Those six packs are the ultimate goal in bodybuilding. This is partly due to the difficulty in actually achieving it. Some people are very active and exercise a lot but still find their belly area with a little bit of fat. But do not despair, because your goal of achieving your dream abs is completely within reach. All you need is motivation, hard work, and the right steps to get there.
The 10 Killer Hacks
- Follow The Right Eating Habits
First of all, you have to change your eating habits if you want to develop your abs. To begin with, they are there because you are consuming too many calories that you are not burning. In order to lose weight, you have to achieve a caloric deficit. This means you will eat less than what your body requires to keep your body weight.
You would most likely need to lose around 100 to 500 calories less than what your body burns. Unfortunately, this would be tough as you are going against your body’s instinct. Because food was scarce in the past, the body is hardwired to store extra fat, not to remove it.
Just remember to not go less than 500 calories below maintenance to avoid any metabolic and hormonal issues. Moreover, you may even stop losing body fat. Aim for about 250 to 300 calories below maintenance.
When it comes to what you should be eating, target more protein or fat to feel full. Do not ever give in to the temptation to eat more carbs and sugar, as this will mean immediate failure. Your best bet is to use coconut and extra-virgin olive oil while cooking or for salads, and other fat-rich foods like avocados and nuts.
It goes without saying that processed foods, bread/grains, and sugar should be avoided as much as possible. Liquor should also be controlled or limited, to begin with.
The last note regarding eating habits is to limit meal times throughout the whole day. By consuming all meals within an 8-hour period (from 11 am to 7 pm, for example), you will be able to achieve stable insulin levels. Moreover, you will not end up eating too much within 8 hours than within 16 or 18. You can find the perfect time for you by experimenting various feeding windows.
- Let’s Do the Twist
You really do not need a lot of time and equipment to do some simple exercises that can reduce your tummy. Twisting movements are great in strengthening those abdominal muscles without making too much effort.
First, you just need to stand up with the feet a hip width apart. Raise the two hands over the head. Bring down the right elbow so that it touches the top part of your left knee. Enjoy the feeling of your tummy muscles flexing. You just need to continue to movements, alternating on both sides.
The second requires you to also stand with the feet far apart, holding a small ball in your hands. Hold it out in front of your chest, keeping the arms straight. Keeping the arms in this height, rotate your upper body to the left side before going back to the center. Twist again, this time to the right, then go back to the center.
- Do Some Cardio Exercises
Cardio will be your new best friend, as even long but low-intensity cardio will still be able to burn tons of calories. Just make sure that you are eating enough for your body as well.
Whatever workout you are doing, you can always add some cardio every time. This way you can achieve that beach-ready tummy. If cardio, however, is not your thing, you can also do quick sprints instead.
- Go for Some Dreaded, But Effective, Sit-Ups
A few years ago, the effectiveness of sit-ups in gaining abs was quite overstated. Still, it is key to making sure your abdominal muscles stronger and leaner. There are many different kinds of sit-ups to choose from to be able to get rid of that fat in the middle part of your body.
- Planking for Great Abs
Though it is not the most exciting thing to do, it is amazing in building up those abs. To do so, go on a push-up position, using your arms instead of the hands to push the upper body up. Make sure that your back is in a straight line, without sagging. You can start to feel your abdominal muscles tighten. Breathe normally and stay in this position for as long as you can.
- Burn Fat by Lifting Weights
When your body has more muscle, you can burn more fat effectively. This is the reason why lifting weights is one of your strategies to get a six-pack. It doesn’t matter what kind you do, whether high rep, medium rep, or low rep, just make sure you keep yourself in a caloric deficit.
- Drink More Water
The sad truth is, most people do not drink the amount of water their bodies need. But this simple drink keeps the cells happy and at the same time, can fill you without eating anything. Water is the best option, especially compared to sugar-laden soda, which still contains calories and fat.
- Opt For High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
If you do not have the time to stay for long hours in the gym, then turn to HIIT. Thirty minutes of constant movement will be enough to keep your heart rate up and make you lose fat (and not muscle). Moreover, your body will continue to burn more fat for up to 1 day after you finished working out. You can then substitute your longer training sessions like for example, instead of doing a 20-mile run every day, you can do 100m sprints for 20 minutes, then doing a 30-second rest.
- Get Some Fiber
You can greatly support your workouts by pairing it with a diet full of fiber-rich vegetables. When hunger strikes (and it will, especially when exercising), opt for these types of food to get full but still lose body fat. Moreover, you benefit from the nutrients you are consuming, some of which will help in post-workout recovery. You will also end up not eating as many calories.
- Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
The last tip is to stick to your goal. This might be common sense for other people, but those who are actually working out and restricting themselves from their favorite food struggle at times to not give up. Worse, some do not begin to see changes or improvements quickly, which means they just have to do more and wait to see flatter tummies or toned abs. It also means saying no to beer and pizza with your friends. You need to remind yourself that your toned abs will be worth the sacrifice now.
As with any other weight loss technique, it is the combination of diet and exercise that will get you to your goal of six-pack abs. Some people expect that there are other, shorter ways to do this, but sorry to burst their bubble, there is no easy way. You would have to move to burn years of accumulated fat and you will have to watch what you eat in order not to gain fat again. There is simply no magic pill that will do this work automatically.
Do not be surprised if you encounter some days of doubt and laziness. Your motivation, if it is strong enough, can help you push through instead of giving up. You should also choose to start slow or take smaller steps rather than a drastic diet change and full workout from scratch. You can even begin by tracking your daily calorie intake first. From tiny adjustments, you can make bigger strides as you go along, and let yourself be inspired by your thinning waistline.