Q: What does it take to get a six-pack? I can't seem to get rid of the little bit of fat around my stomach. I did a dunk tank test for my BMI and it came out to 12 percent. Please help with some ideas. - Jeff, Roanoke, VA
A: Developing a six pack has more to do with nutrition and genetics than training alone. To start seeing ripples, you'll likely need to bring your body fat below 10 percent. Fine tune your eating habits by asking yourself five key questions:
1. Are you eating 5-6 mini meals per day?
Eating smaller portions spread evenly throughout the day helps rev up your metabolism and curb hunger.
2. Are you eating the majority of your carbohydrates around times of activity?
Think about eating the majority of your carb-dense foods, like grains, before and after exercise. By doing this, your body will use carbs for energy so they're not stored as fat. Outside of the hours surrounding your workout, focus on eating smaller portions and aim to make fruits and veggies your primary sources of your carbohydrate.
3. Are you including a lean protein source with each meal?
Protein has a high thermic effect, which simply means your body burns more calories to digest it. Make sure you include protein--chicken, fish, beef--with each meal to keep your metabolism running at full throttle.
4. Are you drinking enough water?
Aim for half an ounce to an ounce of water per pound of bodyweight a day to stay hydrated. Green tea is another proven metabolism booster. Drink 16 ounces of green tea a day.
5. Are you drinking alcohol on a regular basis?
Alcohol is a major weight loss saboteur. Just another reason to think before you drink.
© Core Performance
Abbott Nutrition strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program and perform exercises under the supervision of a certified fitness trainer or conditioning coach. The effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition should be determined by your health care professional. The suggestions here are in no way intended to substitute for medical advice.