*Cue a ‘trainers hate him’ advertisement here
Yes, losing fat is the best way to a flatter belly, followed by working your abs by doing your squats and deadlifts. There is however a simple yet easily overlooked thing that can directly influence the way your belly looks.
Look at these two pictures.
You can see me slouch on the left and stand up straight on the right. The funny thing is: I’m not exaggerating nor am I tucking my belly or pushing it out. A lot of people let their head hang forwards and drop their chest, some more than others, often worse if seated. Look around at a crowd and consider the following guideline: If the upper back is rounded and the crown of the head is not above the neck, you’re not standing up straight. You’ll see a lot of people slouching.
Now look at the pictures again and compare the effect on my midsection. Even though I still have a high-ish % of bodyfat, just standing up straight makes a clearly visible difference. There you have it, a flatter belly.
So how do you do it? Chest up, flex your abs and ass lightly (which may come naturally if you’re used to heavy strength training). If you’re used to letting your head hang forward, you may have to ‘pull in your chin’ a bit as well, as if you’re trying to make a double chin. Don’t tuck your belly in and don’t roll your shoulders or whatever, that’s not necessary. Practice this occasionally throughout the day. Even if you don’t care about a flatter stomach, it helps with preventing pains throughout the upper body as well, since slouching can cause trouble throughout the neck/upper back and even your upper extremities in the long run.
“Stand up straight, boy! Don’t slouch!” – About 90% of all mothers and grandmothers.