2

votes

Abs-Are you in there!?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I just finished the Paleo 30 day challenge and went from about 119 pounds to 113 pounds on a 5'4 small framed body. I work out regularly (5+ times a week) and I thought that with 6 pounds of weight loss, I'd finally see some abs but I don't! Do I need to limit my fruit/nuts and lose a few more pounds? Work out more? I'm unsure if it's my diet or work out that needs to change.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on June 01, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Not shaming. Lovingly re-directing her focus for a minute.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on June 01, 2012
at 05:27 PM

So, you are shaming her for wanting abs? :-(

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2012
at 10:10 PM

I got -4 on this so far. lol

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:51 AM

"Still mystified by why men think they want an infertile woman;" I don't find visible abs on women attractive at all. It's like a male body part has been put on a woman.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 26, 2012
at 02:21 PM

Changed the tag because I think the "stomach" is an organ of digestion, not the muscles that the OP wishes to show through the skin. But then I'm a rabid tagger.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:37 PM

+1 for this. Having abs is just something I had to let go of, as a women. As mentioned above, I am about 16% body fat and pretty fit yet there are just no abs in site. I think it's important to try and look at your whole body and not just your stomach, although this is very hard for women.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:34 PM

Yeah, that comment about percentages is not all inclusive by any means. I have 16% body fat, absolutly no visible abs although I am very fit, and am still definitely fertile.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 26, 2012
at 11:41 AM

please ignore my spelling of 'necessarily'

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 26, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Not nessesarily true. There are some women who are fairly muscular and have visisble abs and a decent percentage bodyfat. I have had visible abs with 17-18% bodyfat and I was great health wise.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 26, 2012
at 02:28 AM

Also. It takes a long, long time to build muscle. Did I mention that it takes a long time?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:28 AM

Oh. Us guys just have it so easy then. Also, I have only met a couple girls in my life with clearly visible abs-it looks unnatural to see a girl like this. Nothing wrong with wanting a flat stomach though, IMHO.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:29 AM

"To get to the point to see your abs may take a lot of sacrifice, but once you see em you can be surprisingly laxed with your diet and still maintain the definition" <<< usually not the case for a female! You turn around to look at the possibility of taking it easy, and they sneak away without your consent. Seriously difficult to maintain for any length of time, though that varies with body type.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:29 AM

Great, great answer.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:57 PM

That's very close to the comment I made below, IfYouSaySo. Also, I didn't mean to imply that I had been the downvote on this Warren D-my previous comment was poorly worded. I voted you back up to 0 by adding one because I mostly agree with what you said.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:48 PM

Yeah, when I was working out 14x a week and skinny as I've ever been I had, like, 2 abs. Some people aren't designed to have those show!

Ecb90bbbd5a15868b2592d517a4a5e82

(280)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:48 PM

Generally it's said men will see the 6-pack at 5-10% bodyfat; women at 14-17%. Please note that most women's fertility is compromised below 20% and the majority will lose their periods below 17-18%. If the OP wants a 6-pack, sure, she should aim for about 15% body fat. She will also have given up her period and her fertility. Still mystified by why men think they want an infertile woman; deeply concerned that most women seem eager to abandon their fertility.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:08 PM

I went back up on this one, given the recent articles related to this topic by some of the paleo bloggers.

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:03 PM

I agree. Abs are a muscle like any other. It's not a matter of losing fat to reveal them. Please don't lose any more weight. In fact, do yourself a favor and stop looking at the scale. It's about body composition, not weight. Some people have to gain lean mass before seeing their abs. Keep eating right and working with weights. If you do extended cardio for exercise, put that on the shelf for a while.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Don't just give a -1 you coward. Explain yourself?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:14 PM

I also agree with others' thoughts that abs may be genetic and girls with abs are few and far between. A flat stomach is definitely something to seek, but I don't know if you really want deep abs like a guy has. If it is what you want, you're probably going to have to work very hard at it by eating very lean and green for a while, and get your training dialed in.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Lara bars are made with dates and are a very concentrated fructose load. whole fruit is great and can be fine for fat loss, but not dried stuff. Your diet sounds fine as long as your meats are lean for the time being. Almond butter is TDF but easy to overdue so only have a tablespoon at a time. Having a good appetite is fine!

