Frequently Asked Questions Archives

Hi Ladies,

Before we begin, it is very important to consult your doctor before starting a workout routine in your quest to getting abs after a c section, just to be safe. 

I’m not a doctor and will not be responsible for conflicting information given to you by your healthcare professional.  That said…

There are two issues here, as in most cases.  The excess belly fat gained during pregnancy, and the job it did to your abs in those months.  Your doctor may have had to cut through your abdominal muscles, too.

First for the belly fat.  It took several months to gain the belly fat, so don’t think you are going to lose it over night.  You can be aggressive in your approach, but don’t be unreasonable.  You are going to lose the flab with a healthy approach.

Make sure you are drinking a lot of water.  It may have been a long time since you’ve drank alcoholic beverages, but now isn’t the time to start again.  Don’t drink your calories!  That goes for diet soda, too.  You need to drink between .5 to .67 ounces of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 160 pounds, you need to drink between 80 and 107 ounces of water a day.  Yes, that is a lot if you haven’t been doing it.  You will get used to it, I promise you.

Eat 5 to 6 portioned size meals per day.  Each meal should consist of lean protein, quality carbs, and healthy fats.  A portion will consist of something that is either the size of your clenched fist, or flat hand.  There are many resources online for menu planning.  Planning ahead of each day will ensure your success and guarantee results in the least amount of time.  You don’t need a fad diet, like a high protein or low fat diet.  Just eat healthy stuff.  You’ll feel better, too.

Cardio is a great place to start with exercise while your abs are healing from the surgery.  If you weren’t able to workout during the latter stages of your pregnancy, start off slow.  Try walking 10 to 20 minutes a day, three days a week.  The eliptical trainer is great, too.  Non-jarring exercises will feel best.  Be sure to monitor your heart rate to make sure you are not working too hard.  Remember, 220 – Your Age x .60 is a good cardio heart rate to start off with.  If that’s too easy, multiply by a factor of .70.  You can gradually add more cardio as you are comfortable.

For the first couple weeks, I suggest not doing any strenuous ab exercises.  What you can do are stomach vacuums – suck in your stomach as far as possible for 20 seconds at a time.  Focus on pulling each area of your abs in tight.  Lower, mid, and upper.  Repeat throughout the day.

As you are able to gradually incorporate ab exercises into your routine, make sure to pull your tummy in when performing each movement.  Don’t let you tummy stick out as you do your exercise – this should be the case always in doing abs.  Remember not to force anything and if you are feeling uncomfortable, give it a rest fot the day and try again in a couple days.

Exercises to start off with are: Plank, Leg tucks or Roman Chair, sit ups from the halway position (anchor your feet under a sofa or chair, start in the up position and lean back halfway with your arms crossed in front of your chest).

Many women are able to reclaim their abs after c section. You can, too!  Be reasonable.  Stay the course.  Make the other moms jealous!  And most of all, enjoy your baby.

To you Health and Success!

David

Are there really Easy Ways to Get Great Abs?  Well…  That depends on what you mean by easy, and your current fitness level.

There are many gadgets and fads.  Stimulators, crunch machines, etc…  Most of these things come and go.  Simply put, what works – works.

Let’s look at it this way.  How about ways that are effective and do what they are supposed to do, and won’t waste your time.  Here a few:

  • Using a stability ball to do chest and arm exercises.
  • Engaging (flexing) your abs during cardio exercises.
  • Standing up straight and flexing your abs during the day.
  • Sitting with good posture at work and tightening your abs.
  • Resistance ab workouts.
  • Working upper, lower, and obliques – varying routines.
  • The Plank (looks a lot easier than it is!)

For a lot of you, you may already have a nice six pack buried beneath layers of fat.  No amount of crunches will be able to make them show through and inch or two of flab.  Here’s what you can do to go in the right direction:

  • Eat 5 to 6 smaller meals instead of 3 large meals (turbo charge your metabolism)
  • Don’t drink your calories!  Beer, soda, even juice can add unnecessary calories to your diet.
  • Artificial sweeteners will cause you to gain weight.  No diet pop.  No Nutrasweet.  Enough said.
  • Add spices to your meals.  Another metabolic booster.
  • If you have to go to a drive through, get the items that aren’t deep fried.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time.  Weekly planning is great.
  • Don’t eat 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.
  • Don’t eat before your workout and wait and hour after.  You will burn more calories this way.

Look for ways you can burn calories that won’t pose much of an inconvenience.  Such as:

  • Park further from the door everywhere you go.  (The store, work, church, etc…)
  • Take a walk during your lunch break even if it’s just for 10 minutes, 3 times a week.
  • Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
  • Chose the family chores that require more energy – vacuum, mow the lawn, etc.

Are there easy ways to get great abs?  Sure.  Maybe even easier than these things I’ve told you about.  Heck, I’ve always told people if you have enough time and money you can do anything!  You could get liposuction and hire a personal trainer.  So if you have $15k burning a hole in your pocket and it’s really that important – go for it!  If you’re like the rest of us, do something!  Anything.  Stop thinking about it.  Stop analyzing it.  Do one thing today.  Keep doing that.  Add something to it later.  Keep going.  You will get the results you’re after in no time, Easy.

To your Health and Success!

