7 lies you've been told about getting a flat stomach

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Forget what you've been told about flat abs. It's probably rubbish.

Flat stomach - detox diet - diet plan - weight loss - dieting - workout - exercise - diet and fitness - handbag.com
After that elusive flat tummy in time for your summer holiday? Then stop mucking about with these diet and fitness tips that don't really work anyway...

1. The only way is crunch
Doesn't matter if you have the most toned abs in the world if they are hidden underneath a layer of fat. Concentrate first on fat burning cardio and second on the toning exercises.

2. Starving yourself will get you there quicker
Eating less will help you lose weight yes, but starving yourself will not.

Going on a severe diet means you will waste muscle, your metabolism will slow down and your body will go into fat storing mode as it panics about where it's next meal is coming from. Instead eat small, healthy, low calorie meals regularly.

3. You can just blast off your tummy
Oh how we wish we could all target specific areas of our body – just a little trim on the arms, a bit off the bum. But unfortunately fat burning doesn't work like that. If you want to blast fat off a specific part of you body, you will have to do cardio that works the entire body.

4. It's not the numbers
That's not to say that targeted toning exercises aren't necessary to get defined abs (just remember cardio first). But sit ups aren't a numbers game, instead take your time and concentrate on getting the exercise right. Keep the abs tight, exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down.

5. Strength training is for bulky body builders
You need muscle to burn fat. End of story. But don't think if you start weight lifting you'll end up looking like Jodie Marsh. Body builders spend hours in the gym every day, eat six meals daily and take hefty protein supplements. You lifting the odd light weight is not going to bulk you up, but it will help you burn fat and get a sculpted bod.

6. It's only what you eat that counts
While diet and fitness are obviously the key factors in weight gain and loss, don't underestimate the importance of other factors being behind your belly fat. Stress and hormones play a big part in where your body decides to plonk it's fat stores. Try doing some calming exercises like yoga or meditating to reduce stress levels.

7. This new crazy diet will definitely burn it all off
Grapefruit mixed with red onion six times a day and a glass of lime juice to wash it down? Delicious. Ignore fad diets (see point two) and instead focus on eating lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

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