The Tripod Approach to Summer Abs!


by Wendy Hunt

Spring is here and magazines in the grocery line racks are filled with articles that promise a bikini body, 6 pack abs and toned torso – all guaranteed if you follow a simple 6 week program of tummy toning exercises.

Too good to be true?  Yes. Don’t be fooled by these one dimensional approaches to a multi-dimensional challenge.  You CAN make changes to your body in 6 weeks.  You CANNOT do it simply by doing hundreds of sit ups and planks every day.

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Body transformations that involve changing or reducing the distribution of fat and muscle must build on a three-pronged approach that is aimed at better insulin control, building new muscle and changing body metabolism.  These approaches are synergistic, making this “tripod” approach to achieving your “summer body” not only more effective, but sustainable beyond the summer months.


Better Insulin Control – Tame Your Pancreas

If you can tame your pancreas (the organ that produces insulin) you will be back in the driver’s seat and feel more satiated while your body learns to burn your own body fat for fuel! 

Build New Muscle

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The timing and type of protein that you consume is important. Gone are the days when any post work out shake will do.  Your “peri-workout” nutrition should be geared towards the type, intensity and duration of your workouts in order to get the results you deserve!

Changes in Body Metabolism

In the meantime, it is short sighted to see those high intensity boot camp type classes (HIIT) as just an opportunity to burn calories. This training stimulates important metabolic changes in your body that allow you to burn calories more efficiently and for longer. In fact, this is a more effective way to induce metabolic changes than running on the treadmill at a steady pace.

Similarly, if you thought weight training was just about muscle toning and making you look good you are wrong.  Lifting heavy things also stimulates metabolic changes in your muscles that help you to burn fat.  A great way to manage a quick snack includes trail mix. 

So make the time this spring to consult a nutritionist, add a couple of weight training sessions to your workouts (twice a week is enough) and enjoy some HIIT classes.  With this three pronged approach you will be on your way to becoming a lean machine!

Wendy Hunt’s professional career spans over 25 years working as a nurse and clinical researcher in the biotech industry. An avid cyclist, tennis player and cross country skier, Wendy brings her love of sport and her healthcare background to offer a unique perspective on issues related to health and fitness.