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Ways to Get a Flat Stomach
Of all the places on your body that you may want to shed unwanted fat, losing the fat around belly could be the most difficult thing you’d have to do. Stomach fat is not only a safe haven for dangerous diseases but robs you of self confidence and a great look.
We’ve all been told to reduce our calories, drink more water, have enough sleep and to work out a lot as well as a bunch of other common fat loss tips that we’ve heard hundreds of times. But in all my years of dieting and training myself and helping others there are really 5 crucial ways of how to get flat stomach. These five flat belly tips emerge as the most complete way to lose stomach fat and stay lean. It made things so much easier.
So today I want to share these five powerful tips on how to get a flat stomach with you because I really feel like any one of these alone can make a huge difference in your quest for a flat tummy.
#1. Cycling Calories
The very first one is cycling calories. Now calorie cycling is something that many people know about but most people don’t understand how powerful of a tool it is as an exercise flatten your stomach and how to use it properly. Here’s a breakdown of the specifics that make it a true game changer.
You’re advised to cut calories if want a flat belly. But when most people try to eat less with a diet designed to burn fat they’re following a continuous energy restriction model. In this model you eat less calories than you burn every day and this end up leading to fat loss.
Let’s illustrate with a simple example.
Let’s say that to break even your maintenance calories would be at 2500 calories a day. You subtract 500 calories per day every day which means you’re now eating 2,000 calories per day. This will leave you with a deficit at the end of the week of 500 times 7 which is 3,500 calories.
In a very simplified way, we can say that calorie cycling for fat loss and flat stomach is when you have more calories on some days and less calories on other days to achieve an overall calorie deficit over time.
So for example if you had 1500 calories every other day four days a week and then on the other three days of the week you had 2,650 calories which is a calorie surplus of 150 calories on those three days you would still wind up burning 3,500 calories at the end of the week.
This is the same as being in a calorie deficit every single day.
Once you understand this concept you can use calorie cycling in a million different ways to truly make your flat belly diet more enjoyable, convenient and sustainable.
When you’re required to eat in a calorie deficit every single day, even with a small deficit it begins to feel like you’re perpetually dieting. Like you never really get to your destination. Even if you are burning fat you never get to the point where you’re there and you could let your guard down and eat without worry.
That’s a big part of why in the long run most people that were excited about their flat belly diets early on end up quitting. On the other hand by cycling your calories you get breaks every single week that make it feel like you’re not even dieting and you can set it up in whatever way works best with your lifestyle and preferences.
For example, currently, really enjoy eating whatever I want on the weekends so in order to be able to do that while still burning fat and staying lean I simply reduce my calories further throughout the week by incorporating things like fasting and simply eating less food on weekdays.
Ultimately at the end of the week it balances out and I’m allowed to eat freely without worrying about gaining fat.
One example to illustrate this is let’s say that I fast for 24 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and I eat at maintenance on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Once again let’s pretend that to maintain you need to eat 2,500 calories. Based on that every Friday by the end of the day you’ve just created a 7,500 calorie deficit. Now on the weekend you have a lot more room to eat the foods that you want to eat.
So even if you ate 4,000 calories on Saturday and Sunday you would still end up with a 4,500 calorie deficit at the end of the week.
Keep in mind this is just one example. You do not have to fast at all when you set this up for yourself. The point is that you have to start viewing belly fat loss from a wider lens. You don’t have to be in a deficit every single day which psychologically speaking is a huge benefit especially in the long run.
The same idea can be applied if one day you unintentionally pig out and eat way too much food when you were supposed to be in a deficit. With a couple days of fasting you could back on track to get your stomach smaller. Or if you don’t like fasting you could simply spend a few days in a more aggressive calorie deficit and it’ll easily make up for you pigging out.
The bottom line is that cycling your calories gives you a far more flexible option for burning stomach fat. If you want to find out how many calories you should be eating per day to burn belly fat you can use an online macro calculator.
Then you can cycle those calories so that you’re able to eat the flat stomach foods that you want to eat more freely on the days that you choose to do so. Calorie cycling is our first tip on how to get a flat stomach naturally.
#2. Eat Less Frequently.
The next thing that totally changed the game for me was realizing that I didn’t have to eat every couple hours to get lean and stay lean. I remember having to cook five meals a day plus a protein shake every single day and having to force feed myself when I didn’t feel like eating.
Sometimes even when you’re in a calorie deficit sometimes you’re just not going to be in the mood to eat. Especially when you just ate a meal two or three hours ago. Switching over to eating less frequently was the game changer. The reason why it took me so long to switch over was because I was terrified that if i only ate one or two meals a day i would lose all my muscle. My metabolism would be destroyed and soon after I would gain a ton of fat.
However there are many studies that show that meal frequency for the most part is a non-factor when it comes to burning fat and building muscle.
If you want to be on the safe side for muscle building purposes, then I recommend that you just make sure that you’re having at least two meals a day. You can achieve just as great of a physique with two meals a day as you can achieve with six meals a day.
So if you want to save time cooking, if you want to eat larger, more enjoyable filling meals, if you don’t want to have to stop what you’re doing to eat every couple hours and you want to be more productive throughout the day, then eating less frequently can help you accomplish that without sacrificing results in the process.
#3. Accept Hunger and Learn How to Master It
The next crucial tip is to accept hunger and to learn how to master it. Many of you believe that you should not feel hungry at any point while following a diet that’s designed to burn fat. Unfortunately hunger cannot be completely avoided if you’re burning fat unless there’s something wrong with you.