992862b1b9e443f83aa4e46d14833418

(264)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:08 PM

What has helped my super hungry feelings is IF. Now I can skip meals without much mental or physical difficulty. I used to get "hangry" (hungry + angry = hangry) if I didn't eat every few hours. After I did the Whole30 and now that I'm doing IF, I don't get that. Ever. It's pretty amazing.

E6dc51e553dfeb06d3d3b1c104432fbf

(15)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:56 PM

This could be. I really didn't start lifting regularly until I started the Paleo challenge exactly a month ago. It might be a matter of giving it time and stepping it up with the weights!

E6dc51e553dfeb06d3d3b1c104432fbf

(15)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:54 PM

Also, I've noticed that I'm super hungry in the begining of the day. I swear I could eat every hour till early afternoon! It tapers off throughout the day but I eat more than I ever did pre-paleo. Wondering if I need to just let myself be hungry for awhile?

E6dc51e553dfeb06d3d3b1c104432fbf

(15)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:52 PM

I usually have a couple eggs/bacon for breakfast. Snacks will be celery/almond butter, leftovers, occasional lara bar, a smoothie. Meals usually consists of a mixture of meat and veggies. I try to save my fruit allowance for a smoothie treat but I'm sure that is at least 2 servings of fruit. I also realize lara bars and my smoothies are high in sugar/carbs but I had the mindset that since I wasn't necessarily trying to drop pounds, I didn't need to be overly concerned about it. I also will have a small square of dark chocolate for a treat. Do you think I need to ease up on my "treats"? :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Don't confuse what you really want for what you want right now.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:38 PM

This x 100. Great answer.

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11 Answers

14
D3495cd9e3e7173f24e1dbee40774573

on April 25, 2012
at 08:31 PM

Your abs may appear when you stop fixating about them. Reducing stress will help lower belly fat. That said, it's really tough to get very lean, especially for women, and maintain it. It depends how much you want it, enough to endure intense fasted workouts, sticking exactly to what you've set out, and not 'cheating' on your food. People are obsessed with abs as a marker of good health. Sometimes it doesn't work out like that. Just make sure it's really what you want and it's worth the sacrifices (chocolate, lie-ins, your fertility possibly)>

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:37 PM

+1 for this. Having abs is just something I had to let go of, as a women. As mentioned above, I am about 16% body fat and pretty fit yet there are just no abs in site. I think it's important to try and look at your whole body and not just your stomach, although this is very hard for women.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:38 PM

This x 100. Great answer.

7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:02 PM

Women are not supposed to have visible abs.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:08 PM

I went back up on this one, given the recent articles related to this topic by some of the paleo bloggers.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:51 AM

"Still mystified by why men think they want an infertile woman;" I don't find visible abs on women attractive at all. It's like a male body part has been put on a woman.

Ecb90bbbd5a15868b2592d517a4a5e82

(280)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:48 PM

Generally it's said men will see the 6-pack at 5-10% bodyfat; women at 14-17%. Please note that most women's fertility is compromised below 20% and the majority will lose their periods below 17-18%. If the OP wants a 6-pack, sure, she should aim for about 15% body fat. She will also have given up her period and her fertility. Still mystified by why men think they want an infertile woman; deeply concerned that most women seem eager to abandon their fertility.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:57 PM

That's very close to the comment I made below, IfYouSaySo. Also, I didn't mean to imply that I had been the downvote on this Warren D-my previous comment was poorly worded. I voted you back up to 0 by adding one because I mostly agree with what you said.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:46 PM

Don't just give a -1 you coward. Explain yourself?

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:34 PM

Yeah, that comment about percentages is not all inclusive by any means. I have 16% body fat, absolutly no visible abs although I am very fit, and am still definitely fertile.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 26, 2012
at 11:41 AM

please ignore my spelling of 'necessarily'

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2012
at 10:10 PM

I got -4 on this so far. lol

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 26, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Not nessesarily true. There are some women who are fairly muscular and have visisble abs and a decent percentage bodyfat. I have had visible abs with 17-18% bodyfat and I was great health wise.

