Getting a defined six-pack is a simple equation. The key is your body fat ratios. You must have low body fat for your abdominal muscles to show. Otherwise, it won’t matter what you do.
Men need a body fat of 10% or less while women need 15% or less for defined abs.
So, how do you get to these levels? Well, the answer is different for everybody depending on your metabolism and body type. However, here’s a general guideline.
To increase your metabolism, it is best to eat smaller, more frequent meals every two to three hours. This will give you an instant increase in your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories all day long. In these meals, you’ll want to combine a good portion of protein with some low glycemic carbs. These are slow-burning carbs that help you to feel full longer.
Some good, low-glycemic carbs that will help you sustain your energy levels include:
and.... most vegetables (except for carrots, corn and root vegetables)
Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient that provides energy to the body and the brain. However, they are not all created equal. If you are looking to lose weight and gain muscle, you should avoid processed foods. These include pasta, white rice, fruit juice, crackers, sugar loaded fat free yogurt, cookies, pastries, white bread, chips, pretzels, bagels, sports drinks, soft drinks, and candy. This will help you reach your goal much faster.
Another powerful weight loss tip is to eat more protein. Almost no one eats as much protein as they should. Protein helps prevent a loss in muscle mass, keeping your metabolism high.
So, what’s the golden rule? Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. When dieting, you can add on 50 - 70 grams of protein to that. This fills in the calories that are lost by cutting down on fat and carbohydrates.
Once you’ve gotten your diet in order, you’ll want to start abdominal exercises. However, you may be surprised to find that you should only work your abs every other day. This is because your muscles growing while they’re at rest.
Some of the most powerful ab exercises include bench crunches, hanging leg raises, pull-down crunches, swiss ball crunches, vertical crunches (especially on a swiss ball) and swiss ball side crunches. Using the swiss ball helps you work through a greater range of motion and activate more muscle fibers than regular exercise. To increase the intensity, bring your feet together while doing swiss ball crunches.
Here’s a super tip for you that many people fail to follow. When you are doing crunches, crunch up as high as you can and only come down a few inches. Then crunch back up again. You must keep the tension on the muscle. NEVER allow your abs to rest during a set, otherwise you are just wasting your time.
With proper cardio, a healthy diet, and abdominal exercieses, you should start to see your abs in as little as six weeks.
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