As a society we have been sold the belief that a flat & toned stomach is not only the optimum appearance of health but also sexual desire. I’m not going to argue and tell you not to try and achieve this, as why else would you be reading. You just want to know how to do it…. & quick! Fair enough, let’s dive in.
#1 Drink more water
Looking back to my late teens (when I had first started training), I wanted to be as lean as possible. I increased my running to twice a day (interval of course), to burn off any excess belly fat. I did my weights every day to keep my muscle tissue & metabolism high so that all my weight loss would consist of body fat. However no matter what, I couldn’t remove those last few pounds off of the lower sections of my stomach.
The mistake I made was to assume that the culprit was body fat. After a few weeks I read an article online by a fitness model who talked about drinking more water to flush out the water retention on his stomach. You’ve probably gathered by now that’s exactly what I did and it worked. I’m not going to bore you with the science behind it but ever since I’ve found myself (& through clients & colleagues) that you should be drinking at least 3 litres of water every day, evenly to avoid looking & feeling bloated. On particularly hot days, you should raise this to 4 litres.
#2 Resistance Training
The biggest mistake you can make when dieting is to do so without a weight training programme. All that happens is you lose lots of lean muscle tissue, mainly on the shoulders and arms and hardly any belly fat. And I bet you have heard lots of people complain about this, “I can’t lose this pooch on my stomach”. With one resistance exercise per major body part, you are signalling to your body to leave your lean tissue alone and use only body fat for energy.
Taking this into account you must put your strength to the test 100% every workout to keep this lean tissue. Therefore it’s logical to do your cardio after your weights, otherwise you will be tired and not only risk injury but also won’t be able to lift as much or have very good control & form. This would risk lean tissue loss. One of the greatest benefits of weight training is the more lean tissue you have, the higher your metabolism, which is the rate in which you burn calories when idle. You also strengthen tendons & promote synovial fluid to the joints, lubricating them.
#3 Keep a Food Diary
Research has shown that those who keep a food diary are more likely to lose weight. With the above tip on weight training, you can be assured that your weight loss will be mostly of body fat & your stomach will start to lose inches very quickly. There are a number of apps out there that can make life easy recording your meals but one further piece of advice I would like to give you, is to get into the habit of checking the calories on the back and in some cases weighing your food. Lots of apps use databases that generalise calorie intake and aren’t very accurate. Consistency & accuracy is crucial here in your diet and training. You don’t need to eat 100% healthy to have a toned stomach, just watch the calorie intake for the day. This is the philosophy we are taking, programming our SMART Nutrition & Exercise app – Intelligence4Fitness. If you are still left wondering “But how many calories do I need?”, simple, just reduce your calories slowly until you can maintain your strength on the weights and still lose weight on your waist.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR RJ Endeavour is the Founder of RJ Endeavours (an app development business), a qualified fitness instructor with over 10 years experience in fitness & business. In the past he's been funded by the Princes Trust & the Department for Business Innovation & Skills. RJ is also skilled as a computer programmer, with knowledge in various programming languages and is currently on a global business acceletator programme working on Intelligence4Fitness - a smart Nutrition & Exercise application.
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