Many believe the way to a flat, tight tummy is to endlessly perform sit-ups and various abdominal exercises. While incorporating core strengthening movements and resistance has it’s place, the key to a sculpted six pack is often misunderstood. More than anything, the appearance of your abs has much more to do with your diet and genetics than anything else. Uncovering those muscles has much to do with those two basic elements.
Some tips for how to achieve a flatter, tighter mid-section:
Eliminate Inflammatory Foods Many people suffer from a food intolerance and are completely unaware. By removing the grain, dairy, soy, legumes and gluten from your diet, you are likely to experience a positive change in health. For me, I prefer the benefits of living a Paleo lifestyle for many reasons, but in not eating the foods that cause inflammation within the body you will lose weight as an added bonus. A non-bloated belly is great benefit too!
Incorporate Exercise Both resistance training and cardio have important roles when it comes to exercise. From tabata style workouts, Crossfit, TRX suspension training, bodyweight exercises, weight lifting, running and other forms of cardio (both steady state and HIIT) are all necessary to shed excess body fat and reveal the abdominal muscles want to see. Changing up your current plan can help you get over the hump of those last few pounds if you find yourself at a stand still.
Watch Those Calories Not only is it important to eliminate foods that create inflammation in the body, but to also pay attention to your portions. Overeating anything, whether healthy or otherwise, will lend itself to additional calories equating to additional pounds. Utilize a planner, journal or an app to monitor you meals and intake. You’ll be surprised how calories can sneak up if you don’t pay attention to items such as condiments and beverages or additional helpings.
Hydrate If you are not meeting your water intake needs, you may be holding on to additional pounds via water weight. By getting plenty of H20, your body will better regulate its many functions (if you know what I mean ;-)) and keep it moving! I aim for a gallon a day, which can be tough, but it helps me to have this amount as my goal. As an athlete and an Arizonan, my needs may be different from yours. Drink up!