You already have a six pack. You were born with it. The more appropriate question is, will you ever see your six pack? The straight forward answer is yes, because I believe that we can have just about anything we want in life, especially if it falls under the category of things we can control and therefore change. And the answer is a BIG YES from me, if you are now ready to trade in wishing for a flat belly for taking action. But if you have even a quarter inch of fat concealing those abdominal muscles, you will not see your dream definition. And for abdominal muscles-your desired six pack- to be revealed, there is a three pronged approach:
- Reduce the fat in your diet. I list this first, because it is THE MOST IMPORTANT change you can make. Look at what you are eating and try to limit all fats such as butter, margarine, olive oil, mayonnaise, peanut butter and salad dressing to 1 Tablespoon daily, using low-fat or fat-free products when possible. Start looking at nutritional labeling. Know where your fats are. Limit your daily fat intake to 20% of your daily caloric intake. Increase your protein daily, which will encourage lean muscle tissue. Reducing your salt intake as well is helpful as excess salt retains water which creates bloating that is most visible in the abdominal region.
- Increase your cardiovascular activity. Any exercise that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat, is going to blast extra fat. Run, power walk, bike. Treadmill and elliptical machines also provide this kind of demanding energetic calorie-burning activity.
- Focus on abdominal exercises that target the entire core muscle group. Address the upper, lower, and side ab muscles. For every ab exercise, perform a back strengthening exercise. Strong back muscles will support strong abs, and strong abs support a healthy back. Popular crunches are fine, but work your abs in all positions: on your back, on your belly, seated and standing, plus plenty of prone(face-down) and side planks(my favorite). Include exercises that challenge your balance which will cause your ab muscles to contract and work harder, such as crunches on a stability ball.
Be patient! Excess body fat does tend to adhere to the belly area and changes in hormonal levels due to aging, stress, and lack of sleep also make this a trouble spot for most of us. If you are consistent with my 3 pronged approach, you will see results over time. Take a before photo of your core today and take a photo at the end of one month to see your progress. This will give you immediate feedback to evaluate how this approach is working for you. With consistency, you will start to appear ABsolutely smashing in no time!