*the great indian fitness series*
no matter how healthy or fit we aspire to be, the first on the list is always – flat abs.
it’s always been the top of my list. i did not mind thunder thighs and wobbly bums as long as my belly was relatively flat. but have you ever wondered why all those crunches aren’t giving you supermodel abs? having a flat stomach is not the unicorn it was, it’s surprisingly easy, as long as you know right from wrong.
we have been told time and again that ab crunches make the stomach flat. but do they?
there are millions of tutorials, articles and videos on the ab crunches and ab exercises you can do at home to get washboard abs. it has become ingrained in our minds that crunches = flat abs. what is expected is that when you do a bunch of ab exercises, you are strengthening the lean muscle underneath the fat, while also “working” aka melting the fat.
let me play devil and tell you – ab crunches alone DO NOT WORK!
everyone has abs. believe me. rectus abdominis is a muscle that every full grown adult has. it is covered by adipose tissue aka fat that makes it invisible – imagine a thin girl in a large jersey!, so when the fat is gone, your abs show. hello flat stomach! when you exercise and strengthen the muscles, you get the legendary ab packs (6, 8 or 10) tada!
we have already established that ab crunches alone do not work. ipso facto colombo oreo, (bones fans represent!) spot reduction is a big fat myth!
any one who says spot reduction of fat is not doing so in an organic or scientific way that the body can accept. kind of like botox. it’s something that is being done but you are actually defying the body’s natural ability by arresting the movement of certain muscles and it will have its consequences. same goes for cryo fat reduction, injections, liposuction, the famous wraps, sauna belts etc. all natural or not, the difference between kourtney and kim makes a good example. kourtney has a petite frame and all of her body is proportional, while kim’s is not.
fit tea, green tea, pills, potions and spells
heads up – none of this works. it’s not biologically or scientifically possible to target one specific area of your body to lose fat from, by consuming tea!! gallons of green tea is not going to give you flat abs. same goes for pills, only much worse. understand that scientifically there is no evidence based research to confirm the validity of any fat loss pills in the market. herbal and ayurvedic fat loss pills go clever by asking you to also modify your diet and lifestyle along with the supplement. how they work is by acting as a diuretic or messing with hormones to make you feel less hungry – neither of which is great in the long run.
i am eating healthy, but dont see no abs!
there is big difference between eating healthy and eating in calorie deficit! a salad is not healthy if you load on the dressing, while even a burger can put you in calorie deficit in the warrior diet. understand that anything and everything you eat has calories, irrespective of the time you eat it. some healthy foods are also dense in calories. always keep an eye out for the total calories/serving!
when you eat healthy, you chose to have a handful of nuts for a snack – is it healthy? yes! but it also has ~160 calories.
when you eat in calorie deficit, you chose to have an apple for a snack – is it healthy? yes! it has only ~ 70 calories.
we have a clear winner.
so what can you do
* Calorie Deficit – eat in calorie deficit for fat loss. track what you eat. understand where you major calories come from. is it just junk food and takeout ? that’s easy to cut out. is it calorie dense foods like nuts, trail mix and peanut butter – track how much you eat and eat less. are you drinking your calories – skip out on the soda, “sugar-free” drinks and stick to water and black coffee. also make sure to add protein to the diet. proteins helps with muscle repair – which you need after strength training and also keeps you full for longer!
* Strength Training – talk to good trainer, find yourself the right tutorials and “strengthen” those muscles. for flat abs, focus on muscles that work your core. additional benefits include strengthening other muscles and overall fat loss too! win- win! oh and also, doing cardio alone is not going to aid you rid the adipose.
cardio : strength training = destiny’s child : beyonce
(damn, that’s an awesome analogy – patent office, here i come!)
* Be Patient – this is key! nothing except amazon delivers in under a week, so forget about flat abs. be patient. stick to the plan. i saw this paper towel analogy on IG a while ago. we never notice that a roll of paper towel is getting used up until we almost reach the end. same goes for fat loss. mark your progress in how your clothes fit, how energetic and healthy feel and on your compliments. the scale might not be your best friend at the start and that’s actually okay.
next in the series is the diet and also my take on intermittent fasting! come back and visit!