And a six pack abs?
Then keep on reading! I have some news for you. Some good and some bad. I’ll start with the good ones. You already have a six pack abs. That’s right – your stomach muscles, or abdominals, are already well developed. You use them every day and they do a very good job supporting your torso every time you get out of bed (amongst many other tasks).
Now for the bad news. If your abdominal muscles are not showing, it it most likely because they are covered by a layer of fat. And to make things worse, this is a very stubborn layer. Chances are that you have tried doing countless crunches and still no visible results. You can judge how difficult it is to get rid of belly fat by the countless ab machines advertised. AbDoer, Ab-Coaster, Body -Twister, Ab-Cruncher just to name a few.
Do they work? Yes and no. They do work to develop the abdominal muscles, however, they don’t do much about the layer of fat. Same goes for all the other exercises that fitness instructors tell you to do; sit-ups, crunches or leg raises.
If only you could just get rid of that fat from the gut and those love handles… I’ll tell you how in just a moment, but now I have a second lot of bad news. It is bloating and it may be preventing you from having a nice flat stomach. If you often feel like you have to suck it in, then it’s likely that you suffer from a bloated stomach.
The solution to this issue is much simpler in theory but harder in practice. Bloating is most often caused by lactose, and /or, fructose. These are sugars that do not get metabolised due to a lack of an enzyme, and find their way into the gut where they provide a feast for the intestinal fauna. The bacteria just love sugars and produce a lot of gas as a by-product. If it happens in the small intestine, then the gas is very hard to come out and pushes out the stomach, just like a balloon. There are tests available for these and you can request one from your GP.
So, to stop it from happening you can simply avoid eating lactose and fructose. Yeah, easier said than done. Even if you have enough will power to deny yourself ice-cream, cakes, chocolates and other sweets, it is still very hard to avoid them. For example, skim milk powder contains much more lactose than full cream, and is being added to many other food products. Sometimes even breads or sausages.
Alternatively, you can take the enzyme supplements, like lactase. However, this can be expensive in the long run and not always reliable. Unfortunately, you just have to be vigilant and avoid the foods that bloat you if you want a flat stomach. You just can’t have a cake and eat it too.
Now for that tummy fat issue. Some more bad news before I get to the solution – you cannot lose fat in one spot from the body. If you lose fat, it’s happening from everywhere at the same time. So all these ab machines are pretty much useless in that respect. No matter what the manufacturer claims. You just have to lose the overall fat. And the solution is simple – calories in, have to be less than calories out. In other words, you have to expand more calories than you intake through food.
But here’s a twist. Most traditional fitness gurus will count the calories from food and the calories expanded during the exercise. This way, you would have to spend countless hours in the gym. This is also one way to discourage people from even taking up a moderate exercise routine. No, that is the wrong way. Research shows that with certain exercise routines, you can achieve the afterburner effect where your body continues to burn calories at a much higher rate even long time after you finished your session at the gym.
You can get much more from a half hour high intensity resistance workout than from a longer low intensity traditional cardio workout. Interval training is one way to get the afterburner effect and I have already mentioned the benefits here. The afterburner effect is just a fancy new name for a higher resting metabolic rate.
In summary, you do have nice abdominal muscles but they are hidden. In order to show them you need to lose the fat and stop eating things you may not tolerate.