While all three of these hormones have a lot to do with weight gain and fat storage in your mid-section, it's important to understand regulating them requires clean eating, exercise and a routine to balance stress.
3. Breathing is crucial.
Incorrect breathing during even your toughest workout can hurt your flat belly goals. When you panic breathe during exercise, your adrenal glands release cortisol. That response, which is meant to give you a burst of energy for fighting or fleeing, causes you to accumulate and store fat in your belly.
Additionally, cortisol production can remain at high levels due to sustained stress and leave you craving high-sugar or high-carb foods. Breathing correctly means breathing deep into your belly — never shallow "panic" breathing with your mouth. Aim to fill your belly with air by breathing in through your nose. No matter how hard your workout, never allow yourself to shallow breathe through the mouth.
4. Overtraining won't help.
Just because you're working out doesn’t mean you're getting the benefits. This means having a training plan, not just training at random. When you train, you should be doing a specific sequence of exercises, lifting weight and having a goal-specific work-rest structure. Aim for daily activity.
Make sure to find a complete program, not a single workout. The program should have workout plans, calendars, a nutrition education and also a good structure.
5. Impatience is a leading factor in not reaching your goals.
You get on a program, get excited, give it your all for a week or two ... and then what? If you don’t see as the results you'd like in the first week or so, you get disappointed and switch to a new program, diet or workout.
But the truth is that everyone gets results at a different pace. If you abandon a workout too soon, your body doesn’t have the opportunity to make the changes you're asking it to make. If you pick a program, give it a chance; stick with it all the way to the end, be patient and enjoy the learning process.
6. Fat-free foods are not your friends.
Fat-free foods might seem like a good idea, but they're often full of hidden sugars, additives and preservatives, all of which will trigger poor hormone response and hunger cravings. You have to eat real, whole food. Look for good fats like avocados, salmon, nuts. Eat fiber-rich foods, leafy greens and fruit. Enjoy natural proteins and all-natural carbohydrates from sweet potato, kasha, quinoa and whole grains.
Be picky about what you put into your body and don't let a food label sway your judgment.
7. Looking for "perfection" is dangerous.
The truth is that your abs might never look like those of your fitness mentor or an underwear model. But they can be defined, strong and capable.
Learn to look at your gains in terms of strength, function and then looks, not just looks alone. We're all distinctly unique and so are our strengths, weaknesses and abs. Recognize and respect your body, hard work and results.