Nuts
  •         Avocado
  •         Quinoa
  •         Milk
  •         Olive oil

Here’s a great infographic of essential foods you should always stock in your kitchen.

Changing your eating habits isn’t easy, but if you gradually cut back on unhealthy foods and switch in healthy options, you’ll start seeing a difference. As you lose excess weight, your stomach will naturally become flatter. You can get even better results by keeping your blood sugar stable and by using what we like to call our “how to get a flat stomach workout.”

Keeping Your Blood Sugar Stable to Get a Flat Stomach

One of the most important factors when it comes to burning away excess body fat and keeping it off is to stabilize your blood sugar. When you eat foods with lots of added sugars like sodas or candy, your blood sugar will spike. This can cause inflammation throughout your system and lead to chronically elevated blood sugar. This may eventually cause conditions like hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and even diabetes.

Alternatively, eating a diet high in lean protein and healthy fats is a great way to keep your blood sugar stable. Protein slows your digestive system and regulates hunger hormones, keeping levels of ghrelin – a hormone that makes you feel hungry – low and helping you feel full.

Another way to keep your blood sugar steady is to eat often, even up to every two to three hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so why would you only feed it once or twice a day? Eating smaller meals more often can also help you feel full, so you don’t overeat.

Your Fitness Plan for a Flat Stomach

Exercise, in general, is an excellent way to achieve a flatter stomach. Cardio exercise burns calories and helps keep your metabolism running, so you burn calories even after your workout is over. (Just make sure you don’t burn out with too much cardio exercise.)

However, to get that extra definition in your stomach, you’ll want to add ab-specific exercises to your routine. Keep in mind that your abs aren’t a singular muscle. The abs are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most three times per week. You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.

Here are three excellent ab workouts you can try at home:

Ab Workout 1

Perform three rounds with 30 seconds of rest between:

  •         20 crunches
  •         30 side crunches (15 on each side)
  •         20 Russian twists

Ab Workout 2

Perform three rounds with 30 seconds of rest between:

  •         30 seconds of bicycles
  •         30-second plank hold
  •         30 seconds on each side of standing side bends

Ab Workout 3

Perform three rounds with 30 seconds of rest between:

  •         20 butterfly sit-ups
  •         30 flutter kicks
  •         30 chair-sit leg extensions

To perform the chair-sit leg extensions, sit on the edge of a sturdy chair and grip the seat on both sides with your hands. Leaning back, so that your tailbone is balanced on the edge of the seat, pull your knees into your stomach and then extend them out. Repeat.

Hire a Personal Trainer

Some people are highly self-motivated and can hit their exercise goals without a sweat (no pun intended). And then there’s everyone else. If you struggle with motivation, aren’t seeing the results you want, or aren’t sure how to create a flat stomach workout, it may be time to hire a personal trainer.

An experienced and knowledgeable personal trainer will help you clarify your fitness goals and design a fitness and nutrition plan customized just for you. Best of all, they will create workouts for you, so you never have to wonder if you are doing the right thing. At EōS Fitness, they can match you with a friendly and certified personal trainer who can help take your training to the next level.

Understand How Your Genes Play a Role in How Your Stomach Looks

It’s time to throw an uncomfortable truth bomb into this article. Every person’s body is different, and no matter how hard you train or how clean you eat, not everyone can achieve those mythical six-pack abs. Even some of the fittest athletes in the world don’t have a six-pack. That all comes down to your genes. Some people tend to store fat in their bellies naturally, and if you are one of those people, chances are that you might never get that perfect six-pack.

Don’t despair! You can still achieve a flat(ish) stomach, and all your hard work will probably reveal a different amazing body part that others will envy. Maybe your genes will give you beautifully sculpted arms, well-defined legs, or that perfect booty. Just keep your expectations reasonable and appreciate your own unique beauty as you improve your health and fitness!

Time to Get Started on Your Flat Stomach

Now that you know how to achieve a flat stomach, it’s time to get to work. Take a look at your current eating plan and start cutting out excess sugar and carbs. Make tasty meals at home using lean protein and healthy fats. Increase your workout routine and make sure to hit your abs three times a week. Finally, if you want to skip to the front of the fitness line, hire a personal trainer to help you see your best results.

EōS Fitness can help to get you the body you want. Take a look at the EōS Fitness blog, where you’ll find even more great fitness and nutrition tips. If you can’t make it to the gym, here are loads of great at-home workouts to try! 

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