Everything you need to know about losing weight.
- Diet Rules & burning foods
- How calorie reduction works
- Lifestyle changes
- Exercises to lose belly fat
- Tips for Men & Women & Teens & Seniors
- Media review
Learn how to lose belly fat with a combination of diet and exercise. This is by far the best way to do it.
In this guide we provide you with the our diet rules for losing weight and getting a flat stomach; specific advice for men, women, teens and seniors; exercise and lifestyle factors and exercises which are needed to maintain a healthy weight.
We also review the weight loss advice given by major publications over the last decade. At the end of the guide you will find links to several of our fitness workouts that will help you to lose weight.
There are also over 1000 questions and answers (on the full PC version) which provide a lot of extra advice.
Knowing how to lose belly fat is the first step in gaining that flat stomach that so many people aspire to. Once the fat is lost you are only one step away from attaining the ultimate dream, six pack abs.
Hard to shift fat
However, even a thin layer of loose belly fat can be hard to shift. If you are looking for advice on how to lose stomach fat then following these tips and tricks will help you to lose that gut quickly. Combined with a fitness plan, these tips to lose belly fat will speed up weight loss and get you in shape in no time. Not everyone wants a washboard abs, but if you just want to trim down some inches around the waist and get a flatter stomach, these tips can really help you.
Bad for health
Remember that central obesity is bad for your health and that losing belly fat reduces risks of developing more serious health issues in the future such as diabetes and heart disease.
Diet Rules: The fat burning foods
1. Foods that help burn belly fat
In fact, eating more of these foods, combined with a calorie restrictive diet, helps to burn all types of fat. Here is a list of the 10 best foods for burning off fat:
- Oily fish
- Vegan soups
- Beans and lentils
- Whey protein
- Oats – especially good for breakfast
- Cottage cheese
- Lean meat
Get these foods in your diet and you should see better results. There are some foods that burn belly fat which will help you, but you still have to control calories.
2. Throw out the junk food – reduce sugar and saturated fat
To lose stomach fat you have to throw out the junk food. You are what you eat, so don’t eat junk. Do not keep junk food like cookies, chips, sweets and other similar products in your house. Junk food and addiction to sugar is considered to be the greatest cause of belly fat today.
If you do not have these bad foods lying around, you will not think about them and after sometime, you will break the bad eating habits. Most weight loss plans provide great nutrition advice and motivational tips to help you keep your healthy diet on track and this is essential for losing belly fat. But, why is junk food so bad? Mostly it is due to the high sugar content of junk food. Most junk food consists of refined carbs and sugar, which when eaten quickly raise blood sugar levels, leading to reduction in fat burning and increase in appetite.
3. Carbohydrates and losing belly fat – low GI carbs are best
Consumption of carbohydrate is essential for losing belly fat, but there are good carbs and bad carbs.
Refined flours and the foods that they create, such as white bread, pasta, donuts, cakes and biscuits (yes, biscuits cause weight gain) should be avoided. They can cause bloating, poor digestion, and lead to accumulation of fat, which is the opposite of how to lose belly fat! “Good carbs”, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, should be eaten instead.
Slow release carbohydrates are also beneficial, such as oats, brown rice, some pulses and sweet potato. A diet that takes most of its carbs from fruits and vegetables, as opposed to refined flours, is healthier.
Our Low GI Diet eBook teaches how the glycemic index can help you to lose weight. Ideally granary or wholemeal bread should be eaten instead of white bread, and biscuits / cookies and cakes should be avoided.
Consuming too much carbohydrate can bump up your insulin level, which can slow down your metabolism (insulin stops the body breaking fat down). Your body cannot metabolize too much carbohydrate at once because the body does not need so much energy at once.
The excess sugar from the carbohydrates will just turn into stomach fat. For a more complete explanation of this process read our page, What Is Fat? Much research has shown that adopting the Atkins Nutritional Approach, i.e. a high fat/protein diet, is the way ahead to lose weight fast.
Avoiding carbs increases the fat burning metabolism (lipolysis), which helps to reduce belly fat to get a flat stomach, and this is a key element to your flat belly diet plan.
Combine your meals with a good mixture of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. Your source of protein should be in the size of a deck of cards; the carbohydrates in the size of your palm and the major bulk of your meals should come from vegetables, ideally low GI vegetables.
