A lot of people dream of a toned body with six-pack abs, however very few are able to achieve it as it requires lots of hard work and determination. The process needs to go in two levels i.e. development of abs at first and fat loss (majorly over the belly area) is the second part.
People often try to look for short cuts for gaining abs and losing belly fat, such as consuming medicines that claim to get you six-pack abs or burn belly fat within small durations, doing extreme diets or intense cardio exercises for very long durations, vibration therapies, heat therapies etc. But as a matter of fact, the reality remains the same that correct body weight, body shape and body fat distribution is a result of an overall appropriate lifestyle.
How to burn belly fat?
1. Diet: To lose belly fat, diet needs to be low in calories, carbohydrates, saturated fat, and moderate to high in proteins. Make sure that an adequate amount of essential fats (good fats such as omega 3, 6, 9, etc), vitamins and minerals are included in the diet, as they are required for proper functioning and metabolism of the body. Lack of essential fats may lead to constipation as well as the craving for unhealthy foods.
A healthy diet plan for gaining abs and losing belly fat should include the following:
- Start your day with warm water/ detox water.
- Have a wholesome breakfast, loaded with carbohydrates and proteins with some amount of fats. For example, you can have servings of some cereal with natural yoghurt, dry nuts and seeds and a vegetable omelette.
- Have small-mid meals throughout the day such as curd with fruits, black coffee with nuts, protein foods such as eggs, sprouts, buttermilk, paneer etc.
- Include salads before lunch and have a combination of foods for lunch, such as grains, paneer/ dal and vegetables.
- The most important part of the plan is dinner, which has to be very light and done early but should never be skipped. You can have steamed or grilled vegetables, protein foods like paneer, chicken or fish and a small number of carbohydrates such as brown rice, high fibre chapatti etc. You might skip having carbohydrates in dinner for one or two weeks at a stretch, but this should not be continued for longer durations as it is bad for health.
- Avoid processed and refined foods, have lots of fibre and keep yourself hydrated.
2. Workout: It is very essential to follow an appropriate workout regime to gain abs and lose belly fat. It has to be a combination of cardio and strength training.
All those people who say that walking and dancing never helps to lose weight are misleading for their own motives. Remember, there are people who are unable to lose fat even after joining expensive gyms or workout classes. The reason is that people have different body types and so the workout requirements.
Also, the workout regime and duration for different people depends upon a lot of factors such as an ex-bodybuilder will have to work out a lot more to lose fat than a non-bodybuilder. Some important points to remember about exercise pattern are:
- Remain active throughout the day and exercise regularly i.e. 4-5 times a week. Remember if you are sitting or lying the whole day and then exercising hard for an hour, will help you much.
- Walk as much as you can, preferably in the open air or at the workplace.
- Try to spare some time, both morning (more) and evening (less) for exercise. You can do yoga/ jogging/ skipping/ sprints/ aerobics or dance along with planks and squats (morning); sit-ups, flat bench leg pull in, flat bench lying leg raises, crunches, reverse crunches etc (evening). Keep on changing your workout pattern after specific intervals (say a month or two).
- Never try to indulge in extreme workouts for very long intervals every-day for achieving short term goals, which you think you’ll not be able to continue for long.
- Do not exercise post-dinner as it is not helpful.
3. Belly fat loss and Six-pack supplements: Supplements too play a vital role in the above process. It doesn’t mean that supplements are mandated or they act like miracles, but they help you achieve your target soon in a feasible way. Some of the important fat loss and six pack supplements are:
- Whey Protein: Proteins are extremely essential to be added to diet while in fat loss regime or muscle gain. This is because of the lack of proteins in regular Indian diets, wherein the protein requirement goes furthermore high for people having an active lifestyle or indulging into workouts. If the protein requirement is not met especially for such people, they start losing muscle mass. To develop abs muscle and get six pack abs as well as to lose fat, it is extremely crucial to have adequate protein intake.
Whey proteins (isolates, hydrolysates or concentrates) are most recommended six-pack supplements as they are fast-acting, causes muscle recovery and growth as well as are low in carbohydrates and fats.
Check the most suitable whey proteins for cutting fat.
- BCAA & Glutamine: BCAA, a combination of three essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) helps in immediate muscle recovery. Whereas glutamine is a non- essential amino acid, which the body needs occasionally such as during stress. Both of them help in accelerated muscle growth due to faster muscle recovery.
- Fat Burners: There are a variety of thermogenic and non- thermogenic fat burners available in the market. However, it is not necessary to take fat burners for people who want six-pack abs, these are no magic pills. But if accompanied by proper diet and exercise, help in achieving the goal faster.
They work in different ways such as increase metabolism of the body, decrease appetite, burn fat to produce energy, etc. Although fat burners help in burning fat from all over the body, they help in decreasing abdominal fat also as it is the major site for fat deposition.
- L- Carnitine: It is an amino acid that transfers fatty acids from blood to the cells, where they are burnt to produce energy. It improves energy levels as well as helps in burning belly fat. Remember, it is very essential to lose extra belly fat for the abs to become visible.
Check some good L-carnitine supplements that can help you lose weight.
- CLA: It’s a fatty acid known to possess fat loss benefits. It also helps in retaining muscle mass. In some cases, CLA has been found to give good results when it comes to burning belly fat and developing six-pack abs.
CLA supplements promote weight loss and help you build six-pack abs.
Hence it is clear that to develop six-pack abs, it is crucial to have a proper diet, exercise and supplement schedule. However, there are few differences between men and women targeting the same.
How to lose belly fat in Men?
Men are more prone to have fat deposited on their belly area as well as the protein requirement is higher in men than in women. Hence, men need to focus more on exercises accounting for belly fat loss and need to have a good whey protein supplement. BCAA, glutamine, fat burners etc can also be added depending upon the target.
How to lose belly fat in Women?
Women are more susceptible to have fat deposited on their thigh and back region, along with belly area. Protein requirements are comparatively lower in women. Women need to focus more on exercises accounting for overall abdominal area fat loss and need to have a good whey protein supplement in lower dosages than men. Fat burners, BCAA, glutamine, CLA, L- carnitine have to be taken under proper supervision as women are more vulnerable to have hormonal disorders.
Shredding body fat is a concern for most people as it is very difficult to maintain an ideal body weight throughout life. Moreover, when it comes to a toned body with six-pack abs visible it is furthermore difficult. This is because one needs to work upon gaining abs muscles at first followed by losing fat in the abdominal region which is the most difficult one to lose, as maximum storage of fat in the body occurs on the belly, thighs and back area. Hence, it is extremely essential to go through a channelised way to lose belly fat and get six-pack abs.