6 Real-Life Steps to a Flat Stomach and Six-Pack with the Right Exercise and Food
I get compliments on my abs and six-pack, and I’m not shy to show them off in the summer at the pool. Women (and men!) often ask for my secret, and it’s actually pretty simple. I don’t spend 30+ minutes doing abs each day, nor do I follow a crazy ab workout routine to get flat abs.
Below are the 6 steps I follow for sexy abs and a flat, 6-pack stomach.
Step 1: Lower your Body Fat Percentage for a Six-Pack
Step one for a flat stomach is to lose any extra layer of fat covering up your middle! Losing weight takes time and requires discipline. But if you are serious about having sexy abs, you need lose excess fat in your middle. Aim for a body fat percentage below 25% if you are a female in your 30s.
Step 2: Genetics Play a Role in Achieving a Flat Stomach
Okay, so this isn’t really a step, but your genetics play a big role in how your abs look. Even if you lose extra weight, some women are more prone to keeping extra jiggle around the middle. I’m fortunate in that I collect extra fat in my butt and thighs. If you have skinny legs and carry excess weight around your middle, you can still get good abs, but know that you are just built differently. You can make your stomach flatter, but your abs may never mirror those of a fitness model. Don’t fret! Show off your legs or another asset instead.
Step 3: Do Sit-Ups and Planks for Sexy Abs. And Proper Form is Key!
You knew this would be a step, right? You need to do sit-ups and planks to get a flat, defined stomach. I swear by Pure Barre. It’s magic. I go to my studio 5 times a week. Pure Barre starts with a warm-up that includes abs and planks, and then ends with 6-minutes of abs.
The key to getting abs like mine is to do the Pure Barre ab workout, with these tips in mind:
- Planks: Do one 90-second plank five times a week. When you do the plank, lower your butt so that it is not sticking up, suck your stomach in, and push your weight back into your heels.
- Abs: Suck your stomach in during the warm up and the 6-minute ab exercises at the end of class.
I could include photos and detailed instructions for the ab workout I do, but I’d recommend you just watch this Pure Barre work-out and do the ab series.
Doing abs and planks are the two key steps to getting a flat stomach and sexy abs. Pure Barre makes it easy!
Check out minutes 2-6 of the video below, and then do the end of the video for the abs series (minutes 35-42).
Ab exercise tip: For the second ab series, place a small ball behind your back. This will help you focus on your abs instead of working your hip flexors. This also helps if you have back problems, or if your back just aches sometimes during abs (like mine!).
Step 4: Avoid Foods that Make You Bloated for a Flat Stomach
My stomach used to always be bloated. My mom could tap on my stomach, and it was a little drum. I was full of air inside! Then I gave up gluten 5 years ago, and my stomach suddenly became flat. I don’t eat bread or energy bars, and I stay away from rice, beans, and oats. I’m by no means keto or vegetarian. I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, salmon, and lean steaks.
In addition to giving up gluten, I gave up any and all foods with fake sugar. This includes sugar free gum, diet soda, sugar-free Monster drinks, and any diet-friendly food with aspartame, Splenda, stevia, and erythritol. Food manufacturers will sneak these fake sugars (especially erythritol) into many foods without your knowledge.
What about erythritol? It’s made from plants and viewed as “better” for you. I avoid it. I find that any fake sugar completely messes up my food cravings, makes me hungrier, and makes me bloated.
Additional tip for a flat stomach: Limit your alcohol consumption, especially beer. Alcohol causes beer belly. This is the opposite of a flat stomach!
Step 5: Consume Lots of Daily for Great Abs
I drink two glasses of 1% milk each day and often have 1-2 Greek yogurts as well. Not joking! I go through a whole gallon of milk a week, and it’s just me at home. Dairy is a good source of calcium and protein, and it helps me stay at a good weight and keep my stomach flat.
Side note: This tip goes against what most articles online advise. Many recommend staying away from dairy. But I’m not lactose intolerant, and I get great results with my high dairy diet. So I’m going to stick with what works for me.
Step 6: Don’t Follows the Advice about “Banished” Foods to Get a 6-Pack
I’d also recommend you ignore the other “banished” foods out there! Many articles say to avoid these foods online. I disagree!
- Apples: I have 3-4 apples a day (not exaggerating) and I have a flat stomach (see cover photo). So I’d ignore this piece of advice.
- Brussel sprouts: I love brussel sprouts and eat them at least 3 times a week. Again, a “banished” food that I love that doesn’t prevent me from getting a six-pack.
- Steak: OMG – who came up with this advice?! I have lean steak 3+ times a week. There’s just something about steak that makes me feel satisfied. Protein is good for you. I buy lean steak, and if anything steak actually helps me stay thin and helps me maintain my abs.
However, I do agree with avoiding these foods:
- Refined carbs. I don’t eat them – period.
- Packaged foods. I limit my intake to the Amy’s frozen meals. Everything else I eat is fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and lean meat.
- I don’t own sugar. I take my coffee with 1% milk, and that’s it. I avoid foods with added sugar if possible.
Want More Fitness Tips?
Check out these fitness articles to learn how I stay fit and healthy. I also have an Instagram page for theJeansFit.
Lots of love and good luck getting ready for summer with a new set of sexy abs.
<3 Chrissy from The Jeans Fit (offering simple and easy fitness and weight loss advice for women)