Abdominal & core exercises seem to be continuously popular in the world of exercise and fitness. There are some people that seem to want to focus on getting great abs for merely vanity reasons and others who want to reduce fat around their stomach for more serious health conditions. Whatever the reason may be, reducing belly fat should be the top of everyone’s list and while the results might make your swimsuits look more appealing, a decrease in the inches around your waistline can vastly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers.
You’ve probably heard many people tell you that you need to lose belly fat but the truth is…. It’s Easier Said than Done, especially as you get older. Women might notice more fat around the middle as the estrogen level in their bodies decrease. There are also genetic factors that might play a roll.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU CAN LOSE BELLY FAT
Everyone can lose belly fat, have the abs of their dreams, or just fit into a favorite pair of jeans. I won’t lie to you about how soon it will take to get done because the difficulty level varies between persons. You can’t expect to get a six pack in days just because of the ad you saw in a magazine or because of the celebrity you saw on television. The level of commitment, hard work, and dedication will be different for everyone.
However, there are a few constants that won’t change no matter the person. There is an ART to GETTING GREAT ABS and below are my 5 tips to guide you toward those end results and make the process a little less complicated.
The following tips are especially for the men and women who have a waist circumference of 40 inches (or somewhere near that number). This is what I call the danger zone and really advise you to make losing inches around your waist a priority. Dig within the depths your soul to commit to doing the following steps for a MONTH after that time it might be a little easier to form the habit and continue longer.
HOW TO GET GREAT ABS
1. CLEAN OUT YOUR PANTRY AND REFRIGERATOR: remove ALL PROCESSED foods from your pantry. (CLICK HERE to view this post on healthy pantry) Processed foods might be the leading cause of belly fat and to really see a change you have to get rid of them. Anything in a box (with the exception of whole wheat pasta and some grains like quinoa) or a bag has to go. For the entire month eat foods from the earth. Lots of Dark Green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, Legumes and beans, chicken, fish, and lean meats. If you can do this for a month without cheating then I would encourage you to adopt a 80/20 or 60/40 rule to your diet. Meaning, after the month you can have the processed foods (or cheat foods) 20 percent of the time IF you can commit to eating real food 80 percent of the time. (For the 60/40 rule you can have processed/cheat foods 40 percent of the time if you commit to eating real food 60 percent of the time). Personally, I live by a 70/30 rule which is somewhere in the middle of the two.
2. Commit to 3-4 days of Moderate to INTENSE exercise for 45 minutes EACH WEEK: how you define moderate to intense is up to you but only you know if you are cheating yourself. These 3-4 days per week should NOT BE EASY. You should break a sweat and really feel challenged. I would almost say go to the point of tears but that’s the crazy trainer freak in me. What I really want to say is… IF IT DOES NOT CHALLENGE YOU IT WILL NOT CHANGE YOU. you have to push yourself to make it tough. Walking up a flight of stairs at work isn’t good enough. I AM SO SORRY. IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. DO MORE. BE GREATER. NO EXCUSE. GET IT DONE. there are plenty of home workouts on this site to help you.
3. DO 2-3 NON-CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF STRENGTH TRAINING AND ABS PER WEEK. Great abs are more likely when you pair strength training workout days with ab workouts days to ensure that you don’t over-train with ab exercises. In your desperate attempt to lose your stomach, you naturally think that you need to be doing ab exercise all day everyday. NO NO NO NO and one more NO. It doesn’t work like that …. you will burn out. Steps one and two above are far more imporant. On the days that you do your strength and abs workout I recommend that you do Upper Body and abs one day then on your next strength and abs workout day do Lower body and abs. Try not to do any cardio on these days. The entire workout should be 30 minutes tops. Be sure to warm up, cool down and stretch. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of not working your abs everyday. The abdominals are muscles that need rest and recovery just like every other muscle in your body. For effective Ab Workouts GO HERE
4. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND GET A PROTEIN POWDER: You should be drinking AT LEAST [your body weight divided by two] oz of water EVERY DAY to get great abs. This helps your body function in the most effective way to help you reach your goals. You should also buy a protein powder to mix with water or a glass of milk after every workout. This helps you build more muscle (which helps you lose more weight) and also helps to make you feel full (which helps you lose more weight). Great abs are a result of less junk and plenty of water. I use SunWarrior protein but I am sure you can find a good protein powder at your local health store.
5. GET 6-8 HOURS OF SLEEP AND STRETCH FOR 10 MINUTES EVERY MORNING– it sounds cliche but sleep really is a big part of this weight loss regimen. Your body is the most precious thing and it needs the best care. In order to feel better, look better, and have more energy you need an adequate amount of rest. Your muscles need to recover so that can do their best job for you. I say 10 minutes of stretching every morning because it’s an habit that I’ve personally formed that have changed my life. To get your body flowing, losing your joints, and free your mind each and every morning really sets the tone for the day. You can stretch in silence or to your favorite music. Flexibility is something that people really take for granted. As you age you lose it and you decrease your body’s functionality. I am sure that you want to function as long as and as best as you can for the rest of your life. GO HERE FOR SOME STRETCHES.