If you are working to get six pack abs then there are a few things that will be absolutely vital to your success.
First, you need to understand the difference between getting six pack abs and simply losing body fat. Getting six pack abs is a all about having extremely low levels of body fat. For men, the optimal body fat percentage is around 8% and for women it is around 15%. Training and eating to get body fat levels this low is much different than someone who just starts a diet and wants to lose 20-30lbs.
If you are just trying to lose a lot of weight, then making small changes to your diet will help you make a lot of progress very fast. For example, if you were to only drink water, unsweetened iced tea, and green tea, then you will not be consuming any calories from beverages. For someone who just wants to lose weight, a small modification such as this can make a big difference.
For someone who wants to get six pack abs, the process is much more detailed. These are two common mistakes that people make when trying to developing six pack abs.
Six Pack Abs Mistake #1: They try to do too many crunches and ab exercises.
While crunches and other ab exercises will help to build a stronger core, they will not help you get down to a low level of body fat. Trying to use endless reps of ab exercises simply does not build enough muscle or work your body hard enough to burn significant calories.
The myth of “spot” reduction is where a lot of people get caught up. The concept of spot reduction basically states that if you want to lose fat in a certain part of the body you should work the muscle underneath it. Our bodies do not store fat in one specific place, therefore you cannot lose fat in one specific place either.
I guarantee you will never see someone who has six pack abs in the front and is flabby around the rest of their midsection. If spot reduction actually worked this is what would happen. In the real world however, you need to concentrate on losing fat all over your body in order to develop a toned and sexy six pack.
Six Pack Abs Mistake #2: Trying to use infomercial ab gimmicks
When you see an advertisement for an “miracle” piece of ab equipment, the people who are using them usually have great bodies, low body fat, and a great six pack. However I can guarantee you one thing, and that is they did not get that way to using one single piece of abdominal exercise equipment.
Like we just talked about with why lots of crunches do not help you get six pack abs, the same holds true for any ab crunch machine or anything else you see on an advertisement.
This all goes back to the false concept that working the abs with lots of exercises will directly lead to a six pack. All the people who have the best abs got them by exercising their whole body and by adhering to a very strict diet. Not by using some ab crunch gimmick for “two easy payments of $29.95.” Six Pack Abs Mistake #3: Eating too many calories.
Sounds overly simplistic doesn’t it?
This is one of the core concepts that is absolutely crucial to understanding how to lose body fat and getting six pack abs. So many people try to eat healthy and still have trouble losing weight. Sometimes they think they have something physiologically wrong with them and their bodies simply cannot lose weight.
Before you fall into this trap and start seeking “miracle” quick fixes, you need to know that not being able to lose body fat is simply a matter of taking in too many calories. If you try keeping a food journal for a week and counting the calories you consume you will be amazed at the insight it will give you.
Even if you eat 400 extra calories a day from little snacks here and there (which is not difficult at all), you will be taking in an extra 2,800 calories per week. For some people, taking in an extra 500-1000 calories per day can easily come from foods that are extremely calorie dense but do not help you feel full. Such foods include bagels, donuts, muffins, potato chips, soda, any kind of fast food, and more.
So before you think that getting six pack abs or simply losing body fat is impossible for you, try taking a few days to really track what you are eating. You will be surprised that losing weight can really be as simple as cutting out small calories dense foods from your diet.
A wise man once said that having sexy six pack abs feels better than the best tasting food in the world. Remember this concept and start taking action today. Good luck!