Your Guide to The “Perfect Abs”
Crash dies, yo-yo dieting, and “low carb” diets all have something in common…they contain the word “diet”, meaning they are not sustainable and will only cause unhappiness, bloating, and weight gain in the long run. These diets are the opposite of what you need if you want to see any type of change in your body, especially in you abdominal’s! But, first, we need to go over a few things about our abs.
First, you cannot spot reduce. Sadly you do not get to decide where you store and loose fat. In fact, it is all in your genetic make up as well as what you do on a day-to-day basis- such as eating right, exercise regularly, getting enough sleep, etc. Therefore, doing crunches each and every day will not work. You need to exercise each muscle for an all over body workout to see results in your abdominal area. Lifting weights with a mix of cardio and HIIT workouts will get you those rock hard abs quicker than ever. However, you must pair this with a healthy diet.
Abs are built in the gym and reveled in the kitchen. This saying could not be truer. We need balanced intake of healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins. However, following the 80/20 rule (following our clean eating habits 80% of the time, and enjoying ourselves 20% of the time) is key to healthy living. Yes, you can enjoy your favorite dessert, or your favorite pizza slice in moderation. As long as you stick with healthy eating 80% of the time, you will be fine. This is not a quick process though, it will take trial and error to find out what works best for your personal lifestyle. But once you find the best fit, the results will be amazing.
So what do I do for the “perfect abs”? Simple…
- Eat clean. Again, with the 80/20 rule. If you restrict desserts and treats, you will most likely binge on them in the long run. This will hinder all your hard work you put into living your healthy lifestyle. By letting yourself have treats and desserts on top of eating healthy, you will realize that you don’t crave sweets as badly.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day will not only help to keep you fuller, but it will act as a natural detox for your liver, kidneys, and your entire body. Water is truly the best substance for your body. Adding lemons or other fruits can give your water flavor and a few added benefits that each fruit offers.
- Lift weights. Yes, this means hopping off the elliptical and getting into the weight room, ladies! Lifting weights WILL NOT make you bulky. In fact, lifting weights for a half hour will help you burn more fat and calories vs. being on an elliptical for an hour. Who wouldn’t want to spend LESS time in the gym while still burn MORE calories?
- Reduce stress. Your life shouldn’t be “work, work, work”. Make time for friends, go see your favorite movie, go for a run, try a new yoga class, try a painting class, or even try a cooking class! Stress will hinder your weight loss goals more than anything. By learning to reduce and deal with our main stressors in our life, we can begin to live more care free and choose healthy lifestyles.