Are you one of those people that tries to get six pack abs right before every summer, however every time that you try, you realize that you’ve made some fatal mistakes in your routine, no matter how much hard work and effort you have put in? Subsequently, of course your efforts failed, you felt bad both physically and emotionally as summer approached closer and closer.
In order to get a six pack you have been dreaming about, you will need to analyze your mistakes and draw some conclusions from them. You will first need a whole new strategy to make sure that you have a well outlined general plan of what you do.
When you finally know where to put the effort and hard work, much of what you do can appear effortless and you will finally have your six pack. Here are the answers to all the important questions:
What should I eat?
If you want to create any kind of six pack, let alone a perfect one, you will need to regulate what and when you eat. You will need to be very careful as this is one of the crucial factors in the process. Nine out of ten people with six packs will tell you that their number one priority in achieving any kind of success is the diet.
How many calories should I consume?
Before you can answer this question you need to know how many calories you need. If you would prefer to lose fat and you are working out a few times per week you will probably start at around 13 calories per pound of your body weight. As you continue on with the program, there might be a need to drop this to ten or below.
However, if you are not trying to get your weight down, it’s going to be a lot harder. If you consider doing this proportionally to the previous method, you would need to drop your calorie intake very low, however this will only work if you alternate to slightly higher levels cyclically so that your body can handle it. This can be done by eating more calories, usually carbohydrates on exercise days, and less of them on resting days.
How much protein should I consume?
Short answer: your protein intake should be high. It will boost your metabolism, keep your muscles intact, and satisfy your hunger. This especially comes in handy as you drop down to consuming below ten calories per pound of your body weight, and you start to feel malnourished. Protein helps you fight through the diet. A good rule of a thumb is to take 1.2-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight during a low carb diet.
How many carbohydrates should I consume?
Carbs are the number one topic in any six pack discussion, period. Usually, if you don’t alternate between high and low intake, your body lowers the capacity to burn fat and keeps more water, which gives you a bloated appearance. So to avoid that, cycle your intake. However, make no mistake – carbs are an essential part of your diet and you can’t keep them down for too long.
You don’t want to be constantly hungry, craving everything you see while being completely devoid of energy and with a metabolic rate way lower than usual. To avoid this, take 25 to 50 grams before your workout and afterwards as well, on the really exhausting days. A very important part is to eat veggies as well – you will thank us for this advice when the low calorie days kick in.
When it comes to carbohydrates, every once in a while you need to loosen up a bit. So every 3-4 weeks of hard dieting, you are allowed a full weekend of high carb consumption. This will help assist your metabolism, but you should know that while your intake of carbs should be high, it should also be very low on fat and about the same on protein. This way, you won’t regain any fat you lost the previous period. If you are careful with this, it can help you go to extreme lengths to remove any stalls in progress.
How much fat should I consume?
Fat is a very important component in getting your six pack and creating your perfect body. When in the process of doing so, however, you won’t be looking at dietary fat that much. A few grams per meal will do just fine, but it will have to be derived from the healthiest of sources such as fish/olive/flaxseed oils, flax seeds, nuts and fatty fish.
Usually, you will be taking a minimum calorie intake of 15% of fat per day, but if you want this to work, cut it down! If you are taking fat before or after a workout, stop that. It slows your digestion and messes this entire plan up. Meals around a workout are protein and carbohydrates. Depending on your overall calorie needs, some of your other meals can have 4-7 grams of fat so you retain a correctly working metabolism.
What else should I watch?
Of course, these three aren’t the only thing you need to be careful about. Working out is vital to your plan as well, but if you don’t model your entire life around it, it won’t work by itself, even if you’re doing it perfectly. Be careful to sleep enough every night so that your cravings for carbs will be controllable. Also, you need to watch how much sodium you consume because it makes you look bloated and nobody wants that. Finally, another very important aspect to watch is the amount of clear fluid you are consuming per day.
In conclusion, here is a short version of the plan:
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- Determine your calorie intake by multiplying your bodyweight (X pounds) by 9 to 13 calories, depending on how low you want to go (it is generally accepted to start at the top, from 13 calories, and then move on down) depending on progress and goals. This will give you your daily calorie intake.
- Determine your protein intake by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein. The result is how many grams of protein you should consume. Then, take this number and multiply it by 4 and you get how many calories that protein should have.
- Determine how much fat or carbs you need by subtracting your protein calorie intake from your daily calorie intake. Before and after exercising you need to have sufficient carbohydrate quantity of 25 up to 50 grams, but they can be added to other meals as necessary. With 4 calories in a gram of carbs, determine how much fat you should eat by subtracting these as well, noting that there are 9 calories in a gram of dietary fat. If you do all this and cycle your carbohydrates you will need to adjust this plan for every day of the week.
When you complete your plan, the end goal of getting ripped six pack abs will be not one, but many steps closer and the results will dazzle you as they come in. However, if at any point you stop going according to your pre-set strategy, don’t despair and start going back at it as soon as you can. Nothing comes instantly, everything requires hard work.