As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, the number one question I get from potential clients is "Can you help me flatten my tummy?" And although bathing suit season is over for most of us I still heard this three times last week. And while I commend your desire to slim down before baring it all, I'm here to warn you that you shouldn't waste your time on any of the following myths:
Myth #1: Take diet pills to speed results
I know it's tempting, but don't do it. I would estimate that over 50% of my clients that have come to me for nutrition coaching have tried diet pills. Not only do they not work, but they could have serious side effects as well. The ads make compelling claims about the power of popping a pill, but don't fall for it. There is no ‘magic pill'. Diet pills are more likely to burn through your pocketbook than to slim you down.
Myth #2: Do extra crunches to flatten your abs
Excessive crunches aren't the answer for tight abs. In order to achieve a toned look you'll have to focus on burning off the layer of fat that is covering up your tummy.
Myth #3: Turn to diet "Foods" to boost results
Don't fall for the foods that are packaged as ‘diet' or ‘weight loss' aids. Quite often these products are packed with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn't need, and certainly won't help you attain that tight tummy.
Myth #4: Avoid all carbohydrates in order to achieve tight abs
Carbohydrates have been given a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbs while slimming down. The key is to stick with foods like whole grains, oatmeal and veggies while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.
Myth #5: Starve the chub away
Trying to lose weight by starving yourself is not only ineffective it can also be dangerous. It may seem that severe calorie restriction would deliver the quickest weight loss, but your body is complex and by doing so you'll disrupt your metabolism and slow your results.
Now that you know what not to do in order to achieve tight abs, it's time to go over your flat tummy game plan. Here's what you need to know in 3 simple steps:
Step One: Cut DOwn On or Eliminate the junk
The best way to do this is by purging your kitchen. Throw out the sugary, processed and fat-filled foods. Once the junk has been cleared out, don't buy any more of it. Remember that if you really want to see your abdominal muscles, it largely depends on what you eat so do your best to eliminate the junk.
Here's one strategy to help replace junk food.
Step Two: Eat whole foods
Replace the junk food in your life with plenty of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats and low fat dairy. Clean eating really is that simple.
If you're not exactly sure how to shop for healthy foods, check this out.
Step Three: Find a Partner or a Personal Trainer
If your goal is a "six pack" (or even a "four pack"), proper nutrition is key but in close second comes resistance training. Without abdominal muscles and a strong core, it won't matter how much fat you lose, you'll never have amazing abs (if that's your goal). A workout partner to help motivate you or a personal trainer to guide you are both good options to move forward.
If you're not sure what exercises are good for your abs, skip the crunches and do these instead.
At the end of the day though, it's up to you to take ownership and get started on your fitness goals.
If you're ready to get into great shape and dread stepping foot into a gym or simply don't have the time for an hour long workout, I'm in a unique position to help you. Call or contact me to get started on an exercise plan that will get you those amazing abs.
P.S. Don't forget to download your complimentary "Nutrition and Fitness for Busy Professionals" Starter Pack, do so right here!
Coach George here!