The 30-day countdown is on to sculpt a flatter, fitter belly. Whether you’re embarking on a sun-drenched beach getaway or simply want to get your belly into better, healthier shape, you set the goal of stripping away fat within 30 days—and we have you covered with the best ways to get there. We chatted with Laura Endres, a personal trainer on Fyt, who shares exactly how to get a flat belly in 30 days.
You’ve likely heard this time and time again, but the sentiment will forever ring true: Successful weight loss is achieved by a combination of diet and exercise. For instance, enjoying a fiber-packed bowl of oats for breakfast (with fresh berries, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds) is an excellent way to kickstart your belly fat loss journey. The same goes for adding weights and strength-based exercises to your workout routine.
We have the expert scoop from Endres, who shares the best ways to get a flat belly in 30 days. Keep reading to learn more, and when you’re finished, don’t miss out on the 10 Best Superfood Snacks to Strip Away Belly Fat.
It’s so easy to go for a second helping of roasted potatoes, mac and cheese, or cornbread without even thinking about the extra calories or consequences. As a matter of fact, research shows that the consumption of larger portion sizes can be one of the main culprits of obesity. And with larger servings of food, more food is consumed.
Endres suggests portioning out your meals in advance so you don’t overeat. “When you read labels, you’ll discover the recommended portion sizes are far smaller than [you’d] think,” Endres tells us. “Who eats only ¾ cup of cereal in one sitting? No one, that’s who. Once you’re aware of this, you can change your eating accordingly.”
Fueling your body with the healthy nutrients it needs to melt unwanted belly fat and achieve your goal weight is the name of the game. “Skip the processed junk, and fill up instead on healthy whole foods,” Endres stresses. “You’ll be giving your body the nutrition it needs to improve health, sculpt muscle, and lean out.”
It’s a smart idea to update your shopping list and consider replacing some of the processed snacks with some of the best flat-belly foods that experts recommend. One cup of blueberries, for instance, doesn’t come with a high-calorie count and offers plenty of satiating fiber. Mushrooms are another excellent source of fiber, and they’re low-calorie. In addition, lean proteins, fiber-filled oatmeal, and healthy fats like avocado can help deflate your belly.
Water plays an integral role in your fat loss efforts, so if you don’t drink enough during the day, it’s time to rev things up ASAP. “Most people are dehydrated and don’t even know it,” Endres explains. “Your body relies on water to do most functions, including eliminating waste and burning fat. And, often you’ll feel full longer if you drink plenty of water.” Plus, water boosts your metabolism and helps keep you regular.
If you always forget to fill up your glass, you’re not alone. But consider investing in a water bottle that reminds you whenever you need a refill. After all, your health is always the best thing you can invest in. And if plain water is too boring for you, it might be time to try a natural detox water.
Endres recommends practicing what she refers to as “Eat, Wait.” This means consuming a portion-controlled meal and then giving yourself 30 minutes to see if you’re still hungry. If you are, you can eat a little bit more, but maybe just half of a portion. “Most times, however, you’ll find you’re satisfied,” Endres adds.
It’s important to not deprive yourself when you are feeling hungry. Not consuming enough calories can result in other issues like constipation, immune dysfunction, and even weight gain for some.
Did you know you can actually walk to lose weight? Bumping up your step count is always a good idea, and it’s so easy to work into your daily schedule. Park your car further away from errands (or walk if you live close to your local downtown), take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible, and take your work calls from the treadmill or while on a brisk walk around the block. These little additions to your day can go a long way!
“One of the healthiest things you can do is get more walking in your days,” Endres stresses. “Walk for 10 minutes after meals to aid digestion. Walk every morning to start your day with a little boost of energy. Walk to improve your heart and lung health. All of those things help you get and stay lean, all without crushing yourself in the gym.”
Strength training with weights, your own body weight, or resistance bands to build lean muscle is essential, as muscle torches a greater amount of calories when compared to fat. Establish an effective workout routine that gives you the muscle tone you desire. Incorporate exercises like squats, planks, lunges, hanging leg raises, Russian twists (with a medicine ball), dead bugs, and scissor kicks into your regimen.
“Find the sweet spot of just enough but not too much,” Endres encourages. “Some people think they need to do a ridiculously hard workout every day to get lean. Usually, that simply makes people more exhausted and hungry, and because it will be harder to recover from those workouts, you might end up doing less activity overall!”