Abs are Made in the Kitchen
Guest Post by DJ Little
One very common question I hear is, how do I get rid of my bulge in the middle and get that "6 pack" abdominal?
Well first, let's be realistic. Don't believe every picture you see! We live in a time of photo editing.
One of our daughters is a photographer, and she will often show me an amazing photo, then show me the same photo before she edited it. You would be shocked at the difference in the two pictures.
So even though every magazine in the grocery store and every billboard has a picture of some woman with her mid section showing rock hard abs, don't buy into it! Don't set yourself up for failure and discouragement.
Look around you on a daily basis. How many women do you see that sport that "perfect" look? It's simply not realistic to expect everyone to have the same look. God made us all unique, thankfully!
Your body shape has a lot to do with how your abdominals look. Women who are more “hippy” tend to have flatter stomachs than women who are more busty.
Many women now just make a trip to their local plastic surgeon to have themselves made into what they want, but I don't recommend this. God made you beautiful just as you are!
Crunches Won’t Give You Flat Abs
Now, that being said, if you are wanting to shed a bit around the mid section, here is how. You can't! You can not "spot" reduce. When you loose weight, you can't pick where it's going to come off. I am going to start with a very simple, well-known truth: abs are made in the kitchen, NOT the gym!
Want a slimmer mid section? Crunch until the cows come home and it won't make a bit of difference. First of all, crunches are simply not a good exercise. Yes, you do need to exercise to build the muscle and help shed fat. Yes I said it, fat is what is covering your abdominal muscles, and the only way to shed that is by eating right and doing cardio.
So does that mean no more crunches? YES! You need to work on the muscle group, but crunches are not the best answer. Your abdominals are worked when you use your legs. Pick up one leg and at the same time pay attention to how it affects the abdominals.
Strengthening the Core
For abdominals exercises, I recommend exercises that include your legs. When you lunge or squat, your abs should be engaged. Plank is great for the core (there are many plank exercises); push-ups are great core exercises; and glute bridge, step ups, hanging knee raises, kettle bell swing, pull ups, donkey kicks are also all very good.
I could go on and on, but really, most exercises incorporate your core. Notice I said most! Isolated bicep curls are not going to work the core as much as other exercises, but even when doing bicep curls, engage the abdominals.
These things are going to help the muscle to be strong, but you still have a layer of fat over those muscles you need to tackle!
Losing Fat On the Abs
Cardio is good for helping to rid the body of fat. Running, jogging, swimming, walking, elliptical, biking, hiking, etc... whatever you enjoy and can stick with, do it!
Everyday, purpose to be active. Get your heart rate up, sweat, push yourself, and when your done, don't go reward yourself with a candy bar or burger and fries and a diet drink! You must change your diet! That is the answer.
Eat a clean, organic, whole food diet. The easiest way for me to explain that is eat simply! Lots of veggies, a protein source and a small amount of fruit. Eat the foods God made, not the boxed, bagged, canned, man made stuff. Drop most grains from your diet most of the time, and of course, sugar.
You will need to read labels and learn all the words manufacturers use to disguise sugar. Most ketchups and sauces have sugar, so you will need to read and look for brands with no sugar. And yes, they are out there.
Kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, onions, garlic, celery, etc. don't have labels. That's how you know it's good. Your meat products should not have more than one ingredient - the meat itself.
One more before I sign off: moderation. If you eat as if you are a line backer, you are going to look like a line backer. Again and most importantly… abs are made In the kitchen!
Eat clean, life-giving foods in moderation!
Live an active lifestyle with cardio and weights!
Work the whole body rather than just trying to spot reduce or build!
Stop comparing yourself to all the fake the people on the magazines and movies screens!
Appreciate how God made you!
D.J. Little is a Christian wife, homeschool mom, outdoor enthusiast, and Certified Nutritional Counselor and Certified Holistic Health Practitioner. She enjoys simplicity, is passionate about all things health and fitness, is crazy for free weights, and says she has to force herself to do cardio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.