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u/Kaidavis ยท 8 pointsr/abs

You won't see abs until you lose your belly fat. And you won't lose your belly fat by doing ab exercises, only by counting calories and eating below your daily maintenance calories.

Your best bet to show your abs is to get to 10-12% body fat and then start doing ab exercises.

  1. Go get a Skin Fold Body Fat Test (your local university / college's athletic department should provide these for ~$50).

  2. Let's say you weigh 180lbs and have 15% body fat. 27lbs of your weight is from fat. You want to get to 10% body fat, so you need to lose ~33% of your fat, or 9lbs.

  3. You can safely lose ~1-1.5lbs/week through calorie counting. So, if you need to lose 9lbs, you can lose that weight in 6-10 weeks.

    How do you do this?

  4. Figure out your Total Daily Energy Expenditire by using this calculator. Set the exercise to 'No Exercise' for a good baseline. (You / the calculator will overestimate the amount of exericse you're doing. Just set it to 'No Exercise.')

  5. This number is your Maintenance Calories. If you eat this many calories, you'll maintain your weight. We want to lose weight to show off our abs, so, we'll be figuring out how to eat at a deficit.

  6. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1lb. If you want to lose 1lb/week, that means you need to eat at a caloric defecit of 3500/7 = 500 calories/day.

  7. Take your TDEE and subtract 500 from it. That's your daily calorie intake goal. Now, multiply your daily calorie intake by 7. That's your weekly calorie intake goal.

  8. Track your calories using My Fitness Pal. Buy a cheap digital scale and start weighing all the food you eat. When you eat something, track it in My Fitness Pal.

  9. While you follow your diet, add in some basic strength training. I recommend following an exercise plan like Starting Strength for basic compound lifts (bench press, deadlift, squat, military press). This way, you'll preserve your lean muscle mass and put on additional muscle.

  10. You should lose ~1lb/week. Weigh yourself every 3-5 days and track your weight. After 1 month, you should be down ~3.5 - 4.5lbs. If you are, awesome! If you aren't, cut your daily calorie total by ~10%.

    If you're looking for a slightly more advanced take on this, I recommend /r/leangains.

    I'm into week 4 of the above plan. I've lost ~6lbs and I'm down from 15% bodyfat to 13% bodyfat. My goal? 9%. I'm on track and should be there in the next 2 months.

    To summarize,

  • Eat below your daily calorie requirements
  • Track everything you eat (otherwise you won't be eating below your calories)
  • Wait.