4. The natural way – eat like a cave man
Following a natural food idea is a great way to lose belly fat as if combines the rules above, that is you avoid all junk food and all processed food, sugar and saturated fats.
Following a Caveman Diet or a Low GI diet are two ways to lose belly fat the natural way. It is important that you avoid gimmicks and pills when try to lose weight. You need to make a lifestyle change and carry on eating a healthy diet and exercise after you lose weight.
Systems such as the Lemonade Cleanse / Maple Syrup Diet may aid fast weight loss initially but in the long-term there is a much greater risk of putting the weight back on again. Slow and steady is best.
5. No more late night snacks – stop comfort eating
Try not to have late night snacks. The main problem with late night snacking is that there is not much activity done afterwards. People go straight to bed right after the late night meal because they are tired.
So, this will cause high sugar levels in the blood stream and no energy spent after that. The excess sugar will just turn into belly fat very quickly. You can reduce you hunger and food cravings by following a low glycemic diet. Fluctuations in blood sugar causes increases in appetite.
Losing stomach fat requires a strict diet so avoiding hunger is essential. Late night snacking is often emotional eating and not eating to nourish.
6. Drink less alcohol to lose belly fat
Decrease alcohol consumption. If you drink a lot, you will accumulate fat around your waist. Excess alcohol consumption can really give you a belly. Have you seen people who are slim all over but have a beer belly sticking out?
Well, that is the effect of excess alcohol consumption. Alcohol does not contain any nutrients at all. All the energy consumed through alcohol will be stored as belly fat! If you want to lose weight fast then you need to stop drinking for a while.
You do not need to give up alcohol completely, but just drink in moderation. Do not drink everyday and limit yourself to just one glass of wine or one bottle of beer.
How calorie reduction works
The basic rule of weight loss is that for every calorie deficit of 3500 Calories you will lose one pound of fat. This is because one pound of fat contains around 3500 Calories of energy.
To lose 2 pounds in one week you need a total calorie deficit of 7000 Calories, which is 1000 Calories a day. The only people who lose significantly more are those who are extremely overweight – they can lose five to ten pounds in a week. For a daily deficit of 1000 Calories you need to follow a strict diet plan. Exercise will help, but diet really is the key.
Lifestyle changes to help lose belly fat
1. Turn out the lights before bed
Sleep research has shown that sleeping with a light on, even just a dim night light, is enough to cause changed to appetite. Researchers found that subjects that sleep with a light on gain more weight.
2. Cardio exercise and weight training
Exercise is vital for weight loss and long-term health. Exercising has an immediate effect on weight, in that as you exercise you burn energy (mostly glycogen stored in muscle tissue).
The body replaces the lost energy by breaking down sugar reserves in fat cells. This is why we lose weight (fat) when we exercise.
Exercise also helps build muscle and this means that your metabolism is raised permanently.
Finally, the more exercise you do, the fitter you get. The fitter you are, the more you can exercise and the more calories you burn. If you do not know how to get started, find a fitness class, hire a personal trainer or learn from or guides. Below is our essential guides to exercising for fat loss.
Exercises to lose belly fat
1. Do crunches really work?
In short – no, they do not. Crunches are done to develop the abdominal muscles. This will not cause your abdominal fat to melt away. For that you need cardio and full body workouts, not just crunches.
However, crunches are an important part of your overall fitness – a strong mid-section makes you more athletic, more stable and will help in many aspects of life in general.
2. What is the best exercise to lose belly fat?
The question that is so often asked. But it has now finally been answered by sports scientists; researchers from the Duke Uni Medical Center have found that aerobic exercise is more effective at burning visceral (belly) fat than weight training. Visceral fat is the least healthy of fat too. It causes diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
“Resistance training is great for improving strength and increasing lean body mass. But if you are overweight, which two-thirds of the population is, and you want to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the better choice because it burns more calories.” – Dr. Cris Slentz, Duke University Medical Center, 2011.
However, many fitness instructors and personal trainers get excellent results from a combination of cardio and resistance training.
One theory is that by performing a variety of different exercise you activate more metabolic pathways which can speed fat loss.
One big advantage of doing some resistance exercise as well as cardio is that you can exercise more. If you are unfit and have not exercised in years, or decades, it is often easier to do a longer session in the gym on resistance machines than it is to perform intensive cardio for the same duration.
3. Short and intensive weight loss solutions
If you have left it almost too late to lose weight, then follow the MotleyHealth 7 day exercise and diet plan to help you lose as much weight as possible in one week.
