5 Best Exercises For Flat Tummy + 5 Easy Diet Tips

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, Physiotherapist
by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Struggling to lose the stubborn belly fat? Want to know how to get a flat tummy? Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly which exercises to do instead of shooting in the dark? How about a list of easy, doable diet tips? Read on to know the 5 best exercises and 5 diet tips for a flat tummy in just a few weeks. Swipe up!

How To Get A Flat Belly/Slim Stomach At Home

5 Effective Exercises To Get Flat Abs

Here are some effective workouts to strengthen your core and flatten your abs at the same time.

Note: Before starting these abs exercises, warm-up properly to prevent injuries.

1. Cardio And HIIT

Cardio And HIIT

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Cardio and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) are a must if you want to burn fat. Before you spot reduce your waistline or belly, you must aim to shed fat from the overall body. As the body loses overall fat, it helps the belly slim down as well. Focus on core exercises to tone your muscles, which will make you look slimmer.

Do exercises like jogging, running, rope jumping, box jumps, squat jumps, staircase running, high knees, jumping lunges, burpees, swimming, Zumba, dancing, or play any sport. You may also use equipment like a Swiss ball or resistance bands to make your workout more intense.

2. Reverse Crunch

Reverse Crunch - Best Flat Tummy Exercise

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How To Do
  1. Lie on the floor with knees bent, arms by your side, fingers pointing towards your heels. Lift your feet off the ground, toes pointing away from your body.
  2. Exhale and slowly lift your hips off the floor, contracting your abs. Your knees now point towards your head. Keep your head and neck on the floor.
  3. Inhale and come back to the starting position. Remember to move in a slow, controlled manner. Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

3. V Sit-Up

V Sit-Up

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How To Do
  1. Lie on a mat and place your arms overhead.
  2. Lift your legs and hands off the floor and come into a sitting position, as shown in the image. Balance your body on your buttocks and tailbone. Keep your arms extended in front, forming a “V” with your upper and lower body.
  3. Keep breathing and slowly get back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

4. Plank With Opposite Arm And Leg Raise

Stomach Exercises - Plank with Opposite Arm and Leg Raise

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How To Do
  1. Get into a push-up position, with your body supported on your palms and toes and the back straight and aligned with your head and neck.
  2. Lower yourself onto your forearms, keeping the rest of the position unchanged. Curl your fists inwards and ensure that the upper arms are at 90 degrees with the lower arms, and the elbows are directly under your shoulders.
  3. Lift your right leg off the floor and extend it straight out, parallel to the floor.
  4. Putting your weight on your left foot and right arm, lift your left arm and extend it in front of you with the fingers pointing forward.
  5. Keep your extended leg, arm, and back straight throughout, using your core to maintain balance.
  6. Hold for 10 seconds and come back to the plank position. Repeat on the other side. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.

 5. Thread The Needle

Thread the Needle - Flat Stomach Workout

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How To Do
  1. Get into a modified side plank position, lying on your left side, propped up on your left forearm, with the wrist directly under the shoulder.
  2. Keep your knees bent and lower legs folded back, with the right leg resting over the left. Let your right arm rest on your right hip. Keep your hips off the ground.
  3. Extend the right arm straight overhead. Look up at your arm. Ensure a straight line from the right fingertips to the left elbow.
  4. Bring your right arm down and under your left armpit, as though you are threading a needle. Feel the twist in your sides and abs and not in your shoulders or neck.
  5. Come back to the starting position. Do 8 reps on this side and repeat on the other. Complete 3 sets.

Do these exercises for 30 minutes every day, and you will start to see a difference in two weeks’ time. However, you should also be careful about what you eat. Here are 5 easy diet tips to get a flat belly.

 5 Easy Flat Abs Diet Tips

1. Avoid Processed Foods and Added Sugar

Choose whole fruits over juices, fresh over canned, and water over soft drinks. Consume bakery staples like cakes and cookies in moderation.

Canned and packaged foods contain a lot of sodium and very less fiber and nutrients. Excess sodium retains more water, puffing up your belly. Stay away from sugar substitutes as well; they are only partially digested by your body.

2. Control Alcohol Intake

Alcohol inhibits fat oxidation (1). This means that frequent alcohol consumption can lead to higher body fat in the long term.

When you drink, the liver works overtime to burn alcohol instead of fat, giving rise to terms like ‘Beer Belly’ or ‘Beer Gut.’ Also, one tends to underestimate the calories in alcohol, making it easy to overdrink.

3. Go For Flat Abs-Friendly Foods

Flat abs-friendly foods deal with the causes of belly fat, like balancing your gut bacteria, reducing gas, and preventing constipation, and contain healthy fats. Whole grains, lean protein, eggs, leafy vegetables, almonds, and green tea are toppers in this list.

Get your dose of omega 3-fatty acids from fatty fish or capsules. A well-prepared cup of green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that claim to reduce belly fat.

4. Eat At The Right Time

The trick is never to stuff your tummy or starve. Eat something within half an hour of waking up and have a breakfast that contains whole grains and protein. Go for a filling lunch and a light dinner at least three hours before bedtime. Eat two snacks – one mid-morning and one at tea time.

Having small, balanced meals does not lead to tummy bulge and keeps your metabolism up and running. The best part is that your body never goes into starvation mode, which is when it feels the need to store everything as fat.

5. Space Out Foods That Cause Bloating

Do not eat multiple servings of gassy foods in a single day since it may lead to bloating and belly bulge. The common foods in this list are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, dried beans, and lentils.

These are very healthy and have good fiber, so do not omit them. Space them out across your meals throughout the week.

Why Losing Belly Fat Is Important

People with abdominal fat or a large midriff are 2.75 times more at the risk of heart disease, even if they are within a healthy weight range (2).

The fat stored in your belly region is more dangerous than the fat stored in the hip and thigh regions (3). It increases bad LDL cholesterol, messes with your blood sugar, and increases your blood pressure and risk of a heart attack (4), (5). Also, a flat tummy can make you look slimmer, more proportionate, taller, and more attractive.

Men tend to hold excess fat in their bellies, and women are more prone to store it in their hips and thighs – protection offered by hormones. However, menopause removes this protection, making women equally vulnerable (6). Your body shape will also change accordingly.

Other reasons include more calorie intake, mainly from processed foods, alcohol, trans fats, and bloating due to gassy foods.

Conclusion 

Doing core workouts, staying active, and eating healthy foods can improve balance and posture. This, in turn, can pull in your tummy and make you appear leaner. Try these tummy exercises and diet tips to watch your body get slimmer and your abs flatter and let the compliments pour in!

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can I get a flat belly by exercising at home?

Yes, you can get a flat belly at home if you exercise regularly and eat healthy food. Here is a list of superfoods for weight loss and a few more belly exercises with pictures.

How soon can I get a flat belly post-pregnancy?

Be patient. Talk to your doctor about when to start exercising vigorously. Start with yoga and stretching and then move on to light cardio like walking. Once you feel confident, you can start with cardio, HIIT, and other belly fat burning exercises. You can also do exercises for diastasis recti. Within 4-5 months, you can start seeing results.

Does drinking hot water with lemon burn belly fat?

There is no scientific evidence to prove it, but drinking warm water with the juice of half a lime seems to help shed overall body fat.

Does sleeping on your stomach flatten it?

No, sleeping on your stomach will not flatten it.

6 sources

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.
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