One of the single most important elements promoted in the Truth About Abs and required to create the perfect six pack is a healthy diet. You need to monitor the amount of calories you burn and consume and if you’re burning more than you are consuming then you’re heading in the right direction.
When I began reading the book, I was well aware of the calorie deficit and that I would need to increase this in order to lose weight, however, I was very naive about how I do this, until I read Mike Geary’s book.
The following tips will give you some insight into how valuable Mike Geary’s nutritional knowledge is to his readers.
Eat healthy fats with most of your meals to maintain fat burning and muscle building hormone levels. Eating healthy fats will also subdue your appetite, so you don’t over eat.
Sources of healthy fats are: raw nuts, seeds, egg yolks (from organic free range eggs), avocados, extra virgin olive oil (highest antioxidant content of olive oils) and coconut oil (a great source of healthy saturated fats in the form of medium chain triglycerides).
Eat a handful of raw nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds are great healthy choices) approx 30 minutes before eating a meal. The effect will be to subdue your appetite so that you consume fewer calories at your meal, but still getting protein, fiber and healthy fats due to the high nutrient density of most nuts.
This is a great tip for making the most of your time in the gym. It’s about increasing the intensity of your workout so that your body has no choice but to react.
When I would decide on a weight to use for an exercise i.e. a barbell curl or bench press, I would pick a weight that I’d feel comfortable with i.e. perform 4 to 6 reps with good form. However, according to The Truth About Abs, I should have been using a weight that really challenged me and was heavy enough so that I could just perform rep 6 and not be able to do rep 7 and reach complete muscular failure. As soon as I started to do this, my body began to react dramatically and I experienced muscle growth like never before.
Please bear in mind that this tip only works in conjunction with so many other factors i.e. rest periods, nutrition, variation etc., but is a great tip to start using today.
By the way – remember to have someone watching you (a spotter) as training to your limit can be dangerous on your own.
Items to avoid at all times are fried foods, soda drinks and soy milk and tofu. The fried foods and sweet fizzy drinks are obvious, but the soy products are not so clear. The billion dollar soy industry promote soy as healthy, when in fact its a major contributor to weight gain. If you want to find out more about the issues surrounding soy, then spend some time on google, you’ll be shocked.
Try to do ab vacuums when you are sitting at you desk or driving your car – i.e. whenever you are stationery. They are pretty easy to do. Inhale deeply and then exhale slowly. As you exhale, pull your belly button in as though you are trying to touch your spine. Hold this for up to 20 seconds and then repeat (probably about 10- 15 times and then rest). This will not help you lose weight, but will help you strengthen the deeper transversus abdominis muscles and help pull in a lazy stomach (i.e. a beer belly).
Eat onions. Now admittedly this does sound weird, but recent studies have shown that a common thread that people have that live to near 100 years of age is that they all ate copious amounts of onions. They contain rare anti oxidants and studies have shown that eating onions as well as garlic has helped reduce cancer risk. So start throwing onions into your sandwiches and omelets. Bon appetite!
A common problem is simply just eating too much food and therefore consuming too many calories. There are numerous ways of reducing how much you eat. The simplest way is to reduce the size of your cutlery. Studies have shown that the larger the plates the more food is consumed on average. So reduce the plate size and say no to seconds. Another way is to keep junk food out of site, i.e. in drawers in the kitchen or ideally, don’t bring it into the house at all. If its not in the house you wont eat it. Studies have also shown that people eat more when they are distracted i.e. watching tv. So break the habit of eating in front of the TV and instead focus on your food instead.
Most people don’t realise that we all have some degree of intolerance to wheat. I choose to avoid wheat products at home completely. However, it is difficult to do as such a HUGE portion of the food we consume has wheat in it. I know its not easy to avoid, but a bit of research will show you which products to avoid and what you could eat in place of them. Probably the best approach would be to avoid wheat for a two week period and then measure and weigh your body to get some idea of the impact on your weight, but also listen to your body and try and gauge how you feel and whether your overall well being has been improved. I think you’ll be surprised by the results.
Sunshine, as long as it’s done safely, can boost your metabolic rate and help your body turn into a fat burning machine. We all need approximately one hour of sun a day for this to happen. However, for those of us that work indoors, getting a whole hour of sun during a working day is pretty impossible. There is an answer, go to your local hardware store and buy a 120w bulb. The light emitted from this bulb very closely mimics the suns rays and provides the same great benefits as getting direct sun light exposure. There is also the added benefit of providing the same feel good factor that the suns rays provide. So get down to your local store and get a bulb. Try it and see for yourself.
