There are no shortcuts to six-pack abs

LATELY I have noticed the resurgence of ads—mostly on social media—of products and contraptions that lavishly promise six-pack abdominal muscles in just a  few minutes a day. Simply attach the device to your abdominal area, flick on a switch for a few minutes a day to burn away the fat, then voilà! Ripped abs on demand. Then there are the magic pills, the creams, the ab- crunch machines and whatnot.

To be blunt about it, these so-called gadgets, when used alone devoid of an exercise and diet program, will not give you abs. You cannot use an external contraption to burn or melt away visceral fat. That’s just not how science works.

These instant abs ads are like beaming politicians with celluloid smiles during campaign season making lofty promises and scampering back into the darkness along with the unfulfilled promises once elected into office.

There are no shortcuts to having abs. Save for the fortunate few who are genetically predisposed to a six-pack, the rest of us have to earn it the hard way.

These ads prey on our desire to look good. They take advantage of our vulnerabilities and deceive us into handing over our hard-earned money for a product that simply cannot and will not deliver.

The only way to shed body fat and work toward having visible abdominal muscles is to create a systematic calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is when your body burns off more than what you consume. If, for instance, you consume 2,000 calories in one day and burn 2,200 calories, this equates to a 200-calorie deficit, which, if accumulated over a long period of time, can lead to significant weight loss.

How then can we realistically begin our journey to six-pack city? By committing to a sensible diet and exercise program that ultimately leads to a calorie deficit, this must be something that we can sustain over the long term.  Everyone who has lost weight whether he or she is aware of it or not, achieved it through a calorie deficit. No ifs and buts about it.

No one has ever achieved a six-pack by attaching a gadget to their belly area and flicking on a switch while sitting on the couch, munching on chips, or by simply gulping a handful of costly diet pills. You will not be the first one, no matter what that perfectly sculpted model in the infomercial will tell you. Keep your money, set your goals and be prepared to do the hard work.


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