Eat a healthy diet, engage in consistent daily aerobic exercise, and perform abdominal exercises three or four times per week to develop a flat, washboard stomach. The amount of time it takes to achieve a perfect midsection depends on your current body fat levels.
- Eat a healthy diet
Stay away from fad diets that cut too many calories, and focus on eating lean meats, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and fast-digesting, simple carbohydrates. Drink up to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to stay properly hydrated and ward off any hunger pangs.
- Perform cardiovascular exercise on a daily basis
Engage in at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day to burn off calories. To develop washboard abs, you must lose any excess fat around your midsection. Any exercise that elevates your heart rate to 70 to 80 percent of your maximum for a minimum of 20 minutes is effective. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and aerobic classes are all good choices.
- Strengthen your abs three or four times per week
To strengthen your midsection, spend 15 minutes working your abs three or four days per week. Crunches, reverse crunches, leg raises, hanging leg raises and machine crunches are all effective. Concentrate on performing each exercise with flawless form, and avoid using momentum to cheat. Choose two or three exercises for each workout, and perform two to three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions for each exercise.