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Do This to Get a 6-Pack If You're Struggling to Drop Fat

Updated: Dec 21, 2023


A fit man is doing hanging leg raises at the gym

Achieving a lean and chiseled six-pack has always been a common aspiration for fitness enthusiasts. Perhaps you have less than average percentage of body fat and your abs are slightly visible, but struggling to drop the last body fat.

This article helps you navigate through this last mile in your fitness journey, focusing on dietary aspects, the role of intermittent fasting, and the importance of balanced nutrition.


The Calorie Consumption

Understanding the basic principle of calorie balance is the first stepping stone in your journey toward getting visible abs. Essentially, the equation of 'body fat reduction = calorie intake - calories burned' governs the fat loss process.

Surplus Calories: A Silent Saboteur

If you are consuming more calories than you burn (a calorie surplus), this can lead to weight gain. Even if you eat extra calories come from protein, it can make you fat.

Calorie Deficit: The Key to Fat Loss

On the other hand, if you maintain a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than you burn), you will lose body fat. This calorie intake can be adjusted based on your goals.

The Trial and Error Method

Determining the appropriate calorie intake is an experimental process that varies from person to person influenced by various factors like genetics. A good starting point could be to reduce your calorie intake by 100-200 calories. If this doesn't yield significant results over a period, then try reducing it by 300-400 calories.


Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss



Intuitively, one might assume that eating frequently would prevent muscle loss, but this approach can inadvertently create two obstacles - overconsumption of calories and missing out on the benefits of fat burn in a fasting state.

Reaping Fat Burn Benefits in a Fasting State

Research suggests that we burn more fat when we do cardio in a fasting state than when we are in a fed state. This fat burn also happens when we do resistance training in a fasting state.

Fasting and Muscle Loss: Dispelling the Myth

Contrary to popular belief, catabolic (muscle loss) is not a significant concern as long as your overall calorie intake within a 24-hour cycle is sufficient.

Intermittent Fasting: A Practical Approach

Intermittent fasting can be an efficient way to incorporate periods of fasting into your daily routine, aiding in fat loss without causing muscle loss.

The 12/12 or 18/6 Fasting Window

If you are new to intermittent fasting, you can start intermittent fasting with a 12/12 fasting window (12 hours of fasting followed by a 12-hour eating window). If this works well for you, you can consider moving to an 18/6 fasting window (18 hours of fasting followed by a 6-hour eating window).


Avoid Eating Too Frequently: Insulin Resistance

Eating too frequently can keep your insulin levels perpetually high, leading to insulin resistance. This condition can trigger weight gain, increased hunger and cravings, inflammation, elevated blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.


The Role of Nutrition: Avoid Eating Junk Food or Suger

Avoid highly processed foods or sugar, even though calorie consumption is the key to losing body fat. This doesn't mean you should fill the rest of your calories with sweets or junk food. Unfortunately, this is what a lot of fitness influencers do in their diet.

The "You Are What You Eat" Principle

We can certainly gain muscle or lose fat while eating junk food (as long as we manage our macros and control calorie intake). But, wait, what about our health and hormones? A good physique doesn't necessarily equate to good health. The saying "You are what you eat" is true. The food we consume directly impacts our health.

Moderation is Key

You don't have to be extremely strict in avoiding sugar or any unhealthy food all the time. Still, it's essential to indulge in sugary sweets or unhealthy foods only occasionally, rather than making them a daily habit.


Conclusion

If you're struggling to get visible abs, intermittent fasting could be the key to shedding that last bit of fat. It's essential to maintain a balanced diet and make room for fasting periods in your daily routine. Remember, the fitness journey is not a sprint, but a marathon. Keep going, and you'll eventually reach your goal.

With this comprehensive guide, you are now well-equipped to embark on your journey to achieving that coveted six-pack. Remember, the most important thing is to stay consistent and patient. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day – and neither is a six-pack!

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