Round, comfy bellies are so easy to gain and yet so notoriously difficult to get rid of. You or people close to you may not mind the extra cushioning around the middle but be warned: belly fat can increase your risk factor of developing certain types of diseases including diabetes and cancer. Learn how to get a flat belly fast by understanding what contributes to fat storage in the body and how this can be modified to achieve a more pleasing and healthier form.

What Causes Fat Accumulation in the Midsection?

Two of the most common factors that lead to belly fat are a bad diet and little or no physical exercise. Quite simply, if you do not move enough, you start to lose muscle tissue and decrease your ability to burn calories in the form of fat. If you eat unhealthy food as well, you will make it very difficult for your body to get rid of excess fat efficiently.

How to Get a Flat Belly Fast

By using a good combination of diet, exercises and a few tricks, you can fast-track your way towards achieving a flat belly fast. Here are a few tips to consider:

Avoid Bloat

Some people react to certain foods differently. If you find that consuming gluten makes it more difficult to fit into your favorite pair of jeans, cut your gluten intake right away. Gluten is a little tricky to avoid because it is a common ingredient in items such as beer, oats, pasta, bread and pastry, sauces, gravy and dressings. However, try sticking to a whole grain diet and using the simplest and most basic condiments to add flavor to your food.

Time Your Snacks

Some dietitians and fitness experts believe that eating protein-rich snacks is best done from 3 to 4 p.m. because this helps trigger metabolism and balance your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels affect insulin, a hormone that promotes the storage of fat in your midsection. You might also consider eating small meals every 3 hours or so to help avoid spikes in your blood sugar. Consuming protein is also an effective strategy for getting a flat belly over the long-term.

Find and Challenge Your core

The center of your body keeps you balanced. Once you have identified it, always be aware of it and use it as often as you can. Engaging the core keeps it challenged, thus making it more efficient in whittling away at the fat in that area.

Don’t Forget the Cardio

It’s tempting to focus on your midsection using only spot exercises such as crunches and dips. Although spot exercises work well, they are not as effective as when they are used with cardio training. Cardio works out the whole body, boosts metabolism and improves your heart and lungs.