You’re going to be burning fat when you’re dropping your insulin levels and taking in less calories than the amount that’s needed for your body to function. This shortage of calories is the only reason why your body chooses to get those calories from your own body fat rather than from food.
Of course you’re going to be receiving hunger signals because your body is letting you know hey we’re tapping into the reserves. Make sure you’re eating enough calories or else we’ll eventually run out. Hunger while burning fat is perfectly normal.
What we don’t want is to be starving. We want our diet to be full of healthy single ingredient foods that satisfy our hunger without having to eat a crazy amount of calories to do so. But at the same time if you’re never hungry and if every time you get hungry you eat something like a trail mix bar, peanut butter or handfuls of almonds until you’re no longer hungry at all, you’re probably not going to be burning all that much fat either.
To manage hunger without food there are a couple things you can do.
First of all realize that you won’t get hungry and hungrier if you don’t satisfy the hunger. In fact the exact opposite is true. Hunger actually goes away all on its own. There are studies that show that about two hours after the initial spike in hunger hormones if you simply don’t eat they’ll drop right back down on their own even if you’re fasting for the entire day.
Of course you can get that spike in hunger hormones more than once throughout the day. However, remember that it will go away on its own and your body will adapt to your new eating pattern over time.
With that said you do have some options to help reduce hunger throughout the day like drinking coffee, eating a high protein high fiber diet and eating enough healthy sources of dietary fat.
The second thing that you should keep in mind is that so much of your hunger is a conditioned hunger response. This means that you’ve associated and paired certain activities and ideas with food. This is something known as Pavlonian conditioning.
For example every time you watch TV you might start getting hungry because you’ve made it a habit to eat food whenever you watch TV. Just like with the TV you can unknowingly pair a ton of activities with food. Something simple like boredom.
However by simply breaking these habits for just a few weeks it’ll help your body adapt and the condition hunger responses will subside. But in the same token remember that the first few days of a new eating pattern will always be the most difficult and will get better with time.
#4. Satisfy Your Physical Hunger Before The Hunger of Your Mind
Our next incredible fat loss tip that is satisfy your physical feeling of hunger before you satisfy your mind’s hunger. The truth is that we all want the freedom to be able to incorporate snacks and even some junk food into our diets. Cycling calories can help quite a bit with this but there is another way to do it without putting in much effort at all.
You see when you start craving junk food like ice cream or Doritos, restricting it will only make you think about it more. It’s like trying to not imagine a purple elephant. Of course it’s not gonna work.
Instead of counting calories and instead of never allowing yourself to have ice cream ever again when you get the craving for ice cream tell yourself that you’ll eat the ice cream but only after eating an unprocessed meal that’s high in protein, vegetables, fibrous carbohydrates and healthy fats. After that you can have the ice cream.
Now this does much more than you may think. You see when you get hungry it’s not just the physical feeling of a rumbling stomach that you have to deal with. It’s also a hungry mind that you have to deal with and your mind will be full of all the wrong suggestions like ice cream and other junk food.
These snacks are so easy to quickly get to and they’re so calorie dense you can tell yourself no. The problem is that if you always restrict yourself it’s just a matter of time before you cave and binge. By having a wholesome unprocessed meal with the promise of the ice cream afterwards, you’ll in a way trick your mind into eating the healthy meal without having to deal with resistance.
Once you’re done with that meal the physical feeling of hunger will naturally subside which will quiet down your hungry mind significantly. You either won’t want the junk food anymore because you’ll already be full. Or you’re only going to be able to eat a very small amount of it before you are full.
If you don’t want to track your calories you don’t want to give up all your favorite foods and you still want to be burning fat in the process you have to make sure that you’re always satisfying your hungry stomach first before you satisfy your hungry mind.
#5. Get Stronger
Finally, the last fat loss tip that helped me so much was realizing that the vast majority of my workouts needed to be based around getting stronger. This is completely counter intuitive to the average person trying to burn fat. Most people will try to incorporate as much cardio as possible when trying to burn that fat.
However, in reality they should be focused on getting stronger or at least maintaining as much strength as possible.
You see inevitably no matter who you are when you’re burning fat you’re gonna also lose some muscle. Not only is it necessary to maintain muscle so you can look better after you cut away the fat, but muscle is also metabolically an active tissue.
Having more muscle also helps with improving insulin sensitivity and that muscle uses a lot of carbohydrates during intense activities and afterwards as well during recovery. Ultimately the muscle is what helps you get lean and stay lean when you’re done.
The best way to maintain it during a cut is to focus on strength. So while cutting you want to do your best to use the same amount of weight for the same amount of reps for your key exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, bench presses ,overhead presses and rows.
If you can somehow use more weight or do more reps while in a calorie deficit then that’s even better. But most likely no matter how hard you try, you will still lose some strength with a calorie deficit as the weeks go by. So your goal should be to fight as hard as you can for every last pound on that bar.
Many people feel weak during a cut so they immediately drop the amount of weight that they were lifting before starting. Instead, try your best to not drop the weight until your rep count is far too low.
An example of this would be if you were benching 200 pounds for your first set, for an average of 8 to 10 reps try to stick to that weight over the course of the weeks that you cut until you can’t rep out five reps. Then and only then drop the weight.
Bottom line is do everything you can to lift heavy and keep your rep count up while you cut. Don’t give in to your low energy levels while cutting and the results at the end will be significantly better.
Remember that to lose weight and body fat like i said in the very beginning you will definitely have to be eating the right things especially if you want to see faster results.