• CrossFit Thao Dien

Exploring nutrition with Pauline - "What sacrifices would I have to make to get six pack abs?"

Updated: Jan 8

Answer: first let's explore whether a six pack is worth the trade offs. For nearly everyone in the world they are not.


To answer this one, you first have to know if six-pack abs are really what you want and if you are prepared to do what it takes.


Getting ripped abs is a much bigger undertaking than most people realize. There are definite benefits to getting that lean (<10% body fat for most men, and <20% for most women), but there are real trade-offs too.


Are you prepared to make the trade offs for the washboard look?


Alcohol, processed foods, and sweet foods all need to be severely limited if you’re trying to lose fat and show off a washboard stomach. Social situations often become difficult. Other interests and hobbies may need to decrease.

However, if you really want to get a six-pack in the healthiest possible way, you’ll need to follow these principles 90-95% of the time:

  1. eat protein and vegetables at every meal – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks

  2. eat small amounts of healthy fats at most meals – not every meal

  3. eat a small amount of carbs post-workout only

  4. limit all carbs at all other meals,

  5. exercise intensely 4-5 times per week,

  6. get at least 8 hours of sleep each night,

  7. no alcohol or other liquid calories

  8. no cheating.

To implement these tips successfully, you need to know your carbs, vegetables and proteins. Not all carbs, fats and proteins are equal. Armed with these 8 tips, you can decide if the six-pack is what you want to achieve in 2021...


...OR if settling for a moderately lean and healthy body so your don’t have to give up some of the other things you enjoy. To achieve a moderately lean and healthy body, I recommend the following kick-start to be followed 80% of the time:

  1. eat protein and vegetables at every meal

  2. small amounts of healthy fats at most meals – not every meal,

  3. eat a small amount of carbs post-workout and all other meals,

  4. exercise intensely 4-5 times per week,

  5. get at least 8 hours of sleep each night,

  6. 20% of the time – eat and drink freely but not to excess.


Whether you want six pack abs or just want to lose a small amount of body fat, asking yourself are the trade offs worth it is an important question you need to ask yourself to test your motivation to undertake a new diet or make changes in your lifestyle.


Interested in learning more? Come to our Nutrition Workshop - good fats, veggies & make your own ricotta! SATURDAY, JANUARY 9, 2021 AT 11:45 AM.


This blog is part of a series Exploring Nutrition with Pauline. Pauline Jacob is a Thao Dien based Precision Nutrition certified nutrition coach and mentor and a member at Cross Fit Thao Dien. See their website for more information on 'the cost of getting lean'.

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