Everyone wants to know how to lose belly fat and get a flat stomach. What exercises are best for lower abs? How do I get a line down the middle? How do I get my obliques to show? How do I get rid of my love handles?
I’m going to get straight to it – the truth is, you need a good diet!!! You can do all the crunches and ab exercises, but if you have a layer of fat over your stomach, you are never going to see your abs. These ab exercises will strengthen your core which is great, but won’t help you lose belly fat and get a flat stomach.
So if diet is the key, what should you be eating then? It’s not just a matter of WHAT you eat, but also HOW MUCH you eat. You need to consider both of these things. Trust me, I’ve learnt from personal experience.
What Should I Eat?
You need to eat healthy. Eating healthy is pretty common sense – avoid sugar, sugary drinks, processed food, baked goods, deep fried food, etc. And make sure you’re eating lots of the following:
- Fruit (2-3 serves per day maximum)
- Lean protein
- Good fats
- Whole grain carbohydrates in moderation (bread, rice, quinoa, etc)
For more detailed information on a clean diet, have a read of my clean eating guidelines blog post.
As I mentioned, you need to also consider how much you eat. If your body only needs 1500 calories per day, and you’re eating 2000 calories per day, it doesn’t matter if the 2000 calories are all clean and healthy. You will still gain weight.
How Much Should I Eat?
How much you eat depends on your goals. If you are just trying to maintain your weight, then you need to eat at maintenance level. Your maintenance level is how many calories your body burns throughout the day.
If you are trying to lose weight, you should eat below your maintenance level. You should aim for anywhere between 200 to 500 calories below your maintenance. If you are trying to gain weight, you should eat 200 to 500 calories above your maintenance level.
So how do you work out what your maintenance level is? There are some calculations involved but it is really pretty simple. Have a read of this blog post and it will step you through the calculations to find out how many calories you should be eating everyday.
Does That Mean I Need To Count Calories?
Not really. I do not recommend calorie counting because it can get obsessive and can lead to eating disorders. You will however need to count calories for a few days just to get an idea on how much you should be eating. But after a few days, you should have a pretty good idea and shouldn’t need to count them. I recommend using the app Myfitnesspal.
One of the benefits of having a nutrition plan provided to you is that the calorie counting has already been done. So you’re eating the right amount of calories and right type of food, without having to do the calorie counting yourself. My eBooks have a nutrition plan like this. If you want to find out more about them, click here.
So Does Exercise Really Matter Then?
Yes it does. BUT what you eat matters more. If you eat well and don’t exercise, you can still lose weight. If you exercise a lot but still eat poorly, you will not lose weight.
Eating healthy and exercising should work together. High intensity exercises such as interval training and cardio are great for slimming down your mid section. Targeted ab exercises will also help you get more defined abs.
Have a read of this blog post which provides lots more detail on the best exercises for a flat stomach.
What kind of resistance band do you recommend to use for the GAL program?
Rachael considers using bodyweight, resistance bands or ankle weights, and dumbbells less than 5kg “light” when it comes to exercising.
With this in mind, the exercises she suggests can be practiced using the ones listed above. :)
When it comes to resistance bands, you can always start with the light ones, and move to medium strength ones once you feel stronger. :)
I hope that helps. xx
Hi i’m trying super hard to lose belly fat but my stomach is actually getting bigger! i’m eating super healthy walking 6x a week and doing hit and resistance training. i’m eating 1400 cal a day so about a 600 cal deficit i don’t know what i’m doing wrong… do you have any answers
Hi lovely <3,
Thanks for reaching out!:)
I actually just responded to your email! <3
Thanks for reaching out! :)
How can I help you? :)
Hi Rachel, adding more soluble fiber to our diet will also help our body to get rid of fat. Losing belly fat is hard but with proper diet and having a healthy lifestyle anything is possible. I watched a lot of videos on how to lose belly fat fast and I found this video very helpful https://youtu.be/jWZtyjHCGEU
Thanks for suggesting this and I’ll make sure that we will take this information into consideration for Rachael’s post. :)
Hi Rachael! i’m 14 and your quiz says i’m a mesomorph and for the past year i’ve cleaned up my diet and exercise a lot. Lots of walking too with some HIIT but i cannot seem to lose the belly fat or inner thigh fat. Over the year i’ve lost about forty pounds but now i’ve totally stalled. I really hope you can help me i really want abs and lean legs but nothing i do seems to help anymore. Hopefully you can help me.
Thank you for reaching out! :)
Since you are 14 years old, your body is still going through a lot of transformations so if you want to lose weight, it’s best you talk to your parents so they can get you an appointment with a specialist. A nutritionist can advise you on your nutrition and workouts so that you can achieve the results you wish in a healthy way that suits your age.
Wishing you the best of luck! xx
Thanks for sharing this post! Doing the right kind aerobic exercise, weight training, and an adequate diet plan & supplementation increases the speed of the fat loss journey.
That’s absolutely true, Jon! :)
Hey! This is amazing! Thanks for all the great info! Will you be posting more similar content in the future???
Thanks for reaching out! I’m so glad you’re enjoying Rachael’s blog and I’m sure she’ll be very happy to hear you would like to see more.
She’s preparing lots of new content so be sure to keep an eye on her blog. And also, feel free to join our newsletter list so you don’t miss out on any of her new blog posts!
How can I purchase the 8 week clean eating + fitness program e book mentioned above?
Rachael would love to help you as much as she can :) that’s why she has created her Lean Legs program and Lean Legs Training Club.
The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.
You can get your Lean Legs program here:
Love, lean Legs Club support xx
I totally agree, It is a matter of balancing your diet and having the right quality and quantity of food. But exercise sure does help in making the process a little faster and keeps one active too!!
It is a sad truth, there is nothing for free. To understand how important is vell balanced diet and how to count your calories, I can recommend the Just Cut It guide by Jennifer Morris.
I’m a vegetarian so can someone please help in suggesting a vegetarian diet?
Hi lovely, I don’t have a vegan meal plan, but please have a read of these blog posts here and here for ideas on what to eat if following a vegan diet xx
Amazing post, thank you x
You’re welcome hun! xx
Hi Rachel. Thanks for your motivation and guidance. I want to lose some weight so as I’m beginning this road, would you please explain what are the “lean proteins” you are talking about from your guideline & “good fats”I’m not sure or clear on those. Atleast please give me a diet guideline for first 2days.
Hi Eulanda, lean protein includes any protein that isn’t too fatty – so chicken breast, lean pieces of steak, etc. Things that aren’t lean proteins include bacon, pork belly, processed meats like salami or prosciutto, and high fat cuts of meat. Healthy fats include things like avocado, salmon, nuts, seeds and olive oil xx
I had no idea that you have to eat certain amount of cal. I have a fine body, but I just noticed that I eat small amounts of deep fried food and I don’t lose my stomach fat because I don’t consider how much and what I eat. Thank you for the advise