This plan will then set you up for longer term weight loss should you need it. If you follow a structured and well designed weight loss plan you can learn the best way to lose belly fat in one month.
This system has been designed by a professional fitness instructor for people just like you. If you have put on weight as a result of poor diet and lack of exercise then this system will help your lose belly fat in a month.
If you follow our MCD weight loss system (a free MotleyHealth ebook) for one month you will see good results.
4. Top stomach exercises for firmer abs
Remember to do intensive cardio workouts, compound weight training, and control your calories intake first, then target your abs with some of these exercises.
Many of these exercises will help you to tone the muscles to help lose lower belly fat as well as build stronger and more visible abs.
- The best stomach exercises for 6 pack abs
- The boxers / martial artist abdominal workout
- Bruce Lee’s abs workouts
- Yoga sequences and workouts
5. Exercise Often
The key to losing belly fat is to exercise often. We suggest exercising at least 7 times per week.
If you can fit in 2 workouts a day all the better. Although sports research has indicated that intensive exercise is most effective, this new research suggests that really it is just a matter of burning more calories.
Whether you spring or walk makes little difference, so long as you do the work. Sprinting obviously burns calories quicker than walking but if you can only walk that just means is that you have to exercise for longer each day.
There are many exercise routines that will help you to get a 6 pack once you have lost all your belly fat. The most important thing is to combine different workouts. Weight training is essential, as building muscle speeds metabolism.
Intensive exercise, such as interval training and circuit training burns fat fast. Keep it varied, and you will lose weight. Remember that although stomach exercises will not help you to lose belly fat, they will help to tone the mid-section and develop your abdominals.
If exercise is simply not an option for you then you should read the section on How to Lose Weight which explains the role of food, hormones and fat loss. Although diet plays the most important role in losing weight and belly fat, exercise really is essential.
Fortunately there are some fitness and weight loss plans that are tailored to help people lose belly fat. We have many workouts in our fitness section. There is really no single “best exercise” to lose belly fat, what is important is that you do exercise on a regular basis and burn as many extra calories as you can.
Further guides to losing weight and getting in shape
1. Weight loss advice for men
Belly fat seems to be a huge problem for lots of people, especially men. Naturally, men tend to hold more fat around their waistline (this is visceral fat, or internal fat), which we call love handles (also known as beer belly or pot belly).
The rules on how to lose belly fat for men do not vary significantly really, but there are a few considerations concerning lifestyle, physical fitness and diet. Besides the biological nature of men, modern lifestyle also has a huge impact on belly fat; as work, stress, entertaining clients and lack of exercise contribute to the accumulation of stomach fat.
Belly fat is usually a very stubborn type of fat, in that it requires a lot of work to reduce it. The best way for men to lose belly fat is through a combination of cardio exercise, weight training and a lean muscle-building diet.
Our article on how to lose your beer belly provides more specific information for men. Losing your gut and getting a flat stomach can be a slow experience, but it is certainly worth the efforts.
The rewards are not only a better looking and fit body, but also improved long-term health. You can also learn how to get rid of “man boobs” here.
2. Weight loss advice for women
It is very easy to develop bad eating habits when nurturing a baby. Irregular sleep leads to poor diet and emotional eating and also causes weight gain. We also have articles on losing baby fat as well as a set of belly fat rules for women that you may find useful.
3. Diet and health tips for teenagers
We have had many teenagers ask what they can do to lose belly fat. Really the best thing to do is adjust your diet and get more active. Reduce sugar intake, which includes sugar in processed foods, junk food, cakes and cookies.
Eat more lean proteins, less starchy foods and start exercising more. Teenagers have a great advantage over adults as they are more energetic and have a faster metabolism.
Weight loss is still relatively easy for teens so long as a healthy diet is followed and regular exercise is taken. However, teenagers do require more calories than adults to ensure healthy growth and development.
If your school does not provide adequate exercise or sports then join an after school club. Martial arts, dance or scouts will all provide plenty of exercise and activities to help get you fit. Read our article on teenage health and fitness to learn more on theis subject.
4. Weight loss advice for seniors
However, this does not have to stop you from losing weight. Sir Anthony Hopkins lost 80 pounds after following a strict diet and walking program.
Remember that diet is more important than exercise to lose weight. You will never be able to burn of excess energy through exercise (only professional athletes are able to do this).
