The Surprising Truth: Why Ab Workouts Aren't Key to Losing Belly Fat

The Surprising Truth: Why Ab Workouts Aren't Key to Losing Belly Fat

Alright, fam! I’m going to talk to you like I would talk to my best friend, no filters.  

When I’m talking with different people and fitness comes up the first thing most of them say is they gotta start working abs to get rid of their belly fat.  Then I go to the gym and see a lot of overweight people (no judgment) doing intense ab workouts for their full training session… 

Listen, we all know the struggle. You're busting your butt in the gym, crunchin' like nobody's business, but those abs? They're hiding' like ninjas in the shadows. But hold up, before you start thinking' you're cursed, let's get real about abs and body fat. It's time for a truth bomb!

Abs Are Made in the Kitchen

First, let's bust this "spot reduction" lie. You can't just zap fat from one place, like abs are magic lamps waiting for a rub. No, your abs are there, under wraps, waitin' for their big reveal. But that magic mostly happens in the kitchen, not just the gym.  Your diet dictates a large part of how much fat you lose and how fast. 

Think of it like this: your body fat is like a curtain hiding your abs, a masterpiece undercover (you are still a masterpiece even if you don’t have abs). You wouldn't peek through a corner, right? You gotta lift the whole curtain! Same with fat loss, it's a body-wide journey. Usually, belly fat is the last to go, but with patience and consistency it'll melt away. 

Just like trusting God's plan, fat loss needs faith too. Believe in the process, each step brings you closer to revealing the strength God blessed you with. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13) isn’t just words. It's fuel for your hustle in the gym and kitchen.

Fun Fact: You can’t visibly see your abs until your body fat is 10-15% body fat (men) or 10-20% body fat (females). 

To follow up on that fun fact, when you are lifting weights even though you may not be doing an ab targeted exercise your abs are still getting worked.  For example, when you do bicep curls, you have to brace your core.  Almost all exercises you complete require you to brace your core.  

This is why I no longer do ab focused workouts.  I learned after many years of training that it is unnecessary.  I stopped doing ab workouts because I didn’t enjoy them and they didn’t seem to ever make a difference.  But when I got my eating on track and was working out consistently (lifting heavy & cardio), I started to see my stomach shrink and eventually got down to a lower body fat percentage.  I wasn’t doing any ab workouts and yet, my abs started to poke out! 

I also trained with a fitness competition team and majority of the ladies never trained abs, but as soon as their body fat dropped low enough for the competition, their abs were fully visible.  

If I ever decide to do ab workouts again it will be once I am back at the lower body fat percentage and want to really see them toned (honestly though, I still probably won’t do them even then lol).  

Anyways, let's get practical:

  • Feed your body right: Ditch the junk, eat real food that gives you energy like a boss. Quality over quantity. (Honestly, this is something I struggle with as a picky eater that’s always on the go.  But check out my other blog here for more tips and tricks on mindful eating.
  • Strength Train Like a Beast: Build muscle, boost your metabolism, and burn more calories even when you're chillin'. Ladies, please do not give into the myth that lifting weights will make you bulky (I’ll do another blog on this later). 
    • If you really want to workout your abs there are other exercises you can do besides crunches, for example:
      • Planks
      • Mountain climbers
      • Stomach Vacuums (google it, they help give that hourglass shape)
      • Hanging leg raises
      • Russian Twists
  • Cardio: Find something you love, from dancing, running, walking, rowing, hiking,stairmaster, cycling, sports, jumprope, etc. You want something that will get your heart rate up. You don’t have to overdo it either.  I recommend 20-30 mins, 2-4 times a week. And if you get bored, switch it up every now and then. 
  • Rest & Recharge: Give your body time to heal and rebuild. Rest isn’t weakness, it's part of the plan. 
  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Water is your BFF. It helps you lose fat, keeps your skin glowing, and basically makes everything work better. (this is something else I struggle with, so I get my water from food sources and other beverages as well.  And I like to check stuff off so entering in my fitness app how much water I drank after each water bottle helps me do better in this area.) 
  • Stay Faithful, Boo: This isn’t a sprint, it's a marathon. Keep your head up, stay motivated, and trust the process. You got this!

Understanding how fat loss works is your secret weapon. Ditch the quick fixes, embrace a lifestyle that nourishes both your body and soul.

Abs Are More Than Just Looks:

Unveiling your abs is about empowering yourself, understanding your body, and celebrating the incredible temple God gave you. It's a journey of faith, dedication, and rocking that inner and outer strength. Stay strong, stay faithful, and when those abs finally pop, it isn’t just a physical win, it's a celebration of your spirit and dedication. ✨

I know waiting for results feels like it takes forever, and we want to see results from our workout the minute we get to the locker room to change. But with just 3 months of consistency you can see amazing results. There's a quote that says, “It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing, it takes 8 weeks for your friends and family to see the changes, and it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world.”  Within the first two weeks you will feel the changes.  

Note: On average, you can lose 1-2 lbs a week.  That may not sound like a lot, but that's 4-8 lbs a month.  In three months you could be down 12-24 lbs.  If you aren’t happy with your health or body, you can choose to make a change today.

P.S. Share this with your Faith Squad! Let's all support each other on this journey to health and happiness!

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