“I want six pack abs!” That is one of the most common requests that fitness trainers get from clients. While six pack abs are considered the epitome of physical fitness, there is no quick, easy way to achieve that level of excellence. Defined abs takes a great deal of work. In order to get that lean six pack abs look, you need to combine good nutrition with cardiovascular conditioning and weight training. Combining all three elements will give you the best results. You can do crunches and weight train all day long, but if you are not putting healthy, lean foods into your body, you are spinning your wheels – and you aren’t likely to see those coveted six pack abs anytime soon.
There is no such thing as targeting weight loss for one certain area, such as in the abdominal area. When you are cutting fat and getting lean, it happens all over your body. The bad news is that your abdominal area may be one of the last areas to show the significant loss. You may not see six pack abs until you have been on your weight loss and exercise plan for a while. One thing is for certain, though, healthy, lean eating will help you lose the fat. Cardiovascular exercise will help you burn the fat and weight training will increase your body temperature which will, in turn, help you to burn fat.
When it comes to nutrition, natural, whole foods are the way to go. If you put junk into your body, you will get junk out and your sexy six pack abs will remain hidden under a layer of fat. Calorie counting does not have to be a focus here, instead watch your fats and sugar intake. Your body does use some sugar for certain biological functions, but the minute amount that the body requires can be found naturally in whole, natural foods. The problem is that people tend to eat so many processed foods and refined sugars that their bodies have much more than they need. So what happens to all that extra sugar in the body? Yep, it gets turned into fat, stored for a rainy day.
Five or six small meals a day is optimum. Lightly steam your vegetables or eat most of them raw (broccoli breaks down better nutritionally in the body if it is steamed very lightly) in order to retain the nutrients in the foods. Lean meats and poultry can deliver the protein punch which is vital to recovery after workouts as well as aiding in decreasing fat in the body. Fresh fruits offer many of the vital nutrients, but some are high in sugars. Bananas and grapes, for example, are high in simple sugars. It is OK to consume these types of fruits, but do so in moderation for optimum results.
You should also keep in mind that you need some fat in your diet. Fat plays an important role in your health and should not be completely eliminated from your diet… Fat helps to cushion your organs, keeps your skin supple and aids in your body’s absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. While cutting out fat completely from your diet may allow you to see those six pack abs sooner, you are also setting yourself up for some serious health problems including vitamin deficiency, dry skin and even organ failure. Adding a pat of butter to your fish or using extra virgin olive oil with some balsamic vinegar on your salad is just about all that you need. The important thing is that you don’t want to cut it out completely. If you are going to get your six pack abs, do it the healthy way.