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Six Pack Abs - The Final 5 Lbs
You can FEEL your ab muscles underneath a tiny layer of fat and skin. You are so close you can literally feel the muscles, but try as you might you cannot seem to shed that last 5 lbs and attain the Six Pack Abs you've been dreaming of.
After succeeding at a long term weight loss program many people like Jim find that they can't firm up the final few few pounds around their midsection. It is a common problem, but there is a solution.
Here are four techniques to try (possibly in combination):
1. Stress Management
On the wellness side of things, stress makes it difficult to shed fat. Especially if you are too stressed to eat properly or keep to your exercise routine. Stress makes you do two things: #1. It makes you want to relax, pig out and let yourself go. #2. Stress releases hormones that will make your body try to store fat - starting with your midsection.
Thus when you are feeling stressed here is what you need to do: Take a nap, do yoga and/or meditation. Sleep and time to think will do wonders for your stress levels and you won't feel the need to relax and binge on food.
2. Focus on Diet
Nutritionists always tell people that if they are exercising to their full potential, and not seeing the results that they want to achieve, then they need to be looking at their diet. The last few pounds around the waistline is notoriously toned with a cleaner diet. This should include eating plenty of vegetables, raising protein and lowering carbs. It also helps to drink plenty of water and avoid sugar.
A more extreme version might be to try a lemonade detox diet for 10 days. Or at very least cutting out carbs for 1 month (no bread, no pasta, no potatoes, etc) until you've lost those last 5 lbs.
3. Core Training
Sometimes putting on extra muscle helps to firm up the skin that is covering the abdominal. In addition to isolated abs training, focusing strength sessions on compound exercises (using more than one muscle at a time) and exercise that combines balance, plyometrics and stretching. Yes, stretching helps to develop muscle!
4. Marathon Training
Or at least a 5 km run. If you aren't doing it already, try training for a long run like a marathon or half marathon. Start jogging/running every day for 1 hour.
A 125-lb. person burns 283 calories running 4 mph for one hour. Increasing to a 5-mph pace burns an additional 227 calories per hour.
A 150-lb. person burns 340 calories running 4 mph for one hour. Increasing to a 5 mph pace burns an additional 272 calories per hour.
A 175-lb. person burns 397 calories running 4 mph for one hour. Increasing to a 5-mph pace burns an additional 317 calories per hour.
Over a period of a month such a regimen will burn approx. 4 to 10 lbs depending on your size and speed. You may discover it will work faster than that thanks to the After Burn Effect - calories being burned after doing high intensity exercise due to your cell's energy being replenished and muscle tissue being repaired / new tissue created.
Long distance running also produces "Runner's High" - a cocktail of addictive hormones in your system - which will lower your stress, but beware of the dangers of addiction because some runners become so addicted they lose friends and family because they're outside running 100 km+ per week.
Combined these four tips will help to achieve a lean and hard midsection and get you those Six Pack Abs you've been dreaming of.
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