Why you’ll probably never have stripper worthy abs

I hate to link to junk like this, but I read it recently and I had to comment. So…

How long does it take to get stripper-worthy abs? According to this dumb article:

“For a movie star who’s already in shape, it would probably take about three weeks,” he says. “For someone who’s 20 pounds overweight, it would take about five to six months and that would be working out three times a week. If you work out every day, you could cut that time in half.”

Really, now? Six months of working out three times a week and you’ll have abs like the guys in Magic Mike? If that were true, why isn’t everyone in your gym sporting a six-pack?

Okay, so the article got a few things right, like starting by saying that first you have to dial in your nutrition. Eat moderate carbs, control portions, quality protein, etc. But then they go and say things like this:

“No-fly” foods that seem healthy but are actually packed with hidden calories or sugars include granola bars, juices, peanut butter, and cereal.

Okay, I agree with granola bars and juices. But I eat a few tablespoons of natural peanut butter (no sugar) just about every day, and Go Lean cereal (6g of sugar) three or four days a week. And I have a pretty nice six pack, thank you very much.

Personally, I don’t believe ANY food should be off-limits, unless you have adverse reactions, allergies, or an intolerance. And despite the popular obsession with a certain common protein found in grains (which shall remain nameless), most people don’t have even moderate food sensitivities. It’s just too easy to blame particular foods or food groups. You CAN eat peanut butter and have abs. You just can’t eat a half a jar a day.

I know, I’m nitpicking. But the real reason this article bugged me was the presentation. Yes, I agree that anyone who is truly motivated can make incredible body composition changes. But it’s not easy, it’s not fast, and if “stripper-worthy abs” is even in your vocabulary you’re probably already on the road to disappointment.

Wanting to look like a guy you saw in a movie is just a terrible reason to take up a healthy diet and exercise. I guess if it prompts some healthy changes I shouldn’t have a problem with it. But we all know what really happens – a “reason” for change that isn’t tied to anything real or relevant becomes a “I tried dieting and it didn’t work…” experience that makes real change even harder down the road.

And that’s the problem with this article, and so many like it. It’s just sexier to dangle the prospect of quick and easy stripper abs than it is to promote diabetes relief and decreased risk of heart disease through long-term lifestyle change. Sadly, despite the popularity of the stripper ab mentality in the media and media consumers, it’s not the number of guys with washboard abs that’s growing at an alarming rate.

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