Saturday, December 6, 2008

How to loose belly fat and get Abs

For many the six-pack is the ultimate fitness goal. And some will go to great lengths to get them; mostly it’s because of vanity. But they represent so much more

Do you know how to get abs?

Everyone wants a well-defined lean mid section, simply know as abs. People will buy any supplement, or gadget that offers the promise of delivering them.

They will devote great effort, doing many sets and reps trying to uncover their abs.

I have to admit I was one of them once wasting my money, and endless hours to no avail.

Athletes and bodybuilders know that training abs isn’t for looks alone; your abdominal muscles are the core of your body’s power production.

Almost everything you do in your life revolves around your abs, standing, bending, twisting, and lifting. If you develop abdominal strength you can avoid, or eliminate lower back pain. So all that abdominal work wasn’t for nothing!

But the simple fact is you can do all the abdominal exercises in the world and most likely never see your abs, so let me tell you why. The single most important factor above anything is your diet, you will never see your abs if you have a layer of fat covering them or you retain too much water.

Now some of you might be saying im not fat, clinically maybe not.

But I hate to break it to you but if you don’t see your abs you are fat. Now the degree of how fat you are will dictate how you proceed.

Now in case you didn’t know it your stomach is the final frontier in fat loss, it’s the first place you will get fat, and the last place you will loose fat. And contrary to what you might have heard, you can’t spot reduce fat.

So if your arms wiggle when you wave, and your ass is droopy when you stand, or you cant see your knees when you stand. You have a lot of work to do before abs are in your future.

The reason I tell you this is I see way to many people in the gym doing countless abdominal exercises when they clearly need to be focusing on other areas to cut down on their overall body fat.

In order to get abs you need to do a combination of cardio and strength training along with a proper diet.

Here is a proper diet:

Step 1. What to eat:

1. Choose lean meat, poultry, and fish for proteins.

2. Eat low glycemic carbohydrates like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, broccoli, or brown rice.

3. Consume only good fats like flax seed oil, and omega 3s.

Avoid foods that are high in sugar and salt, salt makes your body retain water giving you a bloated look. Also eliminate processed foods and try to eat everything fresh, not from a can or box. Organic is best!

A balanced diet is essential for overall good health and longevity, cutting out any of the three will only come back to haunt you in the long run. This is why fad diets fail and people gain back all the weight they lost, plus more.

You should eat at least 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight you wish to achieve, or keep. (if you want to weigh 150 lbs you need to take in at least 150 grams of protein a day).

Here is why:

Your body uses more energy to process protein than carbohydrates, or fats. You can burn up to twice as many calories consuming protein verses the same amount of carbohydrates.

Protein is the building blocks of your muscle, if you are active and don’t consume enough protein your body will go into a state of catabolism using its own muscle for fuel. This is a bad thing since the more muscle mass your body has the faster your metabolism will be, and the more calories your body will burn.

Step 2. When to eat:

Try to eat at least every 3 hours, or 6 times a day if possible.

Here is why:

First by spreading your daily calories out over 6 meals you will be eating less food at any one sitting, by stuffing less in your stomach it will shrink over time. Have you seen how very obese people loose a lot of weight? They have gastric bypass surgery (have their stomach stapled smaller).

When you eat your body will only use what it needs at that time and store, or discard the rest.

Your body will store carbohydrates, or fats. It will not store protein, so any excess calories from protein will be turned into fat. This is why portion size is so important, and people become fat who super size their meals.

By spreading your daily calories out you keep you body nourished throughout the day and speed up your metabolism without it storing calories. You will have more energy and your waistline will shrink.

This will also keep your hunger satisfied, and help eliminate any desire to binge eat.

Now it’s not the eating that speeds up your metabolism, it’s the food you eat.

Remember when I said your body has to work twice as hard to digest the protein you eat? But it also won’t digest more protein than it needs at any one time.

Depending on your muscle mass, stress your body has been under that day will dictate the amount of protein it will use at any one time. This can range approximately between 20 to 50 grams per serving so the key is to consume a little protein at each and every meal.

Lets say you need to consume 150 grams of protein a day, just spread that out over the 6 meals. Now you are taking in only 25 grams per serving keeping your hunger satisfied, your muscles in a positive nitrogen balance, and your metabolism working overtime.

Step 3. Training the abdominal muscle:

The three basic parts of the abdominal muscle you need to know:

1. Rectus Abdominus - which is the upper and lower abs, the six-pack look.

2. Oblique muscles - internal and external, the muscles on the sides of your waist, the definition, V shape.

3. Transverse0 abdominis - surrounds and protects the internal organs, keeps your waist tucked in.

There are many different exercises you can do to train your abdominal muscles, and they all should be included in your exercise routine to work your abs from different angles.

All crunch exercises work the upper and lower abdominal muscles.

All twisting or crossing over exercises work the oblique muscles.

To train your transverses abdominis simply suck your stomach in. Exhale all the air out of your lungs sucking your navel in as far as you can and hold it as long as you can using your abdominal muscles, then release. You can do this every day if you want and your waistline will shrink.

But unfortunately most people do the same mistake each time. Regardless of which abdominal exercises you do there is one thing that never changes, this is tempo.

Tempo is the speed in which you move from start to finish. You want to perform your abdominal exercises with perfect form, concentrating on the contraction.

Take each rep slowly; the goal is to make your abs burn. Exhale at the top of the rep pulling your stomach in tight, and lower back down slowly.

Use the proper range of motion; if the space between your hips and sternum doesn’t shorten your abdominal muscles are not contracting.

Do at least one upper, lower, and oblique move in each abdominal workout.

Its best to give your abs a rest in between workouts, do cardio on alternate days.

If you have excess fat you need to do a higher rep routine consisting of bicycles crunches, stick twist, floor crunches.

If you are trying to make your abs stick out more you need to do weighted abdominal exercises like decline sit ups with dumbbell plates, kneeling rope extensions, reverse crunches.

Step 3. The plan:

No one plans to fail they fail to plan:

You need to know how many calories you need to consume a day from day one, even if you eat a healthy diet you can still get fat eating too many calories.

The reason I say start out with is each and every person is different, nothing is ever set in stone. Adjustments usually always need to be made along the way.

Now this is where most people give up since it’s a real pain in the butt to figure out calories in the foods you eat on your own, but once you have your basic plan it becomes easy after that.

Here is a simple calorie chart to get you on your way.

Want to know more see- Simple steps to speed up your metabolism

What abdominal exercises work best for you ?

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