How To Flatten Your Tummy

By: raymondlee12
Time was, the worst thing about a potbelly was that you couldn’t wear a bikini anymore. No big deal – just throw on a tunic or a cover-up. Or trade in pencil-thin jeans for a pair of relaxed-fit denims. But even if carrying a little more weight around your middle doesn’t bother you cosmetically, you might want to get rid of it for health reasons. Whatever the cause, exercise and weight reduction can help you slim down and firm up your abdomen. Here are some suggestions that you might consider.

1. Walk, walk and walk

The best way to permanently lose abdominal fat is to walk. Walking will increase your metabolism – the rate at which your body uses up calories stored as fat – burning off abdominal and other body fat.

Even five minutes a day is a good start. Anything is better than nothing, and more is better than less. Walk around the block, then two blocks, or take short walks several times a day. If you can, aim to walk briskly at least 30 to 45 minutes three to five times a week. If you are already walking regularly, add 5 or 10 minutes to your sojourn.

2. Firm those muscles

You may not be able to flatten your tummy completely, but you can firm up your abdominal muscles. In addition to aerobics exercise like walking, which increases your respiratory and heart rates, try sit-ups and abdominal crunches.

To do sit-ups, lie on your back with your legs bent at the knees, your feet flat on the floor and your arms flat at your sides. Raise your head and shoulders from the floor, curling your trunk as much as possible until you reach an angle of about 45 degrees from the floor. Return to the starting position. To start, do at least 4 or 5 repetitions three times a week. Then, as you feel stronger, do at least 10 to 12 repetitions three to five times a week. Slowly progress to 20 repetitions five times a week.

To do abdominal crunches, lie down with your feet propped on a padded weight bench or chair and your arms crossed over your chest or at your sides. Raise your head and shoulders to form a 20 to 30 degree angle with the floor. Then lower yourself all the way to the floor. Do at least 4 or 5 repetitions three to five times a week, and as you get stronger, slowly advance to 20 repetitions five times a week.

3. Eat your veggies

As a rule, ounce-for-ounce, healthy, low-fat foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables always contain fewer calories than high-fat foods. Try to eat five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables; lots of whole grains, such as whole-wheat pasta, multi-grain bread and cooked grains like bulgur; and a couple of servings of low-fat or non-fat milk everyday.

4. Skip the fries, gravy and sweets

If you are bound and determined to keep pounds off your tummy – and everywhere else – skip the fried chicken, high-calorie salad dressings, creamy fettuccine sauces and sugar-filled desserts. That includes non-fat desserts. They are full of sugar and often contain as many or more calories than high-fat desserts. And when your body digests excess sugar, it is converted to fat.
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