Friday, July 4, 2008

6 Pack Quest Secret: Elimination Means Faster Gains

Starting on the quest to build 6 pack abs adds a lot of things to your life: more weight lifting, more (and different) cardio, more discipline, more work, eventually a whole new way of living your life. But another important part of this quest is the elimination of bad things. When it comes to food, a big 6 pack quest secret is that eliminating certain foods from your diet makes for much faster fitness gains. And that means a shorter, (relatively) easier road on the way to your 6 pack.

The concept is easy to grasp: Rank the foods you eat from worst to best when it comes to developing your 6 pack. Eliminate the worst food from your diet completely. Once you get used to living without that food, eliminate the worst food that remains. Keep repeating this cycle until all the 'bad' foods are gone from your diet.

If you do this, you'll gradually improve the quality of your diet. A better diet means increased health and energy, along with significant fat loss. It won't get you the abs you want all by itself, but will definitely help. Now all that sounds reasonable enough, but leaves one big question: How do I rate the foods I eat? How do I know which to cut out and which to keep?

You surely know some general nutrition rules. Like you know fried chicken is a lot less healthy for you than plain chicken. You know that fruit is healthier than ice cream. You probably know that day-glo orange puffy things or radioactive green liquids aren't real food at all. But beyond basics like that, most of us really don't know what foods are good for us.

Checking the popular media for information doesn't help either. Look at the diet programs people are selling. One tells you to cut back on fat and eat more fruits and vegetables. Another tells you to eat all the meat and bacon you want, as long as you mostly avoid fruits and vegetables. Yet anohter says it doesn't matter foods you eat, as long as the protein and carbohydrate counts match some certain ratio. There's probably a book somewhere that explains how cake and ice cream make great diet foods. So how do you rate the foods you eat?

Why not ask someone who already has 6 pack abs? Professional fitness models and bodybuilders have real world experience with which foods help and which will hinder your 6 pack quest. They scrutinize everything they do to get their body fat down. They can see, on their own bodies, what works and what doesn't.

In No Nonsense 6 Pack (the main book of Your 6 Pack Quest), Vince devotes almost a chapter to the elimination method. He grades foods like your teachers graded you in school (A, B, C, D, and F), listing which foods are in each group, and why. Knowing why a food is where it is on the list is helpful. You will come across foods that aren't on the list. When you do, you'll have to decide for yourself whether you should be eating them on not.

Here's an example of what I mean: Hot dogs and Bacon both rate an F on Vince's list. Both have lots of sodium (related to high blood pressure) and are loaded with nitrates and nitrites, which have been associated with several types of cancer. I'm looking at sausages in the supermarket. They're not on Vince's list, but thinking about it, they're a little like bacon, and a little like hot dogs. I should probably keep shopping.

So that's today's 6 pack secret. Identify and eliminate the worst single food from your diet. Then when you are used to that change, do it again with the next worst food. Keep going like this and you will definitely accelerate your 6 pack quest.

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