If you’re a man, chances are you’ve felt that pressure before. You’ve seen the models in the magazines, and every actor we’re supposed to look up to on TV seems to have abs that look like they were cut from stone. You begin to feel the pressure of asking yourself “Why can’t I be that?”. It’s easy to let this attitude get you down, because we all know getting abs is hard work. But how hard is it, really?
Surprisingly, not very. We all think the key to abs is intense exercise and incredible amounts of sit-ups, and while that is partially true, it’s not the whole story. The biggest battle on your Road to abs isn’t fought in the gym, but on your plate. Proper nutrition, as well as eating at a caloric deficit, are the MOST important parts of your effort to get your abs. You see, for many people, abs begin to properly show when they reach around 10%-12% body fat. For reference, the average person sits at 15%-20%.
Exercise does help to keep off the extra fat, and core workouts are great for giving your abs more definition, but you need to find the number of calories you need to reduce your bodyfat percentage and stick with it. There are so many apps to help you with it, so you can keep it on your phone with you wherever you go. Many people use MyFitnessPal, created by UnderArmour, to figure out how many calories they should be eating in a day, track their weight, and count their calories.
Also, it will be a great help to reduce the amount of carbs you eat in a day. Carbs, or Carbohydrates, are used by your body in the same way glycogen, otherwise known as fat, is. In essence, your body burns them when it needs energy. But, because Carbs metabolize faster than fat, your body prefers to use them first, meaning you burn off the Carbs you just ate and leave the fat intact, even though you just spent half an hour on the treadmill. You can still burn fat when you’re eating pasta if you put the extra effort in, but if you want to put yourself on the fast-track to amazing abs, you need to reduce the Carbs you eat.
But, the one key thing that will see you getting your ideal body is PERSISTENCE. You will not see results quickly. You may not even see results in six months. But, if you stick with your diet and continue to put work into exercising, you’ll eventually see yourself dropping into that magical 10%-12% bodyfat category, where you’re no longer worried about getting abs, as much as you are about figuring out how to best show them off. Good luck!