If I could collect a dollar for every time someone asks, “Why can’t I see my abs?” Or, “I like my body as it is, I just need to work on my abs.” And the all time favorite, “I don’t think I need to diet to see my abs, I’ll just double my crunches and sit-ups.”
Can you say MILLIONAIRE status?! Oh, the woes of a trainer for the client that comes and thinks they know it all. Well, let’s get down to the scientific truth of why none of these excuses are valid and the truth that will set your abs free!
You Refuse To Limit Frequent Alcohol Consumption
You are less likely to care what you’re eating when you’re drinking since your inhibitions are lowered, so your dietary discipline goes out the window. If you drink all night, you tend to stay out late, and the quality of your sleep is affected negatively. Now you’re less likely to adhere to your training schedule or if you do show up, your workout quality is compromised. Chronic alcohol consumption reduces testosterone, strains the liver and tends to shut down fat burning, none of which are particularly favorable to attaining that six-pack.
Calories from alcohol are ‘empty calories’ and they have no nutritional value. Most alcoholic drinks contain traces of vitamins and minerals, but not usually in amounts that make any significant contribution to our diet. Drinking alcohol also reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy. While we can store nutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in our bodies, we can’t store alcohol. So our systems want to get rid of it, and doing so takes priority. All of the other processes that should be taking place (including absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted.
Wine is often consumed at dinnertime alongside a meal but did you know that a large glass of wine (250ml) with 13% ABV can add 228 calories. With approximately 5 glasses per bottle, for those of you kicking back your own bottle on a Saturday night, you sipped down a whopping 1,140 calories!
You Have Unrealistic Expectations
Clients often come with the right intent of wanting to change their body and their health, but miss the mark on setting the right time frame expectations. Your body does not want to change. It would like very much to remain the same. For you to bring out a change in your physique, you had better threaten your body with extinction. You can’t just give up every time things get challenging in the gym. If the process were easy, if it didn’t take time, effort and dedication, everyone would be in perfect health. Allow yourself the mental wherewithal and the physical time needed to process what you’re taking your mind and body through. In the end, the process is priceless to a long- lasting, changing in all areas of you, life.
You jump from one program to another, one excuse to another, one trainer to another, and one gym program to another. Stop jumping in and out of programs before you give yourself the real opportunity to make change. Choose to be dedicated to one program for a set time period, one trainer for a set time period and stay committed to the process. If, in fact, you see something isn’t working for you, or you’re not enjoying the workouts or seeing results, at least you have giving any given program, method or trainer the opportunity to yield the results. No matter what, something should be different in the first 30 days, but nothing is transformed or fixed in that amount of time.
Hormones & Genetics
I’m often asked can anyone have a 6-pack and truth is, no. If you are honestly doing everything right and you’ve got it all dialed in, and nothing will budge, then you may have a hormone imbalance. Hormones override everything. But most of the time, this is the excuse people will use for their current state and in truth, they really haven’t put forth 100% effort in their training process, both in the gym and in their meal plans/ diet. If you’re genuinely suspecting this is an issue, a simple blood test will determine if this is the reason behind your lack of progress.
As for genetics, some people have a tendency to store more body fat, while others tend to remain lean, regardless of diet. Some people can display impressive abs definition at 12-15% body fat, while others need to get to 6-8%. Some people seem to have the gift of endless abs while others of us (myself included) really have to work at it with strict diets and consistency in the type of workouts performed. Genetics play a significant role in how our bodies develop and having the right training program for your body type is key to the best possible outcome and results.