There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re wasting your effort— especially when it includes rigorous dietary discipline. If you’re searching for how to get abs and you’re losing your will to try, and try again, you may want to consider whether your food & ab workout routine are right for each other.
Not overlooking your hard work and diligence, bear in mind that the concept of “clean eating and exercising” is impossibly broad. Simply doing some (or too much!) of each does not ensure progress— OR that you’ll be waking up to beautiful wash-board abs each morning. Your food & ab workout routine may be healthy in and of themselves, but that doesn’t mean they’re working well together in terms of your goals.
Let’s be clear: if your goal is a more visible six-pack, then how “shredded” you appear is ABSolutely dependent upon low body fat levels, and not necessarily related to how hard you think you’re working. When creating or evaluating your ab workout routine, consider the following key factors with regard to your nutrition.
- Are you Burning Fat?? You can do all the right ab workouts for core strengthening, and implement a killer ab workout routine, but just exercising your abdominals does not burn fat off of them. Reducing fat means metabolizing it… and that means you have to create the conditions necessary for your body to use its stored fat as a solution to source its energy demands (i.e. You’ve got to create a deficit of calories). If you don’t, your body won’t have any interest in giving up the fat it’s accustomed to.
- Are you actually Metabolically Efficient? Did you know that too much deficit can result in a slower metabolism? If you work out like a savage and eat like a bird (especially for a prolonged period of time), chances are you’re familiar with “the plateau”. It’s a dreaded state where no amount of well-deployed habits or in this case ab workouts affect any further change. Now what?? It’s possible that due to energy deprivation, your system is protecting you from starvation, and refusing to turn on the burn. Teach your body to trust you again by feeding it more (just a little more, and keep it clean!), and perhaps even more frequently. Small, frequent feedings aren’t the only way to win, but they are a solid strategy for jolting a sluggish metabolism back into working order.
- Are you fueling or foiling your efforts? Unless you’re an aggressive bodybuilder, you may not know that different foods work in different ways. Your body makes the quickest use of its carbohydrates (particularly those stored in your muscles as glycogen). And yes, reducing carb intake encourages your body to make fat into fuel. But rather than regard any food as right or wrong, recognize the impact of timing. Fats provide greater satiety, curbing cravings when you’re being careful. But ingested immediately after a workout, too much fat can slow down digestion, potentially inhibiting an otherwise beneficial uptake of carbs and proteins needed to refuel your depleted muscles. None of this is to say what’s right or wrong in your case, but that you should investigate the impact of your meal timing to make sure it best serves your purpose.
While information can be overwhelming, the golden takeaway is this: If your ab workout routine is solid, and you’re confident in the quality of your ab exercises, then maybe you need to re-strategize your nutrition to bring that hard-earned six pack out of hiding.
But perhaps you’re not sure if the core strengthening exercises you’re doing are the best… we can help with that! Subscribe here and stay tuned to as we teach you how to get abs!
If you missed our last article on “Midsection Myths” click here to find out even more about ab workout routines and nutrition tips.