Losing stomach fat may seem impossible, but it’s not. If you know how to eat and exercise properly, and if you have the right attitude and tools, you can do it… you can do anything, and I can help! There are lots of little things you can do, and lots of exercises you can do, to help you lose stomach fat and be fit and trim and healthy. There are really three main categories of things you can do: diet, exercise, and attitude. Here are 50 tips for losing stomach fat fast, in all of those three categories… so have a healthy breakfast, lace up your trainers, and let’s go!
1 Bust the Myth
Before you begin losing stomach fat, bear in mind, there is absolutely no way to only lose fat in this one area, or really in ANY one area — and any person or product who promises otherwise is just plain lying. To lose stomach fat, you’ll have to lose fat all over… which is a good thing, right? Right! Now that we've busted that horrible myth, let's move on...
2 Eat Lean Proteins
A diet including lean proteins is key to losing stomach fat and building toned muscles. Replace high-fat meats with lean protein counterparts. Cut out the fast food, too, and stick to homemade meals. Protip: how can you tell if the meat you're buying is lean? Check the label, opting for meats that are 75% lean or better. Even if the package has a sticker that says "lean," check to make sure it really is.
3 Load up on Fruits and Veggies
According to the USDA, we’re supposed to eat five servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day, to give us the nutrients we need and to help us maintain healthy body weights. If you’re bent on losing stomach fat, try for five servings of fruits and veggies, using them as between-meals snacks. If you’re snacking on fresh fruits and veggies, you’re far less likely to give in to cravings for less healthy choices, like chips and the like.
4 Ban Soda
Regular soda is loaded with empty calories (as many as 250 calories in one 20-ounce bottle), most of them in the form of sugar from high fructose corn syrup, something your body doesn’t really know how to process. Diet soda doesn’t have the calories, but instead, it contains potentially cancer-causing chemical sweeteners. Neither choice is good for you, and neither will help you in your battle of losing stomach fat. Opt for plain water with a squeeze of lemon, or no-sugar-added mixed fruit juices instead.
5 Avoid Fast Food
Did you know that one fast food value meal can contain all of the calories you’re supposed to consume in one whole day? And most of those calories come from fat… something you’re trying to lose! If you can’t avoid fast food, then at least choose something other than a burger and fries, like a salad with grilled chicken and low-cal or no-cal dressing.
6 Make the Switch
Making simple swaps, like tasteless, chemically-altered white bread to tasty, wholesome whole-grain bread, can make a big difference. The fiber in whole grain bread will keep you feeling fuller, longer, and will help curb cravings that might send you to the fat-laden treats in the vending machine. Besides, did you know that white bread is made with only one part of the grain, then literally BLEACHED, which not only adds nasty chemicals, but strips the bread of valuable nutrients? Ick! Make the switch to whole grain bread to lose stomach fat fast... and avoid eating BLEACH!
7 Stay Hydrated
A healthy body is a well-hydrated body, so be sure to get your average of 64 ounces (8 cups) of water per day. Not only will drinking water keep your body functioning properly, it can also make you feel less hungry, helping you win the battle against belly fat. How do you calculate how much water you, personally, should be drinking, if that 64-ounce average doesn't sound right? There's a free calculator here.
8 Set a Goal
To accomplish anything in life, you need a reasonable but not-too-easy goal, and losing stomach fat is no different. But rather than setting a goal weight, set a goal in pants size or inches. As you build and tone lean muscle, the scale will become less reliable as a tool to measure your success, but your pants or dress size won’t lie!
9 Eat Smaller Meals, More Often
To keep your metabolism rocking, and to keep you feeling full rather than hungry all the time, try eating five small meals each day, rather than three big ones. If you're hungry, you're more likely to cheat on your diet and/or choose a snack that's perhaps not the healthiest choice. Eat breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, and dinner... these five small meals will help you lose weight, and maintain a healthy weight once you've reached your goal.
10 Cook at Home
If you cook meals at home, rather than eating out, you’ll be more conscious of the choices you’re making. You’ll also know exactly what’s going into the meals you’re eating (lean protein over fatty bits of mystery ground beef), and you’ll have more control over portion size. You’ll also save money. So many bonuses! Hooray for cooking at home!
11 Find a Friend
You’re not alone in your attempt at losing stomach fat. Chances are, at least one of your best friends or family members is trying to do the same thing, so why not make her your workout and meal-cooking buddy? You can inspire and motivate each other, share recipes and weight loss tips, and celebrate each other’s successes!
12 Get Your Cardio
Let’s start looking at exercise as key in losing stomach fat. Remember, there is no way to target this one area of your body, so you’ll need to be fit all over, and to do that, you need heart-thumping cardio for half an hour a day, four days a week. Cardio can literally be anything at all that gets your heart pumping hard for the entire time you're doing it: dancing, bouncing on a trampoline, roller-blading, swimming, fast walking — anything!
