How to get a flat stomach?
Would you also like to have a nice flat stomach? How to get a flat stomach? You may think this is not feasible for you. You do your best to exercise often, you eat as healthy as you can, and yet you don’t have a flat stomach. It can be frustrating to see over and over again that your efforts are not paying off.
And not only does it look attractive, but a tight stomach is also better for your health. Belly fat has a number of very adverse effects on your body. That is why it is good to try to get rid of this and you can also succeed. But how do you get a flat stomach?
Read in this article about the danger of belly fat and How to get a flat stomach with a healthy diet and exercise.
Why is belly fat so unhealthy?
It is now clear that obesity is bad for your health. But belly fat can affect anyone, even if you don’t see it. Because this fat is close to your organs, it affects the processes that take place here. There are two types of belly fat:
- Subcutaneous fat: This is fat that accumulates under your skin and can be seen as the well-known rolls of fat or the beer belly.
- Visceral Fat: This is the fat that you cannot see. You can also have it if you are slim and have a healthy weight. It’s around your organs.
Both types of fat are harmful to your health. Subcutaneous fat can contribute to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But visceral fat is even more dangerous. These are the drawbacks of visceral fat:
Organs in a pinch
It squeezes your organs because it’s around it. For example, it can cause shortness of breath in your lungs.
Risk of diabetes
The cells become less sensitive to insulin because there is too much fat in the blood. More insulin has to be produced each time. This puts a lot of pressure on the pancreas until it can no longer produce enough insulin. At that moment the blood sugar level will rise too much and this increases the risk of diabetes. If you have diabetes, you will again have to deal with other complaints, such as disorders of the blood vessels and nerves.
It can cause fatty liver disease and therefore the liver cannot function properly. If fatty liver disease is not addressed, it can lead to liver inflammation. This is more serious and can eventually permanently damage the liver. If you are there on time, fatty liver disease can recover.
Visceral fat produces substances that cause inflammatory reactions. It affects various organs such as the kidneys, liver, intestines, and pancreas. In fact, these organs become inflamed, affecting your entire digestion and physical condition.
High blood pressure
Visceral fat produces substances that disrupt various functions of the body. This can cause high blood pressure, for example. Often you do not even have symptoms of high blood pressure, but it nevertheless causes continuous damage in the body. The heart has to exert too much effort to pump blood, and the high pressure in the vessels can damage them.
Your hormone levels get out of balance due to visceral fat. This is because this fat itself produces hormones, but also because it disrupts your own hormones. This can affect digestion, but also sex hormones. For example, it causes a decrease in testosterone. It further affects all processes involving hormones.
Whether or not you are overweight, it is important to get rid of your belly fat, the visible and invisible. But how do you get a flat stomach? Fortunately, this is possible through a combination of training and healthy nutrition.
Exercise for a toned stomach
In order to lose weight and lose belly fat, exercises for the abdominal muscles are important. You can do exercises with or without equipment.
With an abdominal muscle trainer, you make doing exercises just a bit easier. They come in different shapes. The best known are:
- Abtrainer: A curved frame with support for your head that aids in sit-ups. The ab trainer ensures that you can train all your abdominal muscles (the low, oblique, and upper). Both beginners and advanced users can use the Abtrainer because it is easy to use.
- Body Solid Ab trainer: This trainer consists of a metal frame with a seat and a number of adjustable levers and handles. You can do a variety of exercises on it, from sit-ups to crunches and knee raises. It is possible to set resistance by using weights. With the Body-Solid Ab trainer, you can precisely train your abs the way you want. The device is comfortable to use and suitable for beginners and advanced users.
- Ab Wheel: This simple wheel with handles gives you a solid abs workout. You hold the handles with your hands and push off with your feet, after which you drive forward with the wheel. This requires a lot of effort from your abdominal muscles. Training is tough and therefore not very suitable for beginners. With the Ab Wheel you can train practically your entire upper body.
Exercise abs without equipment
If you want to train for a flat stomach but you don’t feel like purchasing a special device, you can also train your abs very well by doing certain exercises. These are also very effective. For example, the following are suitable. Put them on a mat, so that you have more grip and your back does not hurt on the hard ground.
- Sit up: Lie on the floor and raise your legs and put your feet on the floor by your buttocks. Cross your arms in front of your chest, but don’t grab your shoulders. Tighten your abs and come up until you are almost seated. Lower yourself slowly, it can take you about three seconds. Really only use your abs for the exercise and not the muscles in your lower back.
