• Fab Abs – Keep it real…

    Fab Abs – Keep it real…

    When I ask clients what is their goal, what they want to achieve, the majority replies that they want to loose weight and fat in their belly.
    To have a nice flat stomach, and maybe a few muscles outlined, is everybody’s dream.
    There are hundreds, thousands of articles and videos, usually accompanied by photos of super fit men and women, with abs to die for, claiming that you can achieve the same result if you follow their routine, which usually involves crunching like crazy.
    As human beings, we want to believe that we can achieve something with no effort: become rich by doing nothing, make your kitchen sparkle just wiping it with a magic cloth, loose your belly fat in a week by doing a few crunches….
    Unfortunately reality is not as easy, but this doesn’t mean you cannot achieve excellent results if you really want to, if you are realistic, determined and ready to work hard, not only physically but also in trying to change your mindset.

    We are all different, there is the slim type who doesn’t need to loose weight but just wants to bring out those fab abs, there is the “morbid”who, for one reason or another, is carrying more weight that is considered to be healthy, and there is anyone else in between .All of them though, have fab abs, what they need is to remove more or less layer of fat there are on top so that those muscles can be seen.

    The first thing to consider is to which type you belong because the approach to start the journey that will eventually take you to the goal, will be different.

    All types will have to address both exercise and nutrition, but let’s see what are the main points.

    The “morbid”
    In this case, it is better to have a multi phase plan. In the first phase, address the whole body. Don’t focus only on your belly, but you need to reduce your overall weight. Take things in small steps.
    Focus on nutrition, keep a food diary as, writing things down, will help you to better see what needs to be changed. If you don’t know where to start, get it analised by a professional who will give you a lot of tips on how to improve your food intake based on your needs and likes. At this point, you don’t need to go on a strict diet, all what you need is to change habits. – Check previous article https://happygym.co.uk/tips-to-loose-weight/
    Start gentle exercise to improve your lungs and heart functions and to start toning your muscles. Especially if you carry some extra weight, you need to be careful with your joints and your back and that is why gentle exercise is better. Walk, cycle, swim, dance and use light weight. Just keep moving.
    If you are consistent, you will soon see that your body starts changing, your clothes will feel loose, your weight will drop.
    On phase two, fine tune your food intake and your exercise routine. By now, you will have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Introduce more changes to your diet, keep it balanced and don’t fall for fad diets. Stick on the fridge the Eatwell plate and follow it as much as possible
    http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Documents/The-Eatwell-Guide-2016.pdf

    When you have reached a healthy weight and you have established a good eating and exercise routine, than you can start phase three. 

    Now, it is true that, if you exercise a particular body part, you can target the fat on that area.  By working the muscle underneath and making this bigger and stronger, the fat will be burned more efficiently however, the main fat burning will still remain the energy deficit given by introducing less calories in your body than the ones you burn.

    Do exercises to strengthen your core, choose the ones that are more suitable for your body conformation and your abilities: crunches, sit ups, russian twists, leg raises, v-sit ups, planks… they are all good, just make sure that you choose exercises that target muscles in different areas and different ways, the front abs, the obliques, the lower abs etc. and, most importantly, always be mindful of the form you are using. To be effective exercises need to be performed correctly, crunch the abs, feel it deep in your stomach, don’t hinge at the hips or strain the neck, preventing injury needs to be the main priority.

    After all this work, you will have changed your type from “morbid” to slim. If you want even more results, read on.

    The slim

    The slim doesn’t have to focus on loosing weight but rather on reinforcing the core and reducing body fat. 

    Reducing body fat is not very easy when you get to a certain point and therefore you have to decide if you are happy with what you have achieved, in the end, health is the main thing, or if you are ready to sacrifice to achieve aesthetic results.

    Bare in mind that the majority of people who display perfectly sculpted abs, are also taking supplements. I am personally against supplements to enhance muscular growth as these can have greater consequences in the long term.

    My advise would be to follow a strict diet under the supervision of a registered Dietitian or Sport Nutritionist. Make sure you do some research and choose a reputable professional who is competent in the field and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as this guarantees that they meet the standards required.

    A Dietitian will ensure that you loose fat but while preserving muscle and still getting the right nutrients that are so important for the overall function of the body.

    The reward for this hard work and sacrifice, will be a nice, healthy, sculpted abdomen.