13 Bear Weight
You’ll also need to do weight-bearing exercise, meaning exercise that makes you stand up and bear your own body weight, four days a week. Feel free to combine this with your cardio, in the form of running or jogging or using the elliptical. Think of weight-bearing exercise as anything that makes you stand up while you're doing it. There! You're bearing weight!
14 Don’t Bear Weight!
Also, you’ll need to add some non weight-bearing exercises, meaning you’re not supporting your own body weight four days a week. Again, you can combine this with your cardio, by doing such things as swimming, riding a bike, or rowing. Think of non weight-bearing exercise as anything you can do while sitting down.
15 Bosu Ball Crunches
Ah! Here’s a specific exercise that will help tone your tummy! Use a Bosu ball, with the flat side down. Sit on it with your lower back supported, and your feel flat on the floor, legs bent at the knees, or with your feet on a bench, legs straight. Do a standard crunch, making sure NOT to use your neck muscles to complete the crunch. Do 3 sets of 12 reps. How does this exercise work at helping you in losing stomach fat? Well, you’re using your abs to do the crunch, and your core for balance.
There are very few muscle groups a perfect push-up won’t tone, including your abs! The key is, of course, proper form, a straight line, with your butt and toes and head all in one straight line; don’t pop your butt up into the air or bend your knees. Be sure to keep your hands beneath your shoulders, not too fat out to the sides or tucked in to your middle. Complete 3 sets of 12 to 15 push-ups.
17 Decline Bench Sit-ups
A regular sit up on the flat ground is good, but these decline bench sit-ups are so much better! Sit on a decline bench with your head at the “down” end and your feel tucked into the bar at the top (so you don’t slide off). Rise into a crunch, either with your hands behind your head or crossed at your waist. Try not to use your neck muscles or your shoulders to complete the crunch; use your abs as much as you can. Complete 3 sets of 12.
18 Decline Bench Sit-backs
This is sort of the opposite of the decline bench sit-up! Again, sit on a decline bench with your head at the “down” end and your feel tucked into the bar at the top (so you don’t slide off). Begin in the sitting position, all the way at the top, then lay half-way back, and rise back up again to the top. It may not sound difficult, or like much of an ab workout, but it is. IT IS.
Sit flat on the ground with your legs together and straight, and your arms at your sides for balance. Now slowly raise your legs, keeping them straight (don't bend your knees), until your body, bent at the waist, makes a perfect V. Hold for as long as you can, aiming for at least 20 seconds. Repeat 3 sets of 12, holding the form as long as you can (again, 15-20 seconds). Yow!
This move is very similar to the one above, only instead of keeping your hands at your sides for balance, you’ll tone your core by pointing your fingers at your toes while you’re in the folded “V” position. You'll see immediately that it's very hard to keep your balance, especially for the entire 20 seconds, so don't feel bad if you have to put your hands at your sides once in a while... in a few weeks, you won't need to do that, as your core gets more toned, and you achieve better balance... progress!
21 Balance Ball Crunches
Start sitting upright on top of the inflatable exercise ball, feet flat on the floor, knees in line with your hips. From this position, inhale, engage your abs and lean back so that your body is behind the vertical; take care that you use your stomach muscles here and not those supporting your lower back. Hold for a few seconds before returning to the upright position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
22 Twist Crunches
This is another exercise that will require a decline bench. Sit on a decline bench with your head at the “down” end and your feel tucked into the bar at the top (so you don’t slide off), and your hands tucked behind your head, elbows out. Now sit up into a crunch position, twisting at your waist so your right elbow touches your left knee, then your left elbow touches your right knee at the next crunch. Repeat so you’ve done 3 sets of 12.
23 Windmill Toe-touches
This is one I remember my mother doing all the time when I was a kid. Stand with your hands on your hips, legs shoulder-width apart and straight. Now bend at the waist, and twist, so your right fingers brush your left toes, then rise up again and touch your left fingers to your right toes. It’s fun, it’s exercise… what a combination! Repeat for 3 sets of 12.
24 Reverse Fly
For this move, you’ll need a special stand at the gym; ask a staff member to show you where it is. Stand on the machine with your legs straight, belly touching the bar at waist-level (move the bar up or down if you have to). Now bend at the waist, do you’re looking at the front of your legs, and fly back up to a STRAIGHT position; don’t over-extend and lean backwards. Repeat for 3 sets of 20.
Using the elliptical machine qualifies as your cardio and as your weight-bearing exercise, and it’s actually a lot of fun. Kick up your elliptical workout now and again to ensure a good burn, by increasing the resistance and your speed, but don't add minutes. My personal trainer doesn't recommend using the elliptical any longer than 45 minutes or an hour, including your 5-minute warm up and 5-minute cool-down.
