3

votes

6-pack abs and the paleo diet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 04, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Hello. I am new to paleo but have been eating a pretty clean diet for at least the past 5 years. I want to get a six pack of abs, and right now I have like a four pack. I was wondering if paleo is good for getting lean and showing visible abdominal muscles? I understand it is necessary to have a low body fat to see your abs, so is paleo good for this? I know Mark Sisson has abs, but does anyone else? Do any of your paleo hackers have a 6 pack? I am wondering if maybe it is only Mark Sisson, and he is why paleo is so big (I just real Primal Blueprint 4 weeks ago, and really did enjoy the book...learned TONS!)? Is paleo good for dropping to low body fat so you can see your abs?

Adb249ff0b1447d86ed308d0265e2b86

(571)

on October 05, 2012
at 05:04 PM

I can only give my n=1 experience. Whenever I had tried to diet previously, starting as a fat 220 lb wheat lover, my weight loss had been conservative. LC paleo effortlessly put my weight into free fall. I had to change what I was eating to stop losing. At 8.5 % fat I looked facially ill, I have no idea why the fat fell off me like it did but I think I could have easily taken it lower. One thing that does strike me is that I resorted to type in that my body returned to exactly what it was when I was 18. Perhaps that's what happens; we just go back to what we were.

D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on October 05, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Why thank you, BBF! I always appreciate that.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 05, 2012
at 11:27 AM

**licks your body**

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 05, 2012
at 09:42 AM

I'm yummy for bro's with a layer of lard on the tummy.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 05, 2012
at 09:41 AM

YAY for the sensible Paleo who adapts the diet and lifestyle in order to achieve a preset goal.

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on October 04, 2012
at 10:45 PM

two words: great anwser

Adb249ff0b1447d86ed308d0265e2b86

(571)

on October 04, 2012
at 07:42 PM

"Curl-ups" which I currently do three times a week for 2 sets x 15 reps. I use a 2 kg dumbbell. They are good for keeping my lower back pain-free too. http://www.sarahkey.com/extracts.cfm?pageID=8&extractID=8

83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

(487)

on October 04, 2012
at 07:14 PM

@ Spears.... what ab exercises did you do? I'm almost in the same boat. Lost 20 lbs. on Paleo now trying to lean out and build some muscle.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 04, 2012
at 06:26 PM

*licks* ____________

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16 Answers

5
91119f53c3827f5c7fc90b98cab85b04

(799)

on October 04, 2012
at 07:03 PM

it can be done with paleo-only foods but you will need to count calories, closely monitor and cycle your fat and carb intake based on exercise patterns, and focus the diet on lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables. I understand some will not consider this approach to be within their paleo ethos in regards to fat consumption. You should still eat paleo fats but will need to keep a handle on the amount, and adding extra fat or oil to meals will usually not be necessary.

Also, for most who want to get to single digit bodyfat it will get to the point where progress will be very hard to sustain without supplementation, fat burners, stimulants or other tricks (overfeeds, full diet breaks, cheat meals or days) because as someone else here mentioned, it is fighting against the body's natural survival mechanisms, and the further you desire to lean out the further away you are likely to stray from strict paleo

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on October 04, 2012
at 10:45 PM

two words: great anwser

Adb249ff0b1447d86ed308d0265e2b86

(571)

on October 05, 2012
at 05:04 PM

I can only give my n=1 experience. Whenever I had tried to diet previously, starting as a fat 220 lb wheat lover, my weight loss had been conservative. LC paleo effortlessly put my weight into free fall. I had to change what I was eating to stop losing. At 8.5 % fat I looked facially ill, I have no idea why the fat fell off me like it did but I think I could have easily taken it lower. One thing that does strike me is that I resorted to type in that my body returned to exactly what it was when I was 18. Perhaps that's what happens; we just go back to what we were.

3
2e5dc29c61f97d335ffb990508424719

on October 04, 2012
at 06:12 PM

If your goal is low body fat you will struggle. If your goal is health you will have low(er) body fat. This will make your abdominal muscles more visible. It seems to work for me. I got a 6 pack for the first time now in my mid-forties.

3
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on October 04, 2012
at 05:50 PM

Paleo and WAPF-type diets tend to attract those who want to be HEALTHY, not bodybuilders. Crossfitters are a new breed.

I don't think too many people in the Paleo/WAPF community strive to look buff, they just want to be "fit" and healthy.

Yes, there are people on PH who have a six-pack. I have fat six-pack. You can visibly see the abdominal sections on me, but there's a light blanket of lard over it that I may or may not want to get rid of.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 05, 2012
at 09:42 AM

I'm yummy for bro's with a layer of lard on the tummy.

2
Adb249ff0b1447d86ed308d0265e2b86

on October 04, 2012
at 06:25 PM

I took these photos quite early in my paleo sojourn; I was 47-years-old when this was taken. Body fat here is around 10%. Months earlier this had been a 40" waist at around 30% b/f hence the bit of loose skin round the navel.

6-pack-abs-and-the-paleo-diet

They were a lot better when I was in my twenties but this was the first time I had seen my abs in 15 years!

