Abs aren’t just for aesthetics, they’ve become a litmus test for health and sporting prowess. Here are the little things you can change to get lean and reveal their true nature

Steel cut abs are the badge of over-exercised posers, right? Well, that kind of hater-outlook is overcooked if you believe the hard science.

A new paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine found guys who carry a little too much around the middle of their bodies are 22% more likely to die from every cause and have a 25% high risk of getting saddled with a cardiovascular disease compared to those with smaller waists. Living longer is a worthy incentive scheme with a welcome side effect of looking better,

Living longer is a worthy incentive scheme with a welcome side effect of looking better, however, it’s often easier said than done, even if your training and nutrition is 100% on point. Try employing these subtle nutritional modifications each week so you edge yourself toward a midsection that’ll make you add more years to your life.


How to get lean in 4 weeks with 12 ab-revealing tips



Water it down

You literally have a weight loss aid on tap. In a study of dieters published The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those who drank two glasses of water (the equivalent of 500ml) before each meal lost 2kg in three months. It helped them feel fuller and eat fewer calories. Few things could be easier.

Cold handshake

Keeping your palms chilled while training improves endurance, found research by the American Heart Foundation. It helped people shave five minutes off their 2.5km walk time. Cool your mitts, by freezing your pre-workout drink or water before your workout and hold it while you do cardio. It will melt as you train, allowing you to rehydrate while improving your fat burning endurance.

Make a clean eating bet

A financial incentive – such as entering a weight loss competition – was a very successful motivating force for weight loss, found research in The Journal of the American Medical Association. Enter a healthy eating competition with someone you know or even better: someone you hate to keep yourself motivated to stick to a healthy eating regime.



Wash your mouth out

Swilling then spitting out a menthol liquid – such as mouthwash or chewing on fresh mint – increases your exercise endurance by 12%, found research in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. More stamina by mouth means more fat burnt by foot.

Vary your diet

How well you respond to cutting is rooted in your DNA. A paper in Obesity Research overfed people, of a similar weight and height, by 1000 calories a day and found that some gained 13.6kgs while others gained just 4.5kgs.


muscular man performing a squat with a kettlebell in a workout studio


Modify your food intake and keep tabs on how you metabolize different certain foods, particularly carbs to see if you get leaner. If you always load up on pasta post workout then try switching to rice for a month to judge its effects.

Speed kills

The best things in life are savored, so stretch out meal times and you’ll eat an average of 68 fewer calories per meal, found a study at the University of Rhode Island. This will slim 201 calories from every day’s meals, leading to you effortlessly shedding of 1lb a fortnight.



Befriend the fruit bowl

Fruits are not an enemy to abs. Natural pigments responsible for the blue, purple and red colour of fruits and veggies prevent obesity, found research at the American Chemical Society. Make your smoothie purple and you’ll be set to get leaner.

Shoot for 750 calories

That’s the size your meals should be if you want to lose weight while eating three protein heavy meals a day, found a study a Purdue University. Six small aren’t always possible if you’re busier than a ferret in a drainpipe factory.

Healthy main meals are sabotage

When eating out, they make you more likely to order beverages, side dishes and desserts with 131% more calories if your main is positioned as healthy, found research in the University of Chicago Press Journals. No good deed goes unpunished.



Go green for coffee

Green coffee beans helped people lose upwards of 10 per cent of their body weight after just 5 months, found research by the American Chemical Society. Make the switch at your home brew to charge your burning powers.

Against the grain

Distance runners whose diets were made up of 10% carbs, 19% protein and 70% fat, burnt twice as much fat high carb athlete, found a paper in Metabolism. They didn’t lose performance either, so adjust your macros to these new ratios and you’ll be on the road to victory against getting fat.

Cut it fine

Research at Arizona State University found that chopping your food into smaller pieces helps you eat less. Stick to mouthfuls the size of your thumb to trick yourself leaner.


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