Question:

I am in the process of cutting down my body fat, but nothing seems to work. My metabolism is not very good, but I’m doing cardio 3 times a week. I also not eating as many calories to cut down. What and how many times should I eat if I want a six-pack?

– Arib C.

Answer:

First and foremost, I hope you’re incorporating some resistance training into your workout routine! Cardio is great for reducing body fat around the belly, but six-pack abs are made from strength training to develop those abdominal muscles. See a ProResults® trainer for assistance and listen to one’s advice for best ab machines on our Ask a Trainer series.

That said, you should eat three to six times per day, schedule and appetite permitting. If you choose to eat more frequent meals and snacks, pay attention to portions so you’re redistributing the calories you eat, not adding more. Meals and snacks should be based on vegetables – lots of them!, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates with fresh fruit and low-fat dairy to complement. Avoiding alcohol and added sugars is essential if you aren’t getting results.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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