How to get a flat stomach & small waist

Updated February 21, 2017

Wanting a flat stomach and small waist is a common goal, and it takes time and effort to achieve that goal. You cannot spot reduce fat in one area of your body, so in order to lose belly fat and reduce your waist size, you must eat a low-fat diet and exercise regularly and intensely. You can also do abdominal exercises, such as crunches, to strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Cut out junk food. To lose weight and get a smaller waist, you have to eat a low-fat diet. Instead of chips and chocolate, eat plenty of vegetables to fill you up when you're hungry.

Choose healthy carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, rice and pasta, raise your blood sugar faster and contribute to weight gain. Instead, choose small amounts of whole wheat bread and pasta and brown rice. Most of your carbohydrates should come from non-starchy vegetables. Eat plenty of salads and vegetable soups.

Stop drinking alcohol. Alcoholic drinks have a lot of calories, all of which are stored as fat, and alcohol is also known to increase belly fat.

Do cardiovascular exercise. You can't lose weight just in your belly and waist area, so the best way to get a flat stomach is to lose weight so you have less fat in general. Choose high-intensity exercise, such as power walking or jogging, and add intervals to boost the calories you burn.

Lift weights. Doing resistance training two or three times per week will build muscle and speed up your metabolism. This means you'll burn more calories even when you're resting, so you'll lose body fat more quickly.

Exercise your abdominal muscles. You can exercise the rectus abdominis, the muscle closest to the skin, by doing crunches. Lie on your back with your knees bent, and lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Then lower back down. Repeat as many times as you can. Keep your head in line with your spine, and hold your chin as if you were holding an apple between it and your upper chest. This will help you isolate the abs in the workout instead of also using shoulder and back muscles.

Do crunches twisting from side to side. This will work the external oblique abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent, and lift your head and shoulders. When you're as high as you can go, twist your right elbow toward your left knee. Return to the centre and lie back down. Repeat, this time twisting your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat as many times as you can.

Do a plank. This exercises all of your abdominal muscles because they have to hold up and stabilise your body. Lie on the floor on your stomach. Raise yourself to a push-up position so you are supporting your body on only your hands and toes. Hold this position for as long as you can. It is important to keep breathing normally throughout.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Karen Sheviak has more than 10 years of experience as a writer, researcher and copy editor for "Canadian Living" magazine. She has worked as a freelance editor for other magazines including "Toronto Life." Sheviak has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from the University of Toronto and a diploma in journalism from Centennial College in Toronto.