Why 6-Pack Victoria's Secret Model Abs Actually Aren't All That Healthy
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Fitspo
“Getting a superlean physique requires that you eat, sleep, and breathe a fairly restrictive approach,” says fat-loss coach Jill Coleman, MS, co-owner of Metabolic Effect. “Every once in a while, you’ll see the oddball who can achieve it without such an approach, but 99 percent of the people I’ve worked with would have to severely change their lifestyle to achieve the shredded look. That means cooking all meals at home, eating out of Tupperware, never missing a day at the gym, and turning down invitations to social events (or going and not eating the food).”
“When you’re trying to get really lean — we’re talking visible abs, not just a healthy and fit body — you’re going against your body’s cues,” Andrews says. “Your body wants to maintain a state of balance, so if you want to get it to that next level of leanness, you’re going to be hungry pretty much all the time, no matter what you eat.”
“It was a full-time job — buying clean food, prepping and cooking that food, eating six to seven times a day, washing the dishes, and hitting the gym two to three times a day,” she recalls. “It’s an amazing feeling to see your body that lean and cut, but it was always achieved through unsustainable practices. The sacrifice is immense, and the mental energy it takes is unimaginable.”
The article emphasizes that moderation is sustainable:
Galbraith actually suffered health problems after the three years she spent doing figure competitions. For her first competition, she trained by eating 900 calories per day and spending two hours a day in the gym. As the big day neared, she lost her period and experienced extreme fatigue and brain fog. “My limbs felt like they weighed 300 pounds,” she says.
Following each competition, Galbraith would fall back into old habits and quickly regain all of the weight she had lost, typically adding about 15 pounds to her frame in only a couple of weeks.
“I thought what I was doing was so healthy, and everyone else thought I was so healthy too,” she confesses. “I was getting a lot of reinforcement for it.”
After several years of oscillating between extreme training and rebounding, Galbraith was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, adrenal dysfunction, and Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder. “It was my body rebelling,” she says. “Nowadays, I just want to look good, feel good, and feel healthy and strong. My body looks different than it did when I was competing, but it’s actually sustainable over the long haul that’s going to keep me looking good and feeling good over the next 60 years instead of the next 16 weeks.”
Today, Coleman and Galbraith live and advocate more moderate methods. And the good news: Not only is this type of approach less mentally and physically taxing, but also it can keep you looking good year-round.
“For as much as it does take to get a sculpted body, it doesn’t take much to have a healthy and fit body,” Andrews agrees. “If you’re eating according to body cues — you eat when you’re hungry, you stop when you’re satisfied — and if you eat a lot of simple, nutrient-dense whole foods, you can prevent many chronic diseases, your body will be fit, and you most likely will not be overweight or obese.” He adds that doing some sort of physical activity every day, no matter what type, is also important.
The key, Galbraith stresses, is to work to be the best version of you rather than aiming for a look that might not be realistic for your body and lifestyle. “Your best body is probably not going to be a Victoria’s Secret model body, because if it were you’d probably be a Victoria’s Secret model,” she says. “I always joke that if you want long, lean muscles, get different parents. But if you want to be the best version of yourself, it is 100 percent possible to achieve that through a consistent, healthy lifestyle.”
Alright friends: I have multiple acquaintances and friends, both men and women who work in the fitness profession and more than a handful who have competed in and placed (even won) IFBB fitness competitions, others including myself who have done modeling. Starving yourself isn't what happens when done properly. The difficult thing to understand is that much like running a marathon, competing in a fitness competition... or getting a lean sculpted body is a long continuous process of building today upon what you did yesterday and week after week for at least 16 weeks you inch toward your goal.
learning what your body wants to metabolize is a part of that. I need to eat 6 times a day, sometimes a bit more than that, I don't eat high carb or simple carb after lunch, and for dinner I eat greens and protein. this works well for me. I have plenty of snacks but they are healthy like nuts and dried cranberries, yoghurt, bags of vegetables, I have fruit in the morning and follow it with a protein shake, eat another snack a couple hours later, then a full meal, snack, workout about 45 minutes to an hour and protein again, then snack before going home, possible snack before dinner, dinner and casein protein right before bed. I also take fish oils for health and of course multivitamins just in case I miss some kind of nutrient and having read some pandawhale I realize that may or may not be helping me long term but until I have seen more (quantity) studies and evidence which corroborate this study I have readhttp://pandawhale.com/post/50307/dont-take-your-vitamins
These women who are VS models do need to hit the gym and use real weights, not just cutting calories alone. When your body wants carbs fat or protein, it will tell you.
High monounsaturated fats, HDLs http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cardiovascular/cholesterol/difference-between-ldl-and-hdl-cholesterol.htm
Finally, a variety of lean protein sources will do this.
Eating a snickers satisfies while eating it and then leaves you hating yourself the rest of the day while a well designed fruit nut bar with dark chocolate may have the same # of calories but will be better long term for you. I know some may say that all calories are created equal and yes, you can lose weight by consuming a specific # of calories but that is just not healthy. http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/how-calories-really-count
Well said, but I want to point out that if you're eating 6 times a day, it really is something that consumes a lot of your time and brain cycles staying on top of!
And I believe that is the main point of the article.
True, it can be difficult to prep and especially to get used to buying the right stuff ahead of time. if you cook for the week all on Sunday it makes it easier, not everyone has the luxury to store all that food at home or work, then to have it readily available throughout the day is also complicated.
I am not saying that it is easy or possible for everyone by any means, but it can be done by many people if you effectively mitigate the stress and the complexities of the planning and storage aspects.
I believe that. But I also believe that committing to that is essentially demonstrating a willingness to spend many hours carefully constructing that lifestyle.
From what I've read, competitors in fitness competitions and swimsuit models also systematically deprive themselves of water for several days before the big event. Boxers and MMA fighters do it too to "make weight" and look super cut. So even these genetically superior people whose entire livelihood is their body do not walk around 24/7/365 with their abs looking like the Pyramid of Giza... they cut weight extra hard right before their big photo-shoot or sporting event.
Halibutboy, dehydrating seems like a good way to lose weight quickly for athletes who have doctors monitoring them, but it probably creates other health problems for civilians because dehydration can have side effects like causing headaches and fainting.
You think athletes have doctors monitoring them?!?!? HAHAHAHA There has been MANY a botched weight cut before a fight in both MMA and boxing. Daniel Cormier was in the hospital pissing blood once because his kidneys were so shot -- and this was at the Olympics where presumably there was no financial incentive. And when you hear about fighters coming up dirty on steroids, it's not to get huge -- it's to cut weight fast while sparing muscle. As for models and actresses, there's a reason why their lifestyle has long been synonymous with cocaine and cigarettes.
Wow, what awful things people do to their bodies to serve their professions.
I realize this is not going to be a popular opinion with the fellas... but I personally think our obsession with six-pack abs level leanness on women is almost ENTIRELY a creation of the breast-implant industry. If breast implants suddenly went away, I can guarantee you that the ultra-lean look on women would not be a popular one.
That's a plausible explanation, Joyce.
Seems like six pack abs should not be a goal for everyone since it depends somewhat on genetics.