ABS, GENETICS & the TRUTH
Are abs genetic? Yes. Yes, they are. Everyone has abs (maybe beneath some fat), but not all abs LOOK the same! And this is due to our genetics. Some have a 2 pack, some a 4 or 6 pack.... and the select few actually have an 8 pack. There is even such a thing as uneven abs.
See below for a peek.
Although, not all of us have the genetics to build an 8 pack, abs look pretty good even if just a 2 pack or they're uneven. There are studies done that show certain DNA makes one more athletic, agile, "genetically gifted"; however due to the complexity of the study (having to take into consideration gender, age, ethnicities) there isn't a lot of published scientific information.
I think it is fair to say that we can often times tell when we meet someone with AHH-mazing genetics because their effort level seems quite low for the physique they hold. Why is this?
FACTS of our DNA:
- Everyone carries body fat a little differently. Someone may look really good at 22% body fat, where you might need to be as low as 12% body fat before you see the results you're going for.
- There are different body types:
- Ectomorph: Delicate frame and bone structure, thin, lean muscle mass, hard to gain, fast metabolism.
- Endomorph: Soft body, gain BOTH muscle and fat easily, stocky build, hard to lose fat, slower metabolism, muscles are not so well defined.
- Mesomorph- Athletic build, well defined muscles, gain muscle easier, can lose fat easily, strong shape.
- Most people are some combination of the above
- There are different body builds: Long torso, short torso, long legs, short legs, long arms... broad back, thin waist, large hips, tiny hips, top heavy, bottom heavy....
The LONG and SHORT of it ALL
- Hardwork beats genetics when genetics ain't working hard!
- Everyone has abs! The easiest way to reveal them? Reduce body fat %.
- The #1 way to reduce belly fat is through your daily diet (making changes, awareness & accountability)
**You cannot SPOT train your stomach (aka doing a bunch of sit-ups won't remove belly fat)
Diet for abs?
There is no "one size fits all"
But here are some pointers....
1) Caloric deficit and not just that, but chose healthy foods for your body! DON'T starve yourself either. Your body will store fat; especially in your lower belly)
2) Carbs is the biggest culprit for MOST, but not all. Carbs aren't always cake and pop, but can be over eating rice and sweet potatoes. Begin to measure out your portions to see how much you are consuming of carbs and even track them on a food tracking site like myfitnesspal.
3) Fat isn't bad for you, but are you getting too much or the wrong types?
4) Protein. Most people don't eat enough protein. When we are low in protein our body often craves sugar.... aka carbs. If we get enough protein we will feel more satisfied, indulge in less sweets and it helps build lean muscle!
5) Variety. DON'T eat the same foods for every meal, every day. Add variety into your fruits, veggies, meats, carbs, fats so your body doesn't adapt.
6) Track. Tracking your food, either by hand or on an app, creates awareness for you of where you are over or under eating. Once you do this for a while, you won't need to anymore, as you will learn proper portion sizes and have a general idea off the top of your head as to where you are at!
7) Accountability. Join a challenge, find a trainer or partner with a friend in making changes to your diet to reveal your abs.
Wonder where you should be in your daily eating to reveal your abs?
A SUPER easy way to find out what your daily caloric intake should be and your macros (carb, fat and protein) is with: If It Fits Your Macros. It allows you to input your data and select if you'd like to gain, maintain or lose weight. You can then begin to make changes to your eating and see the results in your abs!
A few AB-solutely good foods to eat for beginners (keep it organic):
- Fats: Avocados, nuts and nut butters, egg yolks, flax seed, chia seed
- Carbs: VEGETABLES, FRUIT, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, beans, lentils
- Proteins: White fish, chicken, egg whites, vegan protein/grass-fed whey proteins, Greek yogurt