Belly fat can be a difficult area to target and lose weight. Have you been doing crunches and just not seeing the results? Now the first thing to note is that everyone has fat around the belly, but determining the amount of belly fat will depend on your lifestyle habits including diet and exercise. Ladies, we store fat differently than men and this can make it especially challenging to lose this extra weight. Women, on average, have 6 to 11% more overall body fat than men, and it typically settles around the thighs and mid section. Not only that but our body's store fat better than men's in the effort to prepare ourselve in case of pregency. While this may seem unfair, it doesn't mean that we can't have a sexy six pack too, it just might require a little more effort! 

Related:How to Get the Thigh Gap Based on Body Type

Lose Belly Fat by Working Out  

Belly fat is stubborn but there are workouts that will help burn that fat and get us closer to a flatter stomach! The best combination of workout styles is a mix of cardio, resistance training and HIIT workings.  With these three and a healthy, balances diet you will get a flatter stomach! 

Cardio for a Flat Belly ​

Cardio is not only good for burning fat, but it's also good for a healthy heart. Cardio is one of the most popular forms of working out and for good reason there are countless benefits of cardio including: ​

  1. Reduces stress and tension
  2. Increase blood circulation​
  3. Strengthen muscles
  4.  Incease metabolisum 
  5. Burns calories
  6. Improve strength and endurance

Picking the cardio workout that best fits your needs will depend on your fitness level. If you are a beginner, start with low intensity cardio and work your way up to a higher level. So which cardio workouts will helps you burn the most calories? 

  • Walking​ (Burns 300-400 Calories per Hour)
  • Running (About 600 Calories Per hour)
  • Cycling (About 600 Calories Per Hour)
  • Rowing (About 800 calories Per hour)
  • Swimming (About 600 Per Hour)
  • Jumping Rope (About 1000 Calories Per Hour)

These estimates for the number of calories burned will vary depending on the intensity of workout and your own body's metabolic rate, but they are a good general guide line. 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for a Flat Belly ​

HIIT is a newer type of workout and is comprised of doing alternating repetitions of high-intensity and resting/low- intensity workouts. When you are working out at your high intensity, you should be giving it all you've got. You can turn any cardio workout into a HIIT workout. For example, if you are running, you could be sprinting for 20-60 second and then resting or jogging for the next 90 seconds. You would continue to alternate between these periods of high and low intensity for any where from 20 minutes to 60 minutes (depending on your level of fitness). 

Related: Benefits of HIIT Training​

Resistance/ Strength Training for a Flat Belly ​

Resistance or strength training uses your own body weight, weights, of machine assisted weights to workout your muscle groups.  Weight training not only helps you boost your metabolism and burn more calories but it will strengthen your bones. There seems to be a popular belief that resistance training and weight training will bulk women up but this is completely false. You will not look like a body builder if you start working out with weights, instead, you'll develop firm and toned muscles. 

Bonus: Yoga for a Flat Belly

Surprisingly, practicing yoga or pilates can also help you towards getting a flatter stomach. Yoga is great at flexibility and strengthen your muscles. Pilates is also a valid option since it focuses more on the core. Choosing yoga or pilates will be dependant on which style you prefer and your overall fitness goals. 

Related: Yoga vs. Pilates: Which Is A Better Workout? ​

At-home Workout Programs for a Flat Belly

Let's face it, many of us don't have the time to go to the gym every day or if we did we won't want to workout with a audience. ​ You don't need a gym membership to lose belly weight and get a flat stomach! There are many at-home workout programs that combine cardio, HIIT and resistance training into a complete workout plan for you to easily follow. You're in luck because I've completed a number of these workout programs and have come up with a list of the top 3 best workout programs for a flat belly! 

Top 3 Best Workout Plans for a Flat Belly

Number 1: Jen's Bikini Body Workout

This is a 60 day transformation that will get you into a bikini body, and that includes a nice firm stomach. It has resistance and HIIT training principles that will work your core. Specifically designed for women!

Cost: $29.99

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Features: 

  • Follow along, Online instructional videos
  • Nutritional Guide
  • Shopping List
  • Bouns: Bikini Body Booty Blast
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • No Equipment Required 

Number 2: Bodyweight Burn

This is a 12 week training program that highlights the use of your own body weight to target specific muscle groups to sculpt lean firm body. 

Features: 

  • Follow along, Online instructional videos
  • Workout instructional videos
  • Workout guide ebook 
  • Wall Charts
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • No Equipment Required 

Number 3: Lean and Lovely

This is a 12 week program that works first help your body get rid of excess fat and then it will target your muscles so you can really sculpt out sexy, lean, feminine figure.

