Road Map for a Flat stomach

The most frequently asked question, when it comes to overall fitness is how to reduce the mid-section. Be it a lady or a man it is probably one of the top reasons why so many plan to hit the gym or get into any kind of physical activity at all.

What is that makes a flat stomach so elusive for most of us and how does one ensure to trim down the waist line and more importantly maintain it.

It’s all together another fact that we Indians are predisposed to accumulation of belly fat. Moreover with changes in our dietary habits and our sedentary lifestyle, it is important we start working on it right away.

I too started hitting the gym with a determination of flaunting a six pack but soon realised that having a flat stomach and maintaining one is more practical than going for a bolly wood style six pack.  I would like to highlight the following pointers for anyone who is looking for a flat midsection.

There is no spot reduction:
One should realise that body fat does not reduce from one particular area in the human body but throughout the body. If anyone is just looking at loosing fat only in the mid-section then sorry to disappoint you, but it’s not possible. Be more practical and focus on changing your lifestyle and looking at long term lifestyle changes for you and your family. A general rule of the thumb is in maintaining a sharp diet and maintain a exercise routine regularly to burn more calories. The clear logic is – “calorie burned more than consumed will reduce body fat come what may”.

Cardiovascular exercise is the key:
Doing weight lifting or indulging in any other sports helps but the key is here doing some kind of cardio vascular exercise like brisk walking, running, cycling or swimming. When one indulges in cardio then the stubborn fat tends to disappear faster if supported by good eating habits and rest. The key is to do any kind of cardiovascular exercise for 30-45 minutes 4-5 times a week. If you can add some weight training along with it then it’s an added bonus though I will highly recommend it.

Reduce Fat and Sugar:
Typically our Indian diet is healthy and wholesome, but somewhere down the line we have got influenced by the western fast food culture which is definitely not helping the cause. If you can cut out meat, refined food and sugar from our daily food intake then the battle is half won. I would suggest you to replace these food cravings with healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables. Once you are conscious about what’s going inside your mouth you will be amazed with the results.

Time is the essence:
Patience pays and it is no different in this area too. On the contrary losing weight and having a flat midsection needs to be a long term process and there is no quick fix solution, which youngsters are looking out for. Always look at losing 0.5 to 0.75 Kg in a week which is a healthy way to loose weight. Remember it is also important to enjoy the journey rather than only the destination. More than anything it is more important to sustain the weight loss for the rest of your life and lead a healthy lifestyle with a flat stomach. Believe me the feeling one gets when one sees a flat midsection in the mirror is something which I will leave each one of you to experience.

Adequate rest:
All the workouts and maintaining a clean diet is of no use if one tends to sleep for less than 7-8 hours As in my previous article I will reiterate that good rest is critical and maintaining a regular sleep pattern is important for each one of you especially in stressful times like these. Ensure that you maintain a regular snooze time of 7-8 hours at the minimum which will help you in the long run in developing your immune system and you can also work at your sub-conscious level (more on this later).

Getting a flat midsection should not be the only thing. With a steep increase in lifestyle diseases and spiralling health care costs, it is a big investment for ourselves and our family.To get into the rhythm is difficult initially but when one starts seeing results and the compliments start to flow in, it will surely make it more worthy than any other materialistic thing you would be looking forward to possessing, be it a swanky car or the latest LED TV.

I am alarmed at the way I see people around me abusing themselves, be it with unhealthy habits or total disregard to their body. Even though most of them want to be healthy, I feel that somewhere down the line priorities have changed drastically along with the economic growth which we are seeing around us. If all of us realise this and takes a step forward in the right direction then we can say that India will not only be a Super economic power in the years to come but also a healthy nation which according to me is far more important than being rich and unhealthy.I would like to end this article with a Quote 

To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear“. Buddha (c. 563 BC to 483 BC)