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Are "Flatten Your Belly" Claims Real?

By March 15, 2009 - 9:00pm
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A long time ago, I remember a fitness expert telling us to ignore all of the "flatten your belly" claims that if you do this or that exercise, you will see results in something as little as a few days/weeks.

I'm wondering: is there a new school of thought, or is this still the same? I'm not referring to taking any drugs or anything...just exercise.

From what I learned, the ONLY way to "whittle down your middle" was good ol' fashioned exercise. The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. Is this still true, or is it also true that some core training (anything from sit-ups or crunches or pilates) can flatten your stomach?

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My experience has been similar, as when I have been trying to lose my pregnancy weight (albeit 2 years later!), the only thing that is actually flattening my stomach is reducing my calories by 500 every-single day and exercising 5-6 times per week for 60 minutes. I'm losing weight everywhere, including my stomach.

A few of the exercise classes I take are cardio; others are strength-training. I've noticed a huge difference in my abs from the core-strengthening and crunches that cardio was not giving me...I can see some definition in my abs and waist. However, to flatten your stomach as you say, I think you do need to lose weight through good 'ol diet and exercise, and the toning comes through crunches or other strength-training (lifting weights, pilates, yoga, etc.)

good luck!

March 22, 2009 - 6:22am
HERWriter Guide

I'm no expert but I agree with the expert who told you to ignore those claims!

The only way my belly flattened after my three big back to back babies came out was exercise - power walking to be exact. Now I keep up the cardio and the belly is gone. I don't sport a 6 pack or anything, but the puffy pouch is gone (with time of the months exceptions, of course!).

I did 200 situps/crunches that targeted my belly every day and nothing happened. I dumped then, took up cardio that didn't target my belly ...and I lost the belly.

That's my experience.

March 16, 2009 - 1:38pm
EmpowHER Guest

Toning up any given area of your body will always help - e.g. flattening your belly somewhat. However, my experience is that fat stays unless you diet... and always hides your muscles no matter how tight.

March 16, 2009 - 11:06am

I've always heard that the only way to hit "core" areas is to work on yourself overall - cut back on calories and exercise more. Apparently, just focusing on one specific area (ie: doing a ton of crunches and other exercises just for your abs) doesn't work, according to what I've heard from fitness experts. I'm interested to see what others say.....

March 15, 2009 - 10:14pm
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