The Truth About Abs + Your Ab Questions Answered!
One of the main questions that I receive on a DAILY basis is “How can I get abs?” The desire to have a six pack or flat belly amongst most women is so great that it is actually the common request that I get-besides, how to build that booty (yet another largely popular topic).
There’s so much info going around out there so I wanted to shed some light on how to get abs and to answer your main questions and concerns!
Is diet really THAT important for abs?
Yes, yes it is. I love stressing this to many women! They stay on the treadmill for hours and wonder why they are still gaining weight and its almost always because their diets are not clean. To see more ab definition, you must cut down on your total body fat percentage. To do this, you have got to burn more calories than you consume while choosing wiser foods to properly fuel your body. Unfortunately, it is not so simple for everyone as some people require much more than just a diet change. We should always remember to stay hydrated since a sign of dehydration is bloating, due to your body clinging to every last bit of water it has. Stay away from processed junk, sweets, fried foods, sodas (carbonation loves to bloat you), and foods with preservatives and chemicals. Back when I dropped my weight, long before baby, I lost almost 45lbs from clean eating alone.
Are there any exercises that work best for abs?
There are tons of exercises out there that are meant to target the abs. Crunches, sit-ups, you name it! But those are so boring and outdated- in my opinion! One of my favorite ab moves has always been Planks. Why? Planks work MUCH more than just your core and it targets major muscle groups at once. Once you can hold a standard plank for a minute or two, you can go on to different variations to challenge yourself further such as plank jacks, one arm planks, plank with donkey kicks, plank walks, etc.
Is cardio good for abs?
Totally!! But, its the cardio that you do that truly makes a difference as all forms of cardio are NOT created equally. You should aim for smarter sources of cardio. Smart cardio can be HIIT exercises such as Burpees or Mountain Climbers all the way up to interval training on an Incline Trainer (my favorite). What makes it so smart? Well, it takes less time to burn the same amount calories while possibly burning more calories for a longer amount of time post-workout. For instance, let’s take running 3mph on a flat surface and running at 3mph at a 15% incline on an incline trainer. In 20 minutes on the incline trainer, you can burn about 250 calories. Well, to burn 250 calories on the treadmill with zero incline, it might take you something like 60 minutes! Make sense? By doing smart cardio, you keep your body guessing and pushing harder instead of walking in the same, dull path.
Can I get my abs back after baby?
Yes you can! I did it, but I can tell you that it’s not easy. How you took care of your body while pregnant is the main factor in you getting your abs back after baby. I gained 30lbs during my pregnancy at a slow and steady rate which helped so much. But the other half of the battle is the work that you dedicate to yourself during the postpartum period.
What about the loose skin?
Loose skin is such a popular question because, chances are that if you have had a baby, you have some loose skin. Even I have a little loose skin! Sitting down in my skinny jeans is something not very pretty with my shirt up lol. The truth is the faster your skin stretched during pregnancy, the slower it will be to get it back to where it was pre-baby. Women who gain less weight and who gain that weight slow and steady are more likely to get that elasticity back postpartum. Sometimes, with excess skin, surgery is the only option. But in order to prevent surgery, you can certainly try and work those ab muscles to make them “POP” out and take the place of some of that skin.
How can I lose the lower belly pooch?
To lose the belly pooch, you must figure out first whether or not your have Diastasis Recti as this is the most common cause of belly pooches. If you do not have DA , then it most likely stubborn body fat that is clinging on for dear life. Follow a regular routine and clean diet plan such as my 12 week bundle + meal plan in order to reduce body fat overall for the best results!
How can I check for and heal Diastasis Recti?
To test yourself for DA, you should lay down on your back. Starting at your navel or belly button, feel your way up the imaginary line that connects both halves of your abs using your finger tips. If you feel a gap more than 1.5 finger widths, you have DA. Always talk to your doctor to confirm as I am not a physician! Healing DA takes time and lots of care. Some women have to hvae surgery to repair if the gap is super wide. Some women can wear belly binders to help the two abdominal halves come back together. And with minor cases, some women can do certain exercises to heal without the need for a checkup!
Will a C-section ruin my chances for abs?
No ma’am! Not at all. It will make things more challenging though. Think about it-your lower abs are being cut into which causes trauma and scar tissue. But it is possible. Look at Ashley Horner, for instance! She gave birth to 3 boys via 3 c-sections!
How did you get your abs?
This is always a hard question to answer because I really did not “get them” a certain way. Your mid-section is very dependent on your overall body fat percentage, which mine has always been kept to an athletic range. In high school, I played soccer and ran track so I was always active. But when nursing school happened, so did a 50lb. weight gain which left my abs virtually invisible. Don’t get me wrong… we ALL have abs… but its the amount of fat that we have on top of those abs that determines how chiseled or “fit” we look. After I had my baby, my abs were soft and poochy. It took time for things to get back to where they were and I honestly didn’t work my abs very much nor have I ever. I owe it all to a clean diet and smart cardio such as HIIT exercises (not running on the treadmill for two hours a day).
Can the use of fat burners get you abs?
Let me say one thing loud and clear: I HATE FAT BURNERS! They are completely bogus, unsafe, and guess what? They are not-nor do they have to be-cleared through the FDA for retail. Scary, right? I used one when I lost 45lbs and I remember feeling so jittery and nervous all of the time due to all of the unknown ingredients that I had never even heard of. The #1 ingredient in most fat burners is caffeine. Caffeine is great because it speeds up your metabolic processes which helps you burn calories faster, but why not just drink your caffeine in that delicious cup of coffee instead to avoid all of the other crap they put inside those pills? And as far as “Garcinia Cambogia”… Sorry, Dr. Oz, but that’s a load of crap 🙂
Want the truth? Here’s the truth!
If you want to get abs, you have to work your butt off and stay on a consistent and healthy path. You do not need to do detoxes or try fad diets, but instead, you should make it a lifestyle change.
My 12 week workout program with the meal plan has helped countless women to get back on track, even after having a baby! The transformations are remarkable and they truly speak for themselves. The program targets your whole body while the meal plan is the perfect introduction into clean eating for a flat belly!