Muscle Definition & Fat Burning
A six-pack with low body fat – get body definition and burn fat with a moderate calorie deficit, a high-protein diet, and effective interval and HIIT training.
This is how body definition works
Looking defined is the long-cherished dream for many who work out regularly. It takes enormous effort, training, and nutritional adjustments just to build strength and muscle mass—actually making your hard-earned muscles defined and visible is a whole new ballgame. So how do you get the famous fitness magazine look? It is about the right diet and, above all, the right combination of training methods. While pure strength training will bring you great gains in the muscle growth department, a combination of strength training and other highly intensive forms of training, such as sprints or jumps, will bring the fastest shredding, defining results.
Alongside your workout plan, the right diet is the other most important factor for body definition. To define your body, you must be very strict and disciplined with your diet. This means knowing when, how much, and what exactly to eat to best achieve results. To define your muscles, you should usually train in the afternoons or evenings—so If you do 2 sessions on 1 day, at least 1 of them should be in the evening. And you should eat only ultra-low-carb foods until your workout. This means that if you do 2 sessions in one day, you should also eat only ultra-low-carb foods in-between the two sessions. Pay attention that the carb content is very low–even with vegetables. By the evening you should have eaten a maximum of 50g of carbohydrates. The macronutrient breakdown of your meals at this stage should be around 50% protein, 50% fat, which means lots of meat, fish, nuts, oils, and vegetables, spread over 4-5 meals. Since fat provides about twice as much energy per gram as protein, the quantitative distribution is 1/3 fat to 2/3 protein. Eggs and dairy products are only partially suitable during this nutritional phase (as they tend to contain more carbs). The result: Before your workout, your body burns its fat reserves for energy because there are no carbohydrates available in circulation.
Nutrition for body definition
Want to get a defined stomach? Then your diet must include a lot of proteins, as they are needed for muscle growth. Fats and carbohydrates are also key elements in every six-pack nutrition plan. Below you will learn more about the three main nutritional components, as well as their effects and use in the six-pack nutritional plan.
Body definition and carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are allowed for the ultimate six-pack training plan from Upfit, but only in moderation. You must be mindful not only of the type and amount of carbs you eat but also what time of day you eat them: excess carbs that are not burned by the muscles for energy migrate quickly to your hips. In general, the more you exercise, the more muscle and less body fat you have—and the more carbohydrates you can eat without gaining weight.
If you are still not seeing any stomach definition, then you should eat carbohydrates only after training in order to replenish your energy reserves. The rest of the time you should forego carbohydrates so that your body to resorts to using its own fat as energy reserves. Another boost for a quick fat reduction is intermittent fasting, where you eat only within an 8-hour window each day and fast the remaining 16 hours, only drinking water, unsweetened tea, or coffee (e.g. 12 pm – 8 pm = food window, 8 pm – 12 pm the following day = only water, tea, and coffee). In combination with a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, this leads to quick six-pack gains.
For faster, more effective body fat reduction, you should completely avoid simple carbs (sugary foods, white flour, sweets, sodas, fruit juices, etc.). Carbohydrates such as whole grains, potatoes, rice, or other foods with a low glycemic index (a scale for showing the effect of a carbohydrate-containing food on blood sugar levels) are allowed in moderate amounts. But as described above, you should generally only eat these directly after working out. Eat vegetables throughout the whole day, and in large quantities! They will help you lose weight faster—plus your body needs the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients in veggies to function properly. Ideally, eat five portions of vegetables per day. Fruit is also allowed, as it contains many vitamins and quenches your sweet tooth. But fruit is normally high in fructose, so you should only eat it in small quantities—one or two pieces per day after training is safe.
Body definition and fats
In the nineties, people said: fat makes you fat. Today we know this is a myth. Healthy fats do not make you fat and are, in fact, necessary to keep your body healthy. The right ratio of saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids in your diet makes the biggest difference to your health. Particularly healthful are omega 3 fatty acids: omega 3 not only positively affects our cardiovascular system, but it is also involved in hormone production, protein synthesis, cell metabolism and protects against inflammation and infection. Again similar to the above mentioned fatty acids, you must have the correct ratio of omega 3’s and omega 6’s in your diet to get the full health effects.
