Abs abs abs! As someone who LOVES core exercises (and loves making other people do them too 😂), I get a lot of questions like “what’s the best way to get ABS?”
And here’s what I say in response:
First up, we can’t spot reduce fat. If we could, I would take all the fat from my body and place it on my boobs! However when it comes to having a defined, toned tummy -as with all parts of the body-, making sure your body mass is LEAN is essential!
What that means is lowering down the fat content in your body, and increasing your muscle mass.
(Note: please don’t confuse ‘losing fat’ with ‘losing weight’! Getting leaner and putting on muscle may actually lead to you GAINING weight, like I have, and that’s completely fine.)
While core workouts DEFINITELY help in growing those ab muscles and making them pop, you know what they say... abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!
4 TIPS TO EAT YOUR WAY TO A 6-PACK
1. Don’t Go Hungry
Ever seen the Snickers’ ads ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’? It’s a pretty accurate depiction of what happens when your hunger mode is switched on!
When you’re hungry, you’re more likely to reach for the quick-and-easy food at hand, e.g. a Snickers bar, especially when you’re pressed for time.
Stay ahead of your hunger by having healthier snack options at hand - check out my latest video below on I MEAL PREPPED AND GOT ABS | This Is How.
2. Pack On Your Protein
Protein is KEY in building building muscle - the more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body will burn fat.
Even when you’re not working out, having muscle will help you burn calories, whereas fat… just sits there. So it’s important to make sure that ‘losing weight’ does NOT lead to you losing muscle (again, you want to lose fat, NOT just weight as a whole).
How much protein do you need? If you lead a fairly active lifestyle and training to become more lean, a good benchmark is between 0.8gram to 1gram per pound of weight, so:
Your weight in pounds (or ideal weight) x (0.8 - 1 gram) = grams of protein you need
E.g. 160 pounds x 0.8 = 104 grams of protein
Of course, this formula is just a guideline - I myself don’t strictly calculate my protein levels this way, I intuitively eat, but I always make sure to have a good amount of protein on my plate. If you’re unsure on whether you’re hitting your protein goals, this would be a good way to benchmark.
3. Choose Your Carbs
Who says you can’t eat carbs if you want ripped abs or a flat, toned stomach?? I have carbs at pretty much every meal, and in fact I eat almost double the amount of carbs my boyfriend Alex does 🤙🏻.
The key to eating carbs is to eat a variety. I don’t mean stuff like potato chips or pizza though (which is absolutely fine in moderation by the way)! Think of low GI, SLOW carbs - those that release energy slowly, and keep you full for longer. These will be your nuts, vegetables, and whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
4. Drink Your Water
Your body depends on water. A LOT. It can’t build any lean muscle without water to change your carbs into energy, or to deliver essential amino acids to your muscle tissue. Not enough water also makes it harder for your body to breakdown fat, which will render all other efforts useless.
Stay hydrated throughout the day, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink! If you don’t like plain water, try flavouring it with mint, lemon or other fruit. Get in 8-10 glasses of water each day - more if you’re particularly active that day.
While we’re on the subject of water, I have found that water has helped to reduce the visible appearance of my cellulite. Cellulite is TOTALLY normal, but I was interested to find that increasing my water intake had reduced the appearance of the dimples on my legs.
MY LENT CHALLENGE - Are you in?
So, with Lent coming up next week, I’m proposing a challenge for us to take up together! Instead of GIVING UP something for Lent…
I challenge you to TAKE UP something instead - meal prepping your snacks for the next 40 days!
With meal prepping you can really make sure your diet is doing all it can to give you the abs of your dreams. And by starting small with snack prepping, hopefully this will encourage you to slowly eat your way to getting a leaner physique, and to stronger abs! Way more importantly than all of this, it brings back enjoyment to eating yummy, and healthy, non-restrictive foods.
If you’re up for TAKING UP this challenge, don’t forget to update me and the rest of the familia on the Facebook Group Page or on my Lean with Lilly Instagram page (please link the facebook and IG pages)! I can’t wait to hear from you.
Lots of love,