The key is to reduce the amount of calories consumed while maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. One word of caution, although higher protein diets aid weight loss, research has shown that high protein diets can lead to a reduction in bone density in older women.
It is therefore important to do some weight training exercises as part of your weekly fitness routine to ensure that both muscle mass and bone density is maintained. Read our article Over 50′s exercise advice to learn more.
5. Remember that a little belly fat is natural
Remember this fact: belly fat is natural. Its main purpose is actually to protect the vital internal organs. To lose all your belly fat is to defy nature. This is why it is so difficult to achieve. But you can do it if you stay focused and work hard. The fat that surrounds the internal organs can be burnt off with intensive exercise. weight training and a sensible low sugar diet. MotleyHealth.com provides many well structured diet plans which provide the best ways to lose belly fat. This really is the key to training your body how to lose belly fat.
6. Other diet plans for losing belly fat
There are many well researched and healthy diet plans available to help you lose your belly fat. The much misunderstood Atkins diet is still a very good way to lose weight. The The Dukan diet is becoming more popular and follows in the footsteps of Atkins with more care over ensuring that you eat a healthy low GI diet.
A review of flat stomach advice from the media
We have decided that it is time to conduct a review of the current ideas and advice about losing weight. This is obviously far from an exhaustive review of the information online on weight loss and specifically stomach fat, but we feel it covers a variety of styles, audiences and time span to make it relevant.
It is also possibly the first attempt to review the information from an unbiased viewpoint. To do this we have read and analysed the advice given by a series of popular newspapers and magazines.
Why are we doing this though?
Because each of the publications mentioned here is a leader in its field. Each take the information that they share with its readers very seriously, and each wants to show to the world that it is the best.
They take pride in their work and that means thorough research and analysis. They also draw on the years of experience from health and fitness experts. Our review covers the advice from:
- The Independent’s 2009 advice on Five ways to get a flat belly
- The Guardian’s 2006 report on How to get a flat stomach
- Hello! Magazine’s 2010 article on Three keys to a flat stomach
- Los Angeles Times 2011 article My Turn: Her war on belly fat
- Daily Mail’s 2009 special on How to…Get a flat stomach
- Tatiana Novaes Coelho’s advice on Channel4 on How to Get a Flat Stomach
- Cosmopolitan’s 2011 special feature Flavia’s flat stomach moves
- The Mirror’s 2008 post on How to get a flat stomach after giving birth
Five ways to get a flat belly by the independent
The Independent are quick to remind us of the dangers of belly fat, telling us that this type of fat;
“wraps itself around the heart and liver and is known to raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. This band of unattractive, toxic lard has been widely regarded as the most difficult to shift”
There first tip is to consume more MUFAs. MUFAs is the acronym for monounsaturated fatty acids. You get these fats from olive oil, nuts and seeds. It seems that a MUFA rich diet helps to break down toxins in fat and shift visceral fat.
They referred to research carried out by the Prevention Research Centre at Yale University School of Medicine which had shown this in tests. Next up is the classic “avoid bloating” advice. So no sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates. Stick to mostly low GI foods and you will reduce bloating.
The most important tip is to have regular eating habits rather than one or two large meals a day. Reducing salt and raw vegetables can help some people. Do not stop raw vegetable salads unless you have a bloating problem and tried everything else though. No more bread.
This is our favorite tip, one that we have said many times – stop eating bread. It is just energy / sugar and provides little nutrition. The main reason The Independent gave though was due to the anti-staling agents in bread that we cannot digest and that cause increased bloating.
They then go on to talk about the importance of reducing stress as this tends to lead to increased appetite (although some people stop eating when stressed).
“A study showed that a combination of the MUFA diet and 10 minutes of core stability exercise every day gets rid of double the quantity of visceral fat as diet alone”.
Finally they speak briefly about core stability exercises. The Plank is described. They say “don’t bother with crunches”. Source: www.independent.co.uk, published 24 February 2009
Three keys to a flat stomach by Hello!
Hello! Magazine takes a slightly different approach with “Exercise, diet and cosmetics are your best allies if you want to beat that belly“.
This is the first time that we have come across cosmetic advice for reducing stomach fat in the mainstream media. Hello! put exercise first in their guide. They say that the abdominal muscles sit under a layer of fat so just exercising them alone will not help.
