Abs & Dieting Strategies

  • Apr 11, 2010 2:40 PM GMT
    Ok so here's the deal. I've been trying hard to gain some definition in my midsection for quite awhile now. I know that a person's body fat % has to be between 6-8% for this to happen; however, I don't know what dieting strategy is the best for me to try this.

    I usually have no problem losing weight but the problem is it seems like I drop scale weight and not body fat (I'm 6'1 175 right now). I have a flat stomach now just from losing scale weight but I can't seem to strip the remaining fat around my midsection so that my abs will start showing. I work out regularly (5-6x a week 3 weight days and 3 cardio days) and try to eat 3 balanced meals along with 2 snacks and a protein shake each day as well.

    Is there a specific eating strategy that might help me obtain my goals? I read so many conflicting plans. Do I go low carb (as in the TNT or Atkins Diet), do I go low fat, or is there some other plan?

    I'm just impressed at the amount of guys on here with noticeable abs and it's one of the fitness goals for myself I have yet to achieve so I would appreciate any advice you guys have to offer.
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    Apr 11, 2010 6:55 PM GMT
    Build your abs up so they'll show through.

    Diet alone will only make you thinner.
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    Apr 11, 2010 7:09 PM GMT
    Ummm, that's not really true.

    Visible abs are a function of body fat levels. In other words, a 135 skinny guy can have very visible abs, albeit that he's tiny. A 230 pounder can have very visible abs, as well, if he's at a low body fat level.

    Overworking your abs will make you "blocky." Some of that happens as your core section reacts to heavy training loads, and, you really don't want to work abs with heavy loads (other than complex movements) if you want to avoid being blocky. Not working abs at all will result in flat abs, though, with no muscle development in the rectus abdominus and the internal and external obliques. You see the flat abs in folks of yesteryear who never worked abs directly. There's a happy medium. I also believe that you should work hip flexors / psoasas, especially if you do lots of hamstring work.

    Generally speaking, you need to get your calories UP and get busy with intense exercise to get lean. Starvation catabolizes muscle, ruins your exercise performance, and causes metabolic slowdown and the famine response.

    HIIT is the single best way to get lean fast (about 9 times faster than steady state cardio), and improves cardiac threshold at the same time, while preserving lean muscle.

    Whether you're 130 pounds, or 250 pounds, if you're lean, your abs will show.
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    Apr 11, 2010 11:09 PM GMT
    I'm on an anabolic diet right now (cycling carb loading and carb fasting). It's worked for me as far as losing body fat without getting "skinny fat". For some reason I don't think I'd recommend it much, though...
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    Apr 11, 2010 11:51 PM GMT
    HIIT workouts are awesome!

    Dont starve your body of carbs...esp in the morning. A bananna or something for breakfast is awesome to give your body a boost out of famine so it doesnt eat up muscle for energy.

    I would say just eat healthy, smaller meals more often and amp up the cardio and abdominal workouts
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    Apr 13, 2010 9:36 PM GMT
    Use a bike instead of a car =)
    Good for the environment + abs pops up because you alwayd do cardio