Eating out can be a major way to gain weight. If you travel with your work on a regular basis, then you more than likely eat at restaurants on a regular basis. While you’re busy doing your job, the fitness regime takes a back seat and then basically falls off the radar. If you analyse your “eating out” diet, you’ll realise that deep fried, starchy foods are a common part of each meal i.e. french fries, pasta and bread. If you start with replacing the fries with a salad and refusing the bread basket, you’ll more than likely save upwards of 500 calories per meal. Another thing to avoid are the soda drinks, these are just poison, so avoid at all costs.
The ultimate exercise for losing body fat and toning muscle is the front squat. You can move more weight and engage more muscles by doing this exercise than with any other. As your body not only needs to lift the weight, but it also has to work hard to stabilise it too, this exercise has the greatest impact on your body when it comes to releasing fat burning and muscle building hormones such as testosterone. When you next go to the gym, forget about the boring cardio and replace them with front squats. Make sure that you get some guidance on form from your trainer or one of the staff at your gym, as not doing squats properly can cause injury. Oh, and don’t use a machine, it has to be free weights.
Nuts are without a doubt absoutely packed with great nutritional value. Proteins, vitamins and minerals. Most focus tends to be on pecans, walnuts and almonds. However, there is an overlooked nut that packs almost 30 vitamins, minerals and nutrients into a one ounce serving. Have you guessed it yet – well lets put you out of your misery, its the Pistachio nut. The pistachio is full of great nutrients, but I would like to focus on one in particular that will have a major impact 0n your Truth About Abs workout regime and that is vitamin B. B vitamins are key in the following areas:
- Strong nerve transmission
- muscle development
- good mood
- high energy levels
- help fight infection
- high protein levels that will keep your insulin and blood sugar levels steady and keep your appetite in check.
Sounds like a no brainer. So load up on the pistachio nuts, but, as with everything else, in moderation.
Avoid margarine at all costs. This stuff will just clog up your arteries as it contains trans fats and inflammatory refined oils, yes even the “low cholestorol” brands. Stick to good old fashioned butter, which is actually good for you, as long as you choose organic grass-fed butter. It is shocking to think that the vast majority of restaurants DON’T have butter at all. Butter is one of best sources of healthy fat out there. it contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which actually helps you build muscle and burn fat.
Rest periods are a key part of your workout in the gym. Most people train to exhaustion and then wait until they can start the exercise again. You need to make sure that your rest so that your body has recovered close to 100%. The reason is simply that you are trying to shock your body into losing the fat. If you don’t rest enough then you are building your resistance levels and getting your body used to your exercise regime. Rest is just as important as the exercise itself. So when you are using your Truth About Abs regime in the gym, make sure you put as much emphasis on your rest periods as you do on the exercise itself.
It does get harder to lose weight as you get older. At the age of 45, muscle growth slows and fat storage increases due to hormonal alterations. Exercise becomes harder to do as muscle soreness increases and recovery times get longer. This tends to result in a reduction in enjoyment and hence knocks your faith and commitment to exercising. The key at a later stage in your life is to listen to your body. There is no doubt it will get tougher, but a habitual tendency to stay lean and healthy and to eat well is going to make life easier as the clock ticks. The Truth About Abs is not just about the six pack, but a way of life that you must embrace at whatever age.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is getting more and more common. The Truth About Abs is about a life style change which centres around a healthy diet as well as exercise. High blood pressure is very complex and there are numerous factors that contribute to it. There are certain foods that can help reduce blood pressure almost immediately. One of those is beetroot. You can drink beetroot juice or slice baked beetroot on your salads. The magic ingredient in beetroot is dietary nitrate that can lower blood pressure as quickly as 1 hour after ingestion. For further information on the studies conducted – see: The London School of Medicine and the William Harvey Research Institute (Prof Ben Benjamin).
Most people seem to think that adding fruit to your diet is going to result in weight gain – WRONG. The Truth About Abs does advocate eating plenty of fruit. Some fruit such as bananas are high in carbohydrates and are a great way of loading your body with energy before hitting the gym, however, make sure you burn up the energy or it will get stored as fat as bananas are calorific. A recent study found that a group of 100 obese people were told to eat one and a half fresh grapefruit everyday for 12 weeks. Another group of 100 obese people (control group), were asked to eat grapefruit extract for 12 weeks on a daily basis. The fresh grapefruit group managed to lose on average 3.5 pounds while the contral group only lost 0.5 pound. Try to eat a fresh grapefruit with breakfast every morning, but make sure you cut something else from your breakfast to balance the addition of the grapefruit. I suggest reducing grains as these cause bulge problems for most people.
