By: Pearl Maalouf BS, FMSC, CPT, CF-L1
Before we get into the steps, please know that having visible abs means you have a low enough body fat for them to show. If you want to burn fat then you have to create a calorie DEFICIT (negative). You must be burning MORE than you are consuming. On the opposite spectrum you don’t want to be eating too little – otherwise your body will start breaking down muscle and you will binge eat. So how do we find that healthy balance in eating enough food but not TOO much food so we can burn fat and get abs!? Follow along:
1. Eliminate processed foods.
What are examples of processed food?
Sugar, flour, chips, bread, pasta, cereal, pizza, soda, gatorade, coffee creamers, cakes, cookies, tortillas etc. As a general rule, anything that comes in a box/bag/can/bottle and has more than a 3 ingredients is going to be considered processed.
Processed foods are highly addictive (some are on the same levels as cocaine) so minimize your consumption levels to just a few times a week (ideally once a week at a designated cheat meal!).
2. Eat real food. What is real food?
Food that doesn’t need to have an ingredient list. If you can go out and find it in nature then it’s real food. Protein, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruit. This is real food. These foods need to make up the majority of your diet if you want to get lean and healthy. If you have to have junk, aka processed “food”, try to plan it out in advance and make sure that the rest of your meals are real food!
3. Lift. Yes, you. Yes, I mean everyone.
You don’t get physique you’re dreaming of by only doing cardio. You get it from lifting weights- and I’m not talking about 1kg or 2kg weights – learn proper form either from dong research or with a qualified trainer and work your way up to lifting heavy. If you have a good program you will do supersets, tri-sets, or drop sets with limited rest in between (30sec-90sec). Muscle burns more calories than fat so if you build up some muscle mass (that doesn’t mean you have to become a bodybuilder) it will help you burn calories easier in your day to day life.
4. Do HIIT workouts!
A HIIT workout can be anything! If you want more detailed info on how HIIT workouts can help you reveal your abs by torching your calories check out our previous article here where we get into more detailed information about how HIIT workouts can help you. Sprinting is a good example of HIIT but you can even make lifting a HIIT workout! Our group classes incorporate HIIT into the programming so you can maximize your results even if you only workout twice a week!
This means with WATER – not sports drinks. If you are wondering why, read rule number 2 again. Sugar loaded coffee drinks, soda, flavored drinks, cocktails, etc. should be reduced if not eliminated. Being adequately hydrated increases your metabolism, your energy, improves performance, improves your digestion and bowel movements.
I recommend 0.5 oz per pound of bodyweight per day- minimum. Depending on your activity level, you should aim to increase that up to 1oz per lb of bodyweight per day.
In metrics that’s about 0.03 L per KG of bodyweight – minimum. Depending on your activity level, you should aim to increase that up to 0.065 L per KG of bodyweight.
It may seem like a LOT of water in the beginning, but water allows your kidneys to function properly and filter everything they need to keeping things like calcium and other minerals from building up in your urine. Adequate water intake also allows us to eliminate (fancy word for poop) effectively!
Let’s be realistic, even if you follow all of the steps outlined here you will feel different, but may not see noticeable physical changes for a few weeks – depending on your lifestyle before you started. For noticeable results it may take 2+ months BUT you CAN do it! Get a good support system around you so you’re constantly surrounded by positive energy!
These are simple but powerful steps. If you even incorporate 2 or 3 of the above steps you will be on your way to revealing your 6pack and the body you’ve always dreamed of!
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