But then they go on to say that exercising the abs 2-3 times a week is still a good idea. They do not mention anything about intensive cardio training, resistance training or the affect exercise has on metabolism or appetite though. Hello! say that using some creams can help to “combat localised fat” although they do not mention any brands.
There was a news report of a new cream that reduces fat in October 2010, so they are probably referring to this. Maybe their web page has been edited since – we have not heard much about this cream for a while now. Source: www.hellomagazine.com, published 18 November 2010
How to get a flat stomach by The Guardian
This is the oldest of the articles we have picked, so it is interesting to see what The Guardian were saying about losing stomach fat in 2006, and what may have really changed in the last 5 years.
They start off with the good advice from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to not do crunches. They then advise you to take up cardio exercise such as swimming or jogging.
The fact that they looked to the American Council on Exercise provides much more authority to their article already. They advise not to waste money on any equipment other than a Swiss ball.
Their strangest advice is to laugh a lot as it strengthens “deeply embedded transversus abdominus muscle”. This seems to conflict with the advice not to do crunches. However, laughing does reduce stress, something which they forgot to mention!
“Don’t starve yourself.” – this is the best advice yet. You need to eat to lose fat. Their last tip is an exercise tip – to do bicycle crunches. Again, conflicts with first advice to not both exercising the abs. The Guardian started really well with their advice but then seemed to lose track a little. But then, this was 2006, and the early days of flat stomach plans. Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk, published on 25 May 2006
The LA Times - my turn: her war on belly fat
This is an article with a difference – it is a personal story about belly fat. Written by Carrie Luger Slayback today (May 9th 2011), she talks about how she managed to lose weight.
The key message is a healthy diet and regular dog walking. It is interesting to note that the URL (web address) mentions visceral fat which is the biological term for the type of fat that surrounds the internal organs – I guess the editor decided that “visceral” may put some people off reading the article. The article starts off tackling the classic myth of inherited fat:
“Nobody in our family has a flat stomach, Carolyn,” my dad stated authoritatively.
So many people think that being overweight is a genetic condition, something that is passed down along the family tree. This is simply not true.
Children of overweight parents are fat because they have the same bad eating habits as their parents. Simple. It was only when Carrie learnt that belly fat is dangerous to health that she decided to take action. Carrie explains that she is against dieting – “dieting sends me into a rage of rebellion“.
Some people feel that dieting, or more specifically following a lifestyle to attain a healthy body, is somehow in breach of their human rights. This is actually a topic of hot debate in academic circles – to what extent should people (governments, employers, teachers, parents) intervene in a person’s lifestyle to encourage them (or force them) to lose weight?
Nobody complains when the government distributes vaccines for swine flu or teachers strive to improve the math skills of the children, but encourage people to lose weight? No way! Anyway, Carrie took a moderate exercise route to weight loss by “walking 35 to 45 minutes for five days a week“. Basically, she walked her dog, which every dog owner should do anyway.
“Back in the 1970s, my father had a pot belly. I used to nag him to eat more vegetables, but he laughed at me. “Baloney,” he’d say. He had a quadruple bypass in his 60s and paralyzing dementia the last two years of his life. He liked to lecture better than take advice, but if the word had been out on the chemistry of metabolic syndrome, I think he would have listened.”
This really is a stark reminder of why we all should try to lose weight. Even the happiest people can be struck down by terrible illness as a result of carrying too much fat on their bodies.
The message here is that following a healthy diet and taking regular exercise helps you to lose weight. Another simple message, and all the more powerful because it is true. Source: www.latimes.com/health/la-he-my-turn-visceral-fat, published 9 May 2011
How to get a flat stomach by The Daily Mail
Love it or hate it, The Daily Mail often provides some very good advice in its health pages. Although this particular article was almost missed by us because it was in the women’s section and not the Health section where their fitness and weight loss articles often appear.
It is written by Janey Holliday, a personal trainer who has written several articles for The Daily Mail. The first tips provide nothing new – less refined carbs, less sugar, less fizzy drinks. The third tip is interesting though. The advice is to cut back on dairy;
“Once we leave infanthood, we no longer have the enzymes to absorb the nutrients in milk.”
However, research has shown that dairy calcium has the ability to increase fat excretion (this is one of the 10 scientific rules of weight loss that was presented by the BBC’s Michael Molsley).
The sugar in milk is mentioned, so the advice really should be to reduce sugar intake and only reduce dairy intake if you are lactose intolerant. The Daily Mail then goes on to talk about drinking herbal teas such as camomile and peppermint as they sooth and relax.