How healthy are your condiments. If you’re like me, then adding a dash of mayo or ketchup to the side of your plate is part of every meal time. I’m a big fan of ketchup, but have never really stopped to consider whether it has helped me or hindered in my quest for amazing abs. The Truth About Abs advocates the following:
1) Mustard – the most healthy condiment. Full of antioxidants and tumeric, which is a great anti cancer spice
2) Guacamole – according to the Truth About Abs, guacamole is great as it contains plenty of healthy fats, fibre and vitamins and mineals. Just leave the chips at the supermarket.
3) Salsa – as long as you buy a good quality brand, then low in sugars and as it’s made of vegetables, much better for you then tomato ketchup.
4) Hummus – really healthy as long as it’s made with olive oil. The Truth About Abs suggest that you read the label.
Avoid ketchup and mayo at all costs.
The Truth About abs advocates cutting down on carbs. Most people are carb addicts. A lot of their diet is filled to the rafters with carbohydrates such as bread, bagels, pasta etc. People that work out really hard and struggle to lose the weight are prime candidates to cut out carbs for a week and see what the results are like. More often than not, the results are spectacular. It can also help with issues of feeling bloated and sluggish. Try it for one week and see what the results are like.
I’m not a great fan of supplements, however the Truth About Abs author Mike Geary suggests that there is one supplement out there that our bodies really need as we don’t get enough from our diet and that’s Omega 3 oil. This helps you in so many ways, for example, losing weight, reducing inflammation, preventing you from feeling fatigued throughout the day and preventing your joints from aching. Ou bodies need essential fatty acids to function properly and we get this from Omega 3 and 6. So find yourself a high quality Omega 3 supplement and take the recommended daily dose.
This really is a great tip to get started on the right track first thing in the morning. Start your day with something healthy, such as a great breakfast or a morning workout or evevn both. The key to developing a great set of abs and using the programs in the Truth About Abs is to get into the right state of mind first thing in the morning. If you’ve managed to eat healthily for breakfast then it is probably unlikely that you’ll ruin everything by lunchtime. You’ll avoid the fast food/junk and will also make sure that you eat a healthy meal when you get home from work. As you’ve eaten healthily throughout the day, you will probably have enough energy to spend sometime cooking/preparing a healthy meal.
During the summer we all are more than likely going to be invited to or be holding barbeques and parties in the back garden. The issue here is always about the calories you can potentially consume that could have a detrimental effect on your diet plan. The Truth About Abs does advocate a cheat day that allows you to eat what you want within reason and you can try and align this with an event like a bbq. There are a number of things that you can do to help you enjoy the event, such as performing a full resistance workout prior to attending a party. In this way, the calories that you take on board will be used to replenish rather than load up on fat reserves. If you can’t put in a work out before hand, then the Truth About Abs recommends that you choose your food carefully, i.e. eat meat and vegetables and stay away from deep fried foods and sweet drinks. The other major issue is alcohol. I like to drink socially (in moderation) and it is very difficult to avoid at a summer bbq. This issue is very important, so will add it to this section as a seperate tip.
Sugar is as addictive as cocaine. On average, Americans consume nearly 1/3 lb a day. That is an absolutely crazy amount to put into your body on a daily basis. Research has shown that sugar intake can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and even feed tumours. Manufacturers want you to be addicted to sugar as there is so much of it in the junk food that we eat everyday. The Truth About Abs advocates that you cut sugar out of your diet completely and replace with naturally occurring sweeteners such as fruit and honey. Honey and natural maple syrup are great replacements but still need to be consumed in moderation. So for those of us with sweet tooths, now is the time to kick the habit. If you’re serious about not just getting chiselled abs, but taking care of your health, then say bye bye to sugar. It will be tough at first, but over time your cravings will diminish to the point where anything sweet will make you feel physically sick – I know, as I speak from experience You need to read this tip in conjunction with Tip 25 below..
