It's Beach Time....Got Abs? The Diet
With summer just around the corner, in the Wilmington, NC area it can only mean one thing. It's time to start hitting the beaches. In part 1 of this blog I focused on training techniques to help you get those washboard abs everybody wants. If you haven't read that article, you can see it here(SOURCE). In part 2 of this article, I'm talking about the diet plan for that beach body you are seeking. Stick with me here, & I will lay out a plan to get your showing ripped abs in no time.
Understand that your first enemy to washboard abs is decreasing your body fat. You can train abdominals all you want, but until you address the layer of body fat on top of the muscle, you will never see the abdominal muscle group that make up your mid-section. I recommend tracking your body fat with a body fat caliper. You can find them either online or in local stores for cheap. Body fat caliper measurements are a much better measurement than body weight scales. In fact, if you want to see what I think about body weight scales, check out this video, where I show a client my thoughts on scales(SOURCE).
To achieve body fat loss, diet is paramount & a key weapon of choice in your fight against body fat. In fact, more attention goes into the diet than into your training. Simply put, you need to burn more calories than you are consuming in order to burn body fat. When it comes to food choices, you should limit your carb intake to first thing in the morning & even then limit the amount of carb intake enough to remind your body of what carbs are, but then take them away for the remainder of the day. When it comes to protein, don't skimp in this area. Providing yourself with nutritious protein every 2 to 3 hours does wonders for your metabolism. In easy terms, it helps program your body for fat loss while increasing it's muscle gaining properties.
Another weapon of choice in your arsenal to combat body fat, food prep is one of the biggest success factors you can employ to catapult your body fat loss. I recommend to pick 1 or 2 days in your week to dedicate to time in the kitchen. The point here is really, have fun with your food. Become an amateur chef and try new recipes. There are tons of internet sites where you can find recipes to make that are health. "Better than restaurant" food in your refrigerator is a lot more appealing to make & stick with.
So, you have your food selections, you have the mindset and you are committed to making this change. How do you begin? I recommend making small changes to begin with. Start by moving your carb intake to first thing in the morning and then make protein & veggie choices for the remainder of the day. At the same time, change your eating habits and start to eat at least 4 or 5 times each day. Splitting you meals up in such a way that you are feeding your body every 2 to 3 hours. These two changes will ignite the fat burning properties in your body more than anything else you can do. Once you become consistent with keeping these two changes going, hone in the quality of your diet and adjust calories either up or down to maximize fat loss. I recommend that you start with a 500 to 1000 calorie deficit and then adjust accordingly to how your body responds.
You will need to commit to cardio 3 to 6 times per week. This is in addition to your training which I cover in Part 1(SOURCE) of this series. For the cardio plan, I want to focus on 2 areas.
Morning Cardio: Do this in a fasted state with just bottled water intake. You should hit this cardio session as soon as you wake up to be the most effective. There is a lot of different opinions around this topic, but the fact is that it does work. Low intensity 60 minutes is recommended.
HIIT Cardio: This is best done in the mid-morning to night time. HIIT cardio is essentially high intensity versus low intensity. For insight into a HIIT cardio plan, check out my blog on the topic here(SOURCE).
In the war against body fat loss, I think it is important to attack the problem on multiple fronts. Diet being the main weapon, followed by weight training and cardio. Combine the elements I have laid out in this two part series, and I promise you will see results. Depending on how much body fat you have to lose will determine how long you'll have to fight the good fight. I highly recommend using pictures as well as body fat calipers to track your progress & dump the body weight scale.
Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you think could benefit from this series. Also, if you think this is still too much to manage on your own, feel free to reach out to me on my site(LINK). I would love to help you in 1 on 1 sessions.