Fancy new health supplements and products are scattered everywhere on the Internet nowadays, with numerous website and countless sponsored social media posts claiming to have the secret antidote to achieve the coveted six-pack abs. It is so easy to get yourself distracted with the flashy advertisements and marketing gimmicks to a point where it clouds your judgement as to what really works and what doesn’t.
Getting your abs to show takes more than just supplements. While sculpting a decent four-pack may require perseverance, carving out that elusive six-pack requires mental and physical tenacity. Our advice? Go down the traditional path with these six rock-solid tips:
Increase Your Protein Intake
The amazing thing about protein is that it not only helps you develop leaner muscles but also churns away your body fat as well. Out of all the macronutrients consisting of carbs, fat and protein, the latter provides the highest thermogenic effect on the body. That renders protein the most valuable macronutrient of the lot as your body essentially torches a good amount of calories to break it down before your body absorbs it to aid in your muscle growth, among others. This is one of the many reasons why professional athletes, especially competitive bodybuilders, include massive amounts of lean protein in their diet and go on to achieve some of the best aesthetic physiques on the planet. So don’t hold back on your protein — they are the essential building blocks for your muscles and highly effective in burning body fat, men and women alike.
Consume Fast-Acting Carbs Post-Workout
Today, we are going to bust a myth for you — carbohydrates do not necessarily make you fat. Eating too much of anything will tip you off the weighing scale to begin with. And when it comes to carbohydrates, it is important for you to know that they are further classified into two categories — the slow-acting and the fast-acting ones. These carbs vary in their break down and absorption rate after you consume them. Fast-acting carbs, as the name suggests, offers quicker disintegration and swifter absorption, and as such, when consumed after a workout, chances of them converting into body fat are minimal. Therefore, starchy fast-acting carbs like oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial in your quest for better abs. You should strive to consume moderate amounts of carbs with each meal and opt for the fast-acting ones after your workout.
Stop Focusing on Crunches
Losing fat is a whole-body process — you cannot lose fats at specific target areas of your choice. There is no specific exercise that can magically shed off the fats around your tummy area. You need to work on your cardio and mix it around in the gym to get those stubborn fats out. More often than not, the first sign of fat loss can be seen on your face — your cheeks take shape and suddenly you realise you don’t look as chubby as before. Your flabs in your underarms will follow suit, gradually becoming firmer and less jiggly. And last but certainly not least, you will soon realise your favourite pair of jeans becoming a tad too baggy for you, a positive indication of fat reduction around your tummy area. So, you can stop attempting a thousand crunches and sit-ups. Instead, along with your cardio, mix it up a little with compound exercises and total body movements that are more effective and productive for total fat loss.
Keep Your Body Moving
Any form of movement, big or small, counts in your quest for six-pack abs. Keep your body moving and working all the time, especially during your non-workout days. Take the stairs instead of the lift or walk to the nearest train station instead of hopping onto the feeder bus service. This way, your muscles are more or less engaged most of the day to compensate for your sweat sessions.
Eat Healthy Fats
Incorporating healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as fish oil, nuts and olive oil, will go a long way in maintaining a stable insulin level, which is critical in preventing fat from around your belly to build up before your prized six-pack is revealed. Your diet should consist of a good mix of protein, carbs, leafy green vegetables and a moderate amount of good fats. This way, you are most likely to charge your metabolism and transform your body into a round-the-clock lean and mean fat burning machine.
Focus on Your Diet
A nutritious and well-balanced diet is important to achieve a healthy body, and even more so if you are serious about achieving those washboard abs. Apart from protein and good carbohydrates, a diet rich in fibre, essential vitamins and minerals are crucial to promote muscle growth and fat loss. Never forgo a generous serving of fruits and vegetables on the sides at every meal as these food sources are chock-full of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, all of which are vital for sculpting a great, aesthetic physique with shredded abs.