When you think of getting abs, one of the first things that will cross your mind is changing your diet. Now, contrary to what you think, changing your diet, or eating healthy is not the only way to get abs. In fact, you might be able to get abs without eating healthy.
How can one get abs without eating healthy? There are a few dynamics in your body that determine whether you get abs or not. Some of them are water retention, fat content, and muscle tone. If you have low water retention, reduced fat content, and increased muscle tone in your abdomen, you can get abs.
In this article, we will be discussing these dynamics and how you can adjust them to get abs. We shall also talk about how diet affects abs, and how to know you have gotten abs.
How to Make Your Abs Visible
Here’s one fact you should know before we go on: everyone has abs. Abs is a short way of saying abdominal muscles. So, as long as your abdomen is intact, you have abs.
The difference between your abs and the abs of the person “with six-packs” is visibility. Your abs are hidden by fat in your belly. But the other person’s abs are visible because there’s very little fat in theirs.
So how do you make your abs visible? The simple answer is to lose the fat that covers your abdominal muscles.
There’s a saying that abs are made in the kitchen. Well, this is true to an extent because what you eat defines how much fat you have in you. But you might just be able to cut down the fat in your belly without switching to a healthy diet.
As a man, your abs will become visible when your fat content falls below 15%. Compared to men, women have less fat in their belly. So, when the body fat of a woman falls below 20%, her abs should become visible.
Of course, these aren’t exact numbers. If your body type naturally stores fat in your abdomen, your body fat percentage may need to be lower for your abs to show.
3 Factors That Affect Whether You Can See Abs
The fat in your belly might not be the only thing stopping you from seeing your abs. Remember, we mentioned that some dynamics in your body determine whether you get abs or not.
These dynamics (fat content, water retention, and muscle tone) affect the visibility of your abs. Now, let’s see how they affect the visibility of your abs.
1. Fat Content
If you’ve read this far, then you may already have a glimpse into how your fat content affects the visibility of your abs. Think of your belly as a sandwich. In this sandwich, fat is the bread while your abs are the filling.
Your abs are covered by fat on two sides: the outer part of your belly and the inner (unseen) part. The fat on the outer part is what determines whether your abs is seen or not.
The total fat content of your body is stored in different areas such as buttocks, thighs, hips, and belly. The proportion stored in each part varies from person to person. But for most people, most of the body fat is stored in the abdomen.
What this means is that the more your total fat content, the more the fat you’ll have in your belly. The more the belly fat you have, the less visible your abs are.
How Diet Affects Fat Content
Your body has a daily dietary requirement. When you eat more than your body needs, the body stores the rest as fat. So, eating more than you need can raise your body’s fat content.
Also, when you consume more carbohydrates (especially sugar), your fat content may go up. Carbohydrates do not satisfy hunger quickly, and you may eat way more than you should before you feel satisfied. The excess you eat is turned into fat and stored in your body.
High levels of carbohydrate cause a higher secretion of the hormone called insulin. Insulin helps the body use carbohydrates. But it also aids in the formation of fat.
2. Muscle Tone
Now, you will notice that even after losing the fat, some 6-packs are more defined than the others. This difference is due to variations in muscle tone. The thicker your abdominal muscles are, the more visible they are.
Genetics play a part in how toned your muscle can be. So, even though you can tone your muscles through abdominal workouts, some abs will never be as toned as others.
How Diet Affects Muscle Tone
Your diet can also affect your muscle tone. Your body needs amino acids to build muscles, and you need to eat protein to supply your body with amino acids. The more protein you eat, the more toned your muscle can get.
Apart from protein, calcium is also essential for your muscle tone. Calcium helps strengthen your muscles and improves their functions. For one, calcium plays a very significant role in the contraction of your muscles. Muscular contraction plays a part in determining your muscle tone.
3. Water Retention
Apart from fat, your body also collects some water in your abdomen. In some cases, a lot of water is retained, and it makes your skin puffy. This, in turn, makes your abs less visible.
How Diet Affects Water Retention
Your body’s water retention is influenced by what you eat and how hydrated you are. It might seem weird, but when you are dehydrated, your body retains more water. The body does this as a way to keep the functions going until more water is available.
If you eat meals with high sodium content, you will have higher water retention. Salty foods have high sodium content, and sodium is known to pull water. The more sodium you have in you, the larger the volume of water your body will retain.
Getting Abs Without Eating Healthy
If you want to get your abs to show without eating healthy, you can reduce your daily caloric intake. To achieve this, you don’t have to change what you eat, you only have to reduce the quantity.
The average man needs 2500 calories per day, and the average woman needs 2000 calories per day. If the average man and woman reduce their daily caloric by at least 500 calories per day, they can lose 1 pound per week.
One thing to note is that your level of activity and age also determines how many calories you need per day. You may check here for the caloric requirement that suits your age, gender, and level of activity.
A little tip: opt for the moderately active or sedentary caloric requirements for faster results.
Another means of getting your abs out without eating healthy is to increase your water intake. The higher your water intake, the lower your water retention.
Now after getting your abs out, if you believe they are not sufficiently toned, you can bump up your protein intake. But even as you bump up your protein intake, make sure you do not go beyond the reduced daily caloric intake you’ve chosen for yourself.
As you take in more protein, you can also do some abdominal workouts. The combination of protein and abs workout should help raise your muscle tone efficiently.
The most important part of getting your six-packs/abs to show is losing abdominal fat. This should be your priority in your quest for abs.
While it is possible to get abs without eating healthy, we think eating healthy is still the best way to go. It does so much for you, not just when it comes to getting abs, but also for your overall health.