So you’ve been going to the gym for a while now, clocking those hours weight training, hitting the mat for crunches, straining through hanging leg raises and still staring at the six packs all around you in envy. At this point it’s no longer an issue with muscle strength. You’ve been nailing the workouts with more and more ease, and yet those sexy, stomach muscles aren’t making their big debut. Why not?
What? Layers of tissue under your skin that hold fat for the body to use as energy. If the body fat percentage around your abdominal wall is too thick, then it won’t matter how big and strong you make your abs, they will never show through the flesh. So exactly how do you fix that. In your kitchen! There is a reason all health professionals stress exercise AND diet. You will never achieve the body you want without giving both their fair share of attention.
That being said, it is much easier than you think. You don’t have to start weighing all your food and counting the calorie content of every bite. Add some common sense to your meal planning. We all know to eat more protein for muscle growth, regeneration, stamina and fat reduction. Now make it lean protein! Where so many go wrong is adding the wrong protein. A protein shake is a good way to add in extra with little to no calorie additions. Otherwise stick with seafood, white meat poultry, beans and eggs.
Now balance that lean protein meal with loads of veggies. High fiber vegetables and a very small portion of fruit here and there should be the only carbs on your plate. Refined and processed carbs in short trigger your pancreas to create insulin, which throws off your sugar balance causing your body to turn that muffin into a muffin top.
If a slice of smoked turkey with a side of roasted veg doesn’t give you the stamina you need, then add in healthy fats. If you’re thinking the whole idea of eating your way to abs is getting rid of fat, you are only half right. Healthy fats like those from avocados, nuts and seeds are fantastic because it takes very little to give you the staying power you need in your day. Sliced avocado goes well on anything as it adds a nice buttery flavor, but if that’s not your thing, keep a small portion of toasted nuts and seeds available for those afternoon hunger pains.
By following these basics, you should be getting a good dose of fiber, but if you look back over your day and see more animal products than plant, you need to up your fiber. This will keep your metabolism active longer thereby keeping your fuller and burning more calories.
Finally, the simplest trim down trick can be the most difficult for some people.
Your body will often tell you what you need. Pay attention to the signs, follow its instructions and get ready to see the cool ripple of effort peak out from your midline.