Losing weight can feel like an uphill battle at times, especially when it comes to your midsection. Aside from making you feel bloated and self-conscious, excess belly fat also puts you at risk of developing several dangerous health conditions. This list of the best flat belly tips will help you begin progressing towards your goals, safely and steadily!
Keep in mind that whittling your waist involves dedication and consistent effort to both diet and exercise. It’s not just one or the other, but a healthy combination of both! Additionally, cleaning up your diet and prioritizing your workouts will also decrease your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more! These tips will not only make you look better, but feel better, as well!
15 Best Flat Belly Tips
1. Decrease Calorie Intake, Slightly
Your body requires a certain amount of calories to function properly. Decreasing your caloric intake too much will cause your metabolism to crash. Obviously, this would be the opposite of what we want! Instead of cutting 500-1000 calories from your diet each day, cut 200-300 and make up the difference with exercise!
If you can maintain a deficit of 500 calories a day, through a combination of diet and exercise, you will progress towards your goals at a safe and steady pace. This would allow you to lose approximately 1 pound per week.
2. Eat More Protein
Protein will not only reduce your appetite and help you maintain muscle mass, but it also forces your body to work harder during digestion, burning even more calories in the process. Studies have also shown that people who eat a high-protein diet, typically have slimmer waists.
If you’re looking to lose weight and maintain your current muscle mass, you should aim to get 20-30% of your daily calories from protein. For instance if you eat 1500 calories a day, 300-500 of them should come from protein.
If your goal is to build strength or more muscle, you should aim for 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you’ll aim to eat 140 grams of protein, each day.
3. Choose More Whole Foods
Whole, single-ingredient foods, are extremely nutrient-dense while remaining relatively low in calories (compared to processed foods.) These foods make it difficult to overeat, thus aiding in the weight loss process. When calorie intake is decreased, your body will burn fat for energy instead.
Examples of whole foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, and unprocessed meat.
For a full list of whole foods, check out the Whole Foods Shopping List.
4. Increase Soluble Fiber Intake
Soluble fiber will slow the passage of food through your digestive tract, allowing you to feel fuller, longer. Additionally, studies have shown that soluble fiber may decrease the amount of calories that your body can absorb from food. There is also some evidence to show that consuming more fiber will decrease your risk of developing fat around your organs, thus reducing your risk of several different diseases, as well.
If you want to increase your fiber intake, you should eat more oats, legumes, avocado, blackberries, and flaxseeds. For a full list, check out these 31-High Fiber Foods.
5. Choose Foods Rich in “Good Fat”
Also referred to as monounsaturated fatty acids, good fats have the ability to decrease (or prevent) the accumulation of abdominal fat. Some of the best examples of these foods include olive oil, avocado, nuts, or seeds.
Related: 5 Reasons Why Healthy Fats are Good for You
6. Ditch Refined Carbohydrates
These processed carbohydrates can negatively affect your metabolism and cause you to gain weight around the midsection. Replacing these refined carbohydrates with whole grains will actually have the opposite effect! Your metabolism will function optimally and belly fat will decrease.
7. Utilize Probiotics
Having the right composition of beneficial gut flora (bacteria) can play a huge role in weight maintenance, weight loss, and a decrease in belly fat. You can choose to take a supplement or incorporate these Top 10 Probiotic-Rich Foods for Gut Health.
8. Add In Some Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which has been shown to reduce the accumulation of fat all over the body, especially the waistline. All it takes is a tablespoon a day. You can choose to drink it directly or add it to salad dressing or a beverage.
Related: 5 Weight Loss Benefits of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar
9. Drink More Water (and Less High-Calorie Beverages)
Staying hydrated will not only increase your metabolism and “de-bloat” you, but also trick your body into thinking it’s full so that you consume fewer calories at every meal. In order to accomplish this, you should drink a full glass of water before every meal. The average adult should drink a minimum of 64 oz. of water each day.
Try: The 30-Day 8X8 Water Challenge
All soda (including diet), fruit juice, and other high-calorie beverages should be avoided. With that being said, black coffee and unsweetened green tea are perfectly acceptable in moderation. The caffeine in these two drinks can actually promote weight loss.
10. Avoid Swallowing Excess Air and Gas
Chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages, drinking through a straw, and talking while eating can all cause you to consume excess air and gas. While all of these things don’t necessarily contribute to weight gain, they will cause you to feel bloated. Lay off the gum, avoid all carbonated beverages, say no to straws, and focus on eating your meals in peace. Practicing all of these things will lead to a flatter belly.
Stress will cause your body to produce cortisol, which is directly related to an increase in belly fat. When you’re stressed, you also have a tendency to experience an increase in appetite, usually for sweet, processed foods. If your life is stressful, you should find a way to de-stress, naturally. Our favorite ways to relax are through exercise and yoga!
Try these 5 Workouts to Help You Combat Stress and these Top 5 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief.
12. Catch More Zzz’s
Speaking of relaxing, sleep plays a direct role in weight loss and weight gain. One study showed that adults who consistently got less than 5 hours of sleep put themselves at a greater risk of developing abdominal fat. This is widely due to the fact that consistently not getting enough sleep will cause you to snack and over eat the next day.
Do what you’ve gotta do to get a little more rest each night. Turn off the electronics an hour earlier, or meal prep ahead of time so that you can sleep a little longer in the morning! Your body will thank you! Read how to Get More Effective Sleep without Medication.
13. Incorporate More Cardio-Style Exercise
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something, each day! Cardio-style exercise like walking, jogging, running, Tabata training, and HIIT are all great options for avoiding and reducing belly fat. Combining fat-melting cardio exercise with a proper diet will help you reach your goals in a timely manner. As we discussed earlier, if you cut your daily caloric intake by 200-300 calories each day, you can burn another 200-300 through exercise. Try one or all of the following routines:
14. Lift Weights
Dieting can cause you to lose muscle mass. The problem with this is that the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will burn. Losing muscle mass will cause your metabolism to stall. Weight training, in addition to dieting, will help you lose fat from all over your body (including your belly,) while simultaneously toning-up your muscles.
You should combine your weight training routine with the cardio workouts above, in order to make the most out of your time and effort. Don’t have a weight training routine? No worries! Try one of these:
Tighten Your Core Muscles
Last, but certainly not least, it’s crucial that you perform exercises that will strengthen & tighten your core. Abdominal exercises will burn calories, but it’s important for you to realize that you can’t spot reduce body fat (choose where you want to lose fat.) While building your core muscles will increase your metabolism, doing a bunch of crunches will not necessarily slim your tummy. A combination of proper diet, and all forms of exercise, is the only way to shed your excess belly fat once and for all.
Performing core exercises regularly will build and tone the muscles that lie beneath, so that when you shed the excess fat, your sexy abs will be revealed! In order to end up with a beautiful, flat belly, you must train all of the muscles of your core. The following workout routines will ensure that this happens.
Out of all the best flat belly tips, the most important one is to be consistent with your diet and exercise routine, day in and day out. You won’t notice results right away, but after a few weeks, you’ll realize that your clothes are looser and your tummy is tighter!
What do you think about these flat belly tips? Do you have any to share? Let us know in the comment section, below!