Being back at home has made me somewhat lazy.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but by not having a routine and just kind of winging it, I am definitely asking for trouble on January 3rd when I have to go back to work.  Oh well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there!

Here’s what I have been doing though…

  • Hanging out with my sister all day every day.  There’s never a dull moment when the two of us are together!
  • Eating all of the delicious, healthy desserts snacks my sister made last week.  She basically looked through all of Katie’s recipes and picked out a few to try.  Every night after dinner, we put together a plate of assorted healthy brownies, muffins, and bars to share. 
  • Shopping for Christmas presents.  We don’t really “celebrate” Christmas as we are Hindu, but my sister wanted to relive our childhood and open presents, so I’ve had to make some last minute purchases. 
  • Working out semi-regularly.  I have plenty of options at my disposal (DVDs and a treadmill), but it’s been kind of hard to stay on track.  My goal is to get in at least nine good workouts while at home.  Two down, seven to go!
  • Wedding related research, meetings, and planning.  I think I’ll have to dedicate an entire post (or a few posts) to this.  Wedding prep is hard work, people!

Speaking of the wedding, my mom, sister, and I went to the tailor to pick up some of the outfits we needed to have altered (we are clearly not a family of procrastinators).  As I tried everything on, it dawned on me (like really dawned on me) that every outfit I wear will be showing a good portion of my stomach. 

Now, as I’ve said before, my abs are the toughest body part for me to tone and shed fat.  Even when I lost a ton of weight, my abs were still not defined. And I’m not really looking to achieve 6 pack abs in six months, but I do want to tighten that area up a little bit.

So I brought this goal up to my sister, and we got into an interesting debate.  From her experiences, crunches and exercises that target the core are what help her.  And from my experiences, what I eat has much more of an effect. 

Our debate led to me do some research, and the gist of what I found was that “Abs are made in the kitchen.”  Another way of saying this is that you “can’t out exercise a poor diet.” Basically, you can work out all you want, but if the calories you consume exceed the calories you burn, all the hours you put in at the gym go down the drain.  That’s common sense I suppose. 

What I think a lot of people forget is that even if calories in < calories out, you may not achieve your goals.  Why?  Because the quality of the calories matter too.  And this is where I need to pay a little more attention.  I eat a fairly clean diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and various sources of protein.  However, I think I need to reevaluate what I eat and incorporate a few new foods into my diet.  Here’s what I came up with…

  • Eggs – They help burn fat and build muscle.  Also, eggs contain filling protein and vitamins A and B12.  My goal is to incorporate eggs into more of my meals, namely breakfast (egg and cheese muffins, omelets, mini quiches, etc.).
  • Nuts – Again, nuts help burn fat and build muscle. They contain protein, niacin, monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, and magnesium.  My goal is to take some time every Sunday and make baggies containing almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and a few chocolate chips.  I want to make this my go to snack in the late afternoon.
  • Green vegetables (and veggies in general) – Green veggies help slow down the aging process, and they help fight cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc.  They also contain vitamins A, C, and K, folate, beta-carotene, fiber, etc.  I already go through approximately 1.5 bags of spinach a week.  In addition to that, I’d like to start eating more broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, carrots, zucchini, etc.  I have to give myself some credit and say that I do a relatively good job eating these and other veggies regularly, but I need to get better at meal planning and ensuring that they are incorporated into as many of my meals as possible.
  • Water –  I need to drink more of it.  Period. 

And something else I should probably mention is that I need to reduce the amount of sugar (including artificial sweetners) in my diet.  A not so well kept secret is that I love (read: am obsessed with) chocolate.  As much as I believe a little “dessert” is essential to any diet, I know I tend to go overboard sometimes.  A small handful of chocolate chips sometimes turns into a few small handfuls.   Again, all I’m saying is that I need to carefully evaluate my diet and try to reduce as much unnecessary sugar as possible.

And I’m not going to wait until January 1st to put all of this into practice.  Since we don’t really celebrate Christmas, this means that we don’t partake in a lot of the holiday eating that happens during this time of the year.  I have absolutely no reason not to start with my next meal, which is what I plan to do.   And with that, I’m going to drink a glass or two of water after I hit publish on this post. Smile

Have you started thinking about your 2012 goals and what you want to accomplish?

By Parita

0 thoughts on “Fab Abs”
  1. Sounds like a great plan! For me, sugar has made the biggest difference. I make an effort to keep it under 30g a day. It’s tough but it helps! That and planking – I’m a firm believer that it’s the best exercise you can do for abs.

    For 2012 I want to keep down the path I’ve been going – eating well, exercising daily, and making forward progress at work.

  2. Every fitness expert vouches for the fact that abs are what you eat. I am sure you’ll do well, Parita and look gorgeous in all you wedding outfits 🙂

    My goals for 2012 are simple, eat healthy, exercise and stay organized…cuz I’ll need these three things to help me through this pregnancy and after.

  3. Oh I love doing ab work. I tend to eat what I want (in moderation), but have always always kept up with my ab work which I feel like has been a big component. I’m into all sorts of exercises including planks, crunches, tucks, stability ball work etc. I can’t wait to see my abs again!

  4. “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”–> true story! Sounds like a great goal and one I may get on board with! I have the similar issue in that my tummy area is the hardest part for me to tone up…and given the nature of Indian outfits, this is fairly unfortunate!

    Glad you are having a great time with the family! My sister is in town visiting and it’s SO nice to be able to spend time with her even if we’re just bumming around!

  5. I am absolutely in the same boat!! My fiance is Hindu and so I am wearing a sari for part of our wedding. I need some serious revisions in my diet habits over the next year!
    Also I would love any websites you’re using for your wedding or tips on decorating for an Indian wedding because I have no clue!!

  6. I used to have really defined abs but once Maya was born they went out the window. Along with my fantastic metabolism! It’s maddening.

    And the chocolate chips – I had to stop buying them because I too had an issues with one handful becoming three or four. Terrible.

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