Seven Quick Tips When Doing Exercises to Flatten Your Stomach

We all want to flatten our stomach. Sometimes it just seems way harder to do than it really should be.

We try to bust out several crunches everyday and go at it hard, but still can’t seem to get our stomach to flatten and our abs to shine like the ones on TV and in the magazines.

Here are seven quick tips that will help you in your quest with exercises to flatten stomach:

1. Running/Walking:

When it comes to doing exercises to flatten your stomach, there is no match for running and walking. You should be running at least 3-4 times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes each. If you don’t like to run, a brisk walk with quick moving steps can do the trick as well.

What this does is boost your metabolism in order to burn that fat off the tummy and help out along with other exercises to flatten stomach.

2. Drink plenty, and I mean plenty, of water:

This is another tip that does not get the attention that it deserves when it comes to flattening your stomach and getting that six-pack we all want so badly.

8-10 glasses of water daily will aid in digestion, burn fat, clean-up and detox your body, and aid with exercises to flatten stomach.

3. When it comes to drinking milk:

Whole milk contains a bit much fat and calories for adults. Switching to skim milk is definitely recommended, however not all of us can stand skim milk. Go with 2% milk to help cut the fat to flatten your stomach.

I have personally been switched to 2% for a good amount of time now and there is barely any noticeable difference between whole milk and 2%. The benefits, not just for flattening your stomach, but for your health in general are astronomical.

4. Perform proper abdominal exercises:

Exercises to flatten stomach definitely need to be performed at least 3 times per week. However, they need to be proper exercises, not just good-ol’ sit-ups. Proper stomach flattening exercises can do wonders in carving out that nice six-pack that will make others jealous!

5. Don’t eat before bed:

An oldie but goldie. I know many of our busy lifestyles do not allow for another choice. However, this is a key factor along with exercises to flatten your stomach if you’re going after a flat, washboard stomach. Try your best to stop eating about 3 hours before bedtime.

If you must eat, go with some light vegetables or fruits. Trust me, you can get used to it. Not eating large, fatty meals before bedtime can make a huge difference. That brings us to my next tip…

6. Avoid “bad carbs” as much as possible:

Who doesn’t love a nice dish of pasta? Jambalaya with chicken and shrimp.. yummy. White bread, white rice, potatoes, you name it. White rice is another favorite. However, if you want to flatten your stomach, you must limit your intake of these types of foods.

You still need the fiber, so supplementing your diet with leafy green vegetables and fresh fruits is a great idea. Brown rice, whole wheat bread.. you can still enjoy life with low-carbs! Speaking of enjoying life…

7. Exercises to flatten stomach = Everything in moderation:

It is not a good idea to go crazy and completely cut off your favorite foods and things you enjoy the most. That usually just results in a relapse and people going back to the same old eating habits that they had back at square one.

Once in a while, treat yourself to something good, without worrying about the fat content or the calories. Consider it a reward since you’re so diligently following your plan of exercises to flatten stomach.

A flat stomach is very possible to achieve, you just have to work at it!

Fuel and Energy During Exercise

The debate starts on the topic of which body fuel is, and should be, used during exercise. Most commentators acknowledge that in low intensity exercise (eg walking, hiking and jogging), fat is metabolised for energy and the body respires aerobically. Fat is used for energy during aerobic respiration as oxygen is required to metabolise it. Aerobic respiration takes longer as oxygen needs to be circulated to the muscles for the process to be complete.

During high intensity exercise (eg running and sprinting), the body respires anaerobically – without oxygen – as energy is required faster than oxygen can be circulated to the muscles. Anaerobic respiration involves the partial breakdown of glucose (called glycolysis) producing a short burst of energy for a few minutes. Lactic acid is also produced during glycolysis and begins to take effect within minutes causing cramp and muscle fatigue. Stored carbohydrate – glycogen stored in the muscles – is metabolised during anaerobic respiration.

Glycogen is thought to provide fuel for approximately 2 hours of medium to high intensity exercise. On a personal level I would disagree with that. I would start to notice decreasing energy levels after around 1 hour 15 or 1 hour 30. After this time period (which is likely different for each individual) a new source of fuel is needed – either eating or drinking simple carbohydrates (sugar/glucose) or lowering the intensity level of your exercise so fat can be metabolised. So when competing in a sprint triathlon, running or cycling race, or a race that will last longer than 1hr 30 to 2 hrs (approximately) then simple carbohydrates – such as sports drinks are required.

Out of all body energy sources available – fat, carbohydrate and protein (which in extreme circumstances such as starvation can be converted to energy), fat has the highest energy content. Fat contains 9 kcals (food calories) per gram, carbohydrates and protein each contain 4 kcals per gram. So it makes sense to metabolise fat where possible but this may constrain you from exercising at a medium to high intensity.

This raises the question of whether the body can metabolise fat during medium to high intensity exercise.

The key to improving the body’s ability to metabolise fat at medium to high intensity exercise is to increase your lactate threshold. The lactate threshold is the maximum steady state effort that can be maintained without lactate continually increasing. Exercising above this level is where lactate production in the blood is faster than lactate clearance. After a few minutes cramps and muscle fatigue set in. Increasing your lactate threshold is done by exercising at an intensity that is periodically above your lactate threshold through interval training or fartlek (these entail training at periodic bursts of high intensity followed by lower intensity exercise). This forces the body to become more efficient at lactate clearance. While your body still will not be able to metabolise fat above your lactate threshold, it will be able to metabolise fat at a higher intensity of exercise and so use fat as a fuel for exercise more frequently.

Before beginning medium to high intensity exercise, or increasing the intensity of your exercise, we would recommend you seek professional advice.