Fat or belly fat, to be exact, is one of the greatest concerns of those who are in their middle years, because at this stage, the body’s metabolism tends to slow down and extra pounds starts to build up around the body especially at the midsection. As our tummy grow, so as our health risks. Having chiseled abdominal muscles are just perks of having a low percentage of body fat percentage; the greater benefit is having less risk for lifestyle diseases such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Dreaming of strengthening your abdominal core muscles and losing body fat is easy, but putting that into action is difficult. It needs discipline, dedication and time. The underlying principle to follow is to build muscle and lose fat. But how?
Here are the “ten commandments” for losing fat and building that chiseled abs you always dreamed to have:
1. Thou shalt not skip breakfast
Our being busy keeps us from skipping breakfast often. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As we put on a weight-loss perspective, missing breakfast means eating a large lunch. This practice raises our insulin level really high, resulting to stored fat.
2. Remember thy cardio
Cardio workouts burn excess fat stored in the body. Just imagine our body as an engine and the fat is our fuel. The longer our engine is running, the more fuel it consumes. The same principle works with body metabolism.
3. Thou shalt drink right amount of water
Water fills up without adding too much calories. Dehydration, on the other hand, degrades a person’s ability to exercise and burn calories. It also reduces protein synthesis needed to build and repair muscles. Daily recommended water intake is at least 8-10 glasses a day.
4. Remember thy fibers in your diet
Fiber, an indigestible substance, found mainly in the outer layers of plants, slows digestion and absorption so that the glucose (sugar) in food enters the bloodstream more slowly. This process keeps the blood sugar on a more even level.
5. Thou shalt not eat fatty foods
Our body produces the needed amount of fat or cholesterol via liver for our bodily functions. You don't have to be a nutritionist to know that you shouldn't eat fries and fried chicken on a regular basis. They're loaded with sodium, fat, and cholesterol. Excess fat or cholesterol is stored in our body which accumulates in time.
6. Thou shalt lift weights
Cardio exercises without weight training affect muscle mass. Regular weight training helps limit muscle loss and at the same time keeps the metabolism faster and active even at rest.
7. Thou shalt train thy core muscles
Our core muscles don’t only consist of our abdominal muscles, specifically our rectus abdominis, but the muscles surrounding our midsection. Core-muscle training helps stabilize the spine for maintaining proper posture.
8. Thou shalt feed thy muscles
A healthier and balanced food options gives our muscles the nutrients they need to grow. A meal should always include protein, which helps prevent muscles catabolism or muscle wasting.
9. Thou shalt rest thy muscles
Great abs doesn’t appear in just a few days, so don’t over train them. Just like other muscles, abdominal and core muscles need rest in order to give them time to recuperate and grow. If you can’t stand a day without abs exercise, however, plan your abdominal exercise program and target different areas in your core to give time for other core muscles to replenish energy.
10. Thou shalt have professional advice
If you’re not sure about your exercises, seek help from a professional trainer. A wrong exercise might give more harm than benefits.