They do not mention green and oolong teas though, which have been shown in some scientific studies to increase fat loss (also many Chinese people swear by their effects). This article is the first also to talk about lactobacillus acidophilus, which is the friendly bacteria in the gut. There are many companies selling the idea of probiotics as a way to manage weight by increasing risk of leaky gut syndrome;
“excess flab on your tummy might not be reduced with sit-ups if you suffer from this.”
This does seem to suggest that the reason why sit-ups fails to cause weight loss is a bacterial imbalance. This is not the case though. The Daily Mail does provide some sound advice on exercise, although it is a little thin on the ground.
They say simply to do some cardio exercise such as running, cycling, aerobics and swimming as well as performing crunches. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/How-Get-flat-stomach published on 9 March 2009
Channel4 sought the advice of Tatiana Novaes Coelho for their article on getting a flat stomach. Tatiana is a Pilates instructor, so naturally all the moves were core Pilates exercises.
She takes you through some ab curls, oblique exercises and toe touches. Each is well explained. However, no mention of diet or lifestyle, so not really a guide to “how to get a flat stomach” as the title suggests.
Really a guide on how to strengthen your abdominals with Pilates. Source: www.channel4.com/4beauty/wellbeing/getting-fit/how-to-get-a-flat-stomach/display/page/1, unknown publication date.
How to get a flat stomach after giving birth by The Mirror
The Mirror is a UK newspaper written for women. We are proud to say that earlier this year the Mirror mentioned our 20 minute home workout in their article which featured Davina Mccall – you can see our article about it here: MotleyHealth makes tt into the national press.
But less about us, what does The Mirror advice about getting a flat tummy? Well, The Mirror paints a more honest picture of losing weight after birth. They spoke to a few celebrity mums who all struggled to lose weight.
Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice) said that for her the real trick was going back on tour with The Spice Girls. She exercised 3-5 times a week to get in shape for the tour, with cycling, running or yoga workouts. Emma Bunton has a little tip for people with a sweet tooth:
“Instead of scoffing a whole bag of sweets (candy), I get my sugar rush by sucking a lollipop”
Simple advice, but it will certainly reduce the calories without reducing the taste sensation. Emma also advocated getting a good nights sleep.
Salma Hayek managed to lose her stomach fat at the age of 41 after becoming a mother. Her secret was breastfeeding. She ate a very healthy diet and maintained breastfeeding for as long as possible.
Milla Jovovich gained and lost 70 pounds when she became a mom. She used to eat 3 bagels with butter, peanut butter and jelly every day for breakfast as well as eating a lot of donuts.
To lose it, she just reversed her terrible diet and started eating healthy again. She followed a healthy diet of fruit, veg, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C supplements. The Mirror does provide some pretty strange advice at the end:
“DON’T: Chew gum or talk too fast – both make you swallow too much air, which will leave your stomach bloated.”
There are a lot of fast talking celebs out there, such as Woody Allen and Miley Cyrus, neither of which ever struggle with being overweight. Their best advice:
DON’T: Starve yourself – your metabolism will grind to a halt and your body will start to hold on to reserves of fat around your abdomen.
Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/…how-to-get-a-flat-stomach-after-giving-birth, published on 7 April 2008.
Flavia’s flat stomach moves by Cosmo
This is the first exercise led approach to losing weight. It features Flavia Cacace who is a professional dancer who has featured on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK a few times.
“To get a noticeably flatter stomach within a month, do this workout three times a week. Start off with three sets of 10 to 15 reps of each move, building up to 20 reps as you get fitter”
The exercises can be seen in a side-show on the Cosmo website. They are good core conditioning exercises, but they are not going to help someone who is obese lose their tummy fat. You still need to do some intensive cardio training. Of course, professional dancers spend most of their time sweating and not crunching their abs!
The media picture
There is still a stubborn refusal in many of these plans to stop talking about crunches and sit-ups. Many start by saying that crunches will not help you to lose your stomach fat but then finish with advice on abdominal exercises.
