We all have a specific area of our physique we want to improve, however by far the most common fitness goal I hear from people around the world has to be… “I want abs!” I see it in every gym, in every corner of the world I’ve visited, people performing abdominal exercises for their life with hopes their abs will poke through. We’ve also all likely heard it a time or two “abs are made in the kitchen”, and although there is a great deal of truth to this, there are other important elements needed to carve your body to the core.
The formula is simple. Boost your metabolism by consuming bloat-reducing, fat-melting foods… and burn fat through exercise.
Melt away the midsection fat! Everybody has abs, you need to peel back the layers to reveal what’s underneath with proper nutrition. Engage in the right core-strengthening exercises to further sculpt the abdominals.Reduce stress and get adequate sleep to stave off hormonal weight gain in the midsection.
First things first, stock up on the right fuel. The top foods to reveal your abs contain fiber to fight bloat, antioxidants to keep you functioning at your best while driving effective exercise to burn the fat, and healthy proteins and fats to fuel the fire for a revved up metabolism. Below are a few of my go-to ab foods:
- This nut contains satisfying protein and fiber, healthy fats to convert into adequate energy, and vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) and magnesium which helps to fuel muscles while stabilizing blood-glucose levels reducing cravings and consumption of excess/empty calories.
- Not only a good lean source of protein, eggs contain an ideal balance of essential amino acids (the building blocks of the body). Start your morning with eggs and feel more satisfied throughout your day!
3. Berries & Grapes
- Loaded with fiber and antioxidants these will help curb sugar cravings, keep you feeling satisfied, and help you beat bloat.
4. Leafy Greens
- Another great source of fiber, leafy greens like spinach also contain quality calcium which is an important nutrient for muscle contraction (fuel for your workouts)
5. Salmon and Other Omega-Packed Fish
- An excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote fat burning by making your metabolism work more efficiently.
6. Quinoa or Other Power Grains
- Packed with fiber and protein, this is a great carb to fuel your body and keep your metabolism burning.
With proper nutrition in check, the next step to cutting to your core is to GET MOVING! Cardio and a core-cutting circuit are key to burning the fat in the midsection. Kick up your core cut The Calliet Way:
- Fasted cardio – complete 30-45 mins of cardio in the morning before you consume your first meal. By doing this you will increase your fat burning potential by tapping directly into the unwanted fat as your body has likely already consumed glycogen stores during recovery while you were asleep. By getting your blood pumping first thing in the a.m. you’re also setting the tone for a revved up metabolism burning throughout the day.
- HIIT circuits – (High Intensity Interval Training) set up stations incorporating weights, bands, or simply using your own body weight, set the timer and push yourself to complete the exercises in circuit fashion. This will charge up your metabolism and keep the fat burning well after the work is done.
- Cardio post-weight training – completing 30-45 mins of cardio after lifting increases your body’s potential for burning fat. Much like fasted cardio, your body likely used glycogen stores to fuel your weight session and will now tap into more fat for energy.
With your nutrition and exercise in check, it is vital to your success to allow yourself rest and recovery through sleep. Without proper sleep hygiene, we activate the effects of the stress hormone cortisol which can lead to weight gain. You might not be able to get the recommended 7-9 hours each night, but understand that lack of rest will add up and put you in a place of low energy. Your workouts will suffer, your mood will take a hit, and you will find it difficult to stay the course with your regimen. Be good to yourself; eat right, work your body, get adequate sleep, repeat.
Visit my blog next week for an ab-targeted HIIT series that will have your core cut #TheCallietWay!