One of my first goals when I started exercising was to have sculpted abs. For months I tried different kind of abs exercises and changing my food habits. But still, I am not happy with the results I have.
I am following a lot of fitness girls in Facebook or Pinterest with impressive abs. So I have been doing some research to find out why I can’t get the same results.
First, we have to clear some false ideas we have about our abdominal fat: it’s not only about or weight and calories. You can have a normal body mass index, eat properly and exercise regularly and still have abdominal fat.
It is a particular sensitive zone on women: the more we stress the more we will keep our abdominal fat. All our organs situated on this zone are related to stress so it’s important to learn how to relax to have a flat belly.
When you are stressed or nervous (and not only physically but also mentally) your body produces cortisone: it increases the level of sugar in your blood and provides to our brain a sufficient amount of energy to face stress. But if you have too much cortisone in your body, the glands producing it will be exhausted and you can face several health problems: your body will be more resistant to insulin (you can have diabetes problems), high blood pressure, depression and abdominal portliness.
Don’t think that exercise more and eat less is a good idea: a lot of cardio and a high caloric diet are particularly stressful.
You have to try to relax both your mind and your body. Physical stress has an impact on your mind. But your mental health is already suffering a lot of pressure: physical pressure to be healthy and beautiful, professional pressure to succeed in our careers, social difficulties, lack of goof sleep, extreme diets and over workouts, etc…
For women, it’s particularly difficult to lose the abdominal fat because we cqn suffer easily from water retention. This process is worst with unhealthy habits like eating too much salt or sugar. Also, we produce naturally more oestrogens than testosterone and it slow down the muscle growth (that’s why for men it’s easier to do fitness and bodybuilding in general).
To balance your testosterone and oestrogen levels (and reduce your cortisone level) you have to rest and relax several times in the week. What is great about it? You have plenty of choices to do so! You can read, listen to music, go to walk with your friends or spend time with your family, meditate, do yoga, get a massage or just simply take a nap. The important is to do something you like and relax you.
It is recommended to don’t do restrictive diets. It’s not efficient on the long run, you are just going to starve yourself for nothing, gain back your fat later and be disappointed. Eat properly, reasonable portions and train sufficiently. Something really effective is to walk slowly an hour per day to relax: your cortisone level will slow down naturally.
Of course you have to eat “clean” as much as you can: avoid foods rich in fat and sugar (principally industrial foods, they content a lot of additional substances, especially sugars). Eat more foods with flavonoids because they reduce the global activity of cortisone in your body: go for blueberries, red currants, peachs, nectarines and black chocolate (that’s a good new for us ladies).
Now let’s talk about all these girls we see in social medias. We can hate them or love them, the fact is that we are never indifferent to their bodies. We can quickly feel envy and jealousy when we can’t get the same. Personally when I passed these two steps I got pissed of because these girls don’t explain how they do, or they don’t say everything. Usually they just say “I eat healthy, drink a lot of water and here I will tell you my workout routine”. But that’s just a part of reality.
So I have been investigating on the web and also showing these pictures to different trainers and sport coachs that I use to work and train with. And here are some interesting facts you have to know:
- The most important (I think): these girls don’t always have these results naturally. Not all of them but some o them use chemical drugs like steroids and have intenses workouts. They don’t have our daily normal lifes, their body is their source of revenue, their business. A lot can use chemical products but also get surgery. Or just maintain this physique for a couple of years and then just drop it because it’s a lot of sacrifices.
The trainers also told me that to have great abs you have to let them rest and don’t work on them every day. Let one or two days of rest between your abs sessions. For example train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I hope after reading this article you will feel less guilty about your abs and motivated to work on them differently.