6
631b29d5ab1146e264e91d08103bb72c

on April 25, 2012
at 08:48 PM

At 113 you likely have a "too little muscle" problem instead of a "too much fat" problem.

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:03 PM

I agree. Abs are a muscle like any other. It's not a matter of losing fat to reveal them. Please don't lose any more weight. In fact, do yourself a favor and stop looking at the scale. It's about body composition, not weight. Some people have to gain lean mass before seeing their abs. Keep eating right and working with weights. If you do extended cardio for exercise, put that on the shelf for a while.

E6dc51e553dfeb06d3d3b1c104432fbf

(15)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:56 PM

This could be. I really didn't start lifting regularly until I started the Paleo challenge exactly a month ago. It might be a matter of giving it time and stepping it up with the weights!

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 26, 2012
at 02:28 AM

Also. It takes a long, long time to build muscle. Did I mention that it takes a long time?

5
2fdb7a6236b04bdfc3dacaf2bc236515

on April 25, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Genetics play a role in how visible your abs will be no matter how lean you are.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:48 PM

Yeah, when I was working out 14x a week and skinny as I've ever been I had, like, 2 abs. Some people aren't designed to have those show!

4
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on April 25, 2012
at 09:01 PM

I agree genetics is key.

My body for example, been down to 8% body fat for the past 12 months and can only show a "5 pack" due to the fact that there's a lack of hypertrophy on my lower abdominal muscles. "The Six Pack" doesn't happen for me until I'm down to 5% BF.

Here's my suggestion, if you're going for strictly for aesthetics the key is to gain muscle. I would do this by deadlifting and squatting massive amounts, once you activate those muscles and start building muscle (check out all the muscles you're using by incorporating these movements: erector spinae, gluteus maximus/hamstrings, quadriceps, Adductor magnus, Forearms, almost every muscle associated with hips, trapezius muscle or rear deltoid muscle, Transverse Abdominus, Gluteus medius/minimus (Abductors), Adductors, Soleus, Gastrocnemius), your body will start burning fat at a higher rate and you're are going to be overall more lean.

But I agree with the previous poster, gain more muscle. Most things in life are paradoxes and counter intuitive e.g., for me the key to losing more fat was gaining weight (through power lifting), and doing less cardio. Especially on a calorie constrictive diet (cardio burning more muscle than fat on a low carb diet, no sugar stores body only had muscle and fat to burn for energy).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:29 AM

Great, great answer.

3
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Why do you care? Are you a swimsuit model? Be fit, healthy and happy. There are so many more productive things to worry about. Start saving for your retirement. Get involved with people in your community who don't have access to any fresh food at all. You look like a beautiful girl who has a lot of dedication to healthful pursuits and some awesome willpower. Funnel those talents elsewhere!

Having the abs of a fifteen year old gymnast won't make you nearly as happy as you think it will.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on June 01, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Not shaming. Lovingly re-directing her focus for a minute.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on June 01, 2012
at 05:27 PM

So, you are shaming her for wanting abs? :-(

2
1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:11 AM

I think you are talking about the six pack muscle; the rectus abdominus. It's the top layer of abdominal muscle, and you could have a really strong group of core muscles (necessary for good posture, healthy spine, ease of movement, etc) and not have a visible rectus abdominus. I wouldn't worry about it at all; just worry about having strong core muscles and moving and enjoying your body. I personally thing women's bodies are more beautiful without that washboard look.

2
A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on April 25, 2012
at 10:13 PM

http://www.ancestralizeme.com/2012/03/27/paleo-women-are-phat/

Read this article - while I won't say you cannot (or even as strongly as Warren that you are not supposed to) have abs, I think the article pretty compelling points out why it's difficult and, therefore, your issues. Maybe it's less of a "worry about my abs not showing" issue and more of a "worry about reaching the best health I can" issue.