83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

(487)

on October 04, 2012
at 07:14 PM

@ Spears.... what ab exercises did you do? I'm almost in the same boat. Lost 20 lbs. on Paleo now trying to lean out and build some muscle.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 04, 2012
at 06:26 PM

*licks* ____________

Adb249ff0b1447d86ed308d0265e2b86

(571)

on October 04, 2012
at 07:42 PM

"Curl-ups" which I currently do three times a week for 2 sets x 15 reps. I use a 2 kg dumbbell. They are good for keeping my lower back pain-free too. http://www.sarahkey.com/extracts.cfm?pageID=8&extractID=8

1
74f09088109276276ef8d78f191c3803

on October 05, 2012
at 09:04 AM

Well 5 years is to long but you are really great with that 6 pack.I really understand hoe paleo works.

1
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on October 04, 2012
at 06:48 PM

I do eat some dairy, so I am not Paleo, more Primal. For the past year or so I did Leangains, with fairly high carbs on workout days, mostly from potatoes, sweet potatoes, and fruit. Lately I've been experimenting with ketosis and I think I look the same if not leaner.

http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/9341/snapshot201208219.jpg http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/5412/snapshot2012082111.jpg

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 05, 2012
at 11:27 AM

**licks your body**

D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on October 05, 2012
at 02:36 PM

Why thank you, BBF! I always appreciate that.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 04, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Paleo is about control of your body. If you want to get a six pack, you can certainly get there. Or at least you will know how to get there. I am about 10% BF, and have a three pack (top two and then the rest in one blob).

I experimented with getting below 10%, and was successful -- but I've decided that I am not willing to live that way. I can eat/ drink what I want and when I want and maintain a healthy, lean body.

47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on October 05, 2012
at 09:41 AM

YAY for the sensible Paleo who adapts the diet and lifestyle in order to achieve a preset goal.

1
7b81606a1420f51956790ebfe5aade5c

on October 04, 2012
at 06:14 PM

Yes, it seemed to work for me. Although genetics may play a role.

0
0d0f7355699fe3b9eefe285a3f95031c

on October 05, 2012
at 01:29 PM

It's all about commitment. Eventually, putting in a regular amount of work and eating well, you are bound to see results. It can be over-complicated, but the bottom line is to keep doing what you do!

0
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 05, 2012
at 10:19 AM

With a very low BF, you might starve if theres some natural disaster, or you get ill, but i guess thats up to you.

0
2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on October 04, 2012
at 10:50 PM

another tool you can use is intermittent fasting,

0
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 04, 2012
at 10:50 PM

I'm a woman so my experience probably isn't relevant, but in my experience a paleo diet isn't a magic recipe for 6-pack abs. It's not really a magic weight loss recipe unless you have excess weight due to being truly fat and/or something like metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. Then it is like magic, but only to a point. At that point, it's hard work just like any diet plan.

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 04, 2012
at 07:36 PM

I've done a low-carb/primal diet 3 times now, and I've never gotten below 17% body fat, although I've lost 50–60 lbs each time and look on the thin side of normal. Clearly, my genetics aren't inclined to lose enough ab fat to reveal a 6-pack. I do resistance, core muscle, and cardio workouts and my belly's still soft. My lab results, though, are terrific, and I've made my peace with not having a hard body.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on October 04, 2012
at 07:35 PM

Sure you can eat a paleo diet and get a well defined midsection, but the paleo part of the diet won't exactly be the deal breaker. The way I see it is there are 4 parts to getting a well defined midsection and they are (in no particular order) genetics, diet, exercise, and distance from set point. Genetics will play a role in your natural body composition (ecto/end/meso, your muscle fiber dominance (fast or slow twitch), how your abs are set (staggered or even), adonis belt potential, etc), diet will play a role in reducing body fat and building muscle, exercise will play a role in development of specific muscles, and how far you are from your set point when you get abs will determine how likely you are to keep them.

I am of the belief that with a little uncommon dedication, virtually anyone can get them, it is just a matter of for how long. Personally, my set point is around 130lbs, and right now I am 150lbs with solid 6 pack that I've had for going 5 years now. For me a matter of keeping them is just a matter of maintaing muscle mass (your abs are muscles after all, which is why you don't see many anorexics walking around with a rippling abdomen). I will say that I find maintaining a lot, lot easier than getting. For me to get them I had to gain around 30+ lbs of muscle over my entire body, and I was not strict paleo, and I am not even strict paleo now.

Hope that helps. Sure you can get a 6-pack with paleo. Nell Stephenson and Denise Minger some of the best abs I've seen among paleo women. Sisson probably has the best abs among paleo men, from what I gather.

0
954e990f86d575cec9b36135fe273d2f

on October 04, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Paleo is not a weight loss diet per se. It is a healthful lifestyle diet. If you want very low body fat you are going to have to build a significant calorie deficit. This can be done on paleo, probably easier than most because paleo encourages filling, nutritionally-dense foods.

There are many bodybuilding strategies for getting to very low body fat, but ymmv since everyone's body reacts differently. Going very low carb works for many, although when you are glycogen depleted you may find it difficult to work out for extended periods. If you do that, keep your protein intake high, since both dietary carbohydrate and protein are protein-sparing.

In summary: keep lifting heavy things, do cardio intervals, and eat paleo but watch your caloric intake. Getting to single-digit bodyfat, for most of us, is fighting against the body, so you need to be prepared to be hungry. It definitely can be done on paleo, but simply following a paleo diet will not get you 6-pack abs.

-1
E55a365d64b169014eb4e3d3d7f22700

on October 09, 2012
at 09:44 AM

I have been folowing this site www.reviewhowtogetasixpack.com for some months & till now i have seen some changes in my body, i hope soon i will get 6 pack abs

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