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Health is not a condition of matter, but of mind PDF Print E-mail
Written by Justin Newman, medical student   
Six pack abs and
quips about weight loss

    I was having a conversation this week with a friend of mine who is getting into great shape and trying to get his abs, or abdominal muscles, to show some muscle definition.
    Six pack abs, a chiseled stomach—nothing shows that a body is in shape more than that flat and muscular stomach. But that stomach of steel is pretty hard to achieve. Even a flat stomach is hard for most of us to get—including myself.  
    My friend told me he had been doing more than his fair share of sit-ups, and he had been lifting a lot of weights, but that his stomach was only looking a little bit better.  What was the problem?
    Taste makes waist.
    When the body has excess fat, this fat is stored in certain areas of the body.  Men are a bit different than women. Men will store the majority of this excess fat in their belly or abdominal area, while women will store most of the fat in their thighs, buttocks, breasts and, yes, the abdominal area.  
    Obesity is really widespread
    The problem with fat being stored in these areas of the body is that the fat overlies the muscles. There is no way for the muscles underneath to show through.
    But the more common problem is the hips or the stomach will show there is an excess of fat being stored there. In other words, you can’t hide the fact your body is toting around a bit more weight than you would like to have.
    Keep it simple—just eat the things you don’t like.
    Many people think by working the muscles in their abs or their hips and thighs, that they will be able to reduce the fat that exists in these areas. This is not the case—the only way to get rid of the fat that is on your belly is to lose weight.
    You must lose the fat that is all over your body – you have to get rid of the excess weight your body has in order to shrink the size of those nasty fat pockets that build up on the belly and butt.  
    Loose lips, broad hips.
    To shrink the size of the nasty bits, you have to lose weight. And here is where I get on my soap box: weight loss is about using more calories than you eat.  
    No matter what you do, no matter if it is a low carb, no fat, high protein diet or even some supplement that is supposed to help you shed the pounds—in the end it is all about using more calories than you eat.
    Simply, to lose weight you have to burn extra calories, and to stay at the same weight, you have to burn the same amount that you eat. In the end, that is the only thing that matters and the only thing that will get you progress in losing weight.  
    Some people are afraid of heights. I’m afraid of widths.
    Doing sit-ups to work on the abdominal muscles will help to build those muscles, which will help your core strength, but you will not be able to see these muscles until you burn the fat that is overlying that area.
    The same holds true for that excess fat that is found on the hips. To get the body you want and to show off that in shape bod, you have to focus on building the muscles and on burning the extra fat that is overlying them.  
    One who indulges, bulges.