We all know that everyone has abs, but for the majority of people, they don’t look like the washboard abs we see on models and every male actor in 300. For most people, those delicious, sexy abs are hidden under layers of visceral fat that has gradually been expanding as a result of poor dietary choices over an extended period of time. Some of these poor choices include consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, processed foods, refined grains, and muffin after muffin after muffin and all those late night taco runs. I know, because I’ve been there!
If you want your abs to show, doing thousands of crunches will get you nowhere if your diet doesn’t improve. There is truth behind the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen.” If you want your abs to show and want to look good at all the Vegas pool parties in the summer, you need to lose body fat, period. How do you lose body fat? Start eating healthy, control your portions, and hit the gym if you want to speed up the process. There is no universal method that will work for every one as diet and exercise should be tailored to the specific needs and goals of individuals. For this reason, I won’t dive too deep into specifics, but I will share the three key concepts behind how I was able to melt layers of fat off my body to expose my abs in only eight weeks.
Forming a new habit is tough, but once you get it into your daily routine, it almost becomes second nature. I prepared my food for the week every Sunday. I ate six meals a day, and ate every meal at nearly the same time daily. I went to the gym at the same time every evening. I had a training regimen that I followed weekly. For example, legs on Monday, arms and cardio on Tuesday, chest on Wednesday, etc. Scheduling conflicts did occur, but I was able to shuffle things around to make it work. Staying consistent helps to solidify new habits that eventually, if you keep it up long enough, become a part of your lifestyle. Get your diet and training on a routine.
This is key. Every Sunday, I cooked seven days’ worth of food. This reduces the amount of cooking in the work week to zero, which makes repeating meals daily more sustainable (I now cook 2-3 times per week to keep my food more fresh). You can’t get more efficient than that. I bought a scale and measured my portions to the T. Four ounces of this, one cup of that, one tablespoon of this, etc. I ate six small meals daily, and they contained only whole foods: lean protein (tilapia, ground turkey breast, chicken breast), healthy fats (almonds, olive oil), and unrefined carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potato, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, green beans, other leafy greens). I added a small amount of salsa, hot sauce, and spices for flavoring. Adding salt is a no-no as it causes water retention and can make one appear bloated. If you want your abs to show, bloated is probably the last look you’d want to go for. Take control of everything that enters your body by preparing all of your meals. If you must go out to eat, order something similar to the meal you’re replacing.
If it’s taken ten, twenty, thirty years of your life of eating and doing the same things every day to get your physique to where it is today, it’s only logical that you can’t reverse what has happened in a matter of a few days or a few weeks, naturally at least. This can be very difficult to accept, especially in our time when entire generations are addicted to shortcuts (thanks to mass marketing) and instant gratification (think social media interactive response times). Changes in your body will be subtle, and when you don’t see a miraculous transformation in the first one to three weeks, you may feel discouraged. This is the moment of truth. If you can continue working hard and eating right, you will see change. Trust me. I’ve been there, complained, dragged my feet, wanted to give up, but in the end, I stuck with it and, well, I’ll let you be the judge of how that turned out!
Remember, nothing worth having comes easy. If you truly want something, you won’t make excuses. Work hard, be patient, believe in yourself, and enjoy the journey to reaching your goals.