Some people are naturally thin, while others do not appear to lose weight, no matter how hard they diet and exercise. The amount of lean, muscular and fat tissue in your body and where fat tends to accumulate is called body type and is hereditary. While you cannot change your genetics, all people, regardless of body type, can achieve a flatter stomach if they exercise regularly and eat a lean, healthy diet.
The natural athlete has a body type known as mesomorphy. If you have this kind of body, you have a predominance of muscle, bone and connective tissue. Some research suggests that this body type is further associated an adventurous and aggressive personality, further increasing the likelihood that you will exercise. If you are a mesomorph, chances are you either already have a flat stomach or a pretty traditional diet and exercise program that will easily yield this goal. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet consists of portions of at least half fruits and vegetables, abundant whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk. xercise should balance aerobics and anaerobics.
If you have been described as frail, fragile or naturally thin, you have a body type known as ectomorphy. Fashion models and basketball players are stereotypical endomorphic body types. Ectomorphs have a hard time gaining muscle because they tend toward fragility, restraint and inhibition. If you are an ectomorph, you may already have a flat stomach, but you will have trouble forming six-pack type muscles. Follow the USDA recommended daily dietary allowances but, according to fitness expert Annette Colby, you should try to eat five or six meals a day, choosing nutrient- and calorie-dense foods and starchy vegetables. Keep cardio to a minimum while exercising, emphasizing anaerobic exercises to build stomach muscles such as situps with weight resistance.
Endomorphy is a body type associated with a predominantly fatty tissue, difficulty losing weight and a pear-like shape, with most of the weight frequently deposited on the stomach, hips and thighs. Football linemen are stereotypical endomorphs, as are celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Oprah Winfrey. Personality traits can include complacency and love of comfort, which can further complicate your ability to obtain a flat stomach. Fitness expert Colby suggests that endomorphs avoid the urge to crash diet, because this strategy causes your body to think it is starving and cling to all its available fat reserves. She advocates eating more frequent, smaller meals at intervals of no more than five hours in between eating. While following USDA guidelines, eat slowly and drink lots of water and high fiber foods to make you feel full sooner. mphasize aerobic over anaerobic exercises to get a flat stomach.
Some people do not fit easily into one of these three types but rather are a combination of one or more body types. A classic combination type is the pear-shaped lower body with a thin upper body. This type is referred to as an ecto-endomorph. Another classic type is the apple-shaped with high stomach fat and a thin lower body. This type is known as the endo-ectomorph. A combination type will have to experiment with different diet and exercise regimes to obtain overall fitness goals.
Cannot Spot Reduce
No one can lose fat just to one body area, such as the stomach. The University of Pennsylvania indicates that there is no “magical” exercise that will give you a flat stomach. Do crunches or side leg raises to strengthen and build your abdominal muscles. Modifying diet to either promote muscle building or fat loss will provide optimal results, making your stomach the flattest it can possibly be, regardless of your body type.
- University of Houston: Body Composition: Body Fatness
- Journal of Social Psychology: Assessment of the Full Content of Physique Stereotypes with a Free-Response Format
- Center for Wellness Without Borders: Body Types -- "Morph" Into Your Ideal Body
- USDA: My Plate
- Pennsylvania State University: Frequently Asked Questions