David

The reasons diets don’t work are many. You may starve your body of essential nutrients you need.

People on low carb, high protein diets often lack energy and eventually may do damage to their internal organs. Extreme low fat or no fat diets may make it hard for brain function, among other things. It is imperative to give your body the essential nutrients it needs to sculpt the physique you want.

Let’s just assume that you are eating healthy and getting a good balance of high quality protein, carbs, and fat. You are eating properly portioned sized meals and healthy snacks throughout the day. And just like everyone who’s ever been on a diet experiences, you start to crave pizza, bread, ice cream, beer, chocolate cake, etc. Does it mean you can never eat this stuff again? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, it is a good idea to splurge and over eat ONE day a week! Eat whatever you want and however much you want.

Over eating one day a week has TWO main benefits: one is biological and the other is psychological.

The biological benefit is your body tends to store what it rarely sees or does not get enough of. If you don’t drink enough water, you will retain it like a camel. When you start drinking the amount of water your body needs, you will find yourself making frequent trips to the restroom at first as your body is flushing out the fluid it has retained.

When you are trying to lose weight, you are more than likely running on a calorie deficit – either by eating less or burning calories through working out. (Still with me? Your goal is to burn more calories than consumed.) Once a week when you over indulge, your body realizes that you aren’t trying to kill it and has no problem not storing the excess. ** Note ** You can over do this. Don’t over eat to the point that you feel like you are going to explode. I have learned from experience this doesn’t work.

The psychological benefit is it helps you stay the course. At the beginning of an effective workout and eating program you may become overwhelmed or frustrated. You may begin to miss some of your favorite foods or drink. This can make it very hard to keep going.

Having one day a week to look forward to eating whatever you want will give you the mental boost and determination you need to make it. Even when you are feeling better by feeding yourself the right nutrients, you will look forward to this day.

Now… Having said all this, you may eventually come to the point that you don’t miss the other things that used to make your belly happy. You get to really enjoy how eating healthy makes you feel. You find recipes that taste great, and all the ingredients are very good for you. I never thought I would really like cottage cheese. Now there are times when I crave it like I used to crave hamburgers.

In all of this, make sure you listen to your body. If you eat something that makes you feel not too great afterward, stop eating it. If you realize you ate too much, eat a little less next time. Your body won’t lie to you. It will tell you what it needs if you listen.

Plan one day each week to over eat. If you have a day where you got off track in your eating plan, use that as your over indulge day and skip the day you planned. If you do fail during the week, give yourself the grace you deserve and move on and don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t let it become a habit, but let the past be the past.

Six days a week be sensible. One day a week go crazy!

To your Health and Success!

David

If you can see your six pack abs or flat stomach in the mirror, chances are really great you are not overweight.  But how do you know for sure?

Take the jiggle test.  What’s the jiggle test?  I’m glad you asked…

Take into account that guys and gals both have parts of their anatomy that will bounce no matter what.  With this in mind, go into a room with a mirror.  Shut the door.  Take off your clothes and jump up and down in front of the mirror.  If something jiggles other than the parts that make you a man or woman – you are overweight and you need to lose weight.

Why is this important other than we want to lose our love handles and show off our abs?  Fat cells are storehouses of inflammation.  Inflammation can do all sorts of damage on your body and will cause you to age at a faster rate.  Here are some things that inflammation can cause:

  • weakened immune system
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cancer
  • arteriosclerosis – narrowing of the arteries by plaque build up
  • gall bladder disease
  • etc…

Fat also stores toxins.  One of these toxins in particular is mercury.  Mercury is one of the most toxic substances know to man.  If you have silver amalgam fillings or have have had vaccinations, there is a good chance that you have mercury stored in your fat cells.

If you are in the process of losing weight, you will want to beware of the release of these toxins into your system caused by weight loss.  It is important to drink ots of water.  Regular trips to a sauna and even massage therapy can help in moving the toxins through your body.  See a naturopath for advice.  A few years ago when I started to shed pounds quickly, I was sick a lot.  Knowing what I know now helps me understand why this may have been – I have been heavily vaccinated and have many very old silver amalgam fillings.  Add to that the fact that eaten a lot of things I shouldn’t have over the years.  Smokers should be cautious, as well.

Are you beginning to see why excess fat is not only not attractive, but very unhealthy?

This is not to say that any fat is unhealthy.  In fact, it will be impossible to lose all of your body fat.  So much is acceptable?  For women, the essential percentage of body weight to fat is 10 – 12 %.  That means if you weigh 135 pounds, at least 13.5 pounds needs to be fat for you to be healthy.  To be able to show a flat, sexy stomach you will need to be somewhere between 14 – 20 percent.  For men, essential body fat percentage is between 2 – 4 %.  To show off your six pack abs you will need to be between 6 – 13 %.

Another interesting statistic is the average American gained approximately 1.5 pounds of fat per year between 1994 and 2002.  That’s a lot if you consider after 10 years will be almost 12 pounds heavier!

Being overweight is a heavy subject.  (Pun intended!)  To learn more about the damaging effects of being overweight, click on these links: Fight Aging!, USC Health Sciences, Freedomfly, and About.com.  It will be a real eyeopener if your eyes aren’t already wide open.

So do the jiggle test and lose what shouldn’t be bouncing.

To your Health and Success!

David

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