You’ve probably heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen.” And it’s true. While working out can help strengthen, tone and define your abs, if you want to really discover how to get a flat stomach then you have to start in the kitchen.
You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet
No one likes to diet. No one likes to restrict their treats or count calories. But eating clean and keeping your diet under control is the best way to really get results.
“Can’t I just run more?” I hear you say.
You see, exercising for weight loss relies on that one thing: calories in vs calories out.
But there’s much more to it than that. Stress, genetics and hormones play a big part in how easily you gain weight and how difficult it is to lose fat.
And besides, burning calories through exercise is surprisingly hard!
That one Starbucks Frappuccino with a slice of lemon cake just added 1000 calories to your day. You’d have to jog for 2 full hours NON STOP just to get back to where you were before your coffee shop treat.
Half an hour lifting weights in the gym burns an average of 100 calories: that’s one large banana OR one cereal bar OR one slice of toast and butter!
It’s going to be pretty tough to exercise away every excess calorie if you don’t watch what you eat.
So what am I saying? Is working out a waste of your time? Absolutely not.
Exercise is not only the single most important thing you can do for your health, but it also helps speed up your metabolism, tones your muscles and burn off excess body fat.
It just can’t compensate for a bad diet too.
Abs Are Made In The Kitchen
So what should you eat if you want to get a flat stomach?
First, you need to understand that it’s not just fat loss that you want – it’s muscle growth too.
You see, abs are muscles. That defined, toned “ironing-board” stomach is that way because the muscles in your stomach are strong and toned.
So you’ll need a diet that not only instigates fat loss but also gives your body the nutrients it needs (plenty of protein) to build those abdominal muscles.
Keto Is King
When it comes to fat loss AND muscle growth then Keto is king.
The Keto Diet is a fat loss diet that is a low carb style of eating. It’s actually the only diet that’s been proven to help build muscle at the same time as burning fat – which is exactly what we want to do.
It’s naturally pretty clean – when you cut out carbs you automatically cut out sugars, refined flours and other “junk” foods.
The typical Keto Diet is made up of low carb, high fat and moderate protein foods and meals. This would normally look like 5-10% Carbs, 20-30% Protein and 60-75% Fat.
If you’re new to Keto and want to learn more then I’ve written a blog post all about it – you can read it here.
The Benefit Of Balancing Blood Sugar
One of the other huge benefits of the Keto Diet is that because it doesn’t rely on a calorie deficit to get results, you can easily make sure your body has all the fuel to keep running healthily – no hunger pangs, no cravings and no blood sugar dips.
But why does blood sugar matter?
Stabilising your blood sugar not only curbs your cravings but helps your body to produce glucagon – the hormone that converts fat cells back into energy.
When the amount of glucose in your bloodstream is too high (from eating sugary foods or too many carbs in one go etc) your pancreas releases insulin to help convert that excess energy into fat. Insulin = weight gain.
When the glucose levels in your blood are low then the pancreas releases glucagon. Once glucagon is released it triggers the fat cells to release the stored fat to be used as fuel. This is a process called lipolysis. Lipolysis = weight loss.
To put it simply – insulin makes you store fat – glucagon makes you burn it.
But here’s the kicker – insulin and glucagon are antagonistic – that means they can’t work together, it has to be one or the other.
Adopting and Keto or Low Carb Diet is the ideal solution for two reasons.
Firstly, because Keto and low carb include lots of fat and protein, your body will burn more of your excess body fat and be able to use the protein to build strong healthy muscles.
Secondly, because you are eating very few carbs, you won’t be spiking your blood glucose levels with sugars or carbohydrates. This means your body won’t need to release much insulin. Therefore glucagon (the fat-burning hormone) will be the dominant hormone which will unlock the key to losing weight.
Quick Work Outs For A Flat Tum?
If you want to get a flat stomach you will have to work out – losing belly fat is only half of the solution, you’ve also got to strengthen and tone your abs.
If your abdominal muscles are weak then your belly will still stick out even if you’ve lost your belly fat – you’ll also be at risk of back pain and other structural complications as your back, hips and neck try to compensate for your weak core.
For a flat stomach, you’ll need to work your upper abs, middle abs and lower abs 3 to 4 times per week.
But don’t worry! It doesn’t have to take long! YouTube is packed full of short exercise routines to help you get a flat stomach – here are a few of my favourites:
Holly Dolke – Get a Flat Stomach Workout (7 Minutes)
Lilly Sabri – Get a Flat Stomach in 1 Week (Intense Abs) (7 minutes)
Chloe Ting – 10 min Abs Workout to Get a Flat Stomach | Get ABS this 2020 (10 minutes)
But What About Really Stubborn Belly Fat?
Sometimes you can be doing all the right things but that last bit of belly fat just won’t shift – and sometimes you just want faster results! While diet and exercise are great ways to get a flat stomach, there are non-surgical fat reduction treatments that can help you to eliminate those stubborn pockets of belly fat and help you reach your goal faster – no surgery, no scarring and no pain! Click here to find out more…
If you enjoyed this post, check out “How to Treat a Mum Tum”