The 5 Best Ways to Lose Weight and Flatten Your Stomach

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A lean, shapely, sexy body that commands attention is something almost everyone wants. Flattening your stomach and losing weight–weight that you keep off even after your diet is over–requires dedication to living a healthy lifestyle. For most people, that requires change, which frankly isn’t easy. There are lots of miracle cures on the market, and sure, you might lose weight. But in the end, when your old habits win out, the weight is likely to come back along with your bulging stomach. Motivate yourself. Learn good eating habits. Develop a regular exercise routine. Be tough as nails and make these new habits part of your lifestyle. This is your best bet in the long run.

5 Be Realistic, Stay Motivated

It may seem odd that one of the five best ways to flatten your stomach involves your attitude. It’s true. A bad or negative attitude that says, “I am not going to change my lifestyle, but I am going to lose weight and flatten my stomach” simply isn’t going to work. You have to set realistic goals, remain positive and stay motivated. Losing a pound or two a week might not seem significant, but slower weight loss gives you the chance to tone your body as you lose the weight, and a toner body leads to a flatter stomach.

4 Exercise Regularly

Exercise is a key component in weight loss, but it takes work and requires dedication. The proper exercises not only flatten your stomach, but tone it, as well. Join a gym or exercise program or find a friend to help you, if in doubt. One of the hardest parts of weight loss for many people is exercising. There is no better time than now to get off the couch and get into shape. Aerobic activity and strength training are wonderful ways to lose weight and flatten the stomach quickly. For those who choose a slower–less strenuous path–there are other options such as brisk walking, swimming or even mowing the lawn, according to MayoClinic.com.

3 Count Calories

Counting calories is one of the methods many people put off because frankly who wants to count calories, especially if they are eating sugary-sweet, calorie-laden food. In order for weight loss to occur, you must burn off more calories on a daily basis than you take in. That means less time sitting on your butt and more time exercising. For example, if you eat 3,500 calories a day, you must burn those 3,500 calories plus an additional 500 to 1,000 calories a day in order to lose a pound a week, according to MayoClinic.com. It is important to keep in mind that each person is different, thus the results you achieve may vary from this example.

2 Stay Hydrated

Water is filling and calorie-free, and studies published in the “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism” show that drinking water speeds up your metabolism. Water is a calorie-free fluid that helps you burn a few extra calories a day, thus drinking plenty of water is an important part of a realistic weight loss plan, and it reduces bloating, which leads to a flatter stomach. At mealtime–and even in between meals, keep a large glass of water close at hand. Water fills your stomach, lessening your desire to snack, and you feel fuller at mealtime.

1 Develop Healthy Eating Habits

Healthy eating habits that help you lose weight and flatten your stomach involve more than simply eating a balanced diet. Eating a variety of organic fruits and vegetables is a core component, but there is much more. Eat three meals a day–starting with a balanced breakfast that doesn’t include sugar-sweetened cereal or donuts. Skipping meals leads to weight gain. Learn to relax so you enjoy meal time; there is plenty of time after you eat to finish your work or do other projects that you put on the back burner during mealtime.

Sheri Ann Richerson is a nationally acclaimed bestselling author who has been writing professionally since 1981. Her bestselling books include "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Year-Round Gardening," "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Seed Saving & Starting" and "101 Self-Sufficiency Gardening Tips." Richerson attended Ball State University and Huntington University, where she majored in communications and minored in theatrical arts.

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