Often I get the feeling when reading these that the writer down plays the abdominal exercises, but the editor then insists that more crunches and sit-ups is added as it is what people expect to read! However, overall the message is clear:
- Reduce sugar, refined carbs, processed foods
- Control your blood sugar by limiting high GI carbohydrates
- Exercise more – any way you like, just do lots of it
- Work the abs to make the stronger, not to make them flatter
- Eat a varied diet as so many little things do help: tea, dairy, protein, fiber, fatty acids etc. all help a little. A varied diet is better than a starvation diet
- Never starve yourself – this leads to more fat accumulation
Losing weight is really a simple process, anybody can do it. We have said before that losing weight is not rocket science, but you do need to learn to master your own mind to accomplish it. It is natural to want to eat.
Eating is fun, food tastes good, food makes us feel good. If eating was not pleasant then everyone would starve to death. Learning to control your appetite and taking steps to increase physical activity while also following a healthy and balanced diet continues to be the sure way to lose weight.
1 Final rule to get fit and healthy again – change your life!
There is only one reason why you are overweight now. It is because in recent years you have gone from being a healthy person, maybe without realizing it, to being an unhealthy one. When at school our eating habits are restricted. Children can eat only during lunch break.
Exercise is compulsory. This trend continues for a while after school for many people, as they follow sporting pursuits and their eating habits remain the same. But time passes, and the good habits instilled during our formative years are eroded away. We snack, we eat extra meals, we become sedentary, stop exercising, stop playing sports, stop running for fun, stop cycling our bikes or climbing trees, stop digging holes and stop chasing friends for the thrill of the sprint.
We stop, we eat and we get fat!
For some it happens in a few months, for others it may take a decade before the rot sets in. But the reason is the same: we stop caring.
We forget what it is to be free, to be young, to have fun, to run with no reason, to climb and not care if we fall, and to stop to eat only when we have been called five times. The one true rule to losing weight and getting slim again is to change, to go back to be young again.
Develop a strict eating regime and stick to it. Follow a fitness routine and diet plan and never skip a class (unless you have a letter from a parent). Get up and change your life. Be young again. Be fit again. Be slim again. Be happy again. Remember, we are here to help. The real key to losing weight is to reverse the bad habits that have been formed over the past years.
Being overweight is simply the result of eating more food than you need. As we grow older our daily calorie needs generally reduce, so diet must be adjusted to compensate. When people continue to eat throughout their twenties in the same way that they ate during their teenage years they will put on weight.
A healthy diet really does help to reduce hunger and keep you slim. Regular exercise helps to burn more calories and reduce hunger by controlling the hormones that regulate appetite. Diet and fitness really is the answer.
We hope that you find our flat tummy tips helpful. If you have any questions please ask below. Remember, there really is no one trick to lose belly fat, you have to adopt multiple lifestyle changes to improve your diet (hop to the flat belly diet section for a recap!), become more active and get fitter. It takes time, but it is never too late to get started.
“The Effects of Aerobic versus Resistance Training on Visceral and Liver Fat Stores, Liver Enzymes and HOMA from STRRIDE AT/RT: A Randomized Trial” by Cris A. Slentz. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab August 16, 2011 ajpendo.00291.2011. Abstract – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (accessed August 2011).
“Busting Food Myths with Nicole Senior” GI News. Accessed Sept. 2011. “Effects of an Energy-Restrictive Diet With or Without Exercise on Abdominal Fat, Intermuscular Fat, and Metabolic Risk Factors in Obese Women” by Ian Janssen, Anne Fortier, Robert Hudson, and Robert Ross. Published in Diabetes Care March 2002 vol. 25 no. 3 431-438. Abstract – DiabetesJournals.org, accessed June 2008.
“Exercise-induced reversal of insulin resistance in obese elderly is associated with reduced visceral fat” by Valerie B. O’Leary el al, Journal of Applied Physiology May 2006 vol. 100 no. 5 1584-1589.
“Inactivity, exercise, and visceral fat. STRRIDE: a randomized, controlled study of exercise intensity and amount” by Cris A. Slentz et al, Journal of Applied Physiology October 1, 2005 vol. 99 no. 4 1613-1618
This article was first published in July 2007 and has undergone many updates, edits and reviews in the years since. We added the comments section in 2008 and very soon there were over a thousand question and answers.
We have now moved all old comments to this public comments archive. In 2012 we updated the article with the media review, first previously published in May 2011 as a separate article. In 2013 we moved the Dean Ornish TED talk as it was slowing down the page for some of our readers.
There are still over 6000 words of advice, so take your time and read from the top – almost everything you need to know is here. Any questions, please use the form below. Photo by Glenn Francis, Pacific Pro Digital.