two Seeing as we’re about to start the new year, I think it’s time to start thinking about that six-pack ab obsession.
As we start the new year, I think it’s time to consider that six-pack ab obsession. I, for one, will be on my ab mission after these celebrations end. It’s time to fess up, get rid of those naughty little treats and set yourself up for ab-shredding success. I have broken it down into four-week intervals so I don’t overwhelm you in one sitting. Diet is essential here, but so is training. It would help to add exercise to shape those muscles and give them depth. Your whole body will lose excess fat stores. Therefore, it won’t only be your abs that benefit. Let’s stop the babbling and get to the shredding mission right now.
WEEK 1 — The cut-back phase
Cut out all processed foods.
Bin anything available on supermarket shelves containing additives and strange numbered ingredients. All these processed foods contain chemicals and hidden sugars that mess with your hormones & digestion. This list includes; Biscuits, protein bars, flour, white bread, crackers, chocolates, lollies, flavoured waters, packet sauces etc. Gluten-free crap also belongs in the bin. We are going simple and sharp.
What to have instead?
Invest in high-grade meat, vegan protein and seafood. Buy organic when possible. You don’t have to eat poultry without its fat. By all means, eat the fat. It’s excellent for you! Include a huge serving of veggies with every meal. That should take up most of your plate. Add herbs and spices to season your meats & veggies. Use cold-pressed olive oil as a dressing and coconut oil for cooking your food. When you get used to this, your taste buds will change and become accustomed to the authentic and natural flavours of the seasoning, meat and texture. We don’t want any packet sauces — they were thrown in the bin, remember (I hope you did it!) You may choose to bake or steam your food, even fry it. A word on carbohydrates. If your body can tolerate potatoes, please use sweet potatoes and limited amounts of white rice. Keep a note of what foods you are eating and how you feel physically & mentally. For example, do you experience uncomfortable digestion, gas or bloating? Brain fog? If so, note it down and eliminate the food for 40 days.
WEEK 2 — The interval training stage mixed with weight training
Implement some interval training as well as low-impact cardio.
Interval training is terrific for fat burning. Bursts of activity followed by a short rest period burn more body fat than steady-state, dreadfully long cardio! Combine interval training with low-impact activities, such as power walking, incline on the treadmill, light jogging with power walking & cross trainer programming etc. This kind of training allows your body to increase its metabolic threshold. You mustn’t push your body continuously or experience high cortisol levels. Constant elevation of cortisol stops your body from burning excess fat. Instead, it increases your body fat levels! We don’t want this, as we’ve already cut back on calories due to the diet change in week one. So, work out hard and learn how to rest from intense training. Rest is just as important as how hard you work in the gym.
Weight training is a must!
Getting into the weight room is very important. Break up your programming into three sections. 1) Shoulders & back 2) Biceps and triceps 3)Legs and glutes. There are many resources online to find great exercises. However, if you are a beginner, start slowly and invest in a personal trainer to teach you proper technique and form. Read articles online and search on Amazon for some weight training manuals. YouTube should be your best teacher.
WEEK 3 — Add in some fun!
Add a treat meal (one only!)
If you are experiencing great results (following the CLEAN diet above and not cheating), you should have lost some body fat. If this is the case, you may have ONE treat meal per week. Please note, this is not a binge day; it’s one meal you can have that’s out of the ordinary, which will spike your metabolism and make you look even leaner the next day! Trust me; this is an old bodybuilding trick that helped us get ready for a photoshoot. Use it to your advantage.
WEEK 4 — Add in some fasting/ or Keto days
Depending on your results during the three weeks, you can adopt this nutritional alternative to shake away any potential weight loss plateau. You may have to intensify your weight training, add more protein, and maybe throw another cardio session. Test and refine as you go along — but start small — don’t put all your eggs out in one week. In week four, decide on either fasting daily or adopting more of a keto lifestyle.
Pick one, not both, and test it for a few weeks. Fasting: Fasting is an open window of feeding and no food consumption for several hours. I LOVE fasting & have been using this method for about three years. Fasting has proven to be fantastic for health and helps regenerate cells and prevent ageing. You may love your lunch but aren’t keen on breakfast or dinner. Pick and choose which one you want to eliminate — note the results and tweak as needed.
Keto: I enjoy a bit of keto eating! This is the art of eating a high-fat diet with minimal protein and no carbohydrates (except veggies and berries). This way of eating has proven exceptional for athletes, diabetics, multiple sclerosis and much more! Try it out as another option to fasting if you feel you can’t handle skipping a meal or two.
There you have it — the ultimate four-week plan, which takes into consideration the following:
Within the first week: Altering your Nutrition
After two weeks: Implementing some resistant training and HIIT
Heading to three weeks: Allowing one well-deserved treat meal once a week
By the end of the month: Adding in some fasting or maybe keto meals depending on our results. This plan helps to push you past any of those annoying plateaus and keeps your body guessing.
You can also follow me on YouTube for the latest, science-backed research on health, weight and weight training, and an endless supply of healthy recipes.
You may also like to download my FREE Fat Loss Recipe book.
I appreciate your support.