Will You Ever See Your Abs? REPOST

real fat man

One of the most common questions I get from people is how to lose belly fat and get defined abs. Since a tight midsection is one of the most enviable and desirable body attributes, I am never surprised by these inquiries. I have noticed that there is a relatively common misconception that defined abs come solely from exercise, which is definitely not the case. While a certain amount of development in the abdominal muscles must be present for the washboard appearance which many people covet, an individual’s food choices often interfere with the quest for six-pack abs.

If you really want to see abdominal definition, you need to eliminate the following foods from your diet:

Processed foods (including crackers, luncheon meats, cheese, chips, breads)
Foods high in saturated fat (red meat, fast foods)
Salad dressing

Though it may be difficult at first to eliminate the foods listed, you will notice over time that your palate will adjust and that food cravings will subside. That’s because processed foods and sugar set up a vicious cycle in which you crave more bad foods when you consume them. Cut them out of your meal plan, and your cravings will subside. Another benefit of avoiding these foods is that you will avoid the rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin which they trigger. Why is this important? Because sharp spikes in insulin release promote increased fat deposition in the midsection.

Another dramatic change which you need to make is to drink plenty of water daily. My general rule is to buy an attractive 1 liter bottle, fill it 3 times during the course of a day, and drink all the water you put in that container.

If your abdominal muscles haven’t seen a sit-up in years, you should also incorporate abdominal exercises into your regimen. Here are my three favorite abdominal exercises which work for everyone, from beginners to advanced athletes:

bicycle crunches
ball crunches

If you are consistent with making healthy food choices and getting regular exercise, chances are good that you will see a toned tummy if you are already at a normal weight. If you are overweight, the healthier food choices will help you to slim down and get rid of belly fat, putting you on course for a tighter midsection.

Try The Woodchop For Great Abdominal Conditioning

WoodchopOne of the most effective abdominal exercises is the woodchop. The woodchop movement is excellent for recruiting the obliques and has always been one of my favorite abdominal moves. This exercise can be performed with a dumbbell, medicine ball, kettlebell or cable pulley and can also be performed in reverse. For ease of explanation, I will describe the regular woodchop movement here, but if you are interested in performing reverse woodchop, your starting position will be at the floor or a low pulley.

– Your starting position will be standing with feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes pointed outwards slightly.
– Holding the weight (or high cable pulley handle) with both hands, rotate your body downwards towards the opposite knee in a diagonal arc. When doing this, your arms will be straight but without locking the elbows. Also, you will be rotating through your torso, keeping arms straight during the movement.
– Return to start.

I recommend 3 to 5 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Hit Peak Fitness Fab Abs


Please check out Heidi Jo Medina’s article on fab abs in the August 12, 2016 edition of the Pensacola News Journal which includes me as one of the featured experts in her engaging article. I absolutely love Heidi Jo’s fantastic tips for getting amazing abs!

For convenience, I have copied and pasted the article here, but please also click on the link below to read the article from the source.

Many thanks to Heidi Jo Medina and the Pensacola News Journal for this feature!


Medina: Hit the peak of fitness with fab abs

Heidi Jo Medina, News Journal correspondent 4:51 p.m. CDT August 12, 2016

Getting that six pack is the highest mountain to climb on most people’s fitness journey. To help you make it to the peak, several bikini pros tell us how they maintain their hard bellies.

Christina Heine, a graduate student in health promotion and assistant for the exercise science and health department at the University of West Florida, loves to work her abdominal muscles with planks, hanging leg lifts and reverse crunches. Her cardio routine incorporates high intensity interval training on the stair stepper or stadiums. The 31-year-old National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor switches between two minutes of high intensity and one minute of low intensity until she has reached 30 minutes.

She recommends incorporating white fish, egg whites, plain non-fat Greek yogurt into your diet. (This is ab-friendly for some people because it has natural probiotics which supports healthy digestion, but for some dairy-sensitive people it can cause bloating.)

Jessica Vetter, 36, of South Dakota, works her abdominals with ball crunches, decline crunches and double crunches. Her resume includes International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) figure pro and American Muscle & Fitness personal trainer.

“Being consistent is very important in getting and maintaining abs. Hold yourself accountable to what is put into your mouth,” she says.

For cardio, Vetter uses the stair stepper or elliptical. She says stair steppers are her favorite, as they use every muscle in the lower body, and are perfect for building lean muscle while burning fat. It is a low-impact exercise that can burn more calories than high impact, as you have to lift your entire body weight with every step you take.

Vetter only trains abs twice a week.

“If you are eager to have abs, your best strategy is to pay closer attention to your diet,” she says. “There are multiple factors that can contribute to storing fat around your belly. Focusing on eating healthy will make it easier for your body to reveal abs.”

Vetter’s diet incorporates ab-friendly foods such as fish, chicken, almonds, extra virgin olive oil, greens, coconut oil and egg whites.

“Watching labels is key,” she cautions. “Look at the grams of sugar, saturated and trans fat, and carbohydrates. The list of ingredients is also very important, and understanding what you are reading.”

Stacey Naito, 50, of California, has eliminated processed foods and refined sugar from her diet in order to sustain a lean midsection.

The IFBB pro, board-certified physician and nutrition coach suggests you stick to whole foods like lean meats, eggs (including the yolk), vegetables, almonds, and grains like quinoa and brown rice.

Naito only trains abs once a week for five to 10 minutes. She likes to incorporate planks, flutter kicks on a bench, and decline bench crunches.

When asked what kind of cardio she integrates into her workout regimen, her reply was, “Cardio? What’s that?”

Naito says she hasn’t done cardio in months and her body is actually leaner as a result.

“The body can become very efficient with cardio, meaning that it becomes resistant to the supposed fat-burning effects of cardiovascular activity,” Naito says. “The solution? Dial it down! Too much cardio can destroy a body.”

