This is an excellent question. Why is weight gain so much easier than weight loss? Same reason that failing a math exam so much easier than passing it. Same reason that spending money is so much easier than saving it.
You will only see your ab muscles after you have burnt off the layer of fat on your belly. You can do a large number of sit-ups, crunches, hanging leg raises, v-sits or kung fu kicks, yet, if your excess body fat percentage is high, your abs won’t ever show.
A rough gauge would be a body fat percentage of about 9% for men and below 15% for women. At this level, your abs will show, and your tummy will be lean. To get to this level of body fat requires effort and TIME.
Doing something worthwhile takes effort and sacrifice and time.
Here is the greatest dilemma. We live in a time where people want immediate satisfaction. An age of txt messaging, emails, microwaves, etc. We want things, and we want them now. The majority of people assume to lose weight ASAP.
That’s why they succumb to scammy products from weight loss pills to dubious exercise machines sold on cheesy late night infomercials. They want fast results.
The hard truth is that the human body does what it wants at its pace. You can’t send your body a text message and tell it to drop 5 pounds from your thighs and 2 pounds from your butt.
It doesn’t work that way. The ONLY way your body will lose weight is if it is in a caloric deficit for a prolonged period of time. You will need to exercise, eat right and rest adequately. Most importantly, stop expecting immediate results. Be happy with a 1% loss of total bodyweight each week. That is good progress!
It took time to gain the belly, and it will take time to lose it. When aiming for a six pack, the last few pounds are ALWAYS the toughest. Most guys give up just when they are at about 12 to 13% body fat. These are the “hard yards”. Keep on keeping on. It may take another month or two
but if you stay the course, rest assured, you will burn off the most stubborn layer of fat and finally see your abs in all their glory.
Besides not being patient enough, there are a few other reasons your fat loss may seem to be taking ages.
You might not be eating at a caloric deficit. Many people overestimate some calories expended. 3 slices of pizza can cancel out an entire workout at the gym. You must always be aware of how many calories you’re consuming and what your daily caloric requirement is.
Are You Cheating Yourself On Cheat Days?
This is one of the most common mistakes that people make when they are trying to lose weight. Before going into details, we need to understand the theory behind cheat days.
When you are trying to lose weight, you need to be on a caloric deficit of 500 calories a day. This is achieved by eating less, making wise food choices and exercising. Since you are aiming for fat loss and not just weight loss, you need to go on a slow but steady program.
Most people who crash diet end up losing muscle and lowering their metabolic rate. This is a double whammy. Fat burning will grind to a halt, and when that happens, your weight loss will hit a plateau, and this can be exasperating.
Therefore, slow and steady wins the race. However, even if your diet and exercise the correct way and do your best, when your body is in a caloric deficit for 4 to 6 days in a row, it will automatically drop your metabolic rate as it tries to “preserve” its fat stores.
In order, to overcome this problem, we have a cheat day. On this day, you will aim for a caloric surplus. Preferably in the 500 to 700 calorie range. This will refresh your leptin levels and give your metabolic rate a boost. Your body will go back into fat burning mode since the body does not believe that it is starving.
This is also where the majority of people make a mistake.
They use the cheat day to gorge themselves on all the food that they can eat. Some even manage to reach caloric surpluses of 2000 to even 5000 calories. That is not a cheat day. It is chaos.
You can cause your weight loss efforts to slow down or worse. You may gain weight. This will cause feelings of guilt, frustration and anger. It’s like taking one step forward and two steps back.
Find out your daily calorie requirement and add 500 or 600 to it. That’s it. That’s the caloric surplus you should aim for. Even if you wish to eat junk food or whatever your heart desires, eat them in the right amount but make sure you do not exceed your target calorie surplus.
This being said; generally, it would be best to avoid junk food or processed food. It’s just not good for your health. It may sound boring and a tremendous sacrifice forsaking the food you love.
However, thousands of people can testify that after a few months of avoiding junk food, their body entirely stopped craving for these sinful pleasures.
You do not need to obsess over the numbers, but you need to have at least an enough good idea of where you stand as far as your diet and calories are concerned.
Consume adequate water daily. This is crucial! Water naturally suppresses your appetite and helps to metabolize the fat.
Watch your carb intake. Try and limit your carbohydrates, especially the starchy carbs. You should not eliminate carbs from your diet completely like what the Atkins diet recommends.
