Five Common Myths about Getting a Flat Stomach…
and How to Correct It
Myth #1 about getting a flat stomach: The best way to get a flat stomach is to do cardio
Cardio is only one-third of the equation. If you think that you’re going to get a flat stomach by doing only cardio, then you’ll be sorely disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, cardio is an important factor, but it’s not the only factor. Most people are only capable of burning between 300 and 600 calories an hour doing cardio; that is not enough to experience any significant fat loss. Also, cardio does nothing to tighten your skin or give you nice tone. If you lose 10 pounds doing only cardio, you’ll look like a smaller version of your same self; your body would not have changed in shape whatsoever.
So with regard to getting a flat stomach, your belly will be slightly smaller, but still loose and flabby. Cardio is a great way to burn off some extra calories, but like I said, it’s only one-third of the equation. The other two factors are exercise and diet. It will take you an extremely long time to see any changes in your stomach if you only do cardio. If you include a weight training routine, you will add muscle which can:
· boost your resting metabolic rate
· improve muscular tone and strength
· increase bone density
· firm and tighten your problem areas
· improve your overall physique
Changes in your diet can:
· double or even triple the amount of calories your burn in a day
· help you lose fat faster
· help maintain healthy digestion
· improve the appearance of your skin
It is important include a weight training routine and a healthy meal plan to supplement your cardio efforts.
Myth #2 about getting a flat stomach: Get rid of belly fat by taking a fat burner
It’s amazing how many take fat burners while having no clue what they are putting into their bodies. While it’s perfectly fine to want to do whatever it takes to get a nice flat stomach, you have to be more aware and responsible about what you put into your body. So I will cut straight to the point, FAT BURNERS DO NOT WORK. THEY ARE ABSOLULTELY, 100%, WITHOUT A DOUBT – A FRAUD!
The other sad truth: ALL FAT BURNERS ARE THE SAME. It doesn’t matter if it’s ‘All Natural,’ ‘Herbal,’ ‘Organic’… whatever… it’s all the same! I’m telling you this as an expert but also as someone who has tried it. I used hydroxycut a few years ago and the side effects were terrible. I was very dizzy and light-headed. Forget about hydroxycut, hoodia, xenadrine, or any other over the counter fat burner.
There are many dangerous effects of fat burners, some include:
· Stomach cramps
· Cardiac arrest (if heart complications run in your family)
Fat burners are also known as artificial metabolic boosters. They are loaded with caffeine, which basically tricks your heart into thinking that you are doing an intense activity. It also is putting a lot of strain on your nervous system. Any weight you lose by using fat burners will come back as soon as you are off them. Furthermore, you can only take those fat burners for a certain period of time then you have to stop. Prolonged use can have dire consequences. Fat burners can be very dangerous and I do not recommend them.
Myth #3 about getting a flat stomach: You can get a flat stomach without exercise
It’s hard to believe that some people still fall for this. I think it’s more that people still hold on to some hope that you can have a great body without putting in the work. It just doesn’t work that way. While it’s true that you can change the shape of your body by eating healthier, you won’t have a great looking stomach without exercise. Like cardio, exercise is an important factor. The good thing is that you don’t need to slave in the gym for 2 hours, or even 1 hour.
It takes as little as 30 minutes, 3 times a week to start seeing significant improvement in your body. You don’t even have to enroll in a gym. Playing your favourite sport, going hiking, taking up an active hobby (like cycling or swimming) are all great ways of getting exercise. Remember, if you want to get a flat stomach, you must eat well, you must do some sort of cardio activity, and you must do some sort of resistance training. Without exercise, there is no way you can have a tight, flat stomach. It might not be “pudgy”, but it won’t be completely flat either.
Myth #4 about getting a flat stomach: To burn belly fat, cardio must be done in the “fat burning zone”
Now for a short history lesson: About 30 years ago, scientists discovered that, depending on the intensity of your aerobic activity, the body turns to either your recently digested carbohydrates or your fat stores, to produce energy. During light to moderate intensity activity, your fat stores are used to produce energy. During high intensity activity, your body will look to your carbohydrates because it is broken down faster to produce energy. The intensity of the activity is determined by the body’s heart rate. In light of that discovery, fitness equipment manufacturers went nuts and started putting these little charts on treadmills and elliptical machines that show different “fat burning” zones. The chart tells you should be working at 65% of your maximum heart rate to enter your “fat burning zone”.
Now this information is true, however, it is misleading. If your goal is to burn as many calories as possible during your cardio session, then working in your “fat burning” zone will not produce the results you want. The reason is because if you are only working at 65% of your maximum heart rate, your body does not have to burn a lot of calories. There is no real demand on your body, so even though your primary source of energy is your fat stores, you’re actually burning very little fat and even fewer calories. If your goal is to lose your love handles in as short a time as possible, then working at 65% of your heart rate will not get you there. Now, if you work at a higher intensity, you burn more total calories. Another benefit of working at a higher intensity is the “cool down” effect. Think of a car that has been driving at a high speed. When you shut the engine off after you park, it’s still very hot. It takes time for the engine to cool down, as long as a few hours. The same happens when you work at a higher intensity during cardio. You actually continue to burn calories for hours after you’ve stopped. You won’t get that effect working at a low intensity because your body will cool down much faster.
· Even though your burn actual “fat” during low intensity activity, it’s very little
· You don’t burn a lot of calories during low intensity activity
· High intensity activity burns more total calories
· You enjoy the benefits of the “cool down” effect after high intensity cardio
· In the long run, high intensity calories burns more fat and more calories overall.
Myth #5 about getting a flat stomach: Drink Cold water to increase metabolism and get rid of love handles
This is one of the newer myths and it revolves around the notion that your body has to expend more energy and thus, more calories, to warm the cold water that you’ve just drank. In addition to being one of the newer myths, it’s also a very dumb one. Your body has a core temperature of 37 degree Celsius. As soon as any cold water enters your body, it becomes warm almost instantly. There is absolutely no way that you metabolism will increase by drinking cold water.
You can increase your metabolism by increasing the frequency of your meals. So instead of eating 3 square meals a day, trying eating 5 to 6 smaller meals every 2-3 hours. When you let too much time pass between meals, your body becomes slow and sluggish because it is lacking energy. You also tend to over-eat at night because you’ve starved yourself for as long as 8 hours between lunch and dinner. This is where more people falter and give in to temptation – eating a large, fatty dinner. On the flip side, spreading your meals out has quite a few benefits.
· Your body has a constant supply of energy throughout the day
· Your metabolism stays higher all day because your body is constantly breaking down food
· You are less likely to overeat at night because you are less hungry
· You are less likely to crave high sugar or high salt foods
So in terms of losing belly fat, you can see how these changes in eating can have a positive effect.
Avoid these 5 mistakes and take my suggestions seriously. Remember, it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. Getting rid of belly fat and having a nice flat stomach takes time. Looking good is not a trait, it’s a lifestyle – and you need to learn how to live that lifestyle. Following these suggestions and avoiding these mistakes will put you on the road to that lifestyle.