With all the flashy information and quick-fix workout systems out there promising six-pack abs, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Knowing where to start, and what principles to follow often means the difference between success and failure. A problem with a lot of people who buy into these fads for losing belly fat is that they get bored too easily. Every two weeks, they’ll come across a new advertisement or a new sales page while surfing, and then abandon what they’ve been doing for this new method. This pretty much ensures that little or no progress will ever be made. The only lasting way to get rid of that stubborn belly fat and sculpt those perfect abs is determination, proper training and most importantly, great nutrition. Let us take a look at a few rules of thumb you can abide by in your quest to getting a flatter stomach.
Eat small meals frequently.
While there is no magic number of meals you need to eat during the day to ensure fat loss, portion control is essential. By making sure that you eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, you are ensuring that your metabolism stays in gear all day long. In addition, if you know that you are going to be eating every 2-4 hours, you are less likely to overeat during a particular meal. By combining the right amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates in each meal, you will turn your body into a 24-hour fat loss machine.
Don’t wait till you’re really hungry to start eating.If you hold off on eating till your hunger overwhelms you, you will inevitably end up eating more than you should. When you are hungrier, your body will crave high-calorie foods like fried or oily substances. If you give in and eat a lot of these, you will end up sabotaging yourself. It helps to completely rid your house of unhealthy and junk foods so that even when you get the cravings, you will turn to healthier options.
Don’t skip your breakfast.While there is still a lot of debate about what you should have during your first meal of the day, it is fair to say that having a moderate amount of proteins with some greens is a good way to go. Eating healthy first thing in the morning starts up your metabolism and keeps you in fat-burning mode throughout the day.
Plan your meals beforehand.This is an extremely important part of ensuring that you don’t fall off your diet wagon. By preparing a couple of meals in advance, you will save on the time it takes to make an individual meal. Therefore, by the time your next meal comes along, you will already have it ready to eat. You should always have your greens, vegetables and other dressings that you use in your food chopped and ready to go. For other food such as meat or fish, you can prepare about a day’s worth in advance and put it in the fridge. When the time comes to eat, you can just put it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and you’ll be good to go.
Buy organic, unprocessed food wherever possible.Develop the art of reading food labels. If you find yourself buying a certain brand often, do some research on how that particular company manufactures its products. If necessary, change the brand of food. If you have a farmer’s market in your vicinity, shop for your stuff there.
Drink lots of water.While the exact amount of water a person should drink daily is still up for debate, you should ensure that you get more than an adequate amount of it. Water is the primary delivery mechanism for all the nutrients to flow to the different parts of the body. It also flushes out toxins and keeps your muscles looking healthier and fuller.
Stay away from foods that have refined sugar and carbohydrates.Most processed foods have a lot of refined sugar content. Avoid sweeteners and other dressings which have a high fructose content. Use healthier, natural alternatives instead. Also make sure you stay away from sodas and other beverages with empty calories. Try to avoid white bread, white rice and other starchy substances.
Use multivitamins and other nutritional supplements.While you might have a balanced diet, there are some vitamins and minerals that you might be missing out on. Add a couple of pills of a good to your diet to round out your nutrition. In addition, you should also take some Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Making sure your body gets all the nutrients it requires will complement your diet and training perfectly.
Eat a lot of fiber.Dietary fiber improves your digestion, increases levels of healthy cholesterol, promotes regular bowel movements and keeps your appetite in check. Good sources of dietary fiber include broccoli, sprouts, almonds, oats, pistachios and beans.
Integrate high-intensity cardio and compound movements into your training.When you are in the gym, make sure to train compound movements since these are the ones that utilize maximum muscles of your body and provide the greatest metabolic advantage. Use lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses with some bodyweight movements such as push-ups and chin-ups to gain the maximum benefits. On your cardio days, use HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which basically means you should train in shorter, more intense bursts of activity.
In summation, if you can adhere to the aforementioned principles, you will be well on your way to achieving a flatter stomach and better-looking abs. Don’t waste your time waiting for a miracle diet or a fancy workout. Stick to what has been proven to work, and reap the rewards.