You may have heard the theory of working out on an empty stomach in the morning. I’ve tried this a few times and I simply don’t have the energy to perform effectively. Mike Geary (the author of The Truth About Abs) has come up with another winning combo of exercise coupled with nutrition. His theory is part depletion. He prepares an unsweetened iced green tea mix mixed with 12grams of whey protein and a few caps of krill oil. He then cycles to the local sports field and performs 20 minutes of wind sprints, followed by the cycle home. After the workout, you can then have your normal (healthy) breakfast as detailed in the Truth About Abs. The recommendation is to perform this 3-4 days a week with adequate rest days. Results so far have been outstanding for all the people that I know that have tried it. I am due to schedule it in in the next few weeks – just got to find a local football field
Studies have shown that eating half a grapefruit before eating a meal can contribute to significant weight loss. The idea, was written about by Mike Geary from the Truth About Abs. He reviewed a study that provided a group of volunteers, a placebo, grapefruit capsules and grapefruit. The placebo group lost no extra weight, but both the fruit and juice groups both enjoyed weight loss. There is a science behind it and I’d be happy to send over some the finidings and references if anyone is interested. So follow another great Truth About Abs tip and eat half a grapefruit before dinner and see what impact it has. Email me and let me know how you get on.
Would you rather have the body of a sprinter or a long distance runner. The Truth About Abs is a huge fan of the current fastest man on the planet, Mr. Usain Bolt. How cool is to be able to say that you are the fastest man on the planet. The physiques of the sprinters are close to perfect. Muscular without being over the top like bodybuilders. It’s no surprise then, that sprinting is the key to a fanstastic six pack. The impact of running to your limit during a sprint is to rev up your metabolic rate so that your resting rate goes through the roof. This is (as advocated in the Truth About Abs), one of the most important factors in buring fat, keeping your resting metabolic rate high. So get out there and find a 100m strip. Start slowly, as you may pull a ligament or tear a muscle if you are considerably over weight. Another great impact on your body from sprinting, is preventing heart disease by making your heart much stronger. The reason is that you will take your heart to its limit and then it will need to recover when you are resting. It’s the recovery period that is key and will help strengthen your heart. The next Usain Bolt you may not be, but show boating is still allowed
Your metabolic rate could be impaired by your diet. The Truth About Abs advocates regulating your intake of vitamins and minerals in order to help boost your metabolic rate. Your thyroid gland will not work properly if bombarded with overly processed foods and therefore your metabolic rate will be slowed to a standstill. By now you will know that this will kill your ability to burn fat. It’s important to eat a balanced diet that contains selenium, iodine and zinc. These will boost your T3 levels that will increase your metabolism. If you crave sweets, then it is possible that your thyroid is not producing enough T3 so either eat foods that contain the minerals mentioned above (google the minerals to find out which foods to add to your diet) or take supplements. The Truth About Abs contains more information on how to boost your T3 levels.
The healthy bacteria in our gut has been widely publicised and we are all pretty much aware of probiotics. However, there are a number of sources of probiotics on the market. The following is a quick resume:
Kimchi – spicy Korean cabbage with an assortment of other vegetables. A little different from the fermented yoghurt concept
Kombucha Tea – This tea has been drunk by the chinese for thousands of years. Contains amino acids and B Vitamins. Has also been know to prevent cancer.
Yoghurt – go for plain, unsweetened yohgurt that contains live cultures
Kefir – similar to yoghurt. Contains cultures that remain viable in the intestine and can form colonies. Good for people that are lactose intolerant.
The food that we eat, is considered for all intents and purposes, dead. What I mean by this is that it has been processed to the point that it no longer contains any healthy bacteria. If you don’t have regular bowel movements or too many, then this may be because you are not taking in enough healthy bacteria. This is found in the form of probiotics. They have become all the rage recently and there is good reason for this. The “flora” of your gut is important to your health and well being and if there are a whole host of bad bacteria breeding, then it can have a major impact on your health. The Truth About abs advocates a daily pro-biotic in the form of chinese tea such as Kombucha tea or a capsule form such as ProX10. Do some research and start your day with a probiotic.
This tip has really helped me out. I’ve always had a major problem with my sweet tooth. My girlfriend is the complete opposite. She loves all things savoury (except for me ) and is super thin because of this. I on the other hand can’t go a day without some chocolate or cake etc (you know the usual suspects). I do try to limit sweet items in the house, and this does help quite a bit. But, recently a friend of mine came over for dinner and bought some chocolates with him. The problem is that I end up eating them and don’t have the metabolism I used to have as a kid to burn the calories away. I finally found a solution that works for me. I can eat two or three pieces of dark chocolate. It has to be at least 70% cocoa or the sugar content will be too high and a banana smoothie made from bananas, milk and non-sweetened cocoa powder and a few drops of vanilla extract. This may not sound like much, but its job is to tone down my sweet cravings and it is actually doing that. My consumption of baked goods and chocolate has dropped to almost nothing and I really do believe that out of site means that chocolate and cake is out of mind. Try it, I think you’ll be amazed…
Click here for more great tips on exercise, diet and nutrition to build a great set of six pack abs.