She suggests that you don’t over do it and just keep it simple. In fact, Naito says the best way to get chiseled abs is to drink plenty of water, take nutritional supplements like magnesium if you think you may be deficient, and eat clean at least 90 percent of the time.

Genetics will always play a role in your body shape and fitness achievements, but if you are only eating healthy 60 percent of the time, just like in math, that is a failing grade. Abs are made in the kitchen. The best ab exercise out there is to stop eating so much junk.

Amazing ab tips

1.Utilize a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Along with eating four to six small meals a day, try to consume your carbs first thing in the morning to give you sufficient energy through the day.

2.A consistent combination of cardio and weight training will enable you to burn fat and stay lean. Weight training burns calories after the workout and throughout the day while cardio burns calories during the workout.

3.Staying properly hydrated will help you burn the most amount of fat and will speed up your metabolism. Try to drink six to eight glasses a day.

4.Adjust your ab routine often. This will help to maximize results as diversity and confusion to the muscle show more development than a stagnant routine.

5.Breakfast kicks off your metabolism so don’t skip it. Include lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in your first meal. Steer clear of unhealthy fats and foods high in unhealthy carbohydrates.

6.Don’t skip cardio. Losing fat will make your abs more prominent. Cardiovascular exercise is much more effective in the morning as well since the body is refreshed.

7.Getting eight to nine hours of sleep will help boost metabolism. Lack of sleep will cause the body to release the stress hormone cortisol which promotes fat storage and will derail your ab efforts.

8.Cardio in the morning is much more effective since the body is refreshed.

9.Engage your abdominals during compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, and rows which demand a lot of core stability. These big moves will rev your metabolism and burn calories.

10.Don’t forget to breathe. Muscles need oxygenated blood to work properly and holding your breathe will hinder you from generating strength. Inhale deeply before performing a movement and exhale as you perform the crunch or lifting movement. Exhaling will force your abs to contract and engage your inner oblique muscles.

11.Cheat! Once or twice a week throw in a cheat meal to keep you sane and to throw your body a curve ball. This will keep your body from adjusting to healthy eating and slowing down your metabolism.

Eating Clean Makes All The Difference

This abdominal definition truly comes from eating clean 98% of the time.  There are no tricks to this.  I also train abs only one day per week and keep my routine down to about 7 minutes.

This abdominal definition truly comes from eating clean 98% of the time. There are no tricks to this. I also train abs only one day per week and keep my routine down to about 7 minutes.

Last week a guy at the gym approached me and asked me a question I hear frequently, which was “What exercises would you recommend for me to get six-pack abs?”. My response didn’t have anything to do with specific abdominal exercises, but centered around nutrition. I asked the guy what his diet was like, and he revealed that he was of Italian descent and just HAD to have pasta several times per week. He also admitted that he spent many of his evenings drinking an appreciable amount of alcohol. So I told him that his eating and drinking habits guaranteed that he would never see a washboard across his midsection, no matter how many crunches or planks he did. He was so intent on finding a way to get a toned midsection without changing his eating habits that he repeated his question a second time, which made me shake my head and wish him luck as I walked away.

If you are committed to getting a lean midriff, you MUST change your eating habits! You simply cannot have your cake and eat it too when it comes to coaxing those lovely abdominal lines and cross cuts out of hiding. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can somehow get a quick fix by doing a cleanse to repair the damage of a poor diet, or that you can perform a plethora of abdominal moves to somehow melt all the fat that is sitting around your waist. The only effective way to etch those abs is to consume whole foods with minimal to no processing, such as lean meats, grains such as quinoa, rice, and oats, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and eggs. If you are worried that these foods lack the flavor you crave from consuming processed foods, check out the various seasonings, flavored mustards, hot sauces, and other condiments which can add a new dimension to your food.

Once you make the switch to a healthy food regimen, you will probably notice a lot of subtle changes in your overall well-being, such as more energy and clearer skin. After a while, you might even notice your abs peeking out!

Egg Protein Got Me Lean


The ravages of competition prep and impending menopause caused me to hold water in my midsection and hamstrings for over a year, and I became despondent and desperate as a result. Nothing seemed to work. Then I took an ALCAT food intolerance test in January of 2015 and discovered that I had an intolerance to a bunch of different foods, so I eliminated the majority of them.

However, I stubbornly kept whey protein in, and chose to ignore the fact that I had a moderate intolerance to it. I would have been fine if I had just consumed whey protein a couple of times per week, but I was ingesting 60-70 grams of whey protein every single day. What kept me in that vicious cycle was an incredibly busy schedule which made it difficult for me to get all of my protein from whole foods.

In late September, upon Ian Lauer’s strong suggestion, I decided to finally eliminate whey protein powder from my diet. I added more animal protein from whole food sources (mostly from MAW Nutrition), and replaced about 25 grams of whey powder with a serving of Muscle Egg. Two weeks later, the water retention issues I had been struggling with completely vanished. I could finally see the lateral borders of my rectus abdominis clearly, and no longer created a fluid ripple when I tapped my belly.

I’m not saying I am ripped as a result of switching to egg protein, but boy, did it make a difference in my level of leanness! This won’t work for everyone though. If you have an issue with egg protein, the opposite effect may occur. In my case, I discovered that my body processes egg protein quite well. I also became a huge fan of Muscle Egg and now have it in my house at all times. I generally limit myself to one serving of Muscle Egg per day, but I also love the occasional nighttime Muscle Egg crepe with Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup on top for a sweet treat.

One last thing about whey protein: I still consume it on occasion. However, I only eat it in B-Up Bars and P28 Products, and I don’t have any issue with these food items. I have, however, completely avoided whey protein powder for the time being, and hope that my body resets as a result.