How to get a flat & lean stomach. Let’s face it – everybody wants a lean, tight and firm stomach. We see fitness models flaunting their 6 packs all year round, and it’s one of the most common questions I receive on a weekly basis. How do you burn that annoying stomach fat? Well i’m going to explain the science behind achieving a flat & strong stomach, while debunking the myths which seem to float around the internet.
Please don’t get caught up on these untruthful & wasted time techniques:
- Supplements for targeting stubborn body fat
- Exercises to burn stomach fat
- Belly burning weight loss belts & devices
- Herbs or spices to target belly fat
Not only are these techniques a complete waste of your time, they are complete waste of your hard earned money. Let’s dive into some science-based techniques for dropping stomach fat and achieving a sexy strong flat stomach all year round.
I like to explain that body fat is a large organ in your body, when you decrease body fat, the fat doesn’t just decrease in one particular area of your body, it decreases throughout your entire body. Stubborn or genetically prone areas will decrease at slower rates, and unfortunately the stomach is one of those areas.
You need to be mentally strong to endure the slow times with fat loss, as you get leaner you can become disheartened by slower stubborn areas, but if have the right plan and stay mentally strong and focused – you will have success.
The Importance of Energy Balance
There are specific laws of thermodynamics which will dictate whether you are in fact adding body fat or burning body fat. Energy doesn’t just magically appear in your body out of nothing, energy which comes from our food intake will be measured in the form of calories or kcal’s and utilised as work, heat or storage.
To achieve fat loss we need to be in a negative energy balance also known as a caloric deficit, however you don’t want to be in a severe negative energy balance, this can lead to a decline in metabolism, decrease in lean body mass, decrease in bone mass, reduction in key hormones, effected mental clarify and a decrease in physical performance.
Your body doesn’t understand that you want a firm & flat stomach. Your body knows one thing, survival. If you are depriving your body with a large negative energy balance for long periods, you could be causing irreversible metabolic damage.
How do you create a negative energy balance?
- Decrease your calories by 300 below your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)
- Increase your activity levels preferably by an effective resistance training routine
- Increase your protein intake
- Ensure adequate sleep, 7-8 hours per night
- Utilize HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
- Stay consistent with your plan
- Don’t engage in fad diets, or unproven weight loss techniques
- Utilise the thermic effect of food (TEF) by eating from clean, natural sources
Develop Your Core & Abdominal Muscles
Firstly, let me say that you will not be able to burn abdominal body fat by exercise alone. The reason why abdominal and core exercises are important is because you want to grow and develop the muscle underneath the fat layer. When the time comes and your body fat % is low enough, you want the muscles to be well developed and stand out.
You can see below a link to one of the 90 Day Fitness Model Transformation Challenge – Ab / Core Workouts:
An example exercise list can be utilised below with a focus on hypertrophy phased training with 8-12 reps, 3 sets and 60 seconds rest in between sets:
- Warm Up (High Knees)
- Russian Twists
- Decline Sit Ups
- Toe Touchers
- Lying Leg Raises
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Air Bike
- Swiss Ball Crunches
Implement a Ab / Core workout at least 1-2 times per week for 30-45 minute sessions and you will have incredible ab / core development in no time.
Utilize HIIT Training Twice Per Week
HIIT training is a much better option than long endurance type cardio. The benefits of HIIT training over long duration cardio is shown hours after you finish your sessions, your metabolic rate is much higher and your body will be in fat burning mode for longer. Each HIIT session only needs to go for 15-20 minutes maximum.
Below is a great HIIT workout example which you can perform from home or your local park:
- Hill Sprints
- 1 min maximum intensity (sprint)
- 30 sec low intensity (walk)
- 15 min total duration
Drop Your Carbs Lower
Once you start to get into the leaner (lower body fat % stage), a great trick to feel and look leaner is by dropping your carbs a little lower. When we ingest carbohydrates we increase our glycogen levels which are stored in our liver and muscles.
Each gram of glycogen stored in the body’s cells comes with an additional 3 grams of water bound. Dropping carbohydrates to release this excess of water in the body is a well practised trick in the competitive fitness world to achieve a leaner look for either a photo shoot or fitness competition.
So although this isn’t the big picture trick for getting a lean and flat stomach, it definitely is a nice little trick to look a little leaner once you are at a fairly low body fat %.
Wrapping Everything Up
We all wish we had a 6 pack and a toned flat stomach, but remember that the speed of your results will depend on your current body composition, mindset and the correct plan.
The biggest factor behind achieving success will be dropping your body fat % low enough, rather than attempting some crazy ab / core workout or a magic pill hyped supplement
It’s in your best interest to understand your body’s caloric requirements and energy needs. Train hard, understand your body’s requirements and believe in yourself. Follow this recipe and you will have a flat sexy summer stomach in no time!