This doesn’t sound difficult, but it can be! Get into push-up position, on your toes with your body in a straight line, but rather than balance on your hands, put your weight on your elbows, and see how long you can hold a straight line. Aim for 30 seconds, and see if you can hold the plank for an entire minute! Repeat three times. Again, you'll notice after just a couple of weeks that you can hold the plank a lot longer than when you first started.
27 Roll the Ball
Rest your feet on an exercise ball and place your hands directly below your shoulders as if you’re about to do a push up. Keep your abs engaged and your back straight. Maintaining control of the ball, slowly draw both of your knees up to your chest (or as close as you can get them) before, equally as slowly, returning your starting position with your legs straight. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
28 Lift the Ball!
This is another great way to work out your lower abs. The more ‘stops’ you introduce on your way up and down with the ball, the more challenging the exercise becomes. Lie flat on the floor with the exercise ball between your feet. With your shoulders and neck still in neutral, lift your feet and grip the ball. Slowly raise the ball into the air and hold just as your legs approach the vertical. Just as slowly, lower the ball back to the floor, without letting go. As usual, do 3 sets of 12 reps.
29 Face-down Knee Lift
This is a great, effective exercise, and a refreshing alternative to the conventional crunch. It’s important to get the technique right; don’t be tempted to cheat and punch your butt into the air. Get onto the floor as if you’re about to do a series of push ups; hands beneath your shoulders, neck in neutral, balanced on your toes. Keeping your abs firm and your hips completely flat, bring one knee up to your chest, hold for a couple of seconds and return to the original position. Do 12-16 reps, alternating knees, through 3 sets.
30 Oblique Twist Crunch
This maneuver alters the ordinary ‘sit-up’ so that it targets the oblique muscles for a narrower, more defined waistline. Lie flat on your back, body in neutral, knees bent and feet in line with your hips. Drop your knees to one side, keeping your shoulders and upper back in contact with the floor. Place hands behind your head and bring your shoulders up taking care that you’re completing the movement using your abdominal muscles and not compensating with any others. Hold the crunch for a few seconds and return to neutral keeping your knees on the floor; do 6 reps like this before switching to the other side. Continue through 3 sets.
31 Side Plank
This is a straightforward strength exercise which works the entire front of your midsection. Arrange yourself sideways on the floor so that you’re balancing on your locked arm and the side foot, facing out in front you. Keep your hips raised as high as you can off the ground and simply hold the position for half a minute; repeat once on the other side.
32 Prone Single Leg Raise
Lay flat on your back with your arms at your sides, then lift one leg straight into the air, keeping your leg as straight as possible (try not to bend your knee). Hold for 20 seconds, then lower your leg back to the ground, and do the same thing with the opposite leg. Repeat for 3 sets of 12. At first, you might find it impossible NOT to bend your knee a little, but after a few weeks, you'll notice it's a lot easier to keep your leg straight.
Yoga will help you in losing stomach fat and in keeping stress-free, flexible, and toned all over! Take a class at a local studio or gym, or just rent/borrow/buy a DVD set. I recommend Tony Horton’s P90X yoga section, but it’s pretty hard-core… you may want to start a little slower than that… remember, slow and steady wins the race, so be the tortoise, not the hare!
34 Take a Class
Above, I mentioned taking a yoga class, but really, any fitness class will help you lose belly fat and trim all over. There’s a class for everyone, from low-impact water aerobics to Zumba to kick-boxing and more. Check with your gym or your local community center to see which classes they have, and see if your girlfriends can come along! A fitness class makes a great alternative or addition to a standard girls' night out!
Rowing definitely qualifies as cardio and as non weight-bearing exercise, but if done in proper form, it can also help tone your tummy. The key is NOT to lay back when you’re finishing the row motion; lean forward to begin the motion and finish the motion by pulling the bar (or oars) toward your middle, without leaning back. This is exactly how my personal trainer taught me to do this, so even if you see others in the gym leaning back, don’t do it!
36 Bicycle Crunch
While the average crunch focuses on the top of your abs, this one will work the hard-to-reach lower portion as well. Lie on you back with your shoulders, hips and pelvis in neutral position. Place your hands behind your head, ready to crunch. Engage you abs (not your back!) and bring your knees up to around 45 degrees. Slowly begin to pedal with your feet, as you would a bicycle and, at the same time, bring your elbow up to meet the opposite knee (right elbow touches left knee, then left elbow touches right knee). Continue through 3 sets, each of 12 reps.
