Almost everyone wants to get six-pack abs, but what they do not realize is that this is actually a fairly difficult goal to attain. For men, a six-pack does not start to show until around 11% body fat, while women start to see their abs at around 16%. These body fat levels are very low and are usually only seen among athletes.
If you want to get 6-pack abs then you will need to bring your overall body fat percentage down to that very low level. This is usually done through a combination of diet and exercise. Contrary to popular belief, doing hundreds of crunches, sit-ups, and other abdominal exercises will not make your abs show through. Yes, your abs are muscles, but most people do not have underdeveloped abdominal muscles. Your abs are activated throughout the day when you twist, turn, bend over, and even carry things. If you cannot see your abs it is most likely not because they are small but rather because there is a layer of fat covering them.
Abs Are Made in The Kitchen
To get your abs to show through, you need to lose fat, and the best way to lose fat is to spend an extended period of time in a calorie deficit. You can achieve this either by eating less, moving more, or some combination of the two. Lifting weights is a good form of exercise that will help to build muscle, which is metabolically active, and therefore increase your daily calorie deficit. However, there is a good chance that the vast majority of your weight loss will come from your diet.
To lose a pound of fat you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. One good, sustainable rule of thumb is that you should aim for 1lb of fat loss per week – a deficit of 500 calories per day. This is fairly easy for most people to achieve just by making some small lifestyle changes. Stop drinking sugary drinks and eating snacks throughout the day and make your daily food intake consist of lean meats and fresh vegetables. You should be able to eat a large amount of fruit and vegetables – ensuring satiety, while still staying under your daily calorie allowance.
Most people lose fat from their extremities first, so your arms and your calves will lean out before your thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. Depending on where you are genetically predisposed to hold fat it may take a long time for your abs to start to show. Many people give up before they see the results that they so dearly want. Try to be patient. If your weight loss stalls one week, stick at it for another week. If you are still not seeing results, increase the amount of exercise you are doing or cut your calorie intake by another hundred or so calories. Do not start out on a very low-calorie diet, because this will only make it harder for you to cut calories later on. Be patient and look for a sustainable way to lose fat and get six-pack abs.