6 tips to bring out your 6-pack
Sean Anthony (The Philippine Star) - May 20, 2013 - 11:29am

The truth is everyone has a six-pack, but most people have theirs hidden behind some layers of fat on their stomachs. The key to a six-pack is toning the abdominal muscles and reducing your body fat. Out of the two, the crucial aspect is weight loss. Proper diet and exercise will help you tone your body and shed the fat, but here are six tips that should help you out as well.

1. The Power of 5

Try eating five smaller meals a day rather then the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. The increased number of meals will eliminate hunger/cravings during the day so you won’t snack on junk food. Also, by eating often it will increase your metabolism and will also maintain your blood sugar levels. In each meal, try to have these five things: low-fat quality protein (e.g. turkey), low to moderate glycemic index carbohydrate (e.g. kamote), vegetables (e.g. carrots), a healthy fat (e.g. avacado), beverage without added sugar (e.g. buko juice). An example of a meal I would make is whole-wheat chicken fajitas with peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and avocados with a glass of buko juice. Try to maintain this way of eating for five days a week, as we all need to cheat. I personally love food, so on a Wednesday and Sunday, I’ll have a big binge meal where I’ll eat whatever I like. Without my cheat days I wouldn’t be able to do it.

2. Spot Reduction Myth

Some believe that by doing thousands of sit-ups a day, they are burning the fat above their abdominals. This is far from the truth, as there is no such thing as spot reduction. When loosing fat, it is done through out the body and not just one area. So if you are trying to cut the last bit of fat off of your stomach, work the whole body to burn more calories and shed those last few pounds.

3. Green Tea

I personally love sitting down and relaxing with a cup of green tea. But is it possible that I could lose weight by just drinking tea?? Many studies show that it is possible and the reason being is that green tea is full of polyphenols that help boost your metabolism and increase your bodies ability to burn fat (fat oxidation). So when you have your next cup of green tea, know that it will be burning some fat and increasing your metabolism to help burn more calories throughout the day.

4. Sleep

Many don’t realize that sleep has a huge effect on weight loss and muscle gains. Countless studies show that there is a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. Leptin and grehlin are two hormones that are key in your appetite. With lack of sleep, your body increases levels of grehlin (increase appetite) and decreases leptin (calms appetite). In other words, with lack of sleep you won’t feel as satisfied when you eat and your appetite will be stimulated, causing you to over eat.

5. Protein

When you consume protein, it will help regulate your blood sugar, keep you fuller, reduce your hunger and burn more calories during digestion. So try to make sure you eat a portion of protein in each meal. Also when you eat simple carbs by themselves, your body will digest them into sugars. When your sugar levels are high, insulin will be released, causing you to crave more food and store the sugars as fat. So try to include protein in each meal to regulate your blood sugar to prevent this from happening.

6. Traffic Abs

It’s unfortunate, but we all spend a lot of time everyday sitting in traffic. Instead of just sitting there and wasting time, try working on you abdominal muscles.  Try these three exercises:

  • Breath in and out with your stomach deeply. When you exhale try and force your belly button as far back and deep as you can trying to touch your spine with it and hold and flex for a second. As you inhale expand your stomach as far out as you can.
  • Flex as hard as you can as if you are about to get punched in the gut for 10 seconds then release. Repeat this a bunch of times and you will quickly feel a burn.
  • If you are driving, hold the steering wheel and if you are a passenger hold the chair or dashboard in front of you. Try and push against the object in front of you only trying to bend from the hip. In other words don’t push with your arms and upper body but try and use your stomach to generate the force to push against the chain or steering wheel.

I hope this will be helpful to you on trying to tone your stomach. Remember, the real key is body fat percentage.  The lower you can get your percentage, the more your abdominals will show. Don’t try and cheat with fad diets, but dedicate yourself to a nutrition and exercise regime.

Take care,

Sean

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If you have and health/fitness questions or want to request a certain Philstar article, email philstarsean@gmail.com.

BODY COM FAT GREEN TEA SPOT REDUCTION MYTH TRAFFIC ABS TRY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY
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