Everyone wants six-pack abs. EVERYONE! And everyone wants it overnight. Sorry to inform you, that just isn’t possible. Ok, maybe if I had a magic wand I could make it happen for you. But I don’t. So, you get the alternative.
You need to work for it! What you might not know is a lot of this work comes in the kitchen. What you put in your body plays more of a roll into those six-pack abs than the work you put in at the gym. Bummer, I know. Just when you thought those hours a day you were putting in were worth something. No fret! Those hours matter as well. I PROMISE!!!
Starting with the gym…
Yes, in order to have any muscle definition we actually need muscle. So, that work you are putting in at the gym is important.
When it comes to gaining abs, or what I like to call “core strength,” there are a lot more exercises you can do than just doing the traditional ab exercises that most people think of – sit ups, crunches, Russian twists, planks, etc. Yes, those are great to do as well, and I do incorporate them into the activities I do with my clients and athletes, but functional movements also improve core strength and develop our abs. Things such as holding heavy objects, carrying heavy things, squats with a barbell or dumbbells, lunges, and lifting overhead all use the core and help to develop the core (aka, your abs!). Don’t believe me? Go to a workout that smokes out your abs and then do one of those movements. My guess is one of two things will happen…either you will realize the movement is harder than it was before and/or you will feel the core engage so much more.
So when at the gym, don’t neglect the traditional abdominal exercises, as those are useful and beneficial, but remember that many other things you do are working your abs more than you realize. This is why I say the abs start in the kitchen. If you are working out regularly and working the abs, you have more definition in the muscles than you realize. There is just something overlying it that is not letting the abs show through.
Now into the kitchen…
That “something” overlying your abs is adipose tissue…yes, that means fat! You can work out all you want, but unless you are putting the right foods and the right amounts into your bodies, it will not matter. If your nutrition is not on point, you will not lose the fat you need to lose in order to let those abs show through.
So, where to start. First and foremost, stop eating processed foods. Those added chemicals and added sugars wreak havoc on your body. They can cause inflammation, bloating, and added weight on your body, just to name a few of the issues. All three of those issues will keep us from losing the fat we need to lose to let the abs show through.
The other issue is quantity. This can actually go a couple ways, though.
Undereating. Yes, we do need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight, but when we go into a significant caloric deficit (take in fewer calories than we actually need to survive), our bodies hold on to everything it can. It is using all the food (energy) you put into it just to survive. Because of this, it will not let you lose anything either. This means you continue to eat healthy and in small quantities, but you don’t lose any weight. You get frustrated! I get it, I see this every day with my clients.
Overeating. Just taking in too much food for what your body needs. Just because you are training/exercising daily, does not mean you have free reign to eat whatever you want. That is not how this works. If you are working to gain muscle, awesome, you do need to be in a slight caloric surplus, but by slight, not drastic.
There are a lot of other factors that also play a roll into why we hold onto excess weight when we feel we are eating healthy, but those are the biggest factors.
So, if you are getting frustrated with not having those six-pack abs you desire and feel you are working hard at the gym, think about what you are putting in your body. That could be YOUR difference maker!
Have more questions? Want more information regarding this? Email me at email@example.com with all your questions.
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