It’s the bane of everyone who’s on a diet, is following an exercise regimen, or both. It’s hard to get rid of extra baggage around the middle. The sad part is, tummy flab is usually the last one to go, and this can be very, very frustrating, particularly since it also goes away very slowly.

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However, don’t lose hope! Here are some ways that you can get rid of that spare tire around your waist and boast a flatter tummy instead.

Diet

Before anything, you should go back to basics: Taking care of what you eat, and how you eat. It all starts with intake, when the food you eat is converted to tummy flab. Here are a few pointers:

Eat regularly

Our timetable for eating is important, as we normally tend to have too long a time between lunch and dinner. It’s a good idea to space out your meals so that you roughly have four hours in between. Do take care not to miss the 3 to 4p.m. snack, as this will power your across to your dinner along 8p.m. This snack time can boost your metabolism and balance your blood sugar – and prevent more fat from being stored around your belly. Always have a protein bar, low-fat snack or some nuts and fruits with you.

Proper chewing and portion control

The very act of eating should also be studied: for one thing, don’t gulp your food down. Make sure that your food is well-chewed (yes, our moms were right!), so that our food will digest better, preventing bloating and gas. Also, control the portions of your food, in terms of not only how much you eat, but also how much of each food type you eat. Whole grains and monounsaturated fats can go a long way in helping you achieve a flatter tummy, if you eat them in correct portions.

Avoid salt

Aside from lowering your salt intake, use natural sea salt or kosher salt. Stay away from soy sauce. You can substitute tomato salsa or a bit of cayenne pepper for healthier substitutes that can also boost your metabolism.

You are what you eat

The following are just the tip of the healthy iceberg, when it comes to proper dieting so you can get a flatter tummy:

1. Replace sweet stuff and salty chips with fruits and vegetables.
2. Lean meat is okay, as are beans and nuts.
3. If you can’t get rid of dairy products, use low-fat options.
4. Eat smaller meals every four hours or so (remember the idea about eating regularly?). Eat slowly, so your stomach has the chance to signal you if you’re full already.
5. Don’t eat for two hours before you sleep.
6. Drink water as much as possible, and cut back on sweet and carbonated drinks. Minimize your alcoholic intake, too, since alcoholic drinks have high calorie counts.

Exercise and other methods

Of course, it’s not just the diet that can help you lose your belly and gain a flatter tummy; it’s also all about the exercise. Diet can minimize what’s going in, and combined with exercise, can really help you shed off all those pounds around your beltline.

Posture

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Believe it or not, good posture helps in keep your belly in proper form – standing up straight, not slouching not only makes you look leaner, it also makes you breathe better and have higher energy levels. You end up even more awake.

Start with the basics

It’s not about the exercise equipment, it’s mastering the basics – your exercise can be as simple as doing chores or activities that help burn the fat from your belly and takes you a step closer to a leaner and flatter tummy. Take a brisk walk in proper posture, or rake leaves from your lawn. You can even incorporate some abdominal exercise techniques while cleaning the house, cleaning the porch, washing the car, and tidying up the backyard. Yes, Mr. Miyagi was right!

It’s not like instant noodles

Be realistic about your goals, and take things slowly. Losing your belly fat won’t come after a few months. You may have to spend up to two years, even more, if you want a lasting flat tummy. And from then on, you’ll have to make your exercise habits a part of your daily routine. Eating healthy and living a non-sedentary life really are the solutions.

Plan your exercise schedule

– Cardio exercises should be done at least thirty minutes a day, around three to four days a week.

– Vary your exercise routine, so you won’t get bored and lose interest.

– Stretching exercises are important, particularly if you aren’t used to exercising at all. This will prevent injuries and lessen body aches the next morning.

– Building up your muscles will actually help you burn more fat, though it will be up to you if you want to take it to the next level. As it is, your goal is first to get rid of flab.

– Once you’re feeling more nimble on your feet, do try to go for exercise routines or sport training, like cardio-boxing, or martial arts training for exercising.

– Don’t pay too much attention to your tummy at first – sometimes, five minutes of ab crunches and sit-ups are enough every time you exercise. You can start concentrating on your abs once you get more stamina and endurance.

– Do remember that there will be times that you slip and slide back to old bad habit, particularly when it comes to your diet. What is important is that over time, you build up a certain consistency, so that even small setbacks can be accounted for and neutralized by your exercise routine and diet choices.

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