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.