We all know that eating healthy and exercising daily can help us lose weight, but getting a flat tummy can be a harder job than we imagined. Even though some people think that doing abs is the answer, ab exercises really have nothing to do with losing body fat, especially in the belly area.

Fat in the stomach/abdominal area is one of the most problematic for many people, especially as we age. Looking for the way to flatten our tummy goes beyond doing abs.

Do you think this is absurd? Of course, you do have to do abs in order to have washboard abs. But to get rid of that extra body fat (in order to be able to show off those abs), today we're going to go over five tips that will help you have a flat belly.

1. Sleep a minimum of 6 to 8 hours daily: Studies have shown that people who sleep four hours per night are 70 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. Lack of sleep reduces the hormone leptin, which is the one that aids in appetite suppression and tells your brain when you're full.

Lack of sleep can also affect the production of insulin, which is necessary to regulate the levels of sugar in our blood--and excess insulin in our system makes our body store more body fat from foods.

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Sleeping is key when trying to lose belly fat. When we're not tired, we're able to exercise at a more intense pace and for longer periods of time.

2. Reduce stress: Stress is the root of many health problems, like high blood pressure or heart disease. But stress is also the main cause of weight gain and body fat accumulation.

What happens when we're stressed out? Our body releases adrenaline, cortisol, and insulin. The hormone cortisol can actually cause you to feel hungry and can increase the creation of body fat. This excess usually centers around the belly area, creating more fat there. And too much insulin will signal your body to accumulate body fat.

One great way to reduce stress is through exercise. Doing aerobics regularly during the week will not only reduce stress, but will also help you eliminate fat from the belly area.

3. Having a good posture: It's imperative that you are always conscious of maintaining a proper posture: Never curve up your spine or stick out your belly when standing. Try to always sit or walk with your back straight and your ab muscles engaged (as if you're always sucking them in). This way you'll maintain your muscle tone for much, much longer.

4. Add these superfoods to your daily meals: Make sure you add fiber, protein, and good fats, which are fundamental to your daily nutrition--and the nutrients found in these foods are essential to having those washboard abs you've always wanted.

Wheat germ, chia seeds, and flax are rich in amino acids, protein, and fatty acids, like omega 3. They'll actually act like a "broom" that will help your body get rid of toxins and in particular body fat.

Snacking during the "magic hour:" Eating every three or four hours is super important to maintaining the levels of sugar in your blood. Many people tend to go five to six hours between lunch and dinner without eating anything--which actually leads to more belly fat.

Eating a small snack that contains proteins and fiber between 3 and 4 p.m. is imperative. It's important that you don't skip this fourth meal, since eating during this time will make your metabolism actually increase and maintain at a high pace. It will also regulate the levels of sugar in your blood--and like I mentioned before, the lower the levels of sugar and by extension of insulin, the lower the possibility that your body will want to store fat around the belly area.

Image via Thinkstock

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About the author

Ingrid is a holistic health coach, personal trainer, fitness motivator, and wellness author. After finding the key to losing 50 pounds in 90 days, she wants to share how she did it with her free course 9 Simple Secrets I Used to Melt Away 50 Pounds

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nonmember avatar
I'm a fitness trainer I agree with some of what u r mentioning but wheat bread or anything with wheat n gluten we shouldn't eat !!!! Dr Oz last week also mention that ! So stay away from wheat gluten n u will lose pounds n the fat around ur belly n thighs. Con amor

Seria posible lo publicaran en espanol muchas gracias.


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