How to get a six-pack in six weeks: No More Gimmicks: 10 Steps to Losing Belly Fat for Good
There aren’t many people who don’t want a slimmer waistline or six-pack abs. The problem is, that kind of midsection is really hard to achieve. Generally, visible six-pack abs require a body fat percentage much lower than that needed for general health benefits.
One study suggested that a normal range for body fat percentage is 17.6–25.3% in males and 28.8–35.7% in females (Study Source).
Hard—but not impossible.
The good news is that to tone and tightens your waistline, you don’t need to perform thousands of sit-ups, take a ton of vitamins, starve yourself, or have major surgery. Here are ten basic guidelines that I teach my clients to help them finally defeat abdominal fat.
1. Stop Doing 500 Crunches a Day
Crunches (and other ab exercises) will help you build muscle in your abdominals, but they won’t help you lose belly fat. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to eliminate fat in just one area of your body. To slim down your waistline, you must lose fat throughout your entire body. Continue reading to find out how
2. Lift Weights
Lifting weights will help build muscle, prevent muscle loss and boost fat loss. Although spot reduction is not possible (see above), performing resistance training exercises that work large (and multiple) muscle groups will burn the most calories.
3. Eat Right
You can build powerful abs by working out hard, but if you continue to eat junk food, you will always have a layer of belly fat on top of those muscles. Stop eating processed foods and start eating whole foods like the ones listed below.
Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, whey protein, etc.
Veggies: Broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale, salad, etc.
Fruits: Banana, apple, orange, strawberry, raspberry, etc.
Healthy fats: Fish oil, nuts, flaxseed, olive oil, etc.
Carbs: Whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oats, etc.
Use these simple tips to improve your nutritional habits: Eat breakfast. Eat every three hours. Eat proteins, veggies, and fruit with every meal. Eat the majority of your carbs immediately after your workout. Drink two cups of water with every meal. Eat unprocessed, whole foods 90 percent of the time.
4. Kick Up Your Cardio
Along with lifting weights and eating right, do 15 to 45 minutes of intense cardio three times a week to help burn more calories and reduce overall body fat.
5. Saying Goodbye to Alcohol
Remember calories consumed while drinking count, too, so be careful what you put in your glass. You can drink alcohol on a very limited basis, but if you continue to drink daily, you can forget about losing your belly fat. This means limiting your drinking to only a couple of drinks on Fridays and Saturdays at the most.
6. Cut Down on Crappy Carbs
Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap over the years. The fact is, they’re needed for energy, but most people eat a lot more carbs than they need. Any extra carbs taken in over the course of the day will be stored as fat, so it’s important to maintain a healthy balance. You can continue to eat fruits and vegetables, but reduce the amount of pasta and bread that you consume throughout the day. When you do go for grains, make them whole grains. (See suggestions here.)
7. Eat More Calories
Nope, that’s not a type-o. The majority of my personal-training clients who first start with me are eating too few calories as opposed to eating too many. If you aren’t getting enough calories, you’re slowing your body’s metabolism down, which means you’ll retain more fat than if you were to eat the proper amount of calories. Eating too few calories will also cause you to burn muscle, not fat, for energy, causing you to be skinny and fat. (Yes, it really happens.) And remember that since calories are energy, eating too few of them will tank your energy stores, meaning you’ll have a hard time getting through the day, much less putting in a good workout.
To find out how many calories you should be consuming, use an online calculator like this to crunch the numbers for you. Then, keep a food diary (or use a program like My Fitness Pal—it’s free!—which totals your daily calories for you) so you can keep track.
8. Eat More Protein
Your body burns more energy processing proteins than it does processing carbs or fat. So if you want to burn fat, take in more protein. Of course, you want to get this protein from a quality source. That means your source of protein should not be a burger from McDonald’s or a sausage pizza from Domino’s.
9. Taking in Healthy Fats
In our fat-free obsessed world, it’s hard for some to comprehend that fat does not necessarily make you fat. If you don’t consume enough fat, your body will hold on to all of the fat it already has and not burn any more off. Again, you may want to take in healthy sources of fat, like the ones on the list above.
10. Stay Motivated
Just looking at yourself in the mirror will not give you an idea of what kind of progress you’re making. You need to make clear-cut, black-and-white assessments to track your progress. This can be done by recording your weight and body composition, taking your body measurements (here’s a how-to tutorial), and taking pictures of yourself in 30-day increments.
One final thought: Remember that this belly fat didn’t appear overnight—and neither will your six-pack abs. If you’re looking for a shortcut, you’re in for a rude awakening. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication over a period of several weeks and months to achieve your goals. But if you stay dedicated and keep yourself on the right track, the results will come—you just have to stick with it.
I am Ankit Sharma Nutrition Consultant. My approach is holistic and customized to enable you to achieve true wellness – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am from India but have clients across the globe. I can work with you to say goodbye to counting calories and short-term solutions. You will achieve long-term sustainable change in the way that they are eating, moving, living, and believing.