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Four Steps to Get Six-Pack Abs Fast

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I’ve been in the fitness business for almost 20 years and more times than I can count, a client comes to me and says. I want to be RIPPED I want 6 pack abs. Meanwhile they are slurping down a frapsomething or when you asked what they had for lunch they rattle off one of the following:

  • a carb and fat loaded meal
  • nothing
  • salad
  • or some combination of the above

I’m sure you have heard this a time or time too, but six-pack abs are not made in the gym they are made in the kitchen. If you want to see definition, to reveal those coveted abs, your diet has to change — you must work to blast away the fat layered on top that keeps them hidden.

For us ladies over 40, this becomes a big challenge as stress and hormone fluctuations hit our belly’s big time.

Here are four fat-torching steps to help melt away the fat for good, exposing that hidden six-pack or even just burn off some of the lingering belly fat.

Step 1: Keep calories low, but protein and fiber high

When it comes to building muscle, getting leaner opposed to just losing weight (and muscle in the process) the quality of your calories matters. The amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you eat can change how you burn calories and how hungry you are throughout the day. Cutting calories while keeping the percentage of calories from protein high has been shown in studies to help boost metabolism and maintain muscle (that, in turn helps you burn more fat), while keeping you feeling satisfied longer (1, 2). Getting just enough carbohydrates along with fiber also helps you to feel full longer leading to a reduction of calories over time (3).

You’ll want to focus on getting in at least 20-30 grams of protein each meal.

As a busy fitness professional. I rely on having at least 1 shake/day to help me get though back to back clients and classes. I used to be one of those knife and fork meals only, but we all lead busy lives. If clients don’t have time to microwave food and eat you gotta make i easy for them. I like to have full meal replacement so they last longer and I feel more satiated and satisfied. 

Step 2: Lose weight through better sleep

Sleep quality and duration predicts weight loss in dieting adults, according to recent research (8, 9). The reason is that insufficient or poor quality sleep upsets the body’s circadian rhythm, adversely affecting many processes including metabolism and appetite regulation. This may trigger an increase in appetite-stimulating hormones, encouraging overeating and stifling weight loss efforts (8). Even losing moderate amounts of sleep can have devastating and wide spread effects on the body. Sleeping less than six hours per night has been shown to disrupt as many as 700 different genes that regulate metabolism, immune system response, and stress response (10).

I use the sleep spray EVERY night and those nights I forget to take it and wake up in the middle of the night I take a couple of squirts and I’m back to sleep — much faster than counting sheep =)

Sleep Support and Renewal provides melatonin as a healthy way to promote quality sleep. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain that regulates sleep and wake cycles. High levels are released at night to promote drowsiness, with levels dropping off in the early morning hours. Light-emitting screens from televisions and cellular devices can interfere with and suppress melatonin production, disturbing the sleep cycle by increasing alertness and shifting circadian rhythms later. In addition, as people age melatonin production wanes. Using Isagenix Sleep Support & Renewal before bed maximizes sleep quality and duration to ensure weight loss success.

Getting at least 7 hours of sleep weight loss goals by replacing high calorie late-night snacks that would otherwise sabotage efforts.

Step 3: Limit sugary beverages 

Working to reduce the amount of added sugar you consume each day is a worthy goal, especially because many common foods and beverages provide extra sugar and calories but very little of the quality nutrition our bodies need.

On its own, sugar isn’t necessarily good or bad. It becomes a concern when you consume foods that are high in calories and added sugar but low in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Many everyday foods, beverages, and condiments contain a surprising amount of added sugar without contributing much nutritional value. Cutting back on these sources of excess sugar is a good idea for both your well-being and your waistline.

Step 4: Add resistance training 

Helps you to build more muscle. No you won’t get bulky. Lifting weight helps your body to look tighter and burn more calories at rest. If you are new to resistance training. You’ll want to focus on moving the big muscle groups. Think squats, lunges, push ups and rows.

Start by doing something that you like and start small. The bottom line is that if fat loss is your goal, include some form of resistance training like weightlifting or high-intensity interval training. Aim for a protein intake of 1.5 to 2.0 grams per kilogram per day divided over several meals containing at least 20 grams of high quality protein (10).
Lose the right type of weight during weight loss, which is fat, not muscle.

Want to learn more about fat loss? Join me in my latest FREE success series #fatlossfundamentals for women over 40 who feel like they always start diets with the best intentions but tend to fall off

References

  1. Westerterp-Plantenga MS, et al. Dietary protein  its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108 Suppl 2:S105-12. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512002589.
  2. Belza A, et al. Contribution of gastroenteropancreatic appetite hormones to protein-induced satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Hairston KG, Vitolins MZ, Norris JM, Anderson AM, Hanley AJ, Wagenknecht LE. Lifestyle factors and 5-year abdominal fat accumulation in a minority cohort: the IRAS Family Study. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2012;[20:42]1-7.
  4. Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B et al. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;[44:15]60-9.
  5. Chaput JP, Tremblay A. Sleeping Habits Predict the Magnitude of Fat Loss in Adults Exposed to Moderate Caloric Restriction. Obes Facts. 2012;[5:56]1-6. DOI: 10.1159/000342054
  6. Markus CR, Olivier B, Panhuysen GE et al. The bovine protein alpha-lactalbumin increases the plasma ratio of tryptophan to the other large neutral amino acids, and in vulnerable subjects raises brain serotonin activity, reduces cortisol concentration, and improves mood under stress. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;[71:15]36-44.
  7. Gonzalez JT et al. Effect of calcium intake on fat oxidation in adults: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Obesity Reviews 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2012.01013.x
  8. Calvin AD, Carter RE, Adachi T, Macedo P, Albuquerque FN, van der Walt C, Bukartyk J, Davison DE, Levine JA, Somers VK. Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Caloric Intake and Activity Energy Expenditure. Chest. 2013 Feb 7. doi: 10.1378/chest.12-2829. [Epub ahead of print]
  9. Chaput JP, Tremblay A. Sleeping Habits Predict the Magnitude of Fat Loss in Adults Exposed to Moderate Caloric Restriction. Obes Facts. 2012;[5:56]1-6. DOI: 10.1159/000342054
  10. Möller-Levet CS, Archer1 SN, Bucca G, Laing EE, Slak A, Kabiljo R, Lo JCY, Santhi N, von Schantz M, Smith CP, Dijk D. Effects of insufficient sleep on circadian rhythmicity and expression amplitude of the human blood transcriptome. PNAS, 2013.
  11. Harvie MN, Pegington M, Mattson MP et al. The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women. Int J Obes (Lond). 2011;[35:71]4-27.
  12. Varady KA, Hellerstein MK. Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012.
  13. Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK et al. Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertil Steril. 2010;[94:98]9-96.
  14. Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA et al. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010;[58:39]96-4000.
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