Rules You Need to Follow for Flat Abs
Genetics will determine the shape and insertions of your ab muscles, your muscularity will determine the size of your muscles and how fat you can get before they disappear—which is directly tied to body fat percentage—and your diet impacts your ability to lose belly fat and expose your abdominal wall.
1. Cut Down Carbs
One of the best ways to get rid of belly fat fast is to limit carb consumption*. Your carb consumption will depend on how much activity you’re doing every day, but even then it’s wise to keep them relatively low. Added sugars are a definite no, and when you do have carbs make sure it’s from a whole grain source or fruit. If you spend your days at a desk job and have a relatively sedentary life, maybe 10 grams of carbs in the morning via some fruit (about 100 grams (1/2 cup of blueberries) and again in the evening may be good. Green vegetables are technically carbs, but we won’t count them. Try to eat them with almost every meal to help you feel full and make sure you’re getting adequate fiber. If you’re working out, you can also have some carbs around your workout, typically afterwards, to the tune of about 30 to 40 grams. Carb reefed days are also recommended if you’re going low-carb and exercising daily. These should take place every three or four days, and feature about 100 grams.
2. Stop Drinking
Alcohol can sabotage any diet and make a flat stomach nearly impossible. And it’s not just beer bellies that are affected; the same belly fat is packed on from spirits, coolers and wine. Alcohol is high in sugar, has no nutritional value, is poisonous and stalls your metabolism from burning carbs and fat from energy. Furthermore, booze can lead to some pretty bad food choices.
3. Eat Protein with Every Meal
A firm, flat stomach or ripped abdominal wall requires muscle, so protein is a must. We’ve already mentioned the thermic effect of protein, which is probably its smallest benefit. Protein is required to repair and grow muscle tissue to provide the look you want. Ideally, you want about one to 1.2 grams of protein for each pound of body weight (so 140 to 168 grams per day for a 140-pound individual) for muscle growth and regeneration. Protein will also help you stay full to avoid snacking on ab-busting food and keep your metabolism revving.
4. Don’t Fear Fat
Dietary fat is not the same thing as body fat, and consuming more dietary fats can help you shed pounds from your belly and expose your flat stomach. Getting 25% to 30% of your daily calories from various healthy fat sources is highly recommended to help keep your metabolism humming, provide energy and keep your hormones regular. Some of the best sources are nuts, nut butters, olive oil, avocado and fish oil.
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is essential for muscle growth and fat burning because it lets your body grow and recover. The more muscle you have, the faster you burn fat, and sleep helps with both of these things. Also, getting a good night’s sleep can help keep cortisol (stress hormone) down, which is closely associated to weight gain and belly fat.
6. More than Crunches
In order to get a flat stomach you’ll need to exercise, but crunches won’t do it on their own. Exercises that promote core balance and stability—like the bench press, squat and shoulder press—are great at strengthening the abdominal wall. In fact, squeezing your abs tightly for most resistance training exercises is optimal to not only
strengthen the abs, but promote good form, too. But the strength of your abs isn’t enough to let them show through, so to get that firmness you might want to think about adopting a cardio routine, starting at about 20 minutes per day, three times per week to enhance the work you’re doing in the gym and kitchen.
Check out this video clip below to help you get motivated on getting flat abs.
Click Beginner Ab Excercises to see the video.
See you next week!