How Long Does It Take to Get 6 Pack Abs

How Long Does It Take to Get 6-Pack Abs?

If getting a chiseled, well-defined abdomen is one of your goals, you may be wondering how long it takes to get that coveted six-pack. But the truth is, it will probably take longer than you think. So be patient.

The key to getting six-pack abs is to burn the subcutaneous abdominal fat that sits between your ab muscles and the skin. Depending on your current body weight, genetics and approaches to nutrition and exercise, burning that fat may take 6 months or more than 1-2 years even if you follow a strict diet and exercise routine.

Most people need to lose at least 50% of their body fat for their abs to be visible. And fitness experts report that 1% of body fat loss per month is both safe and attainable. Given these numbers, getting six-pack abs may take:

  • 20-26 months for the average woman
  • 15-21 months for the average man 

According to some studies, 12 weeks of strength training together with aerobic exercise may be more efficient at reducing body fat than aerobic exercise alone. 

While getting a six-pack is definitely not easy, it’s a huge achievement that can have a positive impact on both your health and other aspects of your life.

6 steps to getting a 6-pack

1. Start exercising

If you have excess fat and you want a six-pack, your first step is to get your body mass index down to the level where your abdominal muscles can be visible.

  • Start by doing 15 minutes of intense exercise after work.
  • Harness the power of habit. If you can keep up the discipline, you will start to notice changes that set off a chain reaction of new habits and new wins.

2. Strengthen your core muscles

To be able to work on your core, you need to do exercises targeted towards strengthening your abs and back.

  • Planks are a good whole body workout that strengthens both your core and back muscles.
  • Reverse crunches work your lower abs and bicycling works your side abs. Just make sure to work on both sides evenly.

3. Try weight training

Getting a six-pack means you have to work on the rest of your body too. Working with weights helps strengthen your muscles and increase your stamina and ability to exercise more intensely.

4. Do cardio every day

Cardio is the fastest way to lose fat. You can swim, cycle, play a sport you like or just get on the treadmill.

Many fitness trainers believe that high-intensity interval (HIIT) cardio training is most effective and shedding weight quickly. This type of workout is where you exercise intensely for 30 seconds, take a break then repeat 8-9 times. HIIT workouts may make sense for you if you don’t have a lot of time to exercise every day and need something quick and effective. 

5. Change your diet

While a good workout routine will help tone your body, a healthy diet will help to drop unwanted weight. Both are equally important to get the desired results.

  • Stay away from white carbs. Try brown carbs, such as brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat bread. Eat more natural goods instead of processed ones.
    • Since you are cutting down on your carb intake, you need to substitute it with proteins. Your body burns more calories while breaking down proteins than it does to break down carbs and fats. Try to keep your protein intake in check by including whole eggs, Greek yogurt, peanuts, Parmesan, pumpkin seeds, etc. preferably in your breakfast meal plan.
  • Incorporate fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, fish oils, nuts and avocado. These items help reduce inflammation in the body and improve brain and eye functions.
  • Eat at regular intervals and don’t be worried about eating so often. This will keep your metabolism busy. Take small portions of healthy snacks and you’ll be good. 

6. Drink water

Water boosts your metabolism, cleanses your body of unwanted toxins and suppresses your food cravings. Drinking cold water is often recommended because your body works harder to warm the water up, which results in burning more calories. It may even reduce your intake of processed drinks and juices.

Vegan protein sources

Protein Deep Dive

BBQ chicken.  A juicy steak.  Seared salmon.

Is your mouth watering yet?

These are all forms of protein, which we know is important for health.  Have you ever wondered what protein actually is and why it’s so important to eat enough?

Deep Dive: Proteins are the blue-collar workers that make up the backbone of everything we do. Every function in our body is performed by chains of amino acids folded and formed in highly specific ways to form unique proteins. Proteins are the key components of cells that, when tied together, allow our body to function. Each protein is a small piece of the puzzle that makes up our muscle, hair, collagen, and even antibodies (immune system). It’s everywhere! 

We are constantly breaking down protein and rebuilding it into new proteins. By doing this, we maintain what is called a positive nitrogen balance. Nitrogen is the primary chemical associated with amino acids (nitrogen = amino group). When we are in a positive overall nitrogen balance, we have an abundance of aminos available because we are losing less than we are eating. If we are in a negative balance, we are losing more nitrogen than what we are eating, indicating that we aren’t eating enough protein for our needs.

