Do you want a flat tummy? The good news is getting a flat stomach isn’t as torturous as people think. The bad news is that it does require the right exercises and the right foods.
Do you want a flat stomach? Then youre not alone. In 2010, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found 144,929 women had abdominoplasy (tummy tucks), and more than twice that number, 289,016, underwent lipoplasty (liposuction).
Those statistics are pretty scary. But whats even scarier is a lot of these women will have gone through all that expense, pain, and inconvenience for nothing, if they dont eat and exercise properly after the surgery.
The good news is getting a flat stomach isn’t as torturous as people think. You don’t have to exercise for hours, do 1000 sit-ups a day, or suffer with a diet of bread and toothpicks. You just need to eat wisely, and do the exercises that meet the unique needs of the female body.
Abdominals and Your Core:
There is a lot more behind that handful of love handle than you think. What is important is to understand the anatomy and function of the abdominals in order to exercise them properly. Abdominal muscles are divided into four main groups:
Your ‘Six Pack’
Called your rectus abdominis, these muscles are found between your ribs and the pubic bone at the front of your pelvis, these six bumps are actually two muscles, separated by a linea alba, covered by a rectus sheath, and three fibrous bands.
The rectus abdominis moves the area of your body between your ribs and pelvis. They flex your spine and they move the pelvis toward your ribcage, known as a posterior pelvic tilt. An example would be a leg-hip raise.
Just inside your hipbones, along your rectus abdominis, you’ll find the internal oblique muscles. They run diagonally across your body and act as same side rotators to help you move your torso. When rotating your body to the right, the right internal oblique muscle creates and controls that motion.
The external oblique muscles run on each side of the rectus abdominis, perpendicular to your internal obliques. They allow your body to twist at the trunk. These muscles connect to the lower eight ribs at the top, and to the anterior crest of your pelvis and the linea
alba, medially and distally. They work opposite to your internal obliques.
Underneath many other muscle layers is a layer of muscles that has nothing to do with movement. Instead, the transversus abdominis muscles wrap around your vital organs to keep them in place. They also keep your waist tight, stabilize your trunk, and help you expel air from your lungs when you breathe.
Contrary to popular belief, the core is composed of many muscles. A general term would be the body minus the arms and legs. The major muscles included are the pelvic floor muscles, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, a series of muscles in the back that runs along the spine, known as the multifidus and the diaphragm. Minor core muscles include the latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius. All of these muscles work together to prevent injury and support your back when sitting, standing, bending over, and just plain moving.
Your Abs Can’t Do It Alone
Many people believe that in order to obtain a flat stomach, you should be doing a lot of crunches and sit-ups each day. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, your abdominal muscles aren’t the problem at all.
If you want to show off your six-pack, you have to get rid of the padding covering them. Lets use the analogy of a group of balloons under a thick, heavy pile of clothes and blankets. You have no idea where one balloon begins and the other ends. Put them under a sheet, and you’ll easily see the individual balloons.
Its the same with your abdominals. Get rid of the fat covering your muscles, and you’ll see your six-pack.
Break the Tummy Trouble Myths
People often think of belly fat as being stubborn and hard to get rid of, but its really no harder to get rid of than any other fat. There is no abnormality in abdominal fat. It is not made up of any special material and it certainly is not lost in any special way. Some people simply store more fat in their midsection than anywhere else. So, to get rid of it,
burn fat from your entire body.
Eat Your Way To A Flat Stomach
What you eat and when you eat it can have a huge impact on your weight loss goals,
Your Glycemic Index (GI) is a great example. The GI is a scale that measures the effects a particular food has on your blood sugar levels. If a particular food makes your blood sugar rise significantly, its given a high number on the GI scale. When you blood sugar rises, your body tells itself to produce more insulin and signals the body to store the sugar that isnt needed for immediate use.
This doesn’t mean you can’t eat something high on the GI scale. It just means you need to be smart about what you eat and when. Consume high GI foods after a workout, when your body needs higher blood sugar levels to move nutrients and proteins to your muscles to help it recover.
The typical American diet today abuses the use of carbohydrates. They use carbohydrates as stimulates when they should be used for energy to perform exercises and to recover after exercise. Carbohydrates are energy, and fat is stored energy. When your body has no need for the energy you consume, it gets stored as fat.
Bottom line, the foods we eat and the method behind the exercises we perform directly affects our ability to lose weight around our midsection. Without proper exercise, and proper nutrition, we can kiss our sexy six-pack good bye. Learn what to eat, when to eat it and what type of workout you need to shed that unwanted flab, and you will be showing off your sexy stomach for years to come.