Are you tired of doing countless crunches with little to no results? You’re not alone! Many people dream of having a flat, toned stomach, yet struggle to achieve it despite endless hours at the gym.
The good news is that there’s a better way to get that coveted flat stomach without having to do a single crunch.
In this post we’ll explore some of the latest weight loss breakthroughs, debunk common diet and workout myths, and share practical tips to help you reach your fitness goals in a more enjoyable and sustainable way.
First, let’s address the elephant in the room: crunches actually aren’t the most effective way to achieve a flat stomach. While they can help strengthen your abdominal muscles, they don’t directly target the layer of fat that often covers them.
This is partly because you can’t spot-reduce fat in any specific area of your body, and also because crunches don’t provide the same metabolic benefit as other forms of exercise.
To truly get the results you want it’s important to focus on a combination of cardio, strength training, and a well-balanced diet. But don’t worry – we aren’t going to be suggesting any bland, boring meals or endless treadmill sessions.
Instead, we hope to provide you with practical, evidence-based strategies that will keep you motivated and on track to achieving that flat stomach you’ve always wanted.
What Exercise Burns The Most Belly Fat?
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the most effective exercise for burning belly fat. Numerous studies have shown that HIIT workouts can help reduce both subcutaneous and visceral fat, leading to a leaner midsection (4).
The reason behind this is that HIIT sessions generate a high calorie burn and increase your metabolism even after the workout is over, thanks to the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect.
HIIT workouts consist of short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. This combination keeps your heart rate elevated and your body working at maximum capacity, resulting in an optimal fat-burning state.
You can perform HIIT with various exercises such as running, cycling, swimming, or using gym equipment like the elliptical or treadmill.
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While HIIT takes the crown for burning belly fat, there are other exercises that come close and can be highly effective when combined with HIIT:
A steady pace run can also help in burning belly fat, especially when done consistently. This is an excellent form of cardio that engages multiple muscle groups and increases overall calorie expenditure
Whether you prefer indoor spinning classes or outdoor bike rides, cycling is another great way to burn belly fat. It provides a low-impact, high-intensity workout that targets your core and lower body muscles.
Known for being a full-body workout, swimming is an excellent option for those looking to shed belly fat. It’s easy on the joints and can be adapted to various intensity levels, making it suitable for people of all fitness levels.
Incorporating strength training into your routine can help increase lean muscle mass, which in turn boosts your metabolism and helps burn more calories throughout the day, including belly fat (5).
Focus on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses for maximum results.
How Can I Get a Flat Stomach In 3 Days?
Achieving a flat stomach in just 3 days is not realistic or healthy as it would require losing a significant amount of body fat in an extremely short period of time. A more achievable timeline for belly fat loss will consider factors like your current weight, diet, exercise routine, and genetics.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a safe and sustainable rate of weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, which translates to roughly 0.5-1% of your total body weight (10). This means that if you have 10 pounds of belly fat to lose, it could take you anywhere from 5 to 20 weeks to achieve a flatter stomach.
How Can I Get a Flat Stomach In 7 Days?
Getting a flat stomach in just 7 days is not realistic or healthy either, as it would require losing a significant amount of body fat in such a short period of time.
While you can’t get a flat stomach in a week, focusing on overall body fat reduction can help you achieve your goal over a more extended period.
To lose belly fat, it’s essential to maintain a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn. This can be achieved through a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week (8). This should be alongside muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week.
How Can I Make My Waist Small and Flat Stomach?
Achieving a small waist and flat stomach involves a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Here are 7 ways to lose belly fat in a healthy and sustainable manner:
Maintain A Calorie Deficit
To lose body fat, including belly fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. This is known as a calorie deficit. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), reducing your daily calorie intake by 500-750 calories can result in losing 1-2 pounds per week (6).
The best way to get a flat stomach through a deficit is to track your food intake and adjust your diet accordingly.
Incorporate Aerobic Exercise
Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling, help burn calories and reduce overall body fat.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week (2).
Increasing the duration and intensity of your workout to get a flat stomach may look like running four miles instead of two, or cycling for 45 minutes instead of 30. As mentioned earlier, a HIIT workout is one of the most effective ways to target belly fat.
Include Strength Training
Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, can increase muscle mass and boost metabolism. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests engaging in strength training activities for all major muscle groups at least two times per week (1).
Building lean muscle mass can help improve your body composition and contribute to a flatter stomach.
Focus On Core Exercises
While spot reduction is not possible, exercises targeting the abdominal muscles can help improve muscle tone and appearance.
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Opt For High-Fiber Foods
Consuming high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can promote weight loss and improve digestion. A study published in the journal “Nutrition” found that increased fiber intake was associated with reduced belly fat (3).
High-fiber foods can also help you feel satisfied longer, making it easier to maintain a calorie deficit.
Some high-fiber foods to flatten stomach quickly, alongside these lifestyle changes, include:
- Sweet potatoes
Drinking enough water is essential for overall health and can also aid in weight loss. A study published in the journal “Obesity” found that drinking water before meals can lead to greater weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing calorie intake (9).
Aim for at least 8 cups of water per day to stay hydrated and support your weight loss goals.
Get Adequate Sleep
Lack of sleep can negatively impact weight loss efforts and contribute to abdominal fat accumulation. A study in the journal “Sleep” found that short sleep duration was associated with increased abdominal fat in adults (7).
Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support healthy weight loss and overall well-being.
The Bottom Line
Achieving a flat stomach requires a combination of maintaining a calorie deficit, engaging in regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises, focusing on core exercises, and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
While it may not be possible to get a flat stomach overnight or within a few days, consistently implementing these strategies can help you achieve your goal over time. Remember to set realistic expectations, be patient, and stay committed to your health and fitness journey.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- ACSM Information on Resistance Training for Health and Fitness (n.d., acsm.org)
- American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids (2018, heart.org)
- Dietary fiber and subsequent changes in body weight and waist circumference in European men and women (2009, pubmed.gov)
- High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2011, nih.gov)
- How can strength training build healthier bodies as we age? (2022, nih.gov)
- Managing Overweight and Obesity in Adults (n.d., nih.gov)
- Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index (n.d., oup.copm)
- Walking (2022, cdc.gov)
- Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older Adults (2012, wiley.com)
- What are the guidelines for percentage of body fat loss? (2009, acefitness.org)