The secret to abs

When I first started out on my fitness journey, all I wanted was to have a toned stomach. I wanted that dreamy six pack you see spread all over social media and magazines. After all, it’s hard not to! We are surrounded by perfect bodies and #fitpso everywhere we go. Sometimes, it can seem like that is the most important thing, but remember, it’s more about how you feel within YOU that’s top trump!

Grace O’Malley – Source: Pinterest

Social media is swarmed with hundreds of images of toned abs and the ‘ultimate’ bikini pics – we can’t help but drool over them! These pictures become our core focus when we first start to exercise. The goal differs from person to person; whether it’s to look good for that special occasion, or getting that killer booty we’ve all seen! I openly admit I used to hate exercise, but I did it because I wanted to look a certain way – the pictures I’d seen on social media. It’s true that looking good is a great feeling, and after a lot of hard work I was so happy that I achieved a flatter stomach and ‘six pack’ abs that I had always yearned for. However, after the novelty had worn off, I realised that in actual fact the real change had been made within me as a person! After about 12 weeks of training, I started to feel more than the physical changes I was seeing in the mirror. I was starting to FEEL good about myself and ultimately was a much happier person within myself. This was the ultimate goal I never knew I was going to achieve and the best thing about my new lifestyle.

FITSPO – Source: Pinterest

In this industry, it is hard to get away from all of the perfect bodies we surround ourselves with. I totally get that every girl wants a flat stomach, I was one of them! There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting your dream body. It’s great to have goals and I 100% urge you to set targets for yourself. However, as well as wanting abs, I can only say from my personal experience to set goals that are realistic and make you feel good about yourself! That said, I’ve popped below a few things that helped me to achieve a flatter stomach.

My Top Tips for Abs

1

My first realisation was abs really are made in the kitchen. Obviously this should be combined with training, but the food you are putting into your body really does make a HUGE difference, not only to your weight but to your skin, hair, EVERYTHING. For most people, the last bit to go is your lower tummy (this is usually where fat is stored). Cut out refined carbs if you can – things like white bread, pasta, rice, cereals, sugar. These foods spike your insulin levels which stops fat burning and leads to it storing more fat. I replace these sorts of foods with sweet potato, quinoa, extra vegetables etc.

2

My second tip: doing 1,000 sit ups a day WILL NOT give you abs – as much as we all like to think it will! Your muscles need time to recover, so doing abs every day of the week will not aid your progress. This is why I like to promote doing a variety of exercise throughout the week. I found the bikini body guide so great because you work your whole body in all of the workouts. I also like adding weights to help tone your body and build muscle, helping to speed up your metabolism.

3

HIIT (high intensity interval training): personally for me, this was the most effective form of training for loosing fat. There are so many different ways you can do HIIT and it’s an easy transition into exercise. Things I’ve done in the past is sprints (30 sec on, 30 sec rest) for 15 mins. I also really like doing circuits for around 15-20 mins, either 40 sec on, 20 sec rest or TABATA style (30 sec on, 10 sec off) and include full body exercises but things that get your heart pumping – sprints, burpees, squat jumps, lunge jumps, press ups etc. If you do the same HIIT workout each week you will notice yourself getting stronger, which will spur you on to keep going!

I hope you find this an interesting read. I wanted to share my personal experiences with you all to try and show that having abs is not everything. Enjoying exercise and working out is one of the greatest feelings ever, and I want you all to experience it too.

Please let me know your thoughts below – I’d love to hear!

Lucy x

 

15 Comments

  1. February 2, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    Thanks for this post…. so useful! How many workouts would you say you do a week, and do cheat meals destroy any shot at abs?! Xx

    • Lucy
      February 2, 2017 / 10:19 pm

      Hey!

      I usually only do one ab specific workout a week, but my other workouts usually incorporate abs too! No, definitely not! It’s fine to have occasional cheat meals, but that’s not saying eat them all the time! I’m usually quite bloated after a big meal anyway, but no it won’t effect your long term progress.

      Lucy x

  2. Mitra
    February 2, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing this

  3. Gemma
    February 2, 2017 / 9:58 pm

    Love it!

  4. Roxy
    February 2, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! Particularly liked when you mentioned about the lower tummy. Great tips, thank you!

    • Lucy
      February 2, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Hi Roxy,

      No worries at all – glad you liked it!

      Lucy x

  5. Costi
    February 3, 2017 / 12:12 am

    Could you share some hiit workout to do? Thanks!!! 😘

    • Lucy
      March 5, 2017 / 3:58 am

      Hi Costi,
      Sure I’ll post a workout soon for you!
      Lucy x

  6. Lotty
    February 17, 2017 / 7:55 am

    Hi Lucy 🙂
    I can’t believe I am only discovering your blog now!
    I started with Kayla’s programs in August last year. Not religiously, but I did at least two work outs a week + I walk the dogs twice a day every day for a total of like an hour or so. (We live in a reserve in South Africa so they are outside running around the entire day – so the 1 hour a day is not all the exercise they are getting haha)
    Still, I do not see progress in my problem area, my stomach. I see that my legs are more toned, and my bum – but I still wobble… Measurements there also did not change for the slightest bit which is so demotivating to me. I have not missed a work-out of the 12 week challenge yet – I am following that religiously now.
    Good, fresh food here in South Africa is expensive, I really struggle to eat enough wholesome foods which feels like a sabotage on my progress? I have started taking whey shakes after work-outs since last week. Thanks for your help with that!
    I have not done any HIIT yet… Would like to start with that, also because you wrote it made a big difference for you. How many times would you suggest doing this a week? One, or two? And what is a good one to start with so I can protect especially my knees from getting injured?
    Thank you, for your blog and for always being so supportive for everyone! xxx

    • Lucy
      March 5, 2017 / 3:57 am

      Hi Lotty,
      Thanks for getting in touch! How are you finding the guide now? I still have bits that wobble – that’s normal! We all hold on to fat in different areas. I find the same in Australia – food is quite expensive but you just have to plan your meals out and buy things on offer. I enjoy HIIT, so I would say 2 times a week would be a good place to start. Make sure you warm up & cool down, and maybe try HIIT on the bike if sprinting is too harsh for you. Let me know how you go! Lucy x

  7. Lucy
    February 20, 2017 / 3:03 am

    Hello Lucy and thank you for your article!
    I was wondering what you thought about rice milk? I heard it was healthier than cow milk but it raises your insulin level way more so does it also lead to storing more fat?
    Thank you for your answer 🙂
    Lucy

    • Lucy
      March 5, 2017 / 4:00 am

      Hi Lotty,
      I don’t drink rice milk, so I can’t recommend you on this sorry!
      Lucy x

  8. Steve
    March 13, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Please add me, I need help

  9. Julia
    April 14, 2017 / 3:15 am

    Thanks so much for this article! Just wondering, do you avoid whole grain carbs as well or just refined?

    • Lucy
      April 19, 2017 / 8:02 am

      Hi Julia,
      I’ve actually just started a gluten free diet due to digestive issues, but I would have whole grain carbs before I started this!
      Lucy x

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