The Paradox And Dilemma of Six-Pack Abs


Aiming for six-pack abs may create paradoxical dilemmas for fitness enthusiasts. If you check Google for six-pack abs you may come up with 44 million results. If you search YouTube, you can see thousands of videos. Almost all fitness magazines have at least one article about how to get six-pack abs. This article reveals my hard-learned lessons about the pursuit of defined abdominals spanning two decades.

Photo by James Barr on Unsplash

As an indication, some videos about six-pack abs get millions of views on YouTube. These viral videos are prepared by both male and female presenters. For example, this 12-minute video about a six-pack abs workout by a male presenter received 75 million views. And this 10-minute video by a female presenter received almost 46 million views.

A massive focus on workouts and the many resources I read and watch relates to belly fat loss and defined body. However, from my experience, gaining six-pack abs require more than just exercise.

Fitness has been a long journey for me.

I have never felt obsessed with a six-pack belly. Gaining six-pack abdominals has not been my specific fitness goal.

My specific goals were increasing my flexibility, agility, strength, and lean muscle mass. Gaining defined abdominal after the age of 50 was a pleasant surprise.

It happened as a by-product of my effective lifestyle choices. Witnessing defined abdominals without losing lean muscles indicated my fitness progress was on the right track.

It won't be right if I say it didn't give me super joy after 20 years of effort. Losing undesirable abdominal fat and excess skin has been a remarkable achievement.

Gaining a defined abdomen is a long process. Reviewing and redefining my fitness goals and making tiny tweaks in my lifestyle choices became the catalyst.

Prioritising fitness, making it a passion, integrating practical activities, and turning them into micro habits, opened the doors.

Consistently moving my body with joy has been the framework of my fitness regime.

Experiencing many ups and downs, fitness was always the main priority over other tasks. I sacrificed sleep, social gatherings, and even some work commitments just to be able to stay fit. As crazy as it may sound, getting nicknames such as "fitness freak" energized me even more.

Anything excessive taken to extreme measures come with a high cost. Setting goals kept my dopamine level intact hence I always felt motivated for workouts. My deadly mistake was thinking exercise was the only solution to have a defined body. I invested more than the required time to lose body fat and keep lean muscles.

This mistake cost me a lot. It delayed my outcomes for at least three decades. During this long period gaining muscles was not an issue; however, losing fat without losing muscle was a challenge. As a result, I wasted decades on the wrong path by only addressing one part of the equation for fitness.

Neglecting diet as the other part of the equation was the main culprit for my failure. From hindsight, it was not neglect, but the unchallenged beliefs gained from wrong information. Thinking fat-free and low calory food was best became the central part of the problem.

Logically caloric deficit would cause losing fat but not knowing about the effect of insulin and cortisol on fat metabolism created a mysteries dilemma.

Learning about the role of elevated cortisol on belly fat became an “aha” moment for me. Several other hormonal intricacies of fat metabolism put me on the right track.

With the blessing of never gaining excess fat or being obese, I always suffered from undesirable belly fat.

With the new knowledge at 40, I made dramatic changes in my lifestyle. Rather than entirely focusing on exercise, I concentrated on using body fat as my primary energy source.

Using body fat as the source of energy, I transformed into a fat-adapted mode. Doing this turned out to be the secret weapon in my arsenal.

After achieving the fat-adapted state, tremendous changes happened to my metabolism.

Cravings disappeared. Blood glucose got stabilised. Insulin spikes and elevated cortisol levels substantially declined.

Learning the roles of insulin and cortisol in getting rid of abdominal fat gave me the key to a fascinating success. When body blood glucose stabilised, insulin spikes disappeared, and cortisol levels dropped, the belly fat started mobilising and melting.

More exciting, burning belly fat as the energy source increased my motivation and joy. Workouts became natural. Fatigue and tiredness disappeared.

Even though it is a controversial topic, fasting has been the best tool in controlling my blood glucose and insulin. Eating just one meal a day turned out to be a new lifestyle.

Fasting did not cost me any money. It helped me save money. I used to spend a lot of money on protein powders and a lot of expensive fitness supplements. Fasting replaced all those investments.

As a by-product of fasting, my body activated the recovery system. Staying in a fasted state long expedited fat burning and got rid of toxins and even unwanted skin, especially from the abdominal area.

Initially, fasting was a bit challenging, but after being fat-adapted, it turned into a natural process. Fasting also helped me change my diet regime. Eating just one meal a day turned out to be a new lifestyle.

Losing fat is relatively easier than maintaining a low-fat state. With one meal a day, maintaining this has never become an issue again. Nowadays, I rarely feel hungry even after 24 hours of fasting.

To summarise, fat adaption was my first secret to getting rid of stubborn belly fat.

Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

Secondly, understanding cortisol's role in belly fat and reducing elevated level opened the secret door to success.

Thirdly, keeping my blood sugar and insulin levels under control provided a sustainable solution.

With these three radical and essential changes in my lifestyle, I Freed Myself From Inflammation, Back Pain, And Limping. Reducing inflammation helped burn more fat, reduced a bloated look, and gave me a better-defined body.

While shrinking my fat cells and loose skin cells, my stress tolerance has substantially increased. My motivation for resistance training increased. The quality of my sleep improved.

Having six-pack belly fat is not just about aesthetics and vanity but more about experiencing a fitter, healthier, happier, and more productive life.

We don't need to make having a six-pack belly an ultimate goal; instead, we need to focus on fitness, health and joy. The manifestation of a defined abdominal area serves as useful feedback indicating our success and showing us we are on the right track.

Eliminating belly fat and getting rid of loose skin naturally may take decades, but the results can create substantial pleasure in our lives.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

Reference: Simple & Powerful Life-Transforming Bio-Hacks

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I write about important and valuable life lessons. My ultimate goal is to delight my readers. My content aims to inform and engage my readers. Truth, diversity, collaboration, and inclusiveness are my core values. I am a pragmatic technologist, scientist, postdoctoral academic and industry researcher focusing on practical and important life matters for the last four decades.


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