The summer season is fastly approaching, which means bringing out that summer wardrobe and possibly thinking of holidays and what to wear on the beach. Around this time gyms get busier as people begin to notice that the jumpers and jackets will soon be replaced with tight tops and bikinis or swim suits.
A flat stomach is also high on the agenda during this season, but as many know it can be very difficult to achieve. The most important thing to note is that you cannot spot reduce and lose weight in just one area. If there is fat covering your abs then you will need to lose this in order to gain definition. The best way to do this is through lots of cardio and also eating lots of protein and ensuring that you burn more calories than you consume.
Facts about Fitness offer some great tips:
- Eat around 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. In other words, just add a zero to your current bodyweight in pounds. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you’d eat 2000 calories per day.
- Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of target bodyweight. So if you’re 200 pounds and want to weigh 180 pounds, you’d eat roughly 180 grams of protein per day.
- Fat intake can vary from 20-40% of total calories depending on your food preferences. Some days you might eat a little more fat, some days a little less. As long as total calories and protein are set at the right level, it doesn’t matter too much.
- That just leaves carbohydrate, which is where the rest of the calories in your diet should come from.
Losing stomach fat means being consistent and incorporating lots of cardio into your work out routine, at least 3 times per week. Many people focus on crunches and sit ups but if they is a layer of fat covering your abs, crunches will not help this.
You should try to do the following:
- Avoid sugary fizzy drinks, they contain no goodness and sugar only slows your journey towards a flat stomach.
- Drink plenty of water, this flushes the toxins out of your body and also helps you to feel fuller for longer.
- Do not skip meals, and try to stop eating when you are full.
- Include healthy fats in your diet such as almonds, natural peanut butter, olive oil, walnuts, and flaxseed.
- Eat quality protein, there are many great sources other than meat, eggs and cheese. You can try low-fat yoghurt, beans and pulses, oats, and cottage cheese.
- Stay away from simple carbohydrates such as white bread.
- Eat complex carbohydrates, exchanging white bread, pasta and rice for the whole grain variety when possible.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit, they will help you to remain full for longer periods of time.
- Keep your diet varied. Do not think that you have to eat salad everyday in order to have a flat stomach.
We still have 3 months until we get to the heart of summer, more than enough time to incorporate some, if not all of these changes. It will be hard work but it is worth it!