Abdominal exercises and workouts are great for developing the abdominal muscles. They will sculpt and build the muscles. However, if the stomach area is covered with fat it will not matter, no one will see them. Contrary to popular belief, or wishful thinking, spot reduction of fat stores is not possible. I repeat spot reduction of fat is not possible.
In order to lose fat over those hidden abs, fat stores must be reduced. If fat is lost over the entire body the amount of fat covering the abs will be reduced and they will become more visible.
This is where nutrition comes into play. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in fat loss and really is the key to it. No matter how much your workout, run, or do ab exercises, you still need to have a healthy diet.
Importance of Nutrition
Exercise is important and will help to burn calories, but without quality nutrition it will not be enough. The abs will develop under the fat and begin to take shape, but will remain hidden unless the fat is removed. Good quality protein will be important in the diet to ensure that the abdominal muscles, along with other muscles, can repair and build properly. Without protein, the muscles of the abdomen may actually shrink and look even flabbier with the body fat cover over them.
Let us take a look at the basics
In a very simplified look, if you have a 3500-calorie deficit (either by burning more or eating less) the body will liberate one pound of fat from the fat stores to make up for this deficit. There are certainly nutrient specific issues to look at and certain vital metabolic processes within the body to consider. Meal timing plays a role in this, as well.
Getting Six Pack Abs
A person looking to lose body fat all over, and in the end showcase those six-pack abs, must focus their diet on good clean foods that can be used for energy and repair. Lots of high quality protein, good complex carbohydrates, and some essential fats are all part of a good diet. They will provide the energy needed by the body, replace nutrients lost during everyday activities, and repair muscles and organs as needed. Good lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meats, lean pork, nuts and seeds, and protein powders will provide the amino acids needed by the body for the many metabolic, immune, and hormonal processes that take place.
Complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and cereals, long grain rice, vegetables, potatoes, pasta, and other whole grain sources will provide the long-term energy needed throughout the day and to get through intense workouts. Healthy fats from fish, nuts and seeds, flax, and olive oil will provide the protection and energy needed for the long haul.