If you had to choose a queen among the goals to be in shape, having a flat and marked abdomen would achieve an overwhelming triumph.
Everyone wants to show off the perfect abs, but few are willing to do things as they are.
Because achieving a flat and sculpted stomach requires new habits and will require physical and mental effort, but don't worry, it can be done.
It would also help you to stop believing a series of lies repeated for generations, which instead of making the process easier for you, can hinder it.
And here I am going to reveal some of the most common.
Lie 1: "I can eliminate fat by doing a lot of sit-ups"
Are you one of those who think that the more crunches you do, the faster you will be able to incinerate the fat that you have accumulated in that area?
Because if so, it is very likely that you will end up joining the long list of people who end up frustrated because after doing 100, 200 or even 500 crunches a day, they do not get the results they are expecting.
So questions like these arise:
Am I doing them wrong? Do I have to increase the number of crunches per day?
The answer for both is NO.
Having the perfect abdomen is a goal that is as common as it is challenging, especially if you are a beginner or have not exercised for a long time.
And if, to top it off, you maintain a diet high in carbohydrates, sugar and fat, the challenge will be greater.
But don't worry, building your "sixpack" or seeing your squares marked (whatever you prefer to call it) is possible.
In fact, if you do it correctly you will also strengthen your lower back and hips, which will improve your posture and give you the appearance of a flatter stomach.
So what should you do?
I propose this powerful mix of actions:
And be careful, do not think that you are wasting time doing planks, leg raises or applying yourself to the machines.
Your abs are getting sculpted on the inside, and if you don't rid them of the layers of body fat on top, they'll stay hidden.
So keep training.
Lie 2: "Going hungry for several weeks is enough"
It has been shown that to lose weight in a healthy way and have a flat abdomen, you must apply a strategy where 70% is about taking care of your diet. The other 30% corresponds to exercising and taking the necessary rest.
I give you more information.
An analysis of more than 700 studies on weight loss found a constant: people see short-term results when they eat intelligently.
On average, those who dieted without exercise for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds. Those who only exercised lost just 6 pounds in about 21 weeks.
Aha, but the idea is not that you stop eating, because reducing calories is not the only way to lose weight. Also, going hungry can hurt you.
What you should do is control your portions and choose the right foods that help you feel full.
✓ Include vegetables and fruits in your diet.
✓ Reduce the amount of sweets, fats and refined carbohydrates.
✓ Eat enough lean protein.
I am going to stop at the point of proteins.
This type of macronutrient, which you find in foods such as chicken, meat, fish, shellfish, legumes, eggs, and low-fat dairy products, is a great help in losing weight and eliminating localized fat.
And there are two very powerful reasons.
✓ Helps you increase satiety, so you won't live hungry.
✓ Prevents you from losing muscle mass while you are on a hypocaloric diet.
It is also important that you include healthy fats and unprocessed carbohydrates in your meals.
For you to have a guide, this is the ratio that the University of Colorado recommends:
How does that translate?
- For a 1,200 calorie diet you should include:
90 grams of protein + 33 grams of fat + 135 grams of carbohydrates per day.
- For a 1,800 calorie diet you should include:
135 gr of protein + 50 gr of fat + 202 gr of carbohydrates per day.
Lie 3: "Stress has nothing to do with the size of the abdomen"
We all know that stress is one of the worst enemies of physical and mental health.
Not only because it is capable of causing high blood pressure, heart disease, weakening the immune system and causing sleep problems.
It is also that, in the long term, it can make you more prone to gain weight and increase your percentages of body fat.
The explanation is simple.
On the one hand, when people get stressed they tend to overeat and consume junk foods that only add extra pounds. It is something like an emotional compensation that is offered for the moment of pressure that they are going through.
But that is not all.
The stress hormone (cortisol) impacts metabolism and affects the distribution of fat, causing it to be stored around the organs.
And that is where those “love handles” come from that will not disappear if you do not take the appropriate measures.
There are many alternatives to lower stress, you just have to choose the one that best suits you.
I, for example, prefer to exercise because they make me release endorphins (the happiness hormone) and additionally help me stay in shape.
Two benefits in one!
Lie 4: "It is the fault of genetics, in my family we have a slow metabolism"
When you have difficulty losing weight, many blame genetics or metabolism, usually without knowledge or basis.
The first thing you should know is that basal metabolism is the energy expenditure that occurs when your body is at rest. And its function is to maintain your vital functions, without making any extra effort.
When you have a slow metabolism, your energy expenditure is low, you tend to burn few calories and you accumulate fat in certain parts of the body, including the abdomen.
If your metabolism is fast, it processes nutrients quickly, it stays more active and you lose fat fast.
And while it is true that genetics influence the behavior of your metabolism, there are digestive, hormonal and even inflammatory factors that may be hindering your loss of accumulated fat.
That's good news, because while many genes are involved in how you burn and metabolize fat and sugar, if you're healthy and have a slow metabolism, you can speed it up by changing your habits.
So you're not doomed.
So, instead of ceding the responsibility of your figure to "internal culprits", better focus on what you know can help you:
Lie 5: "Supplements don't help"
If you have not already done so, you must remove the blindfold.
Supplements alone are not going to help you lose belly fat, unless you accompany it with the healthy habits that I have already mentioned.
If someone tells you otherwise, they are lying.
Fat burners can make the process of losing that sleep-depriving belly more efficient and faster. And it does so by seeking to stimulate in your body the hormonal reactions that break down fat to use it as a fuel source.
Which fat burner should you choose?
Here you must be aware because in most of these types of products the main ingredient is caffeine, (others have yohimbine or synephrine) that give energy and increase metabolism to burn calories.
But you have to be very careful because they can increase your heart rate and speed you up more than you should.
There are also healthy options like Sleep Fit that have various ingredients to help you control your appetite, reduce stress, and metabolize fat.
Plus, it makes it easy to get deep nights of sleep, which is scientifically proven to promote fat loss.
Lie 6: "I eat a lot, but I don't get a belly"
If you feel a little envious of that friend who eats everything she wants and doesn't have any fat on her abdomen, I invite you to look beyond the obvious.
Because perhaps you suffer from a condition that can be dangerous in the long term called thin outside, fat inside (in English Thin outsider, fat inside or TOFI).
What is TOFI about?
And while it is true that this type of fat is needed to cushion the organs, the healthy thing is that there is not more than what is due.
Excessive stores of visceral fat disrupt the body's internal communication system, and it can send wrong chemical signals that cause it to store fat within organs such as the liver or pancreas.
The danger is that it could eventually develop into insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease.
In general, people with this condition end up being obese since they do not limit their consumption of sugars and fats; they are also usually sedentary.
Although it is important to clarify that there are those who maintain a healthy weight through diet, but if they do not exercise they could be exposed to being TOFI.
Lie 7: "If I do weights, my belly will get hard and then I won't be able to lower it"
Many people make the mistake of thinking –or have been led to believe- that lifting weights to lower the abdomen without prior cardiovascular exercise to lose fat is a colossal mistake.
The reason they argue is that the fat becomes hard and then it will be very difficult to lose it.
That is not true.
Working with machines, bars or dumbbells has many benefits that work towards your goal of getting rid of abdominal fat:
Something that some women also believe is that training with weights can make their body look masculine.
That will not happen because the feminine physiognomy is different from that of the man.
In addition, they do not produce enough testosterone to increase muscle mass in the same way that they do.
So instead of fearing the weights, eat right and combine them with cardio (especially high intensity interval training).
You will see how sooner than you expect you will have the muscles you want, as well as a flat stomach.