Admit it, a flat stomach and a tight waist usually comes on top on any woman’s list, but not everyone is lucky enough to have them.
Most of the time we turn to body shapers or loose clothing to hide that extra fat that’s hiding our sexy belly, but there are places and situations where even your most trusted Spanx cannot save you.
So, what can you do to achieve a sexy and taut stomach?
#1: Watch what you eat & drink
Your diet plays a very important role in achieving a flat stomach.
Ever wonder where all those vanilla icing cupcakes went? Eating more than you should can cause unwanted weight gain and additional inches to your body – including your stomach.
Aside from simply minding what you eat and avoiding junk, it is essential to be proactive in your food choices if you want a sexy stomach.
What to eat:
Be sure to regularly take in animal protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and green vegetables. Drink plenty of water, and have herbal tea, too.
If you want to eat something sweet, you can have dark chocolate.
What to avoid:
Try to reduce your intake of fried food, dairy, white grains, fizzy drinks, dried vegetables, sweets and pastries.
When to eat:
Remember to eat during regular hours. Do not eat while in a rush – you usually tend to overeat since you do not notice what you put in your mouth.
Take time to chew each mouthful, making it easier to digest. Avoid using oil and use salt in moderation.
#2: Do cardio to burn fat
You have probably been doing abdominal exercises but that is not enough to give you a flat stomach.
These strength exercises tone the abdominal muscles over time, but no way are those muscles going to show if they are hiding under tummy flat and flab.
Aside from dieting, your next priority should be to burn fat every day.
These exercises require continuous movement, raising your heart rate and metabolism, burning plenty of calories as you go.
Aim for at least 30-minutes each day or three 60-minute workouts every week.
#3: Work on your abdominals
Most people focus on sit-ups or crunches, and do up to 100 repetitions daily in the hopes of developing rock-hard abs and a sexy belly.
Here, you can incorporate your usual tummy exercises, but be sure that you target all the muscles of the abdominals. Bicycle crunches, side crunches and side leg raises target the internal and external obliques, which are located on the sides of your torso.
You can work on your abs at least three times a week, alternating them with your choice of cardio.
Of course, there are also exercises that allow you to burn fat and build or strengthen muscle at the same time. Circuit training, for example, is similar to strengthening exercises but with a little added bonus.
Instead of anaerobic repetitions, circuit training requires you to do different exercises with little to no rest, producing an effect similar to aerobics, while targeting specific muscles at the same time.
Pilates and some types of yoga provide you with cardiovascular workout while targeting muscles in your stomach, too.
4. Prevent bloating
Bloating can make your tummy look bigger than it is, and what you eat may cause that. Excessive salt in your diet – whether in the food you cook or the junk food you eat – may wreak havoc and cause water retention.
Avoid salty and high sodium food as much as possible, and if you cook, try to use kosher salt or sea salt, which is lower in sodium than regular table salt.
When it comes to cooking, add flavor to your food with the use of herbs, spices and tomato salsa.
Other things that can cause bloating include constant intake of gassy vegetables and beans, gum chewing and sugar free foods.
5. Take time to relax
They say that the stomach is our second brain, and is the central receptor of our mental state. This is why you tend to feel nauseous, bloated or constipated when you are anxious or depressed.
Aside from that, constant stress increases the brain’s production of cortisol, which encourages weight gain, especially in the belly area. Learning to relax helps released blocked energy levels, reducing stress-induced symptoms that affect your stomach.
Give yourself some quiet time at the end of each day and simplytake the time to breathe.
You may be tempted to go on a crash diet or take laxatives and diet pills to quickly see results, but they only produce short term effects.
These five things mentioned above are sure fire ways to help you achieve a slimmer waist and flatter stomach, but you have to be in it for the long run.
Do not expect changes overnight or over the course of one or two weeks so be patient and stick to your routine, when change starts to happen, it will definitely be worth it!
Cover photo: pinterest.com