GET YOUR ABS RIGHT!
‘You are what you eat’, you’ve probably heard it before. Nutrition Expert and Health Coach Stefanie Klaver shares her monthly advice on how nutrition affects your body, workout goals, and well-being.
Get your abs right!
For many of us, social sites such as Instagram are considered a source of inspiration in a quest for the so-called perfect body. Everything seems possible in this online world of ours.
As a nutritionist, I hear many women tell me about their fitness objectives. What I’ve noticed – these aspirations have become increasingly more focused on the aesthetic benefits of nutrition. My clients now have goals like: lowering their body-fat percentage, gaining more muscle definition and – the newest trend of all – obtaining a six-pack.
Ok, to get straight to the point: creating visible abs is not going to be possible for absolutely everyone. This is because women – like men – are born with a whole range of different body types. It’s in our genes. There’s simply no comparing Beyoncé with Keira Knightly, or the other way around – their bodies will never look the same. Get my point? Which is why both ladies need to have very different goals when it comes to working out.
In my work, I always start with a body type analysis. Based on that I will set a realistic objective. In my opinion, it is possible for most of us (of course there will always be exceptions) to build a strong and fit body – with visible abs if preferred. Want to give yours a chance? Then allow me to share the following tips with you:
Know your body shape
Do you have a body type like an apple and tend to hold most of your fat around your belly? Then I would let go of your dreams for a six-pack and instead strive for a beautifully slim waist. Are you more pear-shaped? Then the chance of visible abs is considerably larger. And with the right nutrition and exercise, you’re likely to achieve some abdominal definition over time.
It’s not all about the exercise
Exercise alone won’t win you the war. Your abs already conquered their spot a long time ago, but aren’t visible yet due to that little layer of fat which covers them. You can partially address this with exercise, but what’s even more important is to change your eating habits.
Keep those calories in check
It sounds a bit dull, but there is knowledge to be gained by measuring. You’ll never see results if your calorie intake is higher than what you’re burning. So keep it in check. The app ‘My Fitness Pal’ is a great companion to help you do this.
Abs are made in the kitchen
Addressing your body fat percentage is a crucial step towards visible abs. The best way to do this is by taking a closer look at your nutrition. Aim for a complete nutritional pattern with the right amount of carbs, proteins and fats based on your personal needs. Providing your body with essential nutrients will build your body instead of breaking it down. It will also help curb the hunger pangs that often lead to eating unnecessary amounts of food – helping you avoid a calorie surplus.
Working on yourself and on your body is an incredibly interesting and fun process, but it also requires knowledge and experience. I always suggest seeking the advice and supervision of a professional. A body fat percentage that is too low is unhealthy and can seriously disrupt your hormonal balance.
Photo credit: Manon Klaver