- Plank: The plank is a very effective exercise for toning your stomach and for working your abs. Start lying on your stomach and put your elbows right under the shoulders. Press your toes into the ground and lift yourself. Your hips and knees are off the ground. Tighten your abs and make sure you don’t sag in your back. Start with 10 seconds and try to build up to 30 seconds.
- Air bikes: Lie on your back on the mat, raise your knees. Raise your shoulders off the ground. Extend your right leg and move your right elbow towards your left knee. Switch sides. So you keep moving crosswise. You also use the oblique abs.
Tips for doing abdominal exercises
There are many more exercises and abs trainers too, to get that flat stomach you want. Are you going to train your abs? Then pay attention to the following tips:
1. Train all abdominal muscles.
Most exercises focus on the upper abdominal muscles, but the other muscles are also important for training. So also do exercises to make the lower abs (through leg raises) and middle abs (do side crunches) strong.
2. Good execution is more important than repetition
If you are going to do abdominal exercises, you may have the urge to try to do as many reps as possible. You really want to be able to do 20 sit-ups, then you will probably get a nice tight stomach. However, it is much more important to do your exercise properly than to be able to do it very often.
By paying attention to your posture and execution, you can be sure that you are loading your muscles in the right way. If you do it quickly because you want to get that number of repetitions, then you have the chance that you will start smuggling. An exercise will generally be heavier (and thus make your muscles stronger) if you do it slowly. So try to slowly sink back to the floor from a sit-up, which ensures that your abdominal muscles have to provide a lot of strength.
3. You should start to feel your abs
If you’ve been exercising, but you don’t feel your abs afterwards, then your workout hasn’t been tough enough. If you can easily get the number of repetitions, it is not useful to do even more. It is better to make the exercise heavier. For example, you can use weights that you put around your ankles or wrists.
Provide healthy food
Training your abs is a good start, but you are not there to get a flat stomach. It is also important to make adjustments in your diet. Healthy food can help you lose weight and get rid of belly fat. And if you keep eating healthy, you will also be able to prevent it from coming back.
In addition, if you only choose training and don’t make any dietary adjustments, you can get strong abs. But unfortunately, you will not be able to see them, because they will remain hidden behind a layer of fat. So make sure to change your diet and make healthy choices from now on. That’s the only way to get a flat stomach.
You may be wondering what exactly healthy food means. People often assume that they already eat healthy, because, for example, they do not eat fast food and cook themselves every night. And while that is of course a very good step in the right direction, the following advice may help you.
Healthy food is pure
The healthiest food does not come from a package or a bag. You can say that processed food is not that healthy for our body. Edited means that everything has been added to the product or that something has been changed to the original product. Sugar is often added to food, it contains dyes and preservatives. And these substances burden our body.
What you should especially pay attention to is that unnecessary sugar is added to many products. These hidden sugars contribute to a number of calories that you may not even realize you are consuming. So think of sugar in desserts, cookies, sauces, and spreads. It is, therefore, best not only to cook yourself but also to make sauces, marinades, and dressings yourself. And opt for healthy sandwich fillings.
If you like snacks make your own or opt for healthy snacks such as nuts, cheese, or vegetable sweets.
Healthy food is low in simple carbohydrates
Eating too many simple carbohydrates contributes to the formation of belly fat. Our normal Dutch way of eating is very high in carbohydrates. We eat bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, cereals, biscuits, and cakes. Simple carbohydrates have a negative effect on our weight:
- They cause binge eating: because they increase blood sugar levels, insulin is produced. That causes the blood sugar level to drop again, but that in turn causes appetite. This way you keep eating and that can lead to obesity.
- You store fat faster: carbohydrates are easily stored as body fat. If you want to lose belly fat, it is therefore not advisable to keep eating a lot of simple carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates provide energy quickly, but they are also burned out quickly. This means that your body can go into an energy dip. This makes you feel tired and that often causes a craving for a snack.
So if you want to get a flat stomach, you want to lose weight and a low-carb diet can help with that. You can then eat fewer carbohydrates. For example between 50 and 70 grams per day. This allows you to lose weight in a healthy way. And the advantage of this diet is that you will not be hungry.
Your body normally uses carbohydrates for fuel, but during this diet, you switch to proteins and fats for fuel. Because these digest more slowly in the stomach, you are full after a meal and you do not get hungry again quickly. You will soon find that you can make delicious and tasty meals and that you will not miss out on carbohydrates at all.
The good thing is that you can always eat low-carbohydrates: it is very healthy, you get all the nutrients you need. It is an ideal diet to keep on using and maintain a healthy weight. With these tips, you can easily lose belly fat and you can finally get that flat stomach.