Everybody wants to have a flat stomach, but are you ready to work hard for it? And, unfortunately, even if you work hard, there are some other factors that may prevent you from having a completely fat-free stomach. According to health experts, gender, genetics, and age are also major contributing factors that determine your ability to achieve a flat stomach or a six-pack abs.
Your lifestyle greatly influences your ability to stay in shape and maintain a flat stomach. Of course, if you have an active lifestyle, you have a better chance of getting a flat stomach, gender, genetics, and age notwithstanding. If your lifestyle is more sedentary, you are more prone to weight gain and the accumulation of fat around your belly. Fitness experts recommend doing cardiovascular exercise and weight training every day to get rid of the fat around your abdominal area and add definition to your abs.
All your exercise for a flat stomach would be useless if you don’t follow a healthy diet. According to nutritionists and health experts, people who want six-pack abs will want to eat only lean proteins and very small amounts of fat, regulate salt intake, and stick to a healthy diet religiously. Fiber-rich foods such as beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help prevent bloating and keep your digestive system in perfect working condition. Regular consumption of water and monitoring your daily caloric intake will also help you achieve and maintain that flat stomach.
Age is another factor that influences your ability to achieve a flat stomach. Unfortunately, it is true that a flat belly gets more difficult to maintain as you grow older. Health experts say that the human metabolism slows down by about 3% with each decade. This is why you may find yourself gaining weight over many years, even with no major changes to your lifestyle or diet. For women and men in their mid-40s or 50s, this slow weight gain often shows as added weight around the abdominal area.
For women, this weight gain can be somewhat worsened by the fact that perimenopause causes the accumulation of additional abdominal fat cells, like in adolescence and in childbearing years. Men, on the other hand, show the weight gain in the form of a pot belly or a hard belly, which is made of deep abdominal fat.
Genetics affect your ability to get and maintain a flat stomach, too. Genetic predispositions to certain body shapes, for instance, may make it difficult for you to get rid of fat around your abdominal area. Scientists have discovered that the Plexin D1 gene can determine whether you accumulate more fat around your belly (apple-shaped body) or around your hips and thighs (pear-shaped body). A person with an apple-shaped body will have to work harder to remove fat from his or her abdomen.
Certain populations are also predisposed to carry more fat in their bodies. Eskimos, for instance, usually have more body fat due to centuries of acclimation to cold climates. Sometimes, a distinct body shape is evident in entire families, going back several generations.
There are many differences between the male and female body, and this is particularly obvious in the abdominal area. Women tend to have more fat cells in their abdominal area for the protection of reproductive organs and the fetus during pregnancy. In preparation for pregnancy, females also usually produce more fat cells in the abdominal area during adolescence and childbearing years. As a result, many women have a softly rounded lower belly even if they’re lean or physically fit.
With regular exercise and proper nutrition, men may be able to maintain a flat stomach much more easily as they don’t produce extra fat cells.
Getting completely flat, fat-free stomach may seem like an impossible goal, but it is possible through hard work, dedication, and maybe some good genes.