So youre after the ever eluding 6-pack abs? Getting a 6-pack is hard work. It takes dedication to a complete lifestyle overhaul. Heres what you need to do
You should be working out 3 to 5 times per week. Try exercising with a suspension gym. It will help target the ab muscles in ways that regular ab training cant achieve. Because of the added element of balance your core is engaged in every exercise.
While working out regularly is crucial, its only a small piece of the pie. Diet is 90% of getting to the abs of your dreams.
Eat 5-6 times a day. By eating every few hours, you’ll keep your metabolism revved up and ensure that you never feel starving.
How to do it? Eat three standard meals and three smaller snacks.
8 a.m. BREAKFAST
11 a.m. SNACK
1 p.m. LUNCH
4 p.m. SNACK
6 p.m. DINNER
9 p.m. SNACK
How many calories you consume and what those calories consist of is the main thing you gotta get control over. Most people starting out on a fat loss program will begin losing body fat at an intake of about 13 calories per pound of body weight (provided you are doing workouts 3-5 days a week). Multiply your current bodyweight (in pounds) by 13 (calories) to get your daily calorie allowance. As you progress, you may have to bring your calorie intake down to the 9-10 calories per pound. This is because at the lower body fat levels, your body is going to fight you harder to build muscle.
NOTE: When youre at such a low calorie intake its wise to switch it up from time to time and have higher calorie days to ensure your metabolism doesn’t crash. Try having a higher calorie day (including more carbs) on heavy workout days and lower them again on rest days.
Protein levels needs to be high when trying to get a 6 pack because it’ll boost your metabolic rate, prevent lean muscle mass loss (which comes with very low calorie diets), and keep you feeling full. Take in 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Multiply what you get from that equation by 4 calories per gram to get how many calories of protein you’ll be eating each day.
Below are all great sources of meat protein, showing the amounts of protein they contain per 100g:
- Chicken (33g)
- Pork (32g)
- Lamb (36g)
- Duck (29g)
- Turkey (29g)
- Beef (36g) *Grass-fed, free-range beef has the most reliably high levels of protein and other nutrients.
- Tuna (30g)
Varying your protein sources will give you a wider range of nutritional benefits. Here are some of the best non-meat sources and how much protein they contain per 100g:
- Parmesan (36g)
- Pumpkin seeds (33g)
- Eggs (12g)
- Peanuts (24g)
- Soya beans (39g)
Lowering carb consumption tends to be very effective for ab results since as you lower levels the body will burn up more fat and you’ll reduce water retention, making you appear leaner. BUT, If carbs are too low for too long energy levels will drop, cravings will become intense, and your resting metabolic rate will plummet. So, at the very least, put 25-50 grams before and after your workout sessions and never omit vegetables (a low calorie carbohydrate) source from your diet.
Every 3-4 weeks on an intense diet like this knock yourself out and have a high carb weekend in order to keep your metabolism from crashing. This short loaded carb period should be primarily focused on high carb, low fat foods while keeping your protein intake relatively consistent to prevent fat from being regained.
When it’s time to really get ripped you wont be eating all that much dietary fat. Limit it to only a few grams per meal and make sure its coming from the healthiest sources such as flax seeds, flaxseed oil, olive oil, nuts, avocado, and fatty fish or fish oil.
But for a longterm maintenance diet your daily fat intake should be minimum 15% of your total calories.
Be sure to avoid fat in the time period right before and after your workout as this will slow the digestion process. Those meals should be strictly protein and carbohydrates.
Reduce Salt, Sugar, and Stress
Finally, don’t forget some of the other factors that will influence how easily 6-pack abs come to you. These include things like sodium intake (which can result in a bloated appearance), sugar intake, getting proper sleep and lowering stress.
Avoid drinks like: orange juice, whole milk, sports drinks, soft drinks and alcohol. Stick to water coffee and tea.
Here are some great food studies to help you achieve your goals:
To Help Burn Fat:
- Broccoli is a low-calorie food thats packed with fibre, which will fill you up and help you to lose weight, according to research from the US Department of Health & Human Services.
- Cinnamon can help to blunt insulin response in the body, stopping you from storing fat, says an American study.
- Cheddar is a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps you to lose weight and build muscle, a Swedish study found.
- Mushrooms are a great low-calorie way to add bulk to stews and pasta sauces, according to American research.
- Sweet potatoes are a low-GI food and research from the US found they dont promote fat storage by causing your insulin levels to spike, unlike normal potatoes.
- Apples contain antioxidant polyphenols, which help to prevent your body from storing fat, according to a German study.
To Help Boost your Metabolism:
- Green tea contains molecules called catechins, which have thermogenic properties and improve metabolism, a study published in the Chinese Journal Of Integrative Medicine found.
- Chilli peppers are a great source of capsaicin, which helps to ramp up your metabolism, says a study in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.
- Blueberries can help to inhibit the formation of new fat cells by altering lipid metabolism, according to research from the Texas Womans University.
- Grapefruit contains chemicals that reduce insulin levels, which in turn can cause increased metabolism, American research discovered.
To Help Reduce Stress:
- Milk helps you lose body fat and build muscle, says a study in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, making it a perfect abs drink.
- Oats are rich in carbohydrates, which boost serotonin levels in the brain and create a calming effect, according to research from Indiana University East.
- Oranges contain high levels of vitamin C, which can help to reduce levels of stress hormones in the blood, American research has found.
- Walnuts are high in fibre, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids, all of which can help to lower blood pressure and stress levels, says research from Penn State University.
- Salmon is a great source of magnesium, which helps to control cortisol levels, according to the Capital Region Medical Center in the US.
Following a workout and diet plan like this will help you get the 6-pack youre after. Just remember not to beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Giving up will get you nowhere. Just get right back on where you left off.