A flat belly is more of a challenge for some people than others due to genetics, current weight, and motivation to diet and exercise. It takes discipline to get a flat belly, and even more to get a flat belly quickly. This does not mean that it is impossible, but you need a diet and exercise regimen that will help you lose weight throughout your body, not just in the belly area. It is impossible to spot reduce fat, but you can tone your abdominal muscles while working to lose weight throughout your body.
Safe Weight Loss
The amount of time it takes to lose weight safely -- and get rid of your belly bulge -- depends a lot on your current weight. When you begin a diet and exercise program you can plan to lose a maximum of one to two pounds of weight per week. Losing more weight than this is not healthy, and generally results in gaining back weight after the diet period has ended. Speak to a physician before beginning a diet and exercise program to make sure that you have chosen a healthy path. She can help you estimate how long it will take to lose weight and get your body in shape.
Flat Belly Myths and Realities
It is true that some people have a harder time than others obtaining a perfectly flat belly -- some people store more fat in their stomach than others; this is do to genetics more than anything else. It is impossible to spot-reduce fat from one part of the body, so the best way to lose stomach fat is to eat a healthy diet, perform cardio exercise on a regular basis, and do strength training exercises to tone the stomach muscles. You will begin to see results in as little as two months if you work hard and stick to the plan.
Diet for Weight Loss
It is necessary to eat a healthy diet to lose your bulge and get a flat stomach. Choose to eat whole, unprocessed foods including lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. Eat as many vegetables as you like every day along with smaller portions of fruit, protein, grains, and dairy products. Use small amounts of healthy fats, such as olive and coconut oil, along with spices to make your food taste good. Avoid eating fast food, sugary desserts, processed junk food and soft drinks as much as possible.
Healthy Lifestyle Activities
Cardio is an important aspect of weight loss; you need to be active to lose belly fat in the quickest possible time frame. Perform moderate to vigorous cardio exercise for a minimum 300 minutes per week to lose weight as quickly as possible. Moderate intensity exercise includes jogging, brisk walking and swimming where you are breathing heavier than normal but can still talk during your workout. Vigorous exercise involves running, swimming at a fast pace, and aerobics classes where you are breathing heavier than normal and can only talk in short, stilted conversations during your workout.
Core Strengthening Exercise: Crunches
Crunches are an important ab-strengthening tool that should be done three or four times per week minimum. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and hands clasped behind your head. Breathe in and lift your head approximately 6 to 12 inches off the ground. Hold for one to two seconds before lowering your head back to the ground. Do one to three sets of 20 repetitions.
Core Strengthening Exercise: Planks
A plank is a move often seen in yoga or Pilates; it has great benefits for your belly and core muscles. Begin by lying on your stomach with your elbows bent and your weight on your forearms. Slowly lift your body up so that your weight is fully rested on your elbows and toes. Keep your back straight and your belly held in as much as possible. Breathe in and out slowly while counting to 30. Do one to three sets of this exercise. Gradually increase plank time to two minutes each set. Do this exercise three to five days per week.