The thing is, we all want shortcuts.
Shortcuts in getting to places, shortcuts in getting money, shortcuts in being successful. And of course, since you clicked this article, shortcuts in getting a flat stomach.
If you do a quick search about shortcuts to a flat stomach on YouTube, you’ll see a bunch of videos telling you how to do just that.
In fact, they all seem to promise you some super awesome secret that will flatten your stomach as quickly as overnight!
The astounding popularity of these videos is mostly due in part to a mixture of the viewers thinking that the creators, who probably already themselves have flat stomachs, were able to get those flat stomachs from their secret shortcut, and on top of something called expectation biases, meaning that viewers want the shortcut to work SO BAD that they’re willing to blindly convince themselves that they indeed saw a difference after trying the shortcut, when in fact… they didn’t.
That, or the effect is only temporary. Whenever you put something easy to do with a lot of people saying that it works, chances are that it will become a trendy topic.
Things like special drinks that guarantees burning fat directly around the belly, to wraps, literally, saran wrap around your stomach, with some magical fat burning paste or something…
My interest is not to actually debunk these so-called “shortcuts,” cause there’s just too many, but instead provide you something that will truthfully get you a flat stomach without all the gimmicks.
And unfortunately, it’s not a big shortcut. I think we can all agree getting a flat belly comes down to two things: Lose weight and burn fat.
Whether you agree or not about the system of calories in and calories out, the fact of the matter is the most correlated item to weight change, and when done right, fat loss, is total daily calorie expenditure.
In non-caloric terms, the best method of losing belly fat is to eat less and move more. More specifically, eat fewer calories than you burn.
Doing so will first and foremost let you drop those pounds you’ve been trying to lose for the past 1 to… 95 months, and when paired with proper resistance training, whether it’s lifting weights or moving your body through space with calisthenics, you’ll be able to prevent losing lean mass which means you will lose more fat mass.
Scientifically, during a weight loss, catabolic state, you’ll need to look for energy sources within your body, since you’re not providing enough through eating.
The most abundant and most potent energy source is your fat.
Your body will target fat, but not specific regions of fat on your body, meaning no spot reducing, which of course means, sorry, no way to specifically target your belly.
A weight loss state will also ultimately target your muscle mass.
This is especially true if most of your exercise is coming from low intensity cardio exercises, such as jogging on a treadmill.
Although it’s nice to see that cute little, yet extremely inaccurate calorie counter on the treadmill screen keep going up, what it doesn’t tell you is that you’re on your way to possibly losing lean muscle mass as well.
To prevent that from happening too much, you will need to provide an effective stimulus to the muscles, meaning resistance training, which kicks in hormones and cell proliferation that fends off muscle degradation.
There are also some eating methods that can promote more fat loss.
The keto diet has been shown to be quite effective in burning your fat because it reduces how much carbs you eat.
You see, although fat has a lot more energy, your body prefers to use carbs first because it’s much quicker to metabolize.
But if you take carbs out of the equation, you’ll go straight to the fat. Another thing is intermittent fasting, where you fast as long as 16 hours at a time.
With such a long fast, hormones such as glucagon and epinephrine are released to increase blood glucose levels and more importantly, break down more fat.
So we do have some tools such as resistance training, low carbs diets (to an extent), and also fasting.
But none of this works unless the energy balance is in check.
Avoid carbs as much as you want, lift the heaviest weights you can, and endure long, painstaking fasts, in the end, none of it will work if, say, you’re eating 2500 calories a day but you only end up burning 2000.
So use the tools as much as you like, just make sure you keep those calories in check.
At the end, just don’t expect miracles from some sort of weird elixir or magical berries, and most definitely, keep your stomach plastic-free.