Having a flat stomach is a great thing that a lot of people are dreaming of. The flat stomach makes you look stunning when dressed but when your stomach isn’t flat, you find it difficult to look good in the dress.
Losing the fat around your midsection can be a battle. In addition to being a risk factor for several diseases, excess abdominal fat may make you feel bloated and discouraged.
Luckily, several strategies have been shown to be especially effective at reducing your waist size. If you dream about having a flat stomach, this article may be just what you need.
Ways To Get a Flat Stomach
1. Eat More Fiber, Especially Soluble Fiber
Soluble fibers absorb large quantities of water and slow down the passing of food through the digestive tract. This has been shown to delay stomach emptying, causing the stomach to expand and make you feel full.
Furthermore, soluble fiber may decrease the number of calories your body is able to absorb from food. By eating soluble fiber, you are also less likely to accumulate fat around your organs, which reduces your waist circumference and the risk of several diseases.
One observational study showed that each 10-gram increase in daily soluble fiber intake decreased fat gain around the midsection by 3.7% over five years. Good sources of soluble fibers include oats, flaxseeds, avocados, legumes, Brussels sprouts, and blackberries.
2. Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet
Apple cider vinegar is linked to several impressive health benefits, most of which are mainly attributed to its content of acetic acid. Several animal studies have suggested that acetic acid may reduce body fat accumulation.
Although human studies are somewhat lacking in this area, one study in obese men showed that taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day for 12 weeks reduced their waistlines by 0.5 inches (1.4 cm), on average.
3. Drink Water
There are at least three ways in which water may help you achieve a flat stomach. First, it may help with weight loss by temporarily increasing your metabolic rate.
In fact, drinking water may increase your total energy expenditure by up to 100 calories per day. Second, drinking water before meals can make you feel fuller, so you’ll ultimately eat fewer calories.
Third, it may help relieve constipation and reduce belly bloating. Try drinking a large glass of water before each meal. It may help you achieve your goal.
4. Cut Calories, but Not Too Much
It is a well-known fact that you need to cut calories to produce weight loss.
One popular approach is to reduce your daily intake by 500–1,000 calories to expect to lose approximately 1–2 pounds (0.5–1 kg) per week.
That being said, restricting your calorie intake too much can be counterproductive.
Eating too few calories can cause a major decrease in your metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.
In one study, a group of people who ate 1,100 calories per day slowed their metabolic rate more than twice as much as those who consumed about 1,500 calories per day for four consecutive days.
What’s more, this decrease in metabolic rate may persist even after you start behaving like you normally do. That means you may have a lower metabolic rate than you had before you severely restricted your calorie intake.
Therefore, it is important that you don’t restrict your calorie intake too much or for too long.
5. Do Some Cardio
Doing cardio, or aerobic exercise is an excellent way to burn calories and improve overall health. Additionally, studies have shown that it is very effective at strengthening your midsection and reducing your waistline.
Studies usually recommend doing 150–300 minutes of moderate-to-high-intensity aerobic exercise weekly, which translates to roughly 20–40 minutes per day.
Examples of cardio include running, brisk walking, biking, and rowing.
6. Eat Foods Rich in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and usually categorized among the “good fats.” Studies show that diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids may prevent the accumulation of tummy fat, the most dangerous type of fat.
The Mediterranean diet is an example of a diet that is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, and it has been linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of central obesity.
Foods high in monounsaturated fatty acids include olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
7. Do Resistance Training
Losing muscle mass is a common side effect of dieting. This can be detrimental to your metabolic rate, as losing muscle decreases the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.
Doing resistance exercises regularly may prevent this loss of muscle mass and, in turn, help you maintain or improve your metabolic rate.
Moreover, resistance training may be especially effective at tightening your midsection and reducing your waist size.
In fact, combining resistance training with aerobic exercise seems to be the most effective for slimming your waistline.
8. Walk at Least 30 Minutes Each Day
A combination of diet and exercise is probably the most effective way to achieve weight loss and improve your overall health.
Interestingly, studies have shown that you don’t need to exercise vigorously to reap health benefits.
Regular, brisk walks have been shown to effectively reduce total body fat and the fat located around your midsection.
In fact, walking briskly for 30–40 minutes (about 7,500 steps) per day has been linked to a significant reduction of dangerous tummy fat and a slimmer waistline.
9. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a technique that helps you recognize and cope with your emotions and physical sensations regarding food and hunger.
It involves slowing down, eating without distraction, focusing on your physical hunger cues and eating only until you feel full.
Most studies agree that mindful eating helps you lose weight by changing your eating behavior and reducing stress-related behavior, such as stress eating and binge eating.
Also, it is more likely to help you keep the weight off in the long term, as it focuses on changing your behavior.
10. Eat More Protein
Protein is the most important nutrient when it comes to weight loss.
Your body burns more calories digesting protein than fat or carbs. Therefore, a high-protein diet may account for an extra 80–100 burned calories per day.
High-protein diets also reduce your appetite; make you feel full and help you retain your muscle mass during weight loss.
Furthermore, studies have observed that people who eat more protein have slimmer waistlines than those with lower protein intakes.
How much protein you need depends on many factors, such as your age, gender, and activity level.
Generally, you should aim to get 20–30% of your calories from protein on a daily basis. This can easily be achieved by incorporating a protein source in every meal.
11. Get Enough Sleep
Getting a sufficient amount of good sleep is very important for weight loss.
Studies have repeatedly shown sleeping less than five hours a night for adults and less than 10 hours for children is linked to an increased risk of weight gain.
In women, short sleep duration is consistently linked to increased waist size, compared to those who get a good night’s sleep.
Similarly, sleep-deprived people are up to 55% more likely to become obese.
Luckily, shifting sleep duration from shorter lengths to healthier lengths has been shown to help eradicate these effects.
12. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress and anxiety are very common, and most people experience them at some point in their lives.
Stress is linked to the development of many diseases, and it is also a common reason why people tend to eat or binge eats, often without being hungry in the first place.
Also, stress triggers the body to produce cortisol, a stress hormone. It has been known to increase appetite and lead specifically to belly fat storage.
This may be especially harmful in women who already have a large waist, as they tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress, which further adds to belly fat gain.
Try to add some stress-relieving activities to your daily routines, such as yoga or meditation.
13. Avoid Swallowing Air and Gases
The biggest source of gas in the diet is carbonated beverages such as soda. The bubbles in it contain carbon dioxide, which is released from the liquid in your stomach. This may cause stomach distention or bloat.
This can also happen when you chew gum, drink through a straw or talk while eating. Eating in silence, drinking from a glass and swapping carbonated drinks out for water may help you achieve a flatter stomach.
14. Eat Fatty Fish Every Week or Take Fish Oil
It is generally recommended to eat fatty fish once or twice per week.
Fatty fish is very healthy and rich in essential long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and good-quality protein.
Protein has been shown to help with weight loss, and studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may also help reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver and abdominal cavity.
If you don’t like eating fatty fish, you can get long-chain fatty acids from fish oil or fish oil supplements.
15. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol contains seven calories for each gram, which partly explains why alcoholic drinks tend to be loaded with liquid calories.
Ounce for ounce, beer contains a similar number of calories as a sugary soft drink, while red wine contains a whopping twice that amount.
Although moderate drinking is unlikely to affect weight gain, heavy drinking is linked to increased weight gain, especially around your midsection.
If you want a flat stomach, you should aim to reduce or skip the alcoholic drinks.