Here's How Often You Should Really Be Working Out for a Flat Belly
You've heard that abs are made in the kitchen, but a flat stomach is also highly dependent on your exercise routine. And while you can't outrun a bad diet, you can surely speed up the process of getting a flat stomach by working out consistently. But how often should you really work out to achieve a flat belly? To get a definitive answer for both men and women, we spoke to Jim White, Registered Dietitian and ACSM Health Fitness Instructor. Find out his expert advice below to get your body in tip-top shape in no time!
How many days a week should you work out?
In order to lose body fat, White tells us that The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 50-60 minutes per day to a total of 300 weekly minutes of moderate exercise, adding that strength training is important for overall muscle development. "This can be in a form of steady state or HIIT (high-intensity interval training). I recommend 3 days a week of full body workouts, in addition to cardio. Also, a core-strengthening routine is important 3-4 times a week for abdominal muscle development," White says, clarifying that this workout combination will help your body burn an optimal amount of calories and fat and build the muscle needed for a flat belly.
How long will it take to see results?
"It would take a month to start seeing good results, and 12 weeks to achieve a full body transformation," White informs us. "The bottom line is it has to become a lifestyle, or the weight and body fat will eventually come back if you stop exercising. However, White also emphasizes the importance of a clean diet. "The most important focus should be on nutrition. Focus on reducing portion sizes, food vices (alcohol, fast food, added sugars, etc.)."
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White also adds that men and women may notice different results—so don't get discouraged if your significant other reaches his or her goal before you! "Women naturally have more body fat than men, and men naturally have more muscle mass than women, as well as higher levels of testosterone. This allows men to put on muscle mass easier," White explains. "I would say that with hard work, consistency, and focus both men and women can achieve a flat belly."