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Are Abs Made In the Kitchen? Diet or Exercise Finally Find Out The Truth!

Abs Made in the kitchen diet sixpack

Are Abs Made In the Kitchen?

The statement preached by almost all successful personal trainers and fitness models!

“Abs are made in the kitchen”

The question is are they really?

I hear this battered around the gym almost as much as “I cant squat, I’ve got bad knees”. But looking at the cold hard facts and from previous experience myself I am afraid I have to succumb to the fact that yes abs are largely made in the kitchen!

This seem obvious to a lot of people but Everyone Has Abs!

The difference is not everyone has a body fat percentage low enough for them to be revealed. There are hundreds of programs, exercises and workout equipment that companies and trainers push to market. But the fact of the matter is if your body fat isn’t low enough you will not have six pack abs.

So How Do You Reveal Your Abs?

The only way to reduce your body fat low enough in which your abs or “six pack” becomes visible is to be in a calorie deficit. This means using (burning) more calories per day then you are consuming. Therefore putting a large emphasis on diet over physical training, hence the phrase “Abs are made in the kitchen”.

The time it will take to reveal your abs is dependent on your current physique and level of body fat. Generally speaking a body fat level of under 10% is the most desirable for achieving a complete six pack. Some people may find they can achieve visible abs at a higher body fat percentage, others may find a lower level of body fat is required to produce the most desirable results.

If you have never had visible abs or a six pack before, it is important to stick to the game plan and remain consistent with your diet and exercise. Unless you are genetically gifted achieving and maintaining a solid six pack is not quite as simple or as easy as many supplement companies and athletes make it out to be.

In my opinion the key to maintaining a lean physique with visible abs year round is all about changing/implementing the right habits into your daily routine. These changes don’t need to be drastic and i’m not suggesting they should be. The correct small adaptable changes to your daily routine introduced over time will ultimately keep you lean for life.


“It is far more difficult to achieve a low body fat percentage than it is to maintain one”

So put the work in now and as long as you remain consistent, maintaining a lean physique, will be a lot less of a task then it was to achieve one in the first place!


So What Can You Do To Start Reducing Body Fat?

bathroom scales weight body fat percentage and abs

To reduce your body fat it is vital that you are in a calorie deficit (Expending more calories than you are consuming each day). Without a controlled, nutritious diet you will not see your abs no matter how many crunches you do!

You could train abs religiously everyday but if you are eating a large calorie surplus (consuming more calories then you are using up each day) you wont be reducing body fat and you will be stuck spinning your wheels without a six pack!

To ensure that you are in a calorie deficit you must first find out your maintenance calories. Your maintenance calories are the amount of calories you need to consume each day in order to maintain your current weight, at your current level of activity. I have inserted a link at the bottom of the page which will take you to a free maintenance calorie calculator, this will give you a fairly accurate number to work from based on your gender, age, height, weight and level of activity.

Now you have your maintenance calories you can now begin to slowly reduce your calorie intake over time. The amount of calories you deduct from your maintenance directly impacts the speed in which you want to lose weight/fat. If you’re aim is to hold on to muscle while reducing fat this is best done slowly with small reductions in calories. Dependent on your time constraints a good place to start is to reduce your calories by around 200-250 kCal per day for a period of two weeks. See how your body responds if you find you are still losing 1-2lbs per week continue at this calorie deficit until you are no longer losing weight.

I say 1-2 lbs per week as this is a really the target you want to aim for, yes you can lose a lot more weight in a shorter period of time but you don’t want to go on a crash diet! Not only will you more then likely lose more muscle mass then necessary, but by aiming for a slower weight loss you minimise negative effects associated with dieting such as lack of energy, irritability, and nutrient deficiency.

Once you stop losing weight or your physical changes in the mirror start to plateau, you will need to do one of two things.

Either further decrease your daily intake of calories or increase you’re amount of exercise. Both of these will aid in reducing your overall calorie intake/expenditure and help reignite fat loss. I have written another detailed article on the 10 most common reasons you have stopped losing fat this should help you determine if there is something else hindering you’re fat loss progress and how to overcome it.

How Do I Know If Im Losing Body Fat?

There are a number of methods of measuring body fat and recording these measurements throughout your journey to a six pack can be a great motivation tool and insure you’re heading in the right direction.

In my opinion the two most cost effective and accurate tools for measuring these crucial physical parameters are body fat calipers and digital weighing scales.

Weighing Scales

Its important when dieting to for fat loss that you are regularly checking your weight and body fat as well as the way you look in the mirror. Investing in a quality bathroom scale is a must for anyone looking to track there progress. You don’t need to spend a fortune but if you want something that will calculate other parameters such as body fat, hydration, muscle mass etc.. then something like the Ozeri scale shown in the image below will do the job.


Ozeri touch 200 bathroom scale review

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Body Fat Calipers

Body fat calipers are one of the most inexpensive and accurate practical methods of measuring your body fat at home. I personally have been using body fat calipers for over two years to help gauge where my body is both when dieting down and bulking up. They are very simple to use and most calipers, including the one I recommend come with a free instruction manual.

Accu Measure Fitness 3000 Personal Body Fat Tester caliper

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So Does This Mean I Don’t Need To Train Abs?

The abdominals are a set of muscles just like your pecs and biceps. Therefore just as you cannot expect to acquire a well developed chest or arms without training them, you should not expect the same for your abdominals.

Just like every other muscle you do not need to train them every day! Abs, like any other muscle need time to recover after an intense workout. In my opinion if you are already incorporating the big compound movements into your workout routines such as deadlifts, squats and overhead press then your core is already being activated and worked. Therefore 3-4 sets of abdominal exercises twice a week at the end of the workout will keep you on the right path to achieving a strong tight core with a defined six pack.


To conclude although regular abdominal training will help increase the size and shape of your abs. Ultimately if your diet is not in check and your body fat percentage isn’t low enough, then no matter how thick and strong your core muscles may be without a solid diet they will never be truly revealed!

As the saying goes “You cant out train a bad diet”

For further information on abdominal training I will be releasing an article in the near future, which goes into far more detail on the best exercises and training methods for your abs. I am also working on a complete guide to getting shredded naturally, which will be available to download from the site within the next couple of months.

Subscribe to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of the page now and be updated as soon as this article and guide are released!

Maintenance Calorie Calculator

Free Ebook!

If you interested in learning more about potential methods of increasing your muscle growth I have a Ebook available to Download for FREE Titled:

“The Top 5 Worst Mistakes To Make When Trying To Gain Lean Muscle”

This Mini Ebook focuses on the fatal errors people make when beginning a training program to gain lean muscle and how you can avoid them to maximise results.

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