37 Hula Hoop
The motion your body must do to keep a hula hoop going is an ideal way to tone your tummy! It’s also a lot of fun to hula with kids, so you can sneak in an ab workout and entertain the little ones at the same time. Make it a contest! See who can hula the longest, or who can keep the most hula hoops going at once! So much fun, and a good workout too.
If you’re worried about your joints, and find that some of these exercises to flatten your tummy are just too high-impact, give swimming a try! It’s a solid workout for your whole body, and it’s great cardio. Many gyms and local community centers, and even some high schools, offer access to their swimming pools for a nominal fee... fitness doesn't have to be expensive!
Some ideas about to check out.
39 Run, Jog, Walk
No matter how fast — or slow — you go, walking, jogging, and running, especially at intervals, is another great way to lose stomach fat fast. Here’s a tip: if you’re able to sing out loud while you’re walking, jogging, or running, you’re not going fast or hard enough! You ought to be a little out of breath, and your heart ought to be thumping hard.
40 Prone Leg Lifts
Lay flat on the floor with your arms straight at your sides and your legs straight. Slowly raise your legs, together, about six inches off the ground. Leave them there as long as you can (your legs will start to shake!), then slowly lower them back down to the ground. Repeat for 3 sets of 12. You can use your exercise ball with this one too!
Dancing is another great form of weight bearing exercise and, if you do it fast and hard enough, it’s also excellent cardio. Keep this in mind though: if you can sing along with the song loudly, then you’re not dancing hard enough… any cardio exercise ought to keep you winded enough that you can’t sing along above a breathless whisper.
42 Master the Stairs
Along with the elliptical, the stair-climber (or just the stairs) is great at toning your whole body, including your abs. You might think it’s only good for your buns and thighs, but it’s really a workout for your entire body. Keep your back straight while you're using the stairs, and remember, if you're taking the stairs at work, bring your trainers. Doing the stairs in your heels can be a disaster!
43 Try P90X
Even though there are times when I think Ton Horton is tying to kill me, personally, I love the P90X workout. If your regular workout just isn’t getting you the belly fat busting results you want, try P90X. Be prepared; it’s pretty hard core. Tony Horton may be trying to kill you, too. Join the club! Don't be scared though: one of the best features of P90X is that he shows you three ways to do each exercise, in varying degrees of difficulty.
44 Don’t Skip It
Here’s where the third part, the mental part, comes in to losing stomach fat. You have to be dedicated to your diet and workout programs. You can’t skip one, or both. Once in a while, especially if you’re ill, it’s not a bad idea to skip a workout here or there. But you have to do nutrition and exercise together to get the best results.
45 Take Photos to Track Progress
Before you start a regimen to lose your stomach, take an honest before photo. Then, every two weeks, take another photo to track your progress. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you'll see real progress, and if you care to post the photos, so will your Facebook friends. Be prepared to answer lots of questions about how you got such awesome abs, so quickly...
46 Keep a Journal
Along with keeping track using photos, keep a paper or online journal to track your progress, especially with your workout regimen. You’ll see that what used to be a struggle (3 sets of 12) is now an easy 3 sets of 20, or 25. Looking back at these seemingly small triumphs and improvements will help keep you motivated on the days when you feel like the gym is the last place you want to be.
47 Get an App
Want help losing stomach fat? There’s an app for that… there are loads of calorie-counting, fitness, encouragement, and journaling apps available, and some of the best ones are even free. I love the ones put out by LIVESTRONG and the free one by the Special K Challenge. Try a few! And stay tuned... we're working on an app that can help with weight loss, healthy eating, and busting belly fat, too!
48 Be Patient
This isn’t going to happen overnight. Give your body time to adjust to your new diet and workout routine. Expect to lose about a pound a week, no more than that, since you’re not making drastic changes, just improving upon the smart choices you’re already making. Seriously! Any diet or workout plan that promises you'll lose ten pounds in a week is a fairy-tale... it won't happen, and if it does, it sure won't be safe!
49 Dress the Part
I can’t stress this enough: no one, no matter how fit and trim, should ever wear clothes that are too small or too tight; even the skinniest girl can have muffin top if she’s stuffed into jeans that are too small. Keep this in mind when you're shopping for jeans, especially... find clothes that fit your new body and rock them!
50 Hire a Pro
If you’re at a plateau, need extra encouragement, or want to tweak your diet or fitness routine, why not ask around and find a personal trainer who can help? I’ve used them and they are fantastic, completely dedicated to helping you develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
By implementing even half of these, you’ll be well on your way to losing stomach fat and having an all-over toned, gorgeous body! Remember, it won’t happen overnight, but nothing worth having ever does. You ca do it! Which of these tips will you use to lose belly fat and get fit? Or do you have another tip or exercise for losing stomach fat you can share? Do tell!