Abs Are Created in the Kitchen – Myth Busted!
Bottom-line: Abs are created EVERYWHERE! This article is about the nutrition vs. exercise debate and we’re here today to set the record straight. Keep reading to finally find out where you should be spending your time to be fit and healthy.
Welcome to the third instalment of our myth-busting series. So far we’ve discussed the necessity of eating carbs (the right ones at the right times) and using weight-bearing exercises for both men and women (easing ladies’ fears by explaining just how difficult it is to build a She-Hulk).
In today’s discussion, please understand that nutrition is as equally important as exercise. We need to fuel our workouts so that we burn fat (while maintaining muscle, as we learned in Long Live Carbs!) and have the right components to rebuild the muscle that we break down during exercise. We also want to continually eat throughout the day so that our body doesn’t go into starvation mode and store fat.
But building abs take a lot more than just nutrition and exercise. Much of it has to do with metabolism which we can control to a certain degree through food and activity. Hormones are the most deciding aspects of building and maintaining a healthy metabolism, and while nutrition and exercise certainly play their part, other elements also come into play.
Here is a simple formula to go by when you want to become healthier and fitter:
6 Steps to Health & Fitness
At G Force Training, we are holistic personal trainers because we know that the body is a multi-faceted biological machine. It has many needs which it requires for optimal functioning.
Here they are in a nutshell:
- Hydration. The human body is fascinating. Like all of nature, it’s all about survival and so if it enters into even low level dehydration, we experience water retention. Among other negative effects, such as decreased concentration and energy, it also results in bloating and water weight. It’s super important to keep hydrated with simple, pure water, but also with green tea as it’s packed full of anti-oxidants and known to speed up metabolism.
- Sleep. The time where our body and mind shuts down for a few hours a night, allowing our bodies to replenish, repair and rebuild. Getting enough sleep per night also helps stabilize our hormone levels, which in turn helps our bodies respond better to what we do in a day. (Read: Rest & Recover Your Way to Better Health.)
- Manage Stress. Stress is a necessary part of life but prolonged stress can lead to sleep deprivation and nutritional deficiencies, which in turn lead to hormonal imbalance, mental strain, weight-gain and overall exhaustion, just to name a few side-effects. (Read Manage Your Stress & Avoid Illness for a more on this subject.)
- Exercise. A holistic approach to exercise helps manage stress, promotes sleep, balances hormones and enhances our mood as well as our energy levels. Weight-bearing exercises increase our lean muscle mass and in turn our metabolism so that we’re burning more calories even at rest. Cardio is important to build a stronger heart and circulatory function. Stretching helps improve recovery from our exercise efforts, lengthens muscles and joints and reduces stress by activating feel-good brain chemicals.
- Nutrition. While many people eat for different reasons (read: How to Control Over-Indulgence & Stop Over-Eating), we need to remember the primary purpose of eating is to fuel our bodies. We all need a certain amount of carbs to have immediate energy available to get through our day and enough protein to rebuild muscle. Old cells die and new ones are created all the time with whatever nutrients are floating around our bodies at the time; so the quality of calories are uber important – do you want a Kia or a Cadillac as a body? Also keep in mind stress strips our bodies of many nutrients so the more stress we have, the more nutrients we need.
- Mediation. As our tagline suggests, we believe the power of the mind is the cornerstone to health. Through visualization, we can accomplish any realistic goal (and sometimes even break through perceived barriers, like the 1-minute mile). Meditation also helps us manage stress, calms our nervous system and improves our overall mental and emotional functioning. Read our Introduction to Meditation.)
Although we are all individual beings (for instance, some of us may respond better to a vegetarian vs. carnivorous diet), our bodies are nature and so we respond better to natural ways of being. These days, most of us don’t understand what natural is anymore.
Our entire biological system is like a computer. Through childhood we are programmed, and sometimes that programming goes against nature. Over time, if we continue to go against nature, our “computer” becomes susceptible to viruses. If we’re living proactively, we realize that our programming needs updating to prevent illness and disease.