I really need to cut a few inches off my midsection quick. What’s the fastest way to do it?”
Adel Abu Kaff,
Ah, you know what Adel? If l had a dollar for every time l’ve been asked this question. I would be building a house in Palestine.
Of course, the fastest way to get rid of your “love handles” would be liposuction, but l am guessing you came to me for an answer because you’re probably looking for something a little less extreme, so here’s a few ways to achieve your fitness goal.
EAT MORE PROTEIN Replacing some of your carbohydrate with similar amount of protein have beneficial effects on your midsection. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved my assertion. After 15 weeks on the high protein diet, the overweight subjects in this study maintained more lean mass than their lower protein eating counterparts. This is significant because while both groups lost about the same amount of weight, the group that lost more lean muscle tissue is considerably more likely to gain it all back. Fat tissue is only about 25% as metabolically active, or calorie-burning, as muscle, so losing lean mass starts a self-defeating cycle (overweight /eat less/lose muscle/metabolism slows down/weight creeps back up/overweight again) that makes long-term maintenance nearly impossible.
EAT LESS “JUNK” CARBS Carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source. They’re easily digested, “clean” burning, easily obtained from just about any of the major food groups, and are generally inexpensive. Though no class of carbohydrate is “essential” like certain amino or fatty-acids are, many are beneficial to overall health. Dietary fibers help fill you up and promote regularity. Oliosaccharides serve as a substrate to favorable micro-organisms in the digestive tract, which in turn help enhance mineral and glutamine absorption. Natural, unrefined starches provide energy without significantly taxing or increasing the metabolic load of certain organs. That being said, not all carbs are created equal. Certain types (simple sugars, products made with white flour, corn syrups,etc.) provide little more than “empty” calories. While consuming a few grams of sugar a day, especially immediately following a long workout, won’t kill you, it’s not going to do much to help your gut. Instead, limit sugar consumption to less than 10% of your total daily caloric intake. Don’t know how many calories you should eat each day?
DON’T OVEREAT By now you’re probably noticed a pattern here. I’ve been telling you about diet and hardly any (yet) on exercise. That’s because the formula for great abs is 85-90% diet and only 10-15% exercise. That’s right, just about everyone has good abs, regardless of whether or not they exercise, it’s just that most people’s six-packs are covered by an unsightly “shipping carton” called subcutaneous fat. Lose that and you’re golden. So just how much should you eat to reveal your midsection mogals? Start with about 11 kilocalories per pound of body weight. If after a week, you still haven’t lost anything, bump this down to 9-10 kilocalories/lb. Caution: If you drop your total caloric intake by too much, too quickly, you’re likely to trigger a metabolic slowdown (which is the worst thing that you can do). To determine how many calories are in different foods, read the labels and/or consider purchasing one of the many “calorie-counter” books that are on the market. After a few weeks, you’ll have committed to memory the energy kilocalories content of all of the foods that you eat regularly.
TAKE THE HIGH ROAD When it comes to having a smaller waist, more is better. The midsection muscles are more endurance than power oriented, so they respond well to higher volume training. Strategy: work your abs every day, twice a day, gradually working your way up to 15-20 rep’s per set. Make sure to include at least one exercise targeting the upper abs and one targeting the lower abs. Since you trying to lose midsection size, stay away from exercises that target the muscles on your sides, big obliques will just make your waist look wider.
BE FLEXIBLE A recent study found that performing crunches on a Swiss exercise ball worked abdominal muscles up to 400% more than similar exercises done on the floor or other flat surface. Four times the benefit from the same amount of work means better abs in 25% of the time.
OR STAY ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW 110% is great when it comes to effort except when that extra effort is coming from the hip flexors rather than the rectus abdominus (six Pack). Yet, this is exactly what happens when you choose bent knee sit-ups man or woman, do them with your legs straight out in front of you.
I hope l answered your question fully and completely. Also if you choose to adhere to my instructions, email me with your results.