Yes, you heard me correctly. Working out is not what’s going to get you that toned-tummy you’ve been striving for every single time you go to gym. I do not care how many crunches, leg lifts, or sit-ups you do, they’re not coming if all you’re doing is working out. Yes, there are plenty of professional athletes and cover models that put in gym time and have that perfect midsection that you envy. However, when you ask any of them how they got it, I can assure you that they won’t tell you that they got it in the gym.
It is no surprise we think that exercise is the key to a toned stomach. I mean, when we think of people with six-pack abs, most of those people are athletes or normal gym-goers. It just makes sense that working out is what has paved the way for their success. Regardless, science, case studies, and my own personal experiences all prove that the key is really the food we put into our bodies.
#1 It’s ALL About the Food
The truth is, it is significantly easier to cut fat through a change in eating habits, rather than an increase in physical activity. That being said, the tried and true road to a six-pack is paved with the food we eat. Generally speaking, the stomach and glutes are the last place our body eliminates fat. Therefore, those areas are the last to see muscle tone, and require the most dedication to see results. Taking this information into consideration, healthy eating is an absolute must if you want to to tone those areas. As an extra benefit, correct eating habits do not just cut body fat to show more muscle tone. They also increase muscle growth and development, making our muscles firmer, so they both look AND feel good.
#2 Quality, Not Quantity
Many have heard this same advice before, yet sadly have had the wrong kind of “Uh oh!” moment that we need to get tummy we want. They hear the advice decide that their problem has been that they eat too much. Very often this is NOT the case. Like all good things in life, the real key is knowing quality is more important than quantity. What do I mean by this? Let me tell you.
For decades we have been watching the quantity of what we eat, counting every single calorie with the hopes that we will see improvements. All the while, many are not looking at what food they are getting those calories from. The reality is, the number of calories is not near as important as the type of calories we eat. High quality, preservative-free, natural foods yield significantly better physical improvements than more artificial options, even when in higher quantities.
For example, if we limit ourselves to 1500 calories a day, but 90% of those calories are grains, such as pasta or potato chips, we will not see improvements. In this situation, some may even see an increase in fat as a result of excessive grain intake. Quite differently, if we were to increase the daily calorie intake to 2000 calories, but were to have a more balanced diet, full of vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, we would see much better results than we would with the above mentioned 1500 calorie diet.
#3 Fitness is a Lifestyle, Not a Daily Chore
In our path to a healthier lifestyle, we need to remember just that. It is a lifestyle. It is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to tone your midsection, you cannot look at fitness as a daily task, one hour of mandatory daily exercise. We must constantly be aware that living healthy is full-time. Additionally, in the end it is not about how your stomach looks. It is about how you as a person live and feel. Staying active and eating healthy will not only lead you to a rock-solid and toned core. It also leads to a longer, healthier, and happier life. Your body will last longer and work harder, but most importantly, it will keep you confident in your own skin.