I’m currently writing an article for my weekly column on ab workouts, but just couldn’t wait to share these tips. If you are interested in a flat, sculpted tummy then this is for you. Doing sit-ups in hopes of getting great abs is a lot like studying for a test with the wrong set of notes. Sure, you’re working your butt off, but your efforts are misguided.
Not only can you do crunches everyday for years without seeing any dramatic results, but you can also cause neck and back strain. So what should you do to get a flaunt-worthy stomach? For starters you can stop spending countless hours doing crunches. Instead, I recommend focusing on diet and calorie-torching exercises that hit all the major muscle groups not just the abs.
Eat More Fat
While some sources of fat like hydrogenated oils and lard can lead to weight gain, other sources like extra virgin olive oil and walnut oil can have the opposite effect, making them excellent tools in any flat-belly arsenal. While olive oil increases blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety, walnut oil’s high polyunsaturated fatty acid content is to thank for its fat-torching powers. The fatty acid has shown to increase diet-induced calorie burn and resting metabolic rate, the calories we burn to keep our body running.
Sip On Green Tea
In addition to its great taste and laundry list of health benefits, sipping green tea can make the time you log at the gym more worthwhile. People that sip up to five cups of the brew daily and log 25 minutes at the gym lose more abdominal fat than their non-tea-drinking counterparts who also broke a sweat. What makes the drink is such a powerful flab incinerator? It’s filled with an antioxidant called Catechin that hinders the storage of belly fat.
Focus On Lean Proteins
While dairy, fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains are important elements of a healthy diet, no other food group has as big an effect on weight loss as lean proteins. Low-fat meats like steak, white meat turkey, chicken and pork chops have been shown to boost satiety, which can reduce your daily caloric intake, fueling weight loss. Lean meats also have a high thermogenic effect, meaning your body actually burns off some of the meat’s calories as it digests. For the best flab-frying results, consume 0.8 to one gram of lean proteins per kilogram of bodyweight each day.
Get More Sleep
Believe it or not, sleeping, dieting and training are equally important when it comes to sculpting a set of abs. No matter how many calories you cut or miles you log, it won’t get you anywhere near your goal unless you’re also getting enough sleep. In fact, losing a mere hour of shut-eye over the course of three days has been shown to negatively impact the body’s hunger hormone, ghrelin, increasing the number of calories you’re bound to consume each day. Researchers also say that skimping on sleep increases the odds you’ll wind up munching on junk food, especially at night, which can make it difficult to get chiseled abs. Conversely, quality sleep fuels the production of fat-burning hormones that can help you get you that washboard stomach you’ve been working for.
When you down a drink, be it beer, wine or liquor, your body has to break down the alcohol before it can process all the other food in your system. This slows down the metabolic process, and can make it difficult to strip away the layer of fat that’s covering your abs. What’s more, research suggests that consuming just half a drink can significantly increase appetite and the number of calories you subsequently consume, even if you still feel stone-cold sober. The bottom line: Ditch the booze if you really want to see your abs shine through.
Everyone has abs, even if you can’t see them because they’re hidden under a layer of flab. The best way to burn off the blubber and carve out abs is to add high intensity interval training (HIIT) sprints to your weekly fitness routine. If you’re looking to drop some pounds and lean out, combining high calorie burning HIIT workouts with a balanced diet comprised of complex carbs, healthy fats and lean protein is a must. Sprinting builds muscle, which helps burn fat quickly. Also, the action of driving the legs initiates the abs and core. The faster you go and the shorter your recovery, the more your abs will develop.
Mix Things Up
If you think juggling multiple projects at the office is challenging, wait until you try multitasking at the gym. While it’s not easy, it’s an important aspect of the flat ab equation. I’m a huge fan of exercises that work multiple body parts because they allow you to cut down on the time spent working out, torch loads of calories (which accelerates fat loss) and are more challenging than working one body part at a time.
Despite what you may have heard, lifting heavy, challenging weights won’t make you bulky. It will, however, challenge your muscles, increase metabolism, and help you stay lean for life. Fitness experts agree that lifting heavy can help you get great abs. If you’re doing more than ten reps with ease, your weight probably isn’t heavy enough, so vary your reps and consistently increase the amount you’re lifting,