Sexy 6 Pack Abs Is Not Just About Low Calorie Diets
On a scale of 1 to 10, for most people, losing weight ranks at about a 7 or an 8. If we use the same scale to rank difficulty at getting abs, it will rankly roughly around 27.
Yes… getting a six pack is a Herculean task. You may have heard that abs are made in the kitchen. You may have heard that 70% is based on your diet and 30% is based on your training.
What nobody really tells you is that it is 100% dedication to both your diet and training.
Losing weight is very different from getting a six pack. Most people can lose weight by cutting their calories and exercising more. However, getting a visible six pack will require much more sweat equity and sacrifices in your training and diet.
Comparing normal weight loss to getting abs is like juggling 3 oranges in your kitchen to performing as a professional juggler at a circus. The actions are similar but the time, effort and difficulty that comes with it is a lot more challenging.
Now that we’ve established that getting a six pack is a task from hell… let’s see how it impacts your diet.
With normal weight loss, eating less will suffice in bringing about positive results. So, people who are trying to lose weight may still eat foods such as white bread, pasta, chocolates, etc. in moderation. As long as they’re eating fewer calories than they’re expending, it’s all good and they will lose fat.
For the person who is trying to see his or her six packs, they will already be lean. Any and every calorie that is consumed is either working for them or against them. Since bodyfat levels will be low, your calorie consumption will just be enough to keep you healthy and fit. No excess calories are allowed because it will result in fat gain.
You will need to eat foods that are wholesome and beneficial. The foods you eat should not only be nutritious but should also be thermogenic. That means that they are fat burning foods.
Whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice, lean meats, lentils, beans, unsweetened green tea, etc. are all highly beneficial.
Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc. are essential to your diet. These vegetables are able to combat the negative effects of xenoestrogens. Cruciferous vegetables are a good source of fiber and must be consumed regularly.
When trying to get a sick pack, there is only a certain amount of food that you can consume before you hit your daily calorie requirement. All the food you eat must meet your macro and micro nutrient needs.
You don’t have the luxury of eating foods that are detrimental even if you’re at a caloric deficit. Chemicals in processed foods, additives, hidden sugars, etc. will wreak havoc on your body and hinder the fat loss. It will be extremely difficult to burn off the last stubborn layer of fat on your tummy if your diet is not clean and wholesome.
Stick with single ingredient foods and you may have to endure a month or two of bland food. This is a necessary sacrifice to burn off the belly fat. However, once it’s all burnt off, maintaining a six pack is easier.
You’ll be able to sneak in a chocolate bar or a soda every now and then because your metabolic rate is high enough to burn off these calories quick. However, that’s only once you’ve reached your goal. Anything before that is not even an option.
You must bite the bullet and sacrifice the unhealthy foods that we are all guilty of loving just a tad too much. Eat lean, eat healthy and you will slowly but surely burn off all your fat and see your abs.
Nothing tastes as good as the feeling you will get when you have a midsection that looks like it was carved out of stone. Very few reach this goal… but you will… and it starts with what you eat. Eat right.
How Low Should I Cut My Calories?
There is a saying in the fitness industry, “Don’t obsess over your calories and just eat well and train hard.”
This is false advice. If you are trying to lose weight, you must have a general idea of how many calories you’re consuming. You don’t need to obsess over it but you must have a general idea of how many calories you’re consuming and if you’re at a caloric deficit.
Knowing your calorie intake is like having a road map to your weight loss journey. If you don’t have one, you will get lost and probably get fatter.
That being said, if you’re trying to get a six pack, you’re different from those just hoping to shed a few excess pounds. You are looking to get so lean that your abs have no fat to hide behind.
You absolutely must obsess over your calories. You need to know your food intake and roughly how many calories you have expended. Many bodybuilders weigh their food before preparing them. There is a reason for this.
They are calculating their calorie intake.
There are 155 calories in a boiled egg. Fry that same egg in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and you’re looking at 389 calories (the coconut oil contains 234 calories). These are numbers worth knowing.
It’s the same egg. It has just been prepared differently. Many people will assume it’s still 155 calories and forget to factor in the calories from the oil. This will result in their numbers being off and they may not be losing the weight they’re hoping to.
Find out the calories for the food you consume. In our current age, this is extremely simple. Just go online and Google the food and see how many calories it contains. Smart phones often have many apps that serve this purpose.
Once you know the calories of the food, you will need to know what your ideal weight should be based on your height. You can find a wealth of useful information about this at the library.
Once you reach your ideal weight, you will have a specific number for your daily calorie intake. Do not cut your calories further.
Once you reach this stage, you will need to adjust the proteins, fat and carbs that you’re taking in. Some people are carb sensitive and gain weight easily with carbs. If this is the case, you may cut out all the carbs from your diet and just eat more fats and protein but still maintain the same amount of calories.
This is known as ketogenic dieting. It’s highly effective at burning off the last layer of fat. Once your body notices that it is getting sufficient amounts of fat, it will tap into its fat stores more readily to burn off the stubborn fat that it was clinging on to all along.
Minimal carbs will also ensure that insulin levels do not spike too high and result in fat storage.
The point to take away from all this is that there is a limit as to how low you can go. If you cut your calories till you’re eating the same amount as a 9 year old girl, your body will go into starvation mode and hold on to its precious fat.
Find out your ideal weight based on your height. Then eat sufficient calories to maintain the weight. Next, manipulate the components that make up the calories. Train harder to boost your metabolic rate and burn the stubborn fat off. When your metabolic rate is high, your body will be burning calories around the clock.
It will tap into your fat stores and automatically burn the fat for fuel. You will not need to starve yourself. This is the best way to go about it.
Why Can’t I See My Ab Muscles Even Though I Work Out?
The answer for most people is they are carrying too much body fat in the stomach area. You may have great abs, but unless your body fat is at 10% or lower, you won’t see them. Now that we know the reason, let’s look at some ways to make those abs shine through.
Target the rectus abdominis
Exercises, like bent-over rows, reverse wood chops using a medicine ball, and one-arm lunges using a dumbbell, are all good exercises that target developing the abs.
Mix it up
If you use the same routine over and over, your body finds ways to do the exercises more efficiently so you don’t end up burning as many calories. Keep your body guessing by changing routines every so often, say every two weeks to a month. When choosing a new routine, make sure it is one that includes moves that target your abs: crunches, trunk rotations, planks and hanging leg lifts.
Better define your diet
All the targeted exercise in the world will not bring your abs out if your diet has not been honed to perfection. An abs diet should be heavy in fresh vegetables, lean meats and fish, grains, low-fat cheese and yogurt, and nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Give up the rich sauces, white flour, fast food and soft drinks.
Get more sleep
The body repairs itself and builds muscle while you are sleeping. That is when the highest levels of growth hormone is in your system. So it makes sense that if you do not take full advantage of this opportunity by not getting enough sleep, your muscles won’t have enough time to grow.
Also, the more time you are not sleeping, the higher will be another hormone in your system – cortisol. Cortisol encourages your body to store fat, so it is easy to see why not getting enough sleep effects muscle building and body fat reduction.
As we all know, spot reduction is not possible. In other words taking off just belly fat and not fat in other areas. And it is also good to know that belly fat is one of the last fats to go when burning off bodyfat. So as far as fat-burning, cardio-type routines work great. The more calories burned the better.
Pair carb-burning with a reduction of carb intake through proper diet and you should start to show a loss of body fat. Once you have your body fat at the 10% mark or less, then switch over to abs building routines to make that six-pack shine through.