Ways to Flatten Your Stomach

Many people look at the small pouch that has formed just beneath their belly button with a deep sense of disappointment. Belly fat, in fact, is an indicator of poor overall health and a sign that you need to make a change in your diet and exercise habits. There are many ways you can flatten your stomach.

Eat a Healthier Diet

According to the USDA’s Food Pyramid, a healthy diet is one that contains vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, lean meats, beans, fish, nuts, eggs, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. A healthy diet is always low in cholesterol, saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugars. Carbohydrates add fat to all parts of your stomach easily. Eating whole-wheat and whole-grain carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta and rice, is better for you, because these carbohydrates do not add fat to your body as easily. Brown rice and pasta are best. Eating a healthier diet can contribute to flattening your stomach by reducing your overall weight, including the weight that is stored in your abdominal area.

Do Cardiovascular Exercise

It is important to get at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your weekly routine a minimum of three times a week. The American Council of Sports Medicine recommends participating in cardiovascular activities for at least 30 minutes, five days a week if you really want to lose weight. It can be challenging to burn fat off one specific area, so cardiovascular exercise ensures that fat can begin coming off your body everywhere, including your stomach. Examples of cardiovascular exercises include cycling, running, swimming, dancing, skating, hiking, going for brisk walks, aerobics and snowboarding. Choosing an activity that you truly enjoy can help you stay motivated to do it on a regular basis.

Stomach Exercises

You can do particular exercises, such as sit-ups and crunches, to tone your stomach muscles. Accompanied by a healthier diet and cardiovascular exercises to reduce your overall fat, these stomach exercises can really help flatten your belly.

Try doing the plank pose as one of these types of exercise. Facing the ground, get onto your hands and knees. Make sure your shoulders are over your hands. Then straighten your body as if you are about to do a push-up, keeping your toes on the ground. Keep your body as straight as a board, with your abdominal muscles pulled in tightly. Breathe naturally as you hold the pose for at least a minute.

About this Author

Ripa Ajmera has been writing for six years. She has written for ABCNews.com, General Nutrition Center (GNC), TCW Finance, Alliance for a New Humanity, Washington Square News and more. She was a Catherine B. Reynolds Scholar from 2006-2008 and graduated from New York University Stern School of Business with an Honors degree in Marketing.