How do you get a flat tummy? The question has been asked many times and it’s what most people want, but there is a huge misunderstanding as to how to make the fat in your midsection disappear. There is more to getting a flat tummy than just doing a bunch of abdominal crunches.
I am sure you have seen the numerous infomercials on how to get a flat tummy by using the latest exercise gadget. Most people discount infomercials and their products, yet there is still the misconception that you can get washboard abs by concentrating on abdominal exercises alone. Exercising your abdominals is just a small part to getting that flat tummy.
If you pass the magazine section in a store you will undoubtedly see a bunch of periodical covers with good looking guys and gals and their washboard abs. What you don’t know is that the model on the cover has a body fat percentage of no more than 12%, most below 10%. So, what does this mean for you? If you want to get a flat tummy you need to focus on getting your body fat below 12%. If you can do that, you will start to visually see your ‘six pack’.
So, the real question you should be asking is NOT how do I get a flat tummy, but how do I get my body fat under 12%.
In order to get your body fat below 12% you have to be dedicated to a program of daily exercise including both resistance training and cardiovascular conditioning. Along with your exercise program, you need to be following a strict meal plan to reduce your body fat.
Your exercise program to a flat tummy should include some abdominal/core exercises, but you also need to include all major muscle groups in the body. Make sure your regimen includes lower and upper body exercises. Schedule your resistance training session at least twice per week. You should perform a minimum of 2 sets for each major muscle group, ranging from 8-15 repetitions. Each set of movements should be exercised to exhaustion! Weight training will increase your metabolism to help burn fat.
Most people think that cardiovascular exercise is a great way to burn fat and it can be if done correctly. Walking on a treadmill for an hour will help, but if you want to stimulate your metabolism, continue to burn calories after your workout, and get a flat tummy, shorter sessions of high intensity work better. Research has demonstrated that interval training with high intense bursts of 60-120 seconds followed by a moderate recovery period of 30-60 seconds will produce better results. If you use this format keep your session under 30 minutes.
Lastly, if getting that flat tummy is your ultimate goal you better plan your meals and snacks accordingly. You will need to cut out most of the sugar in your diet. This includes sodas, juices, alcohol, crackers, cakes, cookies, pastas, rice, potatoes, breads, etc. Your meals should include a source of protein such as: meat, fish, eggs or cheese. Your carbohydrate sources should be from veggies. Snack on a handful of nuts, a piece of cheese, olives, veggies, or a quarter of an avocado if you get hungry throughout the day.
Getting that flat tummy is not easy but it can be done if you have a well rounded program to follow. The program should include both weight training and cardiovascular conditioning along with a meal plan devoid of most sugar. Abdominal exercises are important to getting a flat tummy, but this is only a small piece to the puzzle.
Dr. Kevin Dobrzynski DN,
The Fitness Doctor