The Big Reveal! Diet And Cardio For Eye-Popping Abs
The hard work is done, but the battle has only begun. You’ve made the effort in the gym and now it’s time to drop the excess fat and reveal the hidden six pack.
This section will focus on both diet and cardio. A properly structured eating plan is the key to efficient fat loss, so that you can get ripped without losing muscle. Cardio will help you during that journey but it is not the be all end all. While both are important, remember that cardio alone won’t create amazing abs. A well-planned diet with minimal cardio can help you shed fat, but cardio with a poor eating approach puts you on the road to nowhere!
Dieting For Fat Loss
Cutting fat isn’t just about reducing calories and eating more healthy. Believe it or not, you can eat healthy and eat fewer calories but still be eating wrong. In addition, many generic diet approaches actually make it hard to shred up and reveal your abs. Let me explain…
While healthy eating is, well….good for your health, it’s not the most efficient “beach body” dieting approach. Healthy eating is a generic term, and 9 times out of 10 it lacks focus and the key ingredients that are required to shed fat and reveal your abs. A proper fat cutting diet will help you to maintain muscle while losing fat, and this is what you want.
When you are “only” eating healthy, your diet is probably working against you because you are losing muscle AND fat. This makes it difficult to reach the proper bodyfat levels required to see your abs. Simply stated, you become thin, but a good portion of the weight you lose is muscle, so your bodyfat percentage drops more slowly. This prolongs the length of your diet causing you to lose more and more muscle.
With this approach there’s a good chance you will never reach the goal of seeing your abs. If you do, you won’t have much of a physique to go with it. Here are the cornerstones of a proper cutting diet approach; one that allows you to retain most of your existing muscle while losing fat:
- Meal Frequency – It’s better to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours than it is to eat a small breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a random healthy evening dinner. Frequent, small meals not only help you mentally (because your next meal is only a short amount of time away), but they are also proven to be an extremely effective method of getting ripped.
- Protein – Most diets don’t include enough protein. Protein is required to repair and build muscle tissue. Without enough dietary protein you make it difficult for the body to hold on to the valuable muscle you worked so hard to obtain. As a general guideline, men should eat about 30-35 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours, and women should consume about 20 grams every 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Fat – Don’t avoid healthy fats! The body needs fats to function properly. Forget the idea that eating fats make you fat; it’s not true. 20 to 35% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats.
- Calorie Intake – Rapid weight loss is not the best way to get shredded abs and a great body. If you are losing more than 1.5 to 2 pounds per week, there’s a good chance that much of this is muscle loss. Dial in your daily calories so that you are losing the right amount of weight each week.
- Resistance Training – Don’t make the mistake of using lighter weights and higher reps while trying to get ripped. This is a major mistake! You need to train just as hard in the weight room while cutting as you did when trying to build muscle. Using lighter weight sends a signal to your body that the current muscle mass you are carrying is no longer needed, and that it’s ok to give it up.
While it is beyond the scope of this article to provide a specific eating plan, there are many resources on Muscle & Strength that can get you on the fast track to a shredded six pack. Use the following articles as resources. If you have questions or need further advice, consider joining the Muscle & Strength forum.
- Your Go To Guide For Cutting Fat While Keeping Muscle. Don’t lose your hard-earned muscle! This guide and Q&A by Brad Borland shows you how to drop fat and retain muscle.
- Getting Ripped Without Cardio By Eating Your Carbs At Night. Get shredded the easy way! Russell Branjord shows you how to rely on nightly carb feedings to lose fat and get that six pack.
- Building Muscle And Burning Fat Simultaneously – Is It Possible? It’s time to carve that Winter bulk into a shredded beach body. Brad Borland shows you how to use fat for fuel while maintaining, or gaining muscle.
- Pack On Mass And Shed The Fat: A Guide To Muscle Building And Fat Loss Diets. A guide to popular muscle building and fat loss eating and diet approaches, including a look at frequent feeding, Paleo, Keto and more!
- Dieting And Muscle Gain, The Whole Truth. Baffled by bro science? Want to know the real deal? Dustin Elliott gives the muscle building truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
- How to Create a Bodybuilding Diet. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is how to create the correct diet for building muscle. In this article Doug Lawrenson teaches you exactly how to do it, no matter what your goals are.