Abs Are Made In The Kitchen – Here’s How…

portionmeal_8388635594Have you ever heard this statement before? “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Is it true? If so, what exactly does it mean?  More importantly, how can you use it to your advantage… even if your goal has nothing to do with six pack abs.

I recently shared this saying with someone and was surprised to find that she’d never heard it before. So, it stood to reason that maybe she’s not the only one…

The reason this came up in our conversation is that she was convinced that her ab exercises were causing her to lose fat in her ab area. But the truth is, you can’t spot reduce. No matter how many times this is said I think that people often don’t really hear it. We so want spot reduction to be real. It makes sense after all doesn’t it? I know I used to think so. I mean you work your abs (or whatever body part you’re trying to shrink) really hard. You crunch and plank and leg lift until you can’t stand another rep. Maybe you imagine some success, but somehow you never achieve the results you’re looking for.

If you are having any success it’s because through your efforts you’ve managed to lose some body fat. Fat loss happens all over the body at the same time. Genetics may dictate that you lose fat a little faster in some areas than others or that you tend to hold onto fat in some areas, but no exercise will make you lose fat in one specific area.

So, here’s where the kitchen comes in. While exercise is important, diet is critical for fat loss, especially abdominal fat. You have got to get your diet on track if you have fat loss goals.

I’ve talked in other posts about what a good diet looks like, but here’s a reminder of some of the basics:

Eat real food. In other words, stay away from processed food as much as possible. Eat things like whole fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil) and lean proteins.

Know your calories. Figure out how many calories you should be eating . There are plenty of free calculators online to help you figure out your calorie range and places to log your food so you can make sure you’re keeping within that range. If you’re eating too much or too little it will interfere with reaching your goals.

Learn portion control. Read labels. Use the web for reference. Find out how much food is in a portion of whatever you’re eating. Some foods, like greens, you can eat as much as you want, but other foods require tighter control in order to stay within your calorie range. And don’t be afraid to weigh and measure at least occasionally to make sure the portions you’re serving yourself really are the size you think.

If you want to really get into it there are specific diets you can follow and different strategies you can try. However, for the average person who just wants to get a little (or even a lot) leaner and maybe see some abs, getting consistent with exercise and getting real with your diet will do the trick.

photo credit: sherimiya ♥ via photopincc

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