A great set of abs requires more of a focused effort than simply hitting the gym regularly. A solid training program allows you to develop your muscular physique and details of your midsection. But you must also be disciplined enough to follow a quality nutrition program to help you shed fat, especially from your midsection. In order to show off the details, you've carved into your abs, without sacrificing muscle mass from the rest of your body.
Learning a few tricks of the trade physiological and psychological will also help you present your midsection in its best light. Here are tips explaining how you can get focused and achieve the most ripped abs you've ever had.
1. Create a Caloric Deficit
We know you don't want to have a negative bank balance in your personal finances. However, having a similar idea in your diet where you are burning more energy than you can eat is critical to burning body fat instead of adding unwanted weight. You have to burn more calories than eating more calories, this is the term for a caloric deficit diet.
It all depends on your body fat percentage, coach Paul Revelia mentions in his video about body fat percentage and utilizing a caloric deficit diet to achieve faster fat loss.
If your body fat percentage is average, it will take you around 12 to 16 weeks to get abs. If you are overweight or obese, stick to a good plan for 6 months to a year to have visible abs.
To increase your energy expenditure you just have to make sure you are using up more energy by increasing the time and intensity of your weight training, and cardio exercise. To make this even more effective you must also try and cut carbohydrates, decrease saturated fats, and increase protein intake. This will further increase your metabolic rate and rev up the fat-burning.
2. Increase Protein Intake
If you want great abs, you have to follow a very high-protein diet. Protein is a critical factor for bringing out your abs and making your whole physique look good. First, protein provides your body with amino acids that prevent muscle breakdown while you're in a calorie deficit, thus sparing your other muscles. Which can otherwise be tapped for energy when you burn more calories than you consume. Second, protein drives up your metabolic rate, helping you burn more body fat. And last, protein provides low-calorie satiety to deter you from cheating so you succeed in your diet.
You may hear that professional bodybuilders say they prefer whole-food forms of protein. Eating large amounts of egg whites, red meats and fish six times a day can become costly just to get a substantial amount of protein, each of these meals contains very high amounts of protein. If the thought of consuming that much fish, meat, and egg whites makes your stomach churn. You can substitute a few of these meals each day with protein shakes that are low in both carbs and fat.
3. Stop Eating Junk Food
Every food item you put into your mouth when you're on your abs program has to be purposeful for making your abs look better. The first step to shedding body fat is cleaning up your diet and that means eliminating junk foods.
Cut out all fast food if you consume it on a regular basis, make sure you've eliminated all sources of trans fats. These processed, unhealthy fats are found in packaged foods including desserts, crackers, other white flour products, and numerous other processed foods. They like to hide under names such as "hydrogenated fats."
Additionally, you'll need to cut the bad carbohydrates and avoid fast-digesting carbs that are likely to be stored as body fat. These include sugar, which is found in sodas, desserts, and candy, but also numerous processed foods often under cryptic labels like high-fructose corn syrup. You then need to remove processed flour products such as low-fiber forms of white bread, foods that contain bleached white flour, and other starchy carbs that are lower in fiber. Thus, useless for helping you in your quest for a tighter midsection.
4. Burn More Energy
Sure your ab-training and your other weight training are important, but you also have to have a good cardio plan in place. This can be tricky because everybody responds a little differently to various cardio regimens. "I like to perform 15-30 minutes of moderate-paced cardio on an empty stomach when I get up."
This approach to cardio is great for energy balance management, you burn calories and your body must turn to internal energy because it has no stores to tap into from food in your system. This is a great strategy if your body readily turns to body fat to fuel activity.
However, if your body seems to utilize muscle mass more than body fat, you may want to adopt another strategy. Try performing cardio later in the day, using intensity cycles sometimes called high-intensity interval training or HIIT. Where you go easy for one minute and then work at a challenging rate for one minute.
Alternate for 20 minutes, building up to 30-40 minutes; just be sure to consume about 20 grams of whey protein before this session. Having the protein in your system will allow your body to spare muscle tissue while preferentially burning body fat.
5. Decrease Salt Intake
Excess salt intake makes your body retain water, which can sit on your abs, making you look like you're holding more body fat than you really are. Of course, if you're prepping for a show, you don't want to cut your salt too low too soon, as you may rebound and start holding water when you step on stage.
There are a few rules of thumb you should follow. First, if you're trying to make your abs look good over a longer period of time, gradually reduce your sodium intake. If your goal is to make your abs look good for a particular event. For example in a photoshoot, or a bodybuilding show, cut your sodium more drastically about 48 hours before your showtime.
A word of warning, when consuming too many protein shakes, they are great for helping you dial in your abs while maintaining muscle mass but make sure you check the sodium content of the product you're using. Some protein shakes are much higher in sodium than others. Those high in sodium are fine for other times, such as off-season, and they tend to taste better. But when you're prepping for an event, source alternative protein products that are lower in sodium.
6. Intermittent Fasting
There is no diet strategy that is more effective at rapidly changing body composition than intermittent fasting. It's hard to believe this until you have tried it.
Intermittent fasting is kind of like magic and it will melt fat off your body like butter. It also helps by amplifying your body’s ability to maintain lean muscle through increases in insulin sensitivity and the creation of an optimal hormonal environment.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is an eating cycling strategy that simply dictates when you consume your calories at intervals. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Dr. Eric Berg has an impressive guide in his video to show if intermittent fasting can work for you.
We hope you can learn some tips on how to quickly show your abs. Let us know in the comments below what you think if you have anything to add.