The optimal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is 2: 1 and should not be greater than 5: 1. The majority of these fatty acids are found in oils, nuts, and seeds, but also animal products, so it is worthwhile to pay attention to the quality of the animals you eat, and how they were raised: free-range, grass-fed beef, contains a lot of good fatty acids, conventional, feedlot beef contains hardly any. Above all, you should avoid so-called trans fats like the plague. These are often hidden in greasy baked goods, fast food, and other munchies. Trans fats are not only bad for health; they also make you fat. Even with saturated fat, you should not overdo it. These are usually found in animal fats e.g. fatty meats, butter, cream.
Body definition and proteins
In the ultimate six-pack training plan, proteins are the foundation. Unlike carbohydrates, protein-based snacks are allowed and even desirable. A sufficient supply of protein is not only necessary for muscle growth, but it also boosts your metabolism and thus your calorie burn.
Particularly protein-rich foods include lean meats, such as chicken, fish or sirloin steak; as well as eggs and low-fat dairy products, such as cottage cheese, or low-fat yogurt. But vegetarians and vegans need not worry. Plant-based products can also meet one’s protein requirements. Nuts, seeds, legumes, soy products and algae such as spirulina (a real protein miracle) are particularly high in protein. With nuts, however, you should be a little more economical, as they contain a lot of fat and can easily turn into true calorie bombs— so enjoy no more than two handfuls a day. For a vegan diet, it is also advisable to supplement your diet with a nutrition shake (e.g. rice protein or pea protein). These will cover all your amino acid needs in the right ratio and increase your total intake of protein—without affecting your calorie intake too much.
The six-pack and genetics
Unfortunately, there are always cases where—despite proper nutrition and intensive training—a person’s six-pack will simply not become visible. It’s usually because many of us are genetically predisposed to having more fat deposits. Women often have these fat deposits on the buttocks and thighs, while men have them primarily in the abdominal region. Unfortunately, we cannot determine where the fat in the body melts the fastest. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a person’s belly to stubbornly hold on to the fat layer covering their six-pack. Two other major contributors to this problem are poor sleep and a high level of stress.
People who travel a lot or work overtime often have a particularly tough time getting rid of their belly fat. To expose his or her six-pack, some people would have to lose so much weight that the rest of the body would become malnourished or risk getting other health problems. A much more sensible approach in such cases is to develop better strategies for sleep, nutrition, exercise planning, and time management to enable the body to reduce its belly fat. Many people are also magnesium and vitamin D3 deficient, and both of these micronutrients are responsible for important tasks in the body’s signal system regarding stress.
Body definition training
You cannot define muscles that are not there: you must first build up muscle mass before you can define it. Although this should be the basis of every exercise plan, many still seem to have forgotten. Armed only with half-knowledge, you will never notice much difference in your muscle definition. Lifting as much weight as possible, according to the motto “a lot of weight will bring the most muscle gains”, is not necessarily the best solution. Above all, the right combination of exercises, correct execution, and the right training setting are the real keys to defining your muscles. And it would be unwise and dangerous to ignore these factors because you could seriously hurt yourself. (Click here to read more about muscle building) One important parting tip: focus on your core training with basic exercises such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts (or equivalent exercises with your own body weight), before concentrating on isolation exercises. Why? These train the most muscle mass and the largest muscle groups. Building those big muscle groups will enable you to get more muscle definition.
You have already built up muscle mass with the right training program? Congratulations! you have taken the first step. The second step is to define the muscles. Because it does not do you much good if your winter blubber is still hiding your hard-earned muscles. To turn your beer belly into a washboard stomach you must reduce your body fat content. To do this you must create a caloric deficit and you achieve this by eating fewer calories than you burn every day.
Sounds easy, right? Here, however, the devil is in the detail. Constant counting of calories is not only time-consuming for many; it is simply not fun. The whole thing would be so much easier if the meals were pre-planned or (even prepared in advance) and you were always one step ahead of the stress. You do not want to write long shopping lists and have to plan every day? No problem, we gladly take over the work for you. The nutrition experts of at Upfit will provide you with an individual meal plan for body definition (Meal Plan for Definition). Together, we will adapt your plan to your body, preferences, and schedule. This will help free up your time for more important things and pave the way for achieving sustainable muscle definition.