By Kristy Drakeford - Six pack abs. Tight, round booty. Lean bodies. Ripped muscles. We see them... we want them, but how do we do it?
The ugly truth is, most of us are not really willing to do what it takes to have the look we see in the fitness magazines and in the CrossFit Games (myself included). The good news is that is that it’s perfectly okay and we can be healthy and fit with or without rock hard abs!
The UGLY truth
Everyone wants ripped abs and the bodies of all the CrossFit Games pro’s we love to watch. The problem is we have no idea what goes into having that lean of a body composition. We make a few, healthy changes to our life like eating healthier or working out more and we expect immediate change. After a month we’ve lost a few pounds, but we still can’t see those abs and muscle definition so we quit. It wasn’t working.
However, it was working, just not as fast as we hoped. We are a culture of instant gratification. Losing weight, changing body composition, gaining muscle mass aren’t things that happen immediately. We’ve been taught that turning to weight loss surgery, magic pills and patches, fad diets, supplements, and steroids get much faster results. Sometimes, these things work for a short period of time… but without creating the healthy habits, without learning the proper ways to eat and maintain a healthy diet, without coming to terms of how you got to the place you were… those results may not last and many come with lifelong side effects.
Let’s be clear. I am not saying you can’t have ripped abs and a lean, muscular body. You absolutely can. Let’s take a look at the info-graphics below to get an idea of what it takes to become leaner.
Info-graphics from Precision Nutrition
The Good News
The info-graphics clearly show that if you are looking to make changes in your body, you have to start making changes in your habits. The leaner you want to become, the more you have to change. This isn’t an overnight process and if you try to change everything from the very beginning, you are most likely setting yourself up for failure.
Here are 5 simple ways you can get started in making some healthy changes in your nutrition and lifestyle that can really make a difference in how you feel and look:
Replace sugary drinks like soda, juices and energy drinks with water.
Lessen your intake of alcohol.
Start moving more. Exercise 3-5 days a week.
Eat smaller meals including protein, fat, veggies, and carbs 4-5 times a day.
Start paying attention to your portion sizes.
You can use your hand as a general measurement tool:
Protein: Men (2 palms) Women (1 palm)
Carbs: Men (2 cupped handfuls) Women (1 cupped handful)
Fat: Men (2 thumb portions) Women (1 thumb portion)
Veggies: Men (2 fists) Women (1 fist)
Info-graphics from Precision Nutrition
Not all changes are going to be easy. Try to keep your diet to an 80/20 ratio: 80% of your food coming from whole, healthy, minimally processed foods and 20% allowing that “treat” or that one night out to enjoy life. You may not see ripped abs, but you are going to see a healthier, happier you and find that you will stick to the plan better than trying to eliminate everything you love.
Decide on what your goal is for your nutrition. Are you wanting to lean out, gain muscle, perform better, get healthier? This is your starting point. Have a why. Why do you want this? What does it mean to you? Every time you get off track, go back to your why to help you maintain your focus. Stop looking at food as a bad thing when you fall off the plan. Food is nutrition for your body. Some is just better than others in nutritional value and will help you achieve your goals better. From here, start making those changes a few at a time until you form it into a habit. Then, continue to add more healthy habits and lessen the bad habits to achieve the results you are looking for… abs or not!
If you are looking for some help with making changes, balancing your diet, or need a plan to help you stay focused and on track with your goals, contact Kristy Drakeford at 'Feed the Beast Nutrition' (859-247-0533 or firstname.lastname@example.org).