Most of us dream of having a slim and trim belly, but as you may have noticed, it’s one of the most difficult places in your body to shed fat from. But you CAN do it, with a little focus. Our San Jose personal trainers are here to tell you how you can flatten your tummy in 5 easy steps.

1. Dial in Your Portions

When it comes to healthy eating, many people know WHAT they should eat. The question is, how much do you need to eat in order to achieve your goals? Our San Jose nutrition coaches find that clients swing one of two ways.

  1. They have a tendency to overeat. Your body can only process so much food in one sitting. The rest is stored as fat… in all the wrong places (Does this sound like you? If so, check out our piece on How to Stop Overeating).
  2. They eat too little. When you under eat, your metabolism slows down because you’re not giving it the energy it needs to sustain your lifestyle. Then, when you DO indulge in a high calorie meal, it takes advantage, holding onto what you eat and… you guessed it… turning it into fat.

The key is to strike a balance between feeling satisfied and feeding your body what it needs to feel energized. Our suggestion: Calculate and keep track of your intake. There are plenty of calorie and macro-nutrient calculators out there. Our coaches like MyFitnessPal (which has an app and a website) and If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). Both are free to use, with options to upgrade. Of course, you can also download our Simple Sample Meal Sheet, which has worked for hundreds of clients at Method3 Fitness.

Click here to view our article 3 Days to a Trimmer Tummy, which includes our Simple Sample Meals PDF.

2. Reduce Your “Squishy” Carbs

In Thrive in 35, our flagship nutrition, fitness, and mindset program, we call certain types of carbs squishy. To quote our Director of Nutrition, Sue Davis, “They’re squishy. They make my tummy squishy…” Included in that category are grains, starches, and sugary items (like sweets and pastries). Why are they so bad for you?

  • Calorie density – they contain more calories in smaller portions than healthier carbs (we’ll explain more about those below!).
  • Low nutritional value – squishy carbs are low in nutrients (assuming they contain any at all)
  • Not as satisfying – sure, they might taste delicious in the moment, but there’s a good chance that you’ll be hungry sooner after consuming grains and sugars.

This doesn’t mean you can NEVER eat squishy carbs. It just means that they will NOT help you in your weight loss efforts. If your goal is to flatten your tummy, it’s best to keep these items in check. You can replace by implementing Tip #3…

3. Eat More Fruit and Veggies

Did you know that fruit and vegetables are carbs too? Plus, they contain everything that squishy carbs lack.

  • Water – to keep you hydrated
  • Micro-nutrients – to support healthy bodily function and stave off diseases and illness
  • Lower in calories/macros for higher portions – so you can enjoy much more in one sitting without overeating

Our suggestion: Make it your goal to have vegetables during at least two meals per day and fruit for at least one.

Related Content: Hummus Veggie Dip and Spread & Recipe: Blood Sugar Balancing Cinnamon Apples

4. Add Protein and Healthy Fat

We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you to add lean protein and healthy fat to your meals. In the right portions, these two items will support muscle growth, help your body absorb the nutrients from your fruit and veggies, and keep you full between meals (so you don’t give in to cravings).

Pro Tip: Now that you know what and how to eat, optimize your results by prepping your meals in advance. Click here to check out our blog, “Meal Prep 101.” 

5. Work Out

Our final tip to help you flatten your tummy is to get moving. Exercise is a simple way to help tone your entire body, so that you look and feel both sculpted and strong. Try this routine:

  • Strength train 3 times a week if you’re a beginner, 4-5 times a week if you’re seasoned to working out
  • Complete cardio 2 times a week
  • Add one or two days of recovery/flexibility

As with your nutrition portions, the perfect mix of strength and cardio depends on your goals and level of activity. Experiment with it to see what works best for you or seek the help of a personal trainer (just make sure to ask him or her these 7 questions first).

Click here for an ab workout you can complete in 10 minutes, no equipment needed.

Related: Quick and Simple Dumbbell Workout

Try and implement one of these changes at a time and master it before moving on to the next. That will help you create a healthy lifestyle that will lead to lasting results. Which one will you try first? Let us know in the comments below!

Stronger for Today,

The Method3 Fitness Team

Want a collection of recipes that help you eat healthy and maintain proper portionsClick here to download our E-Book “10 Healthy Recipes in 10 Minutes or Less.”

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The Method3 Fitness blog is updated weekly. All content is designed to improve the way you move, eat, and think so you can achieve your goals and live stronger for today. Check back here each week and LIKE our Fan Page, to stay up to date on the latest tips, strategies and methods to get fit, lose fat, and build confidence. Ready to get started with us? Click here for a complimentary goal strategy session!