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  • Writer's pictureMarc Lalonde

The secret to getting abs

It’s not about what you put out, but rather, what goes in to your body

How do you get abs?

It’s a big secret – and I can tell you what the answer is.

It’s not more crunches or more abdominal exercises. It’s not doing a longer plank or some secret pill that you can take.

It’s none of those things.

How might we finally discover those fine abdominal muscles hiding under a winter belly? Is the answer cardio? Should I get on the Stairmaster more? Should I do more squats?

No, no and probably. Eeveryone should do more squats.

The answer, however, is not what comes out of your body in terms of exercise, but rather, what goes into your mouth in terms of food energy.

The closer you can come to truly eating clean and truly embracing the lifestyle that comes with peeling fat off one’s body, the closer you’ll be to seeing the fruits of your six-pack labours.

And I don’t mean beer.

Some carbohydrates are loaded with nutrients, dense with energy and fibre to keep your body going through the most gruelling of workouts and to keep you burning calories while you sleep. These are called complex carbohydrates and they are what we want to be putting into our bodies if we do, in fact, want to drop fat and tone our physique. They are generally fruits, vegetables and long-grain rice.

The other kind of carbohydrates are simple carbohydrates – bread, potatoes, pastries and other emotionally-satisfying (yet ultimately kind of useless to our bodies because there is next to no nutrients in those foods while our bodies absorb them quickly, leaving us hungry again quickly to perpetuate the vicious cycle of starch) foods.

Adding lean proteins to our diet – chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef and chickpeas, lentils and beans – are also excellent ways to get energy out of the food we eat and store very little of it. In fact, to get those abs to show, you want to be burning pretty much everything that goes into your body.

Five solid months into my year without sugar and I'm feeling infinitely lighter, I'm able to jog again and my energy is much, much higher.

That's been the biggest shift for me in terms of my body in the last six months.

Obviously, a dedicated workout regimen is also very helpful, but the rule of thumb is that your body’s composition is 80-percent what you put in and 20-percent what you put out.

That makes nutritional discipline four times more important than training.

But if I say that movement is medicine all the time, how can that be the case?

Simple. Movement is indeed medicine for what ails us, mentally, physically and spiritually, while burning fat is a function of food energy.

Abs are created by what goes into your mouth and not necessarily out of your body.

But doesn’t it make sense to do both?

This text was originally published in Iori:wase April 27, 2023

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