While it’s every lady’s dream to have a flat mid-section, it takes a lot of commitment and sacrifice to get it. Sitting and dreaming about those abs is much easier than getting up and working for them. The mistake most of us make is looking at the work involved from bird’s eye view and despairing when we think about how long and how hard we have to train. But what most women don’t realize is that they too can have that well-toned stomach if they just committed to making the first step. The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one tiny little baby step.
Speaking of steps, here are a few to set you on your way to getting sexy abs.
1. Change your diet
Believe it or not your diet is the most important element of achieving sexy abs. In fact, is it 80% diet and only 20% exercise.I would advise you arrange a meeting with a dietician and discuss your goals. Most likely your dietician will put you on a high-protein, low-fat, low carb, calorie-controlled diet.
- High-protein:Foods such as chicken/turkey breast, lean red meat, tuna or salmon, egg white are needed to give you high quality protein. You need protein to rebuild and expand your muscle tissue after a hard workout. The bigger your muscles the more fat your burn.
Low-fat:You will have to avoid fatty foods or foods that can turn excess energy into fat, such as sugary foods. That includes cheese, milk, bread, all kinds of cakes and all types of sweets from chewing gum to ice cream. Stick to fruits like grapefruit, blackberries, and blueberries and avoid almost all other fruits because they release too much sugar. Avoid any fruit or fruit juice at night.
- Low-carb:You will have to control the quality of carbs you consume. Choose carbs that release energy slowly as your body needsit over a period of 2-3 hours compared to carbs that release energy fast and your body turns it into fat. Unprocessed oats, brown rice, sweet potato are good quality carbs. After a couple of months into your diet, you can interval your carbs to shock your metabolism. For example, take only 30 gr of carbs with your meals for 2 days and double it on the 3rd day. Repeat the cycle for 30 days.
- Low-calorie:You will most likely have to monitor the amounts of your meals. So you will have to stick to a 7-meal a day routine where you will take no more than 200 calories per meal (300 calories for men). This can be 80 gr of turkey with 50 gr of brown rice, or 80 gr of tuna with 100 of sweet potato. Avoid any carbs after 6 in the evening. Stick to protein and vegetables such as uncooked broccoli or green beans, spinach, etc.
2. Start daily cardio exercise
Don’t jump the gun and leap into an intense ab-focused regime. This is one reason why many people who have attempted getting into shape have given up after a few short weeks (days in some cases). They do these focused exercises expecting quick results and lose hope when they don’t see immediate signs of improvement. Start with a daily cardiovascular training routine that you can comfortably sustain. Turn on some high-tempo music and dance for half an hour, making sure you’re vigorous about it. If you’re not a dancing person, go out and take a brisk walk for the same amount of time.
3. Increase intensity of your cardio
After a week, increase the intensity of your cardio, lest you enter a comfort zone and plateau. Increase your walking pace and the duration of the walk for starters, incorporating vigorous arm movements as well. Be sure to concentrate on your muscle movements and keep your abs tight. You can even challenge yourself further and make it a jog. Once you’ve nailed this routine, it’s time to take another step towards your ultimate goal; introduce interval training into your routine. This is a regimen that infuses spells of intense activity into your cardio workout to increase calorie burn. You can, for instance, do a set of 70 jumping jacks after every 5 minutes of your walk. Launch into the intense phase without breaking for maximum impact. If you’re doing aerobics in the gym for cardio, you can intersperse your session with intense 5-minute spells on the stationary bike.
4. Introduce weight training
This should not be done daily and before you begin, it is wise to get the opinion of your physician. Twice a week for starters is good enough. And again, the aim is not to bulk up (calm down, ladies); it’s to burn fat by slightly increasing muscle mass. It is important that you adopt a training regime that hits all the major muscle groups in your body, not just the abs. If you’re not familiar with gym equipment, get a trainer to help you hammer out a simple routine that will be suitable for you. Remember to keep the weights light until you are comfortable with the movements.
5. Focus on the abs
This is not to say you won’t touch the other muscle groups. The body’s muscles are interdependent and to work only on one group while neglecting the others will give you a poorly balanced physique. But on the day or days you set apart to work on the abs, some of the exercises you can do are basic sit-ups, crunches and leg-raises. Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each and increase the number of reps as your muscles adapt to the movement. There are many other abdominal movements designed to isolate and develop your stomach muscles so be sure to vary your routine to avoid boredom as well as encourage muscle growth.