If rock-hard abs are a priority for you (for a good reason other than just having them), then it may be worth focusing on; otherwise, you should probably work on developing and maintaining optimal health for your body type and know that healthy is beautiful whether or not the lines of the person's abs can be traced through their shirt.

0
818ac7c8a7c7af6972d577f22c7b70a1

on June 01, 2012
at 04:20 AM

Scale weight is so unimportant in this equation. It's body fat that influences whether your muscle striations are visible. Why are you so fixated on seeing your abs anyway? Shouldn't our focus (men and women, but most especially women) be on being STRONG and healthy??? I would suspect @5'4" & 113# you might be underweight due to a loss of muscle mass during this recent weight loss. Therefore, your change in scale weight did not result in a significant loss of fat, but that of muscle resulting in a higher %bf in the end.

The short answer: eat well, strength train, do not fear the carbs(ie whole food starchy carbs).

0
5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 26, 2012
at 11:40 AM

You might be retaining water. I've noticed that when I eat a light dinner and not retaining water I can often see my abs. If I've had a big dinner, abs are absent in the morning. It really depends on so many factors.

A lot of models take diuretics to lose water before photoshoots to make their abs more visble. Obviously you don't want to go down that route.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 25, 2012
at 08:35 PM

What's a typical day of eating like? ALso, are you doing chronic cardio? That's no way to get abs. Lifting weights + HIIT training on the track or treadmill is a terrific way to get em. Make sure you're eating adequate protein and some fat is fine, just don't overdue it. To get to the point to see your abs may take a lot of sacrifice, but once you see em you can be surprisingly laxed with your diet and still maintain the definition.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 26, 2012
at 12:29 AM

"To get to the point to see your abs may take a lot of sacrifice, but once you see em you can be surprisingly laxed with your diet and still maintain the definition" <<< usually not the case for a female! You turn around to look at the possibility of taking it easy, and they sneak away without your consent. Seriously difficult to maintain for any length of time, though that varies with body type.

E6dc51e553dfeb06d3d3b1c104432fbf

(15)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:54 PM

Also, I've noticed that I'm super hungry in the begining of the day. I swear I could eat every hour till early afternoon! It tapers off throughout the day but I eat more than I ever did pre-paleo. Wondering if I need to just let myself be hungry for awhile?

992862b1b9e443f83aa4e46d14833418

(264)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:08 PM

What has helped my super hungry feelings is IF. Now I can skip meals without much mental or physical difficulty. I used to get "hangry" (hungry + angry = hangry) if I didn't eat every few hours. After I did the Whole30 and now that I'm doing IF, I don't get that. Ever. It's pretty amazing.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Lara bars are made with dates and are a very concentrated fructose load. whole fruit is great and can be fine for fat loss, but not dried stuff. Your diet sounds fine as long as your meats are lean for the time being. Almond butter is TDF but easy to overdue so only have a tablespoon at a time. Having a good appetite is fine!

E6dc51e553dfeb06d3d3b1c104432fbf

(15)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:52 PM

I usually have a couple eggs/bacon for breakfast. Snacks will be celery/almond butter, leftovers, occasional lara bar, a smoothie. Meals usually consists of a mixture of meat and veggies. I try to save my fruit allowance for a smoothie treat but I'm sure that is at least 2 servings of fruit. I also realize lara bars and my smoothies are high in sugar/carbs but I had the mindset that since I wasn't necessarily trying to drop pounds, I didn't need to be overly concerned about it. I also will have a small square of dark chocolate for a treat. Do you think I need to ease up on my "treats"? :)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 25, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Don't confuse what you really want for what you want right now.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 25, 2012
at 09:14 PM

I also agree with others' thoughts that abs may be genetic and girls with abs are few and far between. A flat stomach is definitely something to seek, but I don't know if you really want deep abs like a guy has. If it is what you want, you're probably going to have to work very hard at it by eating very lean and green for a while, and get your training dialed in.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:28 AM

Oh. Us guys just have it so easy then. Also, I have only met a couple girls in my life with clearly visible abs-it looks unnatural to see a girl like this. Nothing wrong with wanting a flat stomach though, IMHO.

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