When warm weather is just around the corner, everyone is trying to drop a few pounds and tighten up their midsection. With beach days, afternoons by the pool, and lighter clothing coming up soon, it’s no wonder why people are anxious to whip their tummies into shape. But the best way to get a flat, toned tummy isn’t to exhaust yourself by squeezing out crunches. Skipping meals and counting calories aren’t going to do it either. The easiest, most effective strategy for flattening your stomach is as simple as a few easy tips and tricks. Read on to start shrinking your stomach today. Get Your Beauty Sleep Here’s yet another reason to get a healthy amount of sleep. Like many other fitness goals, tackling tummy fat is made a lot easier when you get sufficient rest. If you’re not convinced, investigate this 2010 study, which showed that individuals who got 8.5 hours of sleep per night lost 55% more body fat than subjects who slept only for 5.5 hours. Know When to Snack and When to Stop Snacking often gets demonized in the dieting community. Dieters think that if they consume calories outside of their regular meals that they’re overeating. And while it’s true that snacking on unhealthy processed foods is counterproductive for weight loss, there is room for snacking in your diet plan. The gap between lunch and dinner is where things usually go wrong for dieters. Toward the end of the afternoon you start to get tired and lethargic. This is a sign that your body needs a boost, a healthy snack. It is crucially important that you eat a protein rich snack between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. During this time of the day, your metabolism is slowing down, and your blood sugar is beginning to drop as you finish digesting your midday meal. A snack with lots of protein will jumpstart your metabolism and balance your blood sugar, keeping you feeling full while also keeping your bodies fat burning system at work. Tame Your Sweet Tooth It probably comes as no surprise that cutting down on sugar will help you lose that tummy. But the reason why this method works is fascinating. When you eat sugary foods, your body releases insulin, causing your body to absorb sugar and fat. Put simply, this is one of the main causes of your stubborn belly fat. However, when you pass on sugary foods, your body starts to release another hormone called glucagon. Glucagon causes your body to use up stored fat as energy, basically melting away your belly fat. Use these tips in addition to your own research, and get to know your body and its individual characteristics. Everyone is different, but with some fundamental principles and knowledge anyone can attain the body they want.