Want a 6-pack like Brad Pitt’s? The road to obtaining abs of your dreams requires persistence, motivation, and dedication. What determines your ability to achieve these results begins in the kitchen. At the end of the day, we all have a 6-pack. For some of us, it’s just hidden! (Image Credit: Keifit/Pixabay)
Here are 6 simple ways you can adjust your lifestyle to achieve six-pack abs.
Cut Down on Junk Food
Junk foods are a source of unhealthy trans-fats, high calories, and sugars. They are also low in nutritional value, which deprives your body of necessary fibers and vitamins. Poor diet also contributes to the risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and obesity (which is the opposite of what we want to achieve).
Whole meals provide the necessary proteins, carbohydrates, nutrients, and fibers essential to the development of abs, muscles, metabolism, and fat loss.
In essence, junk food is unhealthy and should be eliminated from your diet. It will only hinder your fitness goals as it will cause you to gain more calories than you lose. Cleaning up your diet will be difficult, but with discipline, you will pull through. Once in a while, a cheat day is acceptable to help appreciate the effort you’ve been putting in.
Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Unlike other healthier carbs, refined carbohydrates have their nutritious fibers and nutrients extracted. They are typically combined with excess sugars like sucrose, fats, and processed grains.
To avoid bad carbs, stay away from these foods:
- White Rice
- Breakfast cereals
- White bread
Refined carbs are digested quickly and make you feel less full (this is why you will find yourself overeating with them). They raise your glycemic index, which can lead to chronic disease and spikes in blood pressure.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, those on a diet consumption of whole grains have spotted a reduction in waist size over time. Substituting healthy whole grains into your diet assists in the burning of belly fat and will help bring out the appearance of your abs.
Eat More Fiber
Rich sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and beans. What makes fibers essential to your diet is the fact that they pass through your digestive tract unabsorbed.
This prevents you from feeling bloated and keeps you feeling full. When you feel full. When you consume lots of fiber, you’ll tend to eat less overall. This will help you regulate the number of calories you eat.
Beyond your quest for abs, fibers are quite beneficial to the body in general. They help flush out toxins, including harmful carcinogens (a leading cause of cancer) and cholesterol.
Dietary supplements are an excellent way to help clean up your diet and address any deficiencies you might have. A few supplements that will help you get the most out of your fitness routine are:
- Protein powder
- Fish oil
Supplements aren’t a silver bullet, but they can definitely ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to see results.
Focus on Cardio
To build a 6-pack, cardo should be the foundation of your exercise program. Cardio gets the heart pumping, and the calories burning! Some of the best aerobic exercises for your cardio system include:
- Jump Rope
Exercise is essential for cutting weight and burning fat. Researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend 150-250 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week to help drastically reduce fat. This can be broken down to 20 – 60 minutes of your preferred cardio activity each day.
Ab exercises will help increase your muscle mass. They’ll also define and tone your abdominal muscles, which is crucial to achieving 6-packs abs.
Effective abs workout exercises include:
- Side-to-side crunches
- Flying/Air bicycles
- Leg raises
- Russian twists
- Alternating toe touches
These workouts help target regions such as your rectus abdominals and hip flexors, which are responsible for the aesthetics and definition of your 6-pack abs. They also strengthen your core and adjust your posture.
Working on ab exercises alone will only develop stronger, toned abs. This is great, but if your diet isn’t on point they will be hidden under layers of belly fat.
By eating a healthy diet accompanied by consistent cardio, you’ll begin to melt off overlaying body fat to expose your abs underneath. The trick lies in losing fat to a certain threshold, which will show your abs well.
Men should aim to be at around 6 to 17 percent of body fat, while women can shoot for 14 to 24 percent. Get to these ranges, and your 6-pack should start showing itself.