Abs are less about what you eat and more about your body fat percentage. You have to reach a certain body fat percentage for your abs to show. How low will depend on your gender and body shape mainly. So lose weight, while maintaining as much lean muscle as possible. This usually means a slow loss especially if you're already a healthy weight for your height.
Of course you're going to want to eat clean. Keep track of what you eat and cut out foods that cause an inflammatory response in your body. "Abs are made in the kitchen..." can be misleading... it's more of a "put down the fork" thing because you have to lose fat to reveal your abs. People tend to devote far more time to training than losing weight through their diet. But it comes down to one thing, "fat loss". Some people are genetically blessed and don't have to lose much to uncover their abs. Others... namely, apple shapes have a lot more work ahead of them. I am a cursed apple shape with two pregnancies under my belt but I gained weight (from 107 lbs to 120 lbs) and more muscle. So now I am an inch smaller around my waist than I was the first time I was at 120 lbs. Now I'm on a cut and hopefully this time around I'll be able to uncover my abs at 110 lbs. Fingers crossed. I can see them a bit when I'm flexed and my obliques stand out... but I still have stubborn lower abdominal fat covering the rest.
HIIT for cardio 30 mins, 3x a week. You also don't want excessive cardio that will break down more muscle fibers when you're suppose to be healing. Cardio is overrated, do enough for the health benefits. The more you burn, the more you're going to have to eat. Since you don't need (want) a large deficit, you're going to create most of it from your diet. If TDEE (total daily energy expenditure or how many calories it takes to maintain your current weight) is 2400 cals, then eat 1900-2200 cals. I'd suggest you use Spark's new feature where your activity level is taken into account and exercise calories burned are in sync with your calorie range. That way you can eat more on training days.
At your age and if you are even somewhat fit already, "walking" will not make a ripple. I'm 31 (a bit older than you) and walking... even at a fast pace is lucky to get me into the triple digits for my heart rate. HIIT; get in, get out and get the most calories burned for your buck. Look it up if you don't know what it is. It can basically be done with any cardio of your choice. Like run/jog/run/jog in intervals. If you are not fit enough to run yet. Work your way up with walk/jog intervals. Gradually picking up speed.
Basically, your number 1 goal is reduce overall body fat. Invest in some skinfold calipers (Accu-measure is suppose to be a good brand) and track your progress that way.
Continue to train as you normally would. Use the 10% rule. Only 10% of your ST time needs to be devoted to abs. The rest, compound exercises. Your deadlifts, squats, lunges, pull ups, bench press, overhead press, rows...
Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 7/24/2013 (07:55)
Take your focus off the Marshmallow. www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. If you don't want to get bulky, lift heavy!
I can bench Nicole Richie, eat more than she does in a day before noon, I have a good 20 lbs on her but could still wear her pants.
All that matters is that you be the healthiest you, you ca
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