To make progress in the quest for a six-pack, follow these simple guidelines:
- Eat 4-6 small meals each day, rather then three large ones.
- Up your protein to 1/3 of your daily calories.
- Reduce your intake of complex (starchy) carbohydrates like pasta, rice, potatoes & bread; increase your intake of fruits and vegetables instead.
- Fat-free products are often loaded with simple sugars. Read labels carefully.
- Cut back on saturated fat
If you’re going to reduce your caloric intake, make small alterations. Your body’s starvation-protection system, your thyroid gland, regulates the body’s metabolism. Drastically reducing your caloric intake for an extended period (over four weeks) will trigger that starvation mechanism, and your thyroid will slow your metabolism down. Once you have lost that initial chunk of weight as a result of crash dieting and
resume eating in a healthy manner, your body will pack the fat right back on because your thyroid will have shut down. Again, reduce your calories sensibly.
In addition to eating right, a regular exercise program is essential for shedding body fat and bringing out your abs. Incorporate strength training two to three times per week in your workout schedule. Strength training is a potent weight loss tool, because it
builds muscle. Unlike fat, muscle is active tissue that uses up calories. A pound of muscle burns 50 more calories per day than a pound of fat. A Tufts University study compared women who followed identical diet plans; those who strength trained lost 44
percent more fat than those who just dieted. Strength training powers weight loss in three ways:
- It revs up your metabolism – you’ll burn up to 15% more
calories with added muscle.
- Stronger muscles make aerobic exercise easier, and that helps
burn calories too.
- You’ll be trimmer and firmer, because a pound of fat is bulkier
than a pound of muscle.