• Joshua Li

The Reasons Why You Are Not Seeing Your Abs

You train hard, you’re watching what you eat, but for some unknown reason you still can’t see your abs.

Here are some reasons for why that might be.

Your body fat level is too high

You started your diet a few weeks ago and you’ve seen your weight go down week after week. “Great stuff!” you think, but for some reason when you look in the mirror and flex, you still can’t see much there.

The most common and likely case is that you are still not there yet - body fat level-wise, and for the most part you won’t be able to see your abs until you are in the 10-12% range for men, and 15-17% for women.

Keep your diet going and if progress has stalled, start tracking what you eat, look into your macronutrient and calorie intake and see where you can make adjustments. Consider it a great achievement that you have made even some progress so far and know that you will eventually reach it with hard work and dedication.

You are not really focused on dieting and losing body fat

Quite common amongst beginners/low intermediate level men where they’ll start seeing some size and strength gains, and get addicted to the improvements they have been seeing. In the beginning they started to lean down while gaining muscle at the same time, but when the fat loss stalls they start to wonder why they aren’t losing any more.

The simple fact of the matter is the more trained and experienced you are, it is going to be increasingly difficult for you to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. A lot of guys out there end up perpetually staying in the bulk stage because they become addicted to the strength and size gains and end up giving up on becoming lean.

If you really want to see that six pack, you need to hone in on your goals and adjust your diet to stay aligned with them.

Your abs are not actually developed enough

One mistake that pops up from time to time is that people aren’t training their abs or at least not enough. If your abdominal muscles aren’t big enough, then you are going to have to work harder to get them to show as your body fat goes down.

If you are about 10-12% body fat for men or 15-17% for women and your abs are not that visible, you are most likely lacking the development there. Take a look at your current ab routine and see if you can add a few sets of weighted ab work to get them to pop a little more than they currently are.

Other aspects

An issues that might be hindering your progress is if you are too stressed. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is produced naturally in the body, but in chronically elevated levels, it can affect your thyroid hormone production and potentially affect insulin sensitivity which could affect body fat levels. If this sounds like you, look for ways to reduce stress whether it be emotionally, physically or psychologically.

Another issue could be you are having too much hidden calories. How much low calorie sauces are you putting on your food? Are you drinking coffee with a lot of milk and sugar? Are you eating superfoods thinking they do not have calories? Are you eating on a night out and not remembering from the excess alcohol? All of these examples could be sources where you are getting more calories than you think and this will ultimately affect your ability to drop body fat levels to reveal the six pack underneath.

In most cases, it’s not because you weren’t meant to have abs that they aren’t revealing themselves. Most likely it will be one or a combination of the reasons we’ve talked about above. Remember, in most cases it will be having a low enough level of body fat that will allow you to have a visible six pack. Keep up your efforts and the results will follow.

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