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I`m not going to lie. Getting a flat stomach is hard, especially if your body type holds more fat in the mid-section. However, it can be done, it takes perseverance, determination and surprisingly, not that much exercise.
A lot of people say that "Abs are made in the kitchen" and I completely agree with that. But exercise is also important to help speed up that process, getting rid of excess fat and helping you tone and define your muscles.
Personally, I`ve lost 30 lbs and I`ve kept it off for 2 years now. The biggest issue I had back then was still having a layer of fat and skin over my stomach, whereas everywhere else was toned.
You don`t need thousands of crunches or ab workouts to get a flat stomach. You just need a good mix of workouts and eating habits that complement each other and a flat stomach will naturally come.
For exercise, you have to determine what ratio you need based on your body`s needs. If you carry weight around your body, you would need more cardio to help burn off the excess fat first. Some people get discouraged at their body because they don`t see progress, even though progress happens. If you do a lot of strength training, the muscles get built underneath the fat layers, which may protrude your stomach out. Also, the key cliche to remember is: muscle weighs more than fat.
You also don`t need 2 hours of hard-core exercise every day. About 1 hour 6 days/week is enough, balancing between cardio and strength training. I learned that the hard way. I used to overexercise and never saw any results.
Currently, my workout routines look something like this:
Mondays - 1 HR Fitness Combat Class
Tuesdays - 2.5 KM run + 1 HR Yoga
Wednesdays - 1 HR Fitness Combat Class
Thursdays - 2.5 KM run + Resistance Training
Fridays - 5 KM run
Saturdays - 1 HR Fitness Combat Class
Sundays - Rest Day
I only do 1 day of pure resistance training as my yoga class on Tuesdays consist of a lot of plank work. On my rest days, I usually take a nice shopping trip with my girl friends. That really consists of us speed walking down streets and malls window shopping.
Hope that helps.