When you are 12 years old, you might have some leftover belly fat from your earlier childhood years. As you head into your preteens, you may want to eliminate the fat to attain a more lean and defined frame. If you want to get a flat stomach for a summer bathing suit, or to feel better in certain clothing styles, there are some healthy ways to do just that. Here are some tips.
Eat nutritious foods to lose fat. A preteen who wants to lose weight should always eat foods that have a high nutritional value when attempting to become leaner. In order to decrease fat that accumulates in the stomach area, foods such as vegetables and fruits should make up at least 80 percent of your diet. Only 10 percent of the diet should come from fat, and at least half of that should be in the form of unsaturated fats such as nuts, olive oil and sunflower oil. Do not eat processed or junk foods like cake, cookies, ice cream, candy or vending machine junk food. Eat more citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit for their fat-burning properties as well. Try to eat only lean meats and limit carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and potatoes to 20 percent or less of your diet for healthy fat loss.
Do not drink soda or drinks that contain high levels of calories or sodium. Calories can lead to fat accumulation and sodium (salt) can lead to bloat. Bloating can hide the lean muscle that you build in the abdominal area. Keep healthy snacks on hand as well to snack on when you feel hungry. Snacking can actually increase metabolism, but the key is that snacks have to be healthy. Pretzels, carrots, celery, chunk cheese and yogurt are healthy snacks that will help you to feel less hungry but not cause excess fat accumulation. Just remember to limit yourself to a handful or less of most snacks and have individual portions on hand to eat just the right amount.
Eat breakfast to boost your metabolism to keep burning fat throughout the day. Avoid eating late at night when your metabolism begins to slow down as well. Although fast foods are often a staple of the preteen diet, you should stay away from fast food altogether if possible. If you must have fast food, choose salads or small hamburgers. Avoid fries, milk shakes, large sandwiches and chicken nuggets. Drink 64 ounces of water daily to flush fat and stay hydrated. When you are dehydrated the body might confuse thirst signals with those of hunger. Water makes you feel full, and will keep you from overeating.
Get plenty of aerobic exercise to burn fat that will help define lean muscle in the abdominal area. Use fun exercises that work the middle, upper and oblique abdominal areas for best results. Ask your friends to play a game of tennis, racquetball and basketball. These are all good exercises for the abdominals due to the side-to-side and up-and-down movements involved in the sports. Dancing and gymnastics will also help create a lean and defined stomach. These activities are fun for preteens as well.
Do specific exercises to tighten your stomach area and help tighten the abdominal band. Perform crunches by lying on the floor and putting your hands behind your head. Bend the knees and lift the feet off the floor until calves are parallel to the floor. Lift your head, keeping your neck straight, until you feel a contraction in your upper and lower abdominals. Do not pull on your neck or head to avoid neck problems. Pick a spot on the ceiling to look at to help you keep your head in the right position, and keep your eyes on that area throughout the exercise. Bring your knees in toward the head for additional lower abdominal contraction. Do as many repetitions as possible, increasing the number daily to attain a flat stomach.
Add back lifts to your abdominal routine. There is a band that surrounds the stomach and the back and is responsible for supporting the abdominal. It is necessary to strengthen both to obtain a flat stomach. Roll over on your stomach, with your arms straight out in front of you, palms down and touching the floor. Lift both your arms and legs off of the floor, arching your back, and hold for at least 30 seconds. Go back to starting position and repeat for 10 to 20 repetitions. Increase repetitions daily to increase abdominal band strength.
Never crash diet. Crash dieting can cause nutritional imbalances due to severe food restrictions.Some crash diets involve eliminating complete food groups such as carbohydrates or fats from the diet to increase weight loss. It is important for preteens to have adequate nutrition to grow physically and psychologically. If you want to increase lean muscle in your abdominals that contribute to a flat stomach, you should have the right nutrition. Crash dieting will cause your body to store fat and make it harder to lose weight in the future as well.
Get your parents involved in the process. Tell your parents that you are working on obtaining a flat stomach and that you would like their help. Ask them to help you to buy nutritious foods that will help you to build lean muscle. Ask your friends to assist you in the process as well. See if they would like to join you in a team effort to get in shape and get a flat stomach. Sometimes working with someone provides you with the motivation you need to work through difficult times in your fitness quest.
Suck in your stomach while performing exercises. Press your back into the floor when doing crunches.
If crunches hurt your neck, lay your head down and do the leg lifts instead. Do not continue if your neck or back are in pain.