There is so much confusing information out there, that I don’t blame you if you’re making or have made some of these mistakes. I’ve done number 1 and number 3 in the past. The key on how to get a flat stomach is mostly within your diet, but there are many other factors involved too. Here are some common mistakes that you might be making.
1. More ab exercises = a flat stomach
Unfortunately extra crunches are not going to give you a flat stomach. Everyone has fat on their stomach, some more than others. If you want a flat stomach, you need to get rid of that fat. And doing crunches all day long is not going to get rid of the fat (i.e. you can’t spot reduce!).
The best thing to do is cardio to burn calories and weight training to burn calories, build muscle, tone your core and increase your metabolic rate.
2. Weight loss pills and detox teas
Weight loss pills and detox teas are NOT good for you! There is no magic “pill” that will help you get a flat stomach. And drinking those weight loss teas is pretty much like drinking a laxative. You’ll go to the toilet a lot and lose some water weight, so you may think you’re losing weight. But really, you’ve just lost some water (not fat) and will gain this back. Avoid all of these!
3. Starving yourself
Yes in order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, which means eating less food than your body needs. BUT this does not mean starving yourself!
This has serious negative consequences for your body and your progress. I know I have mentioned this time and time again, but not eating enough food slows down your metabolism and causes your body to go into starvation mode. This means that when you do eat more food or have a naughty meal, your body will store it as fat.
These are just some of the disadvantages of severely cutting your food intake:
- Not having enough energy, therefore limiting your workout performance;
- Your body will prioritise brain and heart function, therefore other areas of the body (such as bones and reproductive organs) will suffer;
- Fatigue resulting in sleeping too much;
- Weakened immune system;
- Problems with menstrual cycle;
- Brittle hair which may fall out;
- Bad breath;
- Skin problems.
In order to lose weight / body fat and be able to sustain it, you need to slightly cut your calories. Severely cutting calories may get your quick results but you’ll just end up putting it back on. If you reduce them slightly to a level you can manage, you will see consistent results.
To find out how many calories you should be eating, check out my previous blog post here