Are six pack abs your goal? A smaller middle not only boosts your confidence but also reduces your risk of disease. Hundreds of crunches will NOT get you there, but these tips will:
• Fat loss is 75% nutrition. You already have muscle in your stomach; it might just be covered with fat. The goal is to get the fat off, not just build more muscle. Sugar, processed food and soda will not get you six pack abs. You will get results directly related to what you put in, literally.
• Exercise daily and live an active lifestyle. Our society has confused the two. If we walk our dog, we consider that our exercise for the day. It is not. Exercise: cardio, strength training, group fitness classes, yoga, Pilates, etc. Active lifestyle: taking a walk, leisure bike ride or family hike, walking the dog, etc. Aim to exercise at least four days a week. I would recommend three to four days of cardio and two to three days for strength training.
• Do more than just crunches. Meet with a trainer or try Pilates for some new moves.
• Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Muscles are approximately 70% water.
• Veggies: Love ’em or hate ’em? Learn to love ’em! You may not love veggies but the more you eat them, the better you will feel, the quicker you will hit a weight loss goal, the more energy you will have and the healthier you will be.
Try these five veggie tips:
1) Pick your favorite three and stick mainly with these to start.
2) Try a new veggie (or one you think you don’t like) once a week. My favorite: red bell pepper, eaten like an apple. It’s juicy, sweet and convenient, plus one pepper is two veggie servings.
3) Buy organic frozen. They’re cheaper and they won’t spoil.
4) Eat one salad a day. Every grocery store offers the organic pre-washed salad greens: baby kale, baby spinach and arugula are the most nutritious.
5) Be sure to incorporate veggies into three meals and/or snacks per day.
What are you going to change today?
Kristin Burgess, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer