There is nothing more upsetting than not getting results after dedicating yourself to dieting and exercise over the course of a few months! You pushed the weights regularly, did cardio and improved your diet, but in the end, there was still that unwanted layer of body fat covering your abs. It may have been because you did not focus enough on controlling one very important item…added sugar.
Are Doing Sit-ups Enough?
The answer to that question is NO. A study done in 1984 at the University of Massachusetts looked at various fitness outcomes of subjects who performed 5,000 sit-ups over the course of a month. Performing hundreds of sit-ups on a daily basis wasn’t enough to lose abdominal fat. The subjects, a group of college students, had body measurements taken as well as a painful muscle biopsy procedure. The subjects body fat didn’t change and not even an inch was lost around the abdominal area by the end of the study. In the end, they had much stronger abs but their body fat and girth remained unchanged.
Many factors can influence the way you look and feel on a daily basis as well as over the course of your lifetime. A healthy, sustainable lifestyle also plays a huge part in how lean you ultimately get. You have probably heard that genetics are also important. True. Don’t forget about physical activity (in and out of the gym), this plays a significant role too. The missing “ingredient” in most exercise plans though is cutting back and monitoring added sugar.
What is Your DASI? Daily Added Sugar Intake
The term, DASI, is an acronym that I coined and stands for daily added sugar intake. It’s an important component of any nutrition program and it’s a game changer for those looking to get ripped. For the majority of people, getting a lean, ripped mid-section will be a lifelong challenge. Some never seem to realize that how they fuel their body in turn effects their midsection and abdominal area. This goes well beyond doing a daily plank challenge. Learn from the story of the UMass college students.
Follow These 3-Steps to Get Strong, Ripped Abs
- Beware of added sugar in all foods and drinks. How? Start reading food labels and keep track of your daily added sugar. Put yourself on a sugar budget. Eat no more than 150 calories of added sugar a day for men. That’s about 38 grams a day for men and 100 calories or 25 grams a day for women. Carbohydrates (sugar) contain 4 calories per gram. There are two types of sugars, natural sugar and added sugar. Added sugar is hidden in just about everything we eat and drink. Examples of natural sugar are milk and fruit, and unlike added sugar, they contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals. Added sugar has minimal nutrients, basically no fiber, and can quickly raise blood sugar levels like all fast food or junk food.
- Add a weekly HIIT session on the cardio side, in addition to your weekly strength training sessions. Do this by adding intervals into a cardio session with bouts of hard work followed by brief periods of recovery and repeat several times. A whole cardio session could be an interval-based workout for 15-20 minutes or you can periodically add it to the cardio work you’re doing now. Any type of cardio will do the trick from jogging to rowing.
- 1-RM Test. Push your strength training workouts. Use one day to determine a new 1-RM (one repetition maximum) involving all your major exercises, like bench press, shoulder press and squat and do a reset on your current program. This can be done every 12-weeks.
Changing things up from what you had been doing is a great way to stimulate not only your body but also your mind. Finally, incorporating the three tips above into your new routine, will definitely move you in the right direction of getting the long wanted ripped abs. Use the Jefit app to help track your progress and keep you moving toward your goals. Remember, you don’t own it until you right down or record it, so use the app. Good luck Stay Strong!