So the “dad bod” is all the rage right now. But I have a sneaking suspicion that most men(and women) would rather have a 6-pack. But where do we start? Well there is no magic pill, and just like major accomplishments that you work for in life, it will require dedication, and consistency. However, If you really set your mind to it, a 6-Pack could appear faster than you think.
Here is the no “BS” way to get a six pack:
Exercise 3-5 times per week – This includes, resistance training, and cardiovascular training. Maintaining muscle mass allows your body to burn more calories naturally throughout the day to aid in the decrease of body fat. Abs are muscles, and just like any other muscle if you work them they will grow and become more defined, but your body works as a unit so full body functional movements (squat, deadlift, pull-ups, presses, and rows) will have the greatest effect on your body composition.
Sleep 7-8 hours per night– Recovery may be one of the most important factors to decreasing weight, especially around the mid section. When you’re sleep deprived your body is under a high stress state. This leads to increased levels of cortisol which is a known to be a major contributor to belly fat. Aim for 7-8 hours per day consistently to maximize the benefits.
Eat real food and not too much– High Protein, low sugar diet with plenty of leafy greens to aid in digestion. Supplement with healthy fats. These are the easiest guidelines to live by from a nutrition standpoint. Over eating, binge eating, mindless eating, and eating processed food all play a role in belly fat – but if you have weight to lose in order gain a 6-pack, eating less calories than you burn is a requirement. Aim to eat 500 less calories per day than what you burn naturally and through exercise.
Drink 3-4 L of water per day– Your body is mostly water, and the water you consume flushes away toxins and helps to improve the digestive system so that fats are removed from your body more efficiently. Drinking water can also act as an appetite depressant. *Next time you’re hungry, drink a large glass of water first to see if you can curb your appetite.
Maintain low stress levels – As mentioned in “sleep”, stress causes your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol which can slow down your metabolism. But on top of that, high levels of stress can lead to less exercise, emotional eating, sugar cravings, and can also impair your sleep. Stress can be caused by many things. Be deliberate in combating stress through things like mediation, gratitude, yoga, and journaling.
All of the above are important, and each can be effective on their own. But in reality, it is the combination of all of these things that will lead to positive change in your body composition.
Building these habits will be a unique challenge for everyone. Whether your goal is a 6-pack, to run a marathon, or to just keep up with your kids, start by creating a plan and identifying the road blocks.
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