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Pro Bodybuilder Shows Off Six-Pack and Shares 5 Ways to Get Yours

Lose more weight faster by adding a few healthy habits to your routine. 
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Are you about to go on a diet? If the answer is yes, incorporating these five habits into your lifestyle will supercharge it and help you lose as much weight as possible the healthy way, according to Certified fitness trainer, Jason Kozma, aka Mr. America and Mr. Muscle Beach, is a champion bodybuilder who trains clients at Santa Monica-based High Performance Personal Training.


Get Enough Sleep

Abs start in the bedroom, according to Kozma. "Lack of sleep increases cortisol, a hormone that builds and maintains belly fat while wasting muscle," he says. "Most people require 8 hours for adequate restorative rest." The Sleep Foundation adds that enough z's is a mood booster, promotes heart health, regulates blood sugar, improves mental function, restores your immune system, helps relieve stress, and aids in weight loss. 

Related: 20 Ways to Shrink Your Belly in 20 Days



Drinking enough water is also crucial. "The lowest recommended amount of water is 8 8-ounce servings of water per day," says Kozma. However, a better amount is 100 ounces. "Once you are actually thirsty you are likely already dehydrated," he points out. "People often confuse thirst with hunger. Being hydrated optimizes metabolism." According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine men should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day and women about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids.


Avoid All Processed Foods

Just say no to processed foods, says Kozma. "Processed foods are not recognized by your body and are more likely stored as fat," he explains. And, the more refined the food, the worse it is for you. "This means man-made foods like bread, cereal, frozen dinners, crackers, chips are out," he adds. "Shop around the edge of the store, not within it. Cut all that out and you'll probably lose a ton of weight in a month."


Exercise More

Exercise is also an important component. "Losing weight entails creating a caloric deficit," explains Kozma. "Every pound of fat contains 3500 stored calories. If you want to lose one-pound a week you have to burn 500 more calories than you take in. That's hard to do and keep up with using only dietary intervention." Besides, "your body and mind require a certain number of calories to function and going below that for an extended time (if you can keep it up) leads to damage to your metabolism. You can much less painfully create this caloric deficit by adding exercise." He suggests doing at least 60 minutes 6 days per week – 3 days of weight training and 3 days of cardio for beginners or intermediate level types.

Related: Sculpt Abs in 3 Weeks With This Ultimate Plan


Amp Up Your Protein Intake

Finally, eat more protein. "Your muscles are made of protein, not potato chips," Kozma reminds, who suggests that a good macro ratio for people who lift weights is 40/40/20. "That means 40% of daily calories from protein, 40% from carbohydrates, and 20% from fat. All these foods should be as whole and natural as possible;  yes oatmeal, no Fruit Loops."

💪🔥Body Booster: Simply cutting out processed foods could help you lose several pounds a month, as they are not recognized by your body and more likely to be stored as fat.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more