Features: 

  • Lean & Lovely Training Manual
  • Nutritional Handbook
  • HIIT style "sweat sessions"
  • Instructional Videos
  • Yoga Series 
  • Tracking log sheets
  • 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • No Equipment Required 

How to Lose Belly Fat with Diet

The secret formula to losing belly fat and getting a flatter stomach is 20% exercise and 80% diet. ​If you think about it, you might only be exercising for 30-60 minutes a day but throughout the rest of your time you are eating. The first step to getting a flat stomach is to start eating clean. This means no processed junk food and a focus on natural, nutritious foods. Foods to eat for a flat belly are as follows: 

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • seeds/nuts
  • Low Fat Dairy 
  • Lean Meats (chicken, turkey)
  • Fish 
  • Eggs

Now as you change you diet, you'll begin to see a change in your weight. While there is no way to eat food that will cause weight loss only in your belly area, you will see an overall difference in your weight.  Be  mind full of your portions as well. 

Protein for a Flatter Stomach ​

If you are aiming to lose weight, protein should be your new best friend! Why is protein important to weight loss?

  1. You'll Feel Fuller, Longer: Protein is harder and takes more time to digest than other foods. This means you belly fill feel full for a longer period of time. You'll be less likely to go back for seconds and snack later on which will save you from eating extra calories. ​
  2. Curbs Cravings: Craving happen when we experience sugar "highs" and "lows" after eating carbohydrates. Pairing protein with a good carb will keep these highs and lows from getting too extreme and prevent sugar cravings. 
  3. "Burns" More Calories: it takes energy to digest the food we eat. Protein is harder to digest and will require more energy.  You will end up using more calories to process protein as opposed to carbs or fats. 
  4. Protein for Muscles: Protein is essential to building and repairing muscle tissue. Since you are working out you'll need protein to build lean muscles. 

Complex Carbohydrates for Stomach Weight Loss

Carbs are usually the first thing people cut out when trying to go on a diet. This is because they don't understand the difference between "good" carbs and "bad" carbs. ​many of us have been brainwashed into thinking that carbs will make us fat! Lets take a minute to get the facts straight. You need cards for energy. Eating the right carbs is actually what will help you lose weight. Here are a few of the best carbs to eat for weight loss: 

Whole Wheat Pasta: Higher intake of whole wheat carbs can help you achieve a lower over all BMI and less abdominal fat. But keep the portions between 100 and 200 calories.

Beans: Beans are amazing foods and are also packed with iron and protein. ​

Oatmeal: Good source of fiber! More soluble fiber can help keep the amount of fat stored in the belly down.

Popcorn: Air popped popcorn is a great and healthy alternative to satisfy those salty snack craving that can strike at any moment and it's a low calories food. ​

Cleansing and Teas for Belly Weight loss

To prep your body for weight loss you might benefit from trying a cleanse.  There are juicing cleanses and tea cleanses that both will prepare your body for losing that excess stomach fat. Benefits of cleanses include helping with digestion, clearing toxin build up from the body, weight loss, metabolism boost, nutrition and increasing fat burning. Cleanses can last from 3 to 21 days. There are many tea cleanses and juice cleanses on the market but here are the top 3 cleanses for a flatter stomach

Related: Pro's and Con's of Doing a Juice Cleanse​

Number 1: Chef V 21 Day Cleanse

It is a powerful combination of the Organic Cleanse and daily benefits of the Organic Green Drink. Together these two products form the 21-day challenge.

Benefits: 

  • improve metabolism
  • Improvedigestion
  • Weight loss
  • Gain Energy
  • Sleepbetter
  • Revitalize skin and hair
  • Detox vital organs

Number 2: Thin Tonic Tea Detox

Thin Tea is a tea detox that is composed of natural herbs, proven to help with weight loss, increase energy, as well as other positive health benefits. What I think is special about this product is that the formula has been made especially to promote weight loss in women.

Benefits: 

  • Removal of toxins
  • Increase in energy
  • 30% more fat burn
  • more balanced mood
  • Suppressed Appetite
  • Metabolism Boost
  • Controlled Cravings
  • Healthier Digestion 

Number 3: Skinny Bunny Detox Tea

This is a newer product and I like that they don’t have any synthetic ingredients. Some of the ingredients you can expect to find in Skinny Bunny Tea are ginger root, green and black tea, stevia leaf, cinnamon, black pepper, rooibos, rose hips, juniper berries, and lemongrass.

Benefits: 

  • weight loss
  • more energy
  • less bloating
  • antioxidants
  • morning will give you more energy
  • afternoon will calm you and make it easier to relax.

I hope this guide helps you in losing your unwanted belly fat! It's important to have the right mindset and to just be persistence in your weight loss efforts, the only people who fail are the ones that stop trying!