You do need carbs for energy during your cardio workouts. However, limit them and either consume them early in the day or immediately after an intense workout.
The numbers on a scale can be misleading. When people embark on a weight loss plan, they may include resistance training as part of the training regimen. Even people, who are totally on a cardio training program, will experience growth in lean muscle. This is inevitable.
Most overweight people have poor muscle tone. So, once they start exercising, the body starts burning fat and simultaneously gaining muscle. If you were to measure your weight on the scales, there might be no change in the numbers because the 2 pounds of fat you lost may have been replaced by 2 pounds of muscle.
Because muscle mass is more dense than fat, your body size would have shrunk a bit although you cannot find any change on the scale. That’s the reason it is so important to monitor how you’re progressing by using photos or a measuring tape to measure various areas of your body. This will be a more rewarding way to track your progress.
How Do I Ramp Up My Metabolism?
Overweight people often curse their bad genes. Usually what that means is that they have a slow metabolic rate. It is true that some people have a metabolic rate that is slower than other people.
Having said that, it would not be a wise decision to blame your family genes or metabolism. That will take away strength from you thus making you feel like dropping pounds is beyond your ability.
You definitely can lose weight even if your metabolic rate is low. It’s possible to increase your metabolic rate with a few simple techniques.
The Truth About Abs program recommends weight training as a very effective way to boost your metabolic rate. Not all resistance training works. Doing bicep curls will not do much to help you. You need compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, snatches and all the other cool techniques shown in the program.
Employing a mixture of compound movements, complete workouts and proper rest times between sets, you will increase your metabolic process and keep it up for hours.
An additional method you can use is short quick workouts during the day.
When you have 5 minutes to spare; you can do a simple workout. It can be 30 push-ups combined with 40 mountain climbers. Or 3 sets of 10 burpees. These are extremely quick routines that have only one objective. To raise your heart rate and give your fat burning capacity a quick boost.
They do not require much time and can be completed at any place. Body weight exercises are all you need. You simply need to do them rapidly for 2 to 4 minutes. What this does is that it keeps your system in fat reducing mode regularly. After a couple of hours, when your rate of metabolism is starting to decrease, another quick 3 minutes of exercise will perk it up again.
Do this during the day and not only will your rate of metabolism be at an all-time high, but you will also feel more lively, fit and alert.
Everyday life can be draggy and tedious. These little exercises will challenge you, and even if you are tired, once you do a quick exercise session, you will be all pumped up and ready to take on the world.
Little Tricks That Will Help You Shed the Belly Fat Faster
Do not expect overnight miracles with these tips but do know that if you follow them, you’ll be helping your body burn more calories in the same period. Every calorie counts.
1. Join a team sport
Basketball, karate, soccer, hockey, etc. are all activities that burn calories. The difference between these sports and slogging it out alone in the gym or pounding the tracks on your own is that sports are much more fun and less taxing.
Sometimes, going to the gym or doing cardio daily can get monotonous. You need a break. That’s where a sport will help. You do not have to do a team sport daily. Just during those times when the normal workouts get boring, and you need something to perk you up.
2. Skip dinner
This is similar to intermittent fasting. When you skip dinner, your body will have more time to burn calories from its fat stores instead of food.
3. Add green tea to your diet
Studies have shown that green tea raises metabolism and has many health benefits. Some websites or magazines may say that green tea’s effects are too minute to be counted as beneficial.
Just drink it anyway. It’s good for health, and many people have benefitted from it.
4. Brush your teeth after your last meal of the day
Most of us are conditioned to sleep once we brush our teeth. Once you have eaten your last meal for the day, brushing your teeth will subconsciously tell your body to stop eating. This will prevent late night cravings for snacks or other junk food.
5. Consume smaller meals spaced at regular intervals
Do not eat 3 large meals that leave you feeling bloated and full. Eat smaller meals and always stop while you are partially full. It takes a longer time for your brain to process the fact that your stomach is full. By the time the signal comes, you may have overeaten.
These 5 tips can help you if you follow them. Just remember that it’s ok if it takes time to lose the fat. It took you time to gain it. It’s just the natural order of things.
Always bear in mind that the quest for a six pack is a quest to lose fat. If there is just one point you remember from this entire report, let it be this. Get rid of excess fat and you’ll see your ab muscles.
Your journey is what matters, and if you stay concentrated on your fat reduction journey with persistence and patience, you will reach your destination. A lean or ripped body that you can be proud of.