First off, let’s quickly put Acai berries to rest. I’ve tried them in juice form and as a twice-daily pill. Any antioxidant would be good for your health, and all you really need to do is grab a handful of blueberries. But if you want Acai berry, grab a bottle from a reputable online health shop. Personally I start my day with a homemade smoothie with berries, a banana, a bit of protein, yogurt and milk. It’s also great for ending the work day, especially after a workout (which I never have time for). Okay, on to the abs, and this is purely from my own research. You’d probably get the same out of Men’s Health.
Now, do you have some belly flat, like me? Don’t start with the crunches expecting to get that washboard stomach (and who still uses a washboard?). You need to start with trimming the fat, cutting the calories and that probably means skipping a few beers—light beers are still beers. So to trim the flat away you need to reduce your calories, exercise, eat less and more often, and as part of your diet get into your system quality protein, essential fats and oils, and the good carbs.
Okay, let me share my own progress. Non-existent that’s the way to describe it. But I’m writing about it because I hope to be shamed into getting back on the plan. I am eating well (partly) and walking about 3 miles (4 km) a day to and from work. It’s not much but it’s something. Unfortunately I love chips (or crisps as they’re called in the UK).
Your abs are there behind the fat
We all have abs, they help use walk. Reduce your calories to uncover them. Start by getting rid of the fat, simply by burning more calories than you consume. One suggest, cut your calories by 250 to 500 calories per day, and this can promote a slow loss of fat around 1-2lbs per week. Based on my research from the health label on my not so healthy but very yummy plain crisps, men need 2500 calories per day. If I can find the will to stop eating even these small packet of ready salted crisps, I would cut out 550 calories. Don’t go cold turkey though—give yourself a once or twice weekly reward.
Eating right begins with time
For you to maintain a good daily meal plan you’ll need time to shop, prep more meals and eat more often. Starving yourself apparently doesn’t work, and it’s bad for you blah blah blah whatever. A greater number of small meals are much better for your body, say about six meals a day. You’re going to put more time into shopping, and preparing your fresh food, and more often. Substitute at least one meal (or two) with a smoothie and make sure you’re getting a good balance of power foods. Basically you want to graze rather than gorge.
I follow the A.B.S.D.I.E.T.P.O.W.E.R as designed by Men’s Health. These are twelve power foods to mix and match in meals. Yes you need to cut down and not pig out, but just eating right and not going crazy counting calories makes this a lot easier. Just look at this list and you can see a whole lot of good for you food. And there are plenty of meal ideas from such a broad list, trust me. Jamie Oliver has great recipes on his website that are healthy and use many of these ingredients.
Almonds and Other Nuts
Beans and Other Legumes
Spinach and Other Green Vegetables
Dairy Products (Fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese)
Turkey and Other Lean Meats (Lean steak, chicken, fish especially salmon and tuna)
Peanut Butter (all natural)
Whole-Grain Breads and Cereals
Extra-Protein (Whey) Powder
Raspberries and Other Berries
Your can’t do it all with food
Enter the smoothie. I said before, a banana, berries (raspberries and/or blueberries) or other fruit, a small amount of yogurt, milk, peanut butter, whey protein and even the instant oatmeal or eggs. I don’t even use ice, opting instead for frozen berries. But something frozen bulks up the smoothie and fills you up. Sometimes I throw in some flax seeds or omega oil.
Spend your money where it counts
You can find more advice and recipes online for free. Spend your money on quality protein and other healthy food. I either shop for my protein from Holland & Barrett or Maximuscle (and I used to shop at GNC).
Weight Training, cardio and the all important ab exercises
Now that you are on a healthy diet plan that doesn’t starve you, you need to start working out. Of course there are gyms, but we gay men often get distracted by pretty things also working out. When I’m trying to get back into my training, I prefer a cheap community gym to prep myself before actually committing to a proper gym (one likely teaming with hot fags), that way you’ll already be looking your best. I also get bored in the gym and some experts advise getting in and out of the gym in under an hour. Follow up your workout with a protein drink (the smoothie) or protein bar to help repair muscles.
Again, you’ll need to burn fat to uncover your abs. You should do cardio between 2-4 times a week (such as jogging, cycling or walking). My personal favorite is walking. I walk to and from work, and will often do a longer walk on the weekend. The key is to walk for about an hour at a quick pace (basically walk like you are five minutes late).
Finally, those ab exercises. The best way to train your abs is to work them between 2-3 times per week, doing basic crunches, planks, reverse curls and oblique crunches. You should complete 2-3 sets per exercise, 8-15 repetitions per set and use extra resistance where necessary to make the load challenging (such as holding a weight or medicine ball while performing your crunch).