Harsh Truth - Just Doing Sit-Ups isn’t Going to Give You Abs!:
Updated: Jan 18
Did you know doing crunches all the way to China and back isn't what gives you abs?!?! Yes, we have the potential to build the abdominal muscles, but the ability to display this muscle group is 80% done in the kitchen! The abdominals are muscles we all have, they are just being covered by some extra padding, though we may not all be aiming to have a 6 pack, it’s safe to say that the majority of folk want to reduce this extra padding and tone up the abdominal region.
Then What Do We Do:
Yes, lifting weights, cardio and ab training definitely helps for sure to help these muscles pop, so they are more visible, and create that caloric burn we need to send us in the right direction, but we need to look beyond this. We need to look at what we are putting in our mouths and how we are fueling
our bodies. We need to make sure that we are burning more calories than we are putting into our bodies, thereby we prevent the body from storing this energy as fat, which in most cases sits first place and last place to lose, the belly or that beautiful belt around the hips. Meaning we need to train hard, and eat accordingly to support our training, we can never out-train a bad diet or burn 2000 Calories a day, but pack away 3000 Calories in snacks and expect to see the belly melt away!
How Many Calories Should we Be Eating:
To ensure we are aiming towards losing belly fat, we need to make sure we are getting active, so burning more calories than we put in. One would need to be at a Caloric deficit against our daily Maintenance Calories (this is how many calories one's body needs per a day to sustain itself with activity). There are many maintenance calorie calculators that can be found online or even on calorie tracking apps, these calculations are not an exact science. Check Out this article on more details about Calorie Counting Apps https://www.crossfitkempton.co.za/post/calories-calories-calories-can-t-counting-them-be-easier Though it does give us a great rough indicator of how many calories we need per day, based on how active we are to sustain ourselves. To lose weight, we need to be at a deficit of these maintenance calories of around 200-500 calories, the lower deficit on training days, and higher deficit on your rest days.
What to Eat:
Healthy eating and fueling the body with quality fuel is always a step to seeing better and faster results, so this comes down to eating the right Macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats).
Protein is the building blocks to our foundation (beef, poultry, fish, dairy), it allows our bodies to have an anabolic state, which helps promote muscle growth while decreasing fat, muscle is metabolically more active than fat, meaning more muscles equals greater fat burning capacity! So aim to get those lean healthy proteins in. Check this article on Muscle and Fat https://www.crossfitkempton.co.za/post/i-can-just-convert-my-fat-to-muscle-later-right
Carbs (The Villain of most Diet Stories)
Carbs, believe it or not, is an important aspect of a well balanced diet, it all comes down to what type of Carbohydrates we are taking in, and it would be a better option to aim for your complex carbs think of apples, brown rice, oats, type of foods, which score a lower G.I. (Glycemic Index-lower capacity to elevate your blood sugar levels). Carbs convert into glucose (a type of sugar) broken down into energy for your body, and we require energy to have a good training session and work harder and burn more calories! This doesn’t mean we can go crazy and eat all the carbs we see, we need to steer away from your simple carbs such as your sweets, candy, alcohol, cookies and anything that reminds you of rainbows, moonbeams and butterflies, that first time you had a crush and anything else that reminds you of happiness, but it doesn’t mean we cannot find healthy alternatives, there is a wonderful amount of great tasting and guilt free alternatives.
Fats are Pretty Phat:
Fats are great to assist in hormone balancing, heart, muscle health and body function as well as for regulating blood pressure. There are Monounsaturated Fats (avos, almonds, olive oils), Polyunsaturated (salmon, sunflower and seed oils, where we derive Omega 3 and 6 from), Saturated Fats(meats and dairies) and then your Trans Fats which we want to avoid (man made through hydrogenation, and these fats convert to solids, think of potato chips, margarine, cookies etc). Healthy Fats help regulate the body and metabolism meaning, Healthy Fat helps Reduce Bad Fat, including around the abdominal area.
Essentially we want to make sure we are eating healthy Proteins, Carbs and Fats, comprising of which roughly anywhere between (Protein 10-35%, Carbs 45-65% and Fats 20-35% of a Diet) and that we are at a Calorie deficit, but a Cheat Meal or Day, once a week is also great to make sure we are not at a constant deficit and don’t want our body to get used to a constant deficit, not to mention our mental health of only eating clean, so have a strategic Cheat Meal or Day, just make sure all the Cheat Food is gone by the end of the day to prevent any bingeing!
Published By: André T Fritz