What exactly are our protein needs? Does exercise level, injury, sickness, or muscle mass affect that number? The answer is a resounding YES! All of these factors can greatly impact the amount of protein someone needs to consume in the day.

Each individual has their own specific protein needs based on their size, activity, goals, and medical history. Knowing and meeting your needs can be the difference between building muscle and reaching your goals… or being stuck at a plateau.


How much is too much protein?

The average person does not need any more than 25 grams of protein at a time. Eating more than that in one meal or snack hasn’t been shown to be beneficial for increasing muscle synthesis or growth. That being said, there are no expressly harmful side effects from over-consuming protein besides that they could replace more beneficial foods or come with a higher fat content.

Can you get protein from plants?

Yes! Although plant proteins are considered to have a lower biological value (or percentage that shows up in tissues after eating), you can still get all essential amino acids from plant protein. In order to do so, make sure you are pairing plant proteins: rice & beans, tofu & quinoa, lentils and seeds. Combinations are key to reach your per meal amounts of protein.

What are the highest quality proteins?

Protein quality is measured in a variety of ways, including biological value, net protein utilization, and the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acids Score (PDCAAS). The highest biological value proteins are eggs, whey protein, and milk. The PDCAAS test is the FDA’s preferred method of determining protein quality. A PDCAAS value of 1 is the best possible score. Casein, whey, egg white, and soy protein are all at the top of that category.

Healthy Nut Cups - Fitness Recipe

Healthy Nut Butter Cups

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, then this recipe will be your savior.  I’ve had people say these taste better than the real thing…but these are healthy!  Of course, everything in moderation (your mom hit the nail on the head with this).  Enjoy 1-2 of these every day to kick that sugar craving and reap all the healthy goodness.

What makes homemade treats healthy?

 Dark Chocolate

It’s a true joy that a food so delicious is also good for you.  The darker the chocolate, the better.  Dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk and lots of awesome antioxidants and fiber, which keep you feeling healthy and full.

Nut Butter

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use any nut butter you choose!  Peanut butter is classic, but try it out with almond butter or even sun butter (made from sunflower seeds).  With all the nut allergies these days, sun butter is your best bet if you’re making these for a school function or a bake sale.  Nut butter provides healthy fats and protein, which keep us fueled and full throughout the day.

So who’s ready to make some sweet treats?


12 ounces (2 cups) dark chocolate chips (65% or higher cacao)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 cup nut butter (you choose which kind!)

3 tablespoons vanilla protein powder

  1. Line a mini muffin tin with 24 liners.
  2. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for 60 seconds. Stir, and if needed heat up an additional 30 seconds until completely melted.  Fill up the liners about 1/3 of the way with the chocolate mix.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  3. While refrigerating, mix the nut butter and protein powder. If the mixture is still runny, add in 1 extra tablespoon of protein powder.  Roll into little balls and squish the mixture on top of the chocolate in the liners.
  4. Add the rest of the chocolate on the top of the peanut butter so it is completely covered. Refrigerate the cups for an additional 10 minutes, and enjoy!

(makes approximately 24 mini cups)

Rethink Your Drink

Rethink Your Drink

It’s summer.  It’s hot.  And nothing sounds better than a cool, refreshing beverage.  There are 92 days of summer, and the choices you make on each day can make a huge impact overall.  Many drinks contain hidden calories and sugars that are all too easy to gulp down.  The worst part is, these drinks don’t make us feel satiety (or fullness); that’s why calorie-laden drinks are often considered to contain “empty” calories.  But have no fear!  Here are some drink swaps you can make each and every day to enjoy a refreshing drink while cutting back on calories.  All drinks are based on 16 ounces.

Swap lemonade for iced tea with lemon.

**This swap would save you 200 calories and 50 grams of sugar.  Choose this swap every day throughout the summer, and you’ll save 18,400 calories, which adds up to a 5 pound weight difference (~3500 calories = 1 pound…ish).

Swap soda for flavored sparkling water.

**This swap would save you 185 calories and 48 grams of sugar.  Chosen every day throughout the summer = 17,020 calories = 4.5 pounds.

Swap a daiquiri for a spiked seltzer.

**This swap is HUGE. Choosing a spiked seltzer just once instead of a daiquiri saves you 740 calories and 20 grams of sugar.  Doing this swap twice every weekend throughout the summer saves you 19,240 calories which is about 5.5 pounds.

Small decisions every day make a big difference!  Be smart this summer and rethink your drink.  You’ll thank yourself when the leaves start to change.