Ask anyone what body part they wish they could change or alter. 99.9% will tell you their midsection or abs. Abs are extremely desirable. With them being so desirable, there is tons of bullshit surrounding the process of getting abs because everyone wants that quick fix. Everyone wants to find that next miracle training program or diet. It just doesn’t exist, folks. The magic potions, pills, powders, body wraps, and infomercial “ab blasters” routines just don’t work in the long run.
The lack of proper information and overwhelming amount of misinformation is extremely misleading and confusing to most. I have personally fallen into the traps and gimmicks at some point and time in my life and I wish I knew now what I didn’t know then. I learned from the mistakes, but it was a waste of time and energy I could have been putting towards other fitness endeavors. My goal for this blog post is to properly inform you about what ACTUALLY works in the long term.
Getting abs, contrary to popular belief, is extremely simple. With that said, there is no “quick solution” to your long term problem. It takes time and dedication, but the process is unbelievably simple.
1) Reducing bodyfat percentage
Everyone has abs believe it not. Some just have some extra “cushion” in front and around them. Visible abs are as simple as lowering your body fat to a desirable percentage. For women, anywhere from 12-18% is desirable. 12% being EXTREMELY lean. For men, anywhere from 6-10% is desirable. 6% being EXTREMELY lean. The lower ranges of these body fat percentages are not sustainable or good for your health, though. Anywhere in the middle of those numbers you will see your abs. You reduce your body fat percentage primarily by reducing the calories you eat. Refer to #2 below.
2) Caloric intake
I don’t care if you eat nothing but chicken and broccoli 6 times a day. If your calories are too high, you will not lose body fat and reveal your abs. I’m not saying to weigh every single drop of food on a food scale, but I am saying to monitor and have an overall idea of what you are eating on a daily basis in terms of calories. To reveal those abs, you have to lose body-fat. To lose body-fat, you have to decrease your caloric intake to be at a caloric deficit. Simply put, eat less than your body needs and you will lose body-fat. Depending on how severe you reduce your calories will dictate how fast the weight comes off. However, “starvation” type diets don’t work long term and calories should be reduced gradually. Fad dieting works, but not for the reason you think. Enjoy the foods you love and monitor caloric intake, it’s really that simple.
3) High protein consumption
No, high protein diets do not overload your kidneys or give you colon cancer or heart disease. High protein diets are extremely healthy and beneficial when it comes to losing body-fat. High protein consumption is associated with satiety (feeling full) and is extremely important when dieting on a calorie reduced diet. The fuller you feel, the less you eat. Also, high protein consumption ensures your body retains, or at least minimizes muscle loss. Sure, we can all lose weight, but we don’t want to lose hard earned muscle and have the “skinny fat” look. How much protein? 1 gram/lb of what you weigh. For instance, if you weigh 165, you need 165 grams of protein a day to ensure your body isn’t catabolizing it’s own muscle tissue.
4) Veggies. Really, veggies?
How many times have you heard “eat your veggies”? Well, thank whoever told you this because they are right. The health benefits of veggies are numerous and everyone knows veggies are good for you, but probably not the reason you are thinking. Unfortunately, veggies don’t make us lean or make our abs pop out. That’s not how it works or why you should eat veggies. You should eat veggies because they are extremely satiating and fiber rich. Sateity + fiber rich content = fuller longer. Fuller longer = less calories eaten (majority of the time). Also, veggies are high in micronutrients which ensures your body is getting everything it needs in a state of caloric distress. The fiber content also allows your body to stay regular and digest the food you are eating.
Obviously, I couldn’t leave exercise out of my top 5. However, it’s probably not the type of exercise you are thinking. No, it’s not some infomercial “ab shredder” program. No, it’s not me telling you to do 1000 crunches and sit-ups a day. No, it’s not some fancy machine that “makes your abs pop”. Listen, that’s all bullshit. The REAL workout approach that works is to lift moderate to heavy weight and allow more recovery time between sessions due to you being low on calories. Your body needs a stimulus as well as recovery time. Anywhere from 6-12 reps is fine. Lifting weights while dieting to get abs is ESSENTIAL. ESSENTIAL. Why? Simply put, when you train in such a manner (lifting heavy weights) you ensure that you are preserving your muscle mass while dieting. High reps aren’t necessary, don’t believe the “high reps equal tone” bullcrap. It’s simply not true. Also, in addition to lifting heavy (I advise 3-4 days/week), 30-45 minutes of cardio on off days is a good idea. Not absolutely necessary, but a good idea. Cardio will aid in your fat loss goals.
There are many “programs” out there that promise you results. All I am saying is don’t buy into the marketed BS. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Especially in the fitness industry. Follow these 5 keys above and you will surely be on your way to six pack abs. It takes time and dedication, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. You just have to be willing to put in the time and sacrifice it takes to get to where you want to go.
Takeaways – Key Points
- Reducing bodyfat is the only way to get visible abs. No one exercise or food is going to give you abs. It’s a combination of things.
- Reducing caloric intake is the only way to lose bodyfat. If you eat more food than you expend, regardless of food selection, you will not lose weight. Can you lose weight eating nothing but junk? Yes, but keep in mind your overall health is what’s most important
- High protein consumption keeps you fuller longer and preserves your lean body mass while your losing fat. Win, win.
- Veggies ensure proper digestion, sufficient vitamins and mineral intake, and are very filling. Veggies are good for you in every spectrum. EAT YOUR VEGGIES.
- Exercise accelerates fat loss, given that your diet is on point. Exercise increases your metabolism, preserves muscle mass, and improves the way your body uses the nutrients you are feeding it. Lift heavy weights. “High rep = more tone” is a myth. LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS.
This is how 5 things can help you to nail down to get abs.