‘Tis the season to diet

Now that the spring season is upon us, the clocks are not the only things that should be moving forward; our minds should be, too. And where exactly should this foresight be geared toward? My answer would be toward a healthier lifestyle, of course. However, if you are in need of a little extra incentive, your focus can also be more short-term: the summer, the season of beaches. Even if you’re not particularly health-conscious, you are probably self-conscious. You’ll want to shed that layer of stomach fat in favor of that toned six pack and look great in your bathing suit. It’s never too soon to start. Here are a few common myths to be aware of when working to get those killer abs.

Try to stomach some lifestyle changes to get that summer body. (AP Photo)

The most important thing to remember is that you simply can’t will your tummy fat away, no matter how hard you try. You will be working toward a long-term goal; those abs most certainly will not appear overnight. You will have to develop a consistent exercise schedule and stick to it. With the proper perseverance, though, you will succeed.

The optimal way to obtain those abdominal muscles is neither through crunches nor cardio. While crunches do strengthen those muscles, they only burn a few calories per minute. Thus, crunches won’t be especially helpful in ridding your stomach of its layer of fat. Cardio is not the only path toward chiseled abs. While such training will aid you in burning a sufficient number of calories and speed up your metabolic rate, enabling you to experience a faster rate of fat loss, there are alternatives. You will get the same results through intense weight training and a good diet plan.

In addition, by good diet plan I do not mean actually dieting, in terms of lowering your carbohydrate intake. Don’t believe me? A recent study divided participants into two groups: diet only and diet and exercise. Upon completion of the study, the diet group lost considerably less abdominal fat than the diet and exercise group. This occurrence has been tested and proven time and time again. While managing your diet is not the only solution, it definitely is a contributing factor. Be sure to include healthier eating habits in your plan for fulfilling your abdominal aspirations.

A common belief that is not actually a myth is that males have an easier time developing abs than females — they do. This is due to the fact that men have a lower necessity for body fat levels than women. Yes ladies, you may have to work a bit harder, but be up to the challenge and the end results will be compatible.

The final myth is that once you have developed your sexy six pack, your work is done. Nothing could be further from the truth; the battle isn’t over just yet. Once they’re there, they’re not permanent facets of your body like tattoos.  You must maintain your diet and exercise and only then will those abs be as faithful as a dog. With all that having been said, spring forward and start working on your abdominal muscles today!