The secret to to abs…

…is there is NO SECRET.

“Abs” are the cultivation of many monotonous, simple, healthy lifestyle choices.
You’ve got to eat right for your body, challenge your strength and endurance, and allow your body to rest and repair itself.
Things we have all heard before and know. Eat your veggies. Drink lots of water. Strengthen your core.

I’m here to simplify it for you all. It’s not always easy, but it’s simple…

Maintain healthy body fat
Our bodies need a certain ratio of muscle mass and body fat to have visible abs. I’m no scientist and all of our bodies are vastly different, so I cannot give you those exact numbers for YOU. Let’s say that women should have 20-25% body fat and men 10-15% at the minimum to start to see any core musculature. Below those ranges…you’ve most likely got some kind of abs.

Consume fuel your body needs without too much excess
Eat your 3 meals and snack on healthy foods when hungry in between meals. Remember balance– lean protein, good carbs, and a small amount of healthy fats for your meals.
Protein serving– size of palm
Veggie serving– size of fist
Carb serving– size of cupped hand
Fat serving– size of thumb

Keep your body hydrated
Drink water throughout your day and with your meals. Listen to your body’s thirst cues…if you’re thirsty you’re already lurking on some level of dehydration. I firmly believe that water is the cure for everything.
I always start my day with warm lemon water with about 1/2 of a lemon, I stick to black or green tea instead of coffee in the AM’s, and I always have a water bottle on deck!

Move and strengthen your whole body
YOU CANNOT SPOT REDUCE. Work on building a all-over strong body to serve you well during big lifts and full body movements. Yes, you’ll need to do core specific exercises also but doing 1,000 crunches won’t get those abs, although you might get a sore neck or back.
Sprinkle these focuses into your workout to strengthen more of the core musculature:
Transverse abdominus– plank and plank variations, deadbugs, etc.
External and internal obliques– rotational exercises like Russian twists or bicycle crunches (without yanking on your head!)
Rectus abdominus– crunches on a Bosu ball
…there are more, but let’s start there.

Treat your body well
When stress levels are high, your body is more resistant to letting go of unwanted weight. Cortisol is one of the hormones your body produces under stress. Higher levels of cortisol in the body can increase your appetite, make you crave comfort foods, and add to abdominal weight gain.
Work to schedule “you time” into your day:
-Take up a belly breathing practice
-Get your 7-8 hours of sleep every night
-Read a book
-Stretch and take lower intensity and rest days throughout the week as needed
No need to go 110% everyday…that could increase cortisol levels.

Sure, some people are naturally leaner and may be genetically inclined to have abs. However, we can do our part by being consistent with our healthy eating and workouts. Be realistic with a timeline and results, it’s taken years of bad habits to end up here, it’s going to take time to make changes and see the results you want…keep going.

If you have any questions about exercises or specifics, leave a comment or send me an email get.fit.manda@gmail.com

#funfact : The United States is second out of top 5 ice cream consuming countries in the world. #1 is New Zealand.

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