Beginners Guide: The Diet and Exercise You Need to Get Six Pack Abs
Few of us can honestly say that we wouldn’t want chiseled six pack abs. Of course, most of us give up without even trying to achieve that fitness goal because we assume it to be too tough. While it certainly isn’t easy, getting six pack abs isn’t impossible if you use a smart holistic approach to fitness. If you seriously want to know how to get six pack abs, you should dispel those ideas of simply doing ab exercises for a few minutes every day. Instead, start taking your diet, lifestyle, and exercises into account too.
6 Pack Abs Diet
Here are some simple diet tips or rules to help you achieve that six pack body. The underlying objective is to reduce calorie intake without impairing nutrient intake, so as to lose weight and burn fat without muscle loss:
- Eat More Protein – High protein intake increases feelings of fullness and better appetite control (1). This results in reduced calorie intake and weight loss without muscle loss. Protein intake is also critical for muscle growth and repair when working out.
- Eat More Fiber – Like protein, high fiber intake increases fullness, making it easier to reduce calorie intake and burn more fat. Studies show that moderate increases in soluble fiber intake can reduce belly fat without any other intervention (2). This is critical as belly fat loss is vital for visibility of abdominal muscles that results in 6 pack abs.
- Stay Hydrated – Adequate hydration helps with appetite control as it increases feelings of fullness, supports waste elimination, temperature regulation, and metabolism, among other processes. A study found that drinking water before meals resulted in 44 percent more weight loss during a 3-month period (3).
- Eat Whole Foods – Processed foods are high in calories, simple carbs, and trans fats that will make it impossible to lose belly fat and sport a 6 pack body. Whole foods are also nutrient dense and low in calories, containing complex carbs, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Six Pack Body Workout
In addition to cutting calories to burn fat and let those abdominal muscles show, you also need to adopt an exercise routine that furthers fat loss and promotes muscle growth. Here are some workout tips to help you get your six pack body.
Don’t Forget Cardio – It’s easy to overlook the importance of cardio when you’re focused on those 6 pack abs. Unfortunately, you won’t get there without regular cardio or aerobic exercise as studies show it to be one of the most effective ways to reduce abdominal fat (4). Activities like walking, running, swimming, and cycling all count as cardio.
Strength Training – Simply working on your abs won’t yield the six pack body you crave because you also need sculpted chest, back, and arm muscles to showcase your abs. By working on all of your body’s muscles, your resting metabolic rate is also increased, helping burn more calories and fat.
Increase the Intensity – High-intensity interval training, or HIIT is one of the best forms of exercise for speeding up belly fat reduction to get those coveted six pack abs (5). Rather than being a single exercise, HIIT is a pattern of exercise wherein you alternate between high intensity exercises followed by short periods of rest and recovery.
Work On Your Abs – While all your attention shouldn’t be focused on your abs, you shouldn’t neglect them either. Abdominal exercises like crunches, bridges, and planks will strengthen and sculpt your muscles, to help get a six pack. However, studies show that these exercises don’t reduce belly fat, which is needed for visible six pack abs (6).