A common desire among both men and women is to get rid of fat around their mid sections. It seems that you cannot turn a page in any fitness magazine without seeing a picture of six-pack washboard abs. There are even waiting lines behind abdominal machines during peak gym hours! Abdominal muscles have become a true display of one’s fitness level.
I get approached by clients every day asking me, “Can you show me an exercise to get rid of this?”, as they point to their abdominal fat. I used to beat around the bush and tell them nicely to eat healthy and do cardio in addition to the hundreds of abdominal exercises they were doing. Now I’ve taken the blunt approach and respond to them by saying it is 90% about nutrition. You can do crunches and legs lifts until you are blue in the face, but if your nutrition is poor you will never uncover the layer of fat above the abdominal muscles you desire to see. This is a response that most are not too happy to hear. There is a large population of fitness enthusiasts who still think if they work out everyday, they can eat anything they want and not gain a pound. If this were the case, there would not be so many overweight people who work out regularly!
If you are serious about firming up your middle, follow these simple tips to get started:
• Eat five-six small meals per day. This will keep your blood sugars stable and your metabolism fired up all day long. Eating every 2-4 hours will also help you avoid over-eating.
• Keep protein intake high. Incorporate protein from lean meats, protein powders or low fat dairy at every meal and snack. Protein will maintain lean muscle mass and keep you feeling more satisfied for a longer period of time.
• Drink at least 80 ounces of water per day. The first sign of thirst is usually mistaken for hunger. If you get a craving for a certain food, try to drink 1-2 cups of water and you may find that the munch monster goes away!
• Do three hours of cardio per week! In order to lose abdominal fat you have to burn it off. Find an activity that you enjoy, like walking your dog, playing tennis or squash, cycling, surfing, swimming, or dancing and burn some calories! The results WILL show!