T Nation

Greater Than 22% BF to Abs in 6 Months?


Just a quick question for you guys. I just made a bet with a friend of mine that 6 months from tomorrow i could have visible abs (so less than 10% bf?) or to put in in her words "abs you can grate cheese on"!

I bet too much money to lose so im just wondering can it be done?? Im about 5'11 and 190ish pounds and most of my fat in a nice little tire around my waist. Oh and I have never had a proper bodyfat test but used those crappy scales that check bf...so im sure the 22%bf is a rough estimate!

tl;dr Can I go from fat gut to hard abs in 6 months? If yes, could you point out some relevant T-Nation articles?

thanks for any help you guys can give me!


Have you ever lifted weights or trained for any sport before?

A bet is a good way to get motivated to do something serious. To get the end product you want out of this will require SERIOUS work. If you're motivated enough six months is enough time to make a pretty big physique change, especially for a beginner.


short answer is: Yes it can be done.

Can YOU do it??? I dont know.

That sort of transformation is going to take A LOT of dedication. You're diet is going to need to be spot on. Most of your fat loss will come from a proper diet.

Post some stats and more of a training background for better feedback


Played rugby for about 5 years from 13-18 and was big into weight lifting etc (well i thought so at the time anyway!). But im 21 now, have taken to college nighlife a bit too well and havent stuck with any training for more than a month or so since then.

I will be more than willing to do the work if i know i can get a result at the end of it....i miss the body i had back when i played rugby! Im at the stage now where im embarrassed by my body and am sick of using it as an excuse to not do stuff i.e. anything that involves me taking my shirt off!


Ok I hear ya. I'm assuming by "have taken to college nightlife a bit too well" you mean that you're staying out late and drinking a lot? That is definitely very counterproductive to building a good physique. Its not impossible but it hurts progress a lot. If you're going to lose all that BF you should cut out all the drinking and get to bed early most nights so that you can recover from your workouts.

Why havent you stuck with any training programs for more than a month or so? That makes it seem like you're not a very self motivated person when it comes to lifting... which will be a big problem when trying to recomp ya know?


Hey greg what kind of stats do you want?

My diet is not terrible at the moment, i think. My typical day food wise is a bowl of porrige each morning with a banana followed a protein and fruit smoothie a few hours later then more porridge at lunch and dinner varys throughout the week.

Training wise i used to be in the gym 4/5 times a week a few years back, mostly sticking with the big heavy lifts like deadlift, benches and squats.

Funny thing is i really enjoyed working out and was always interested in learning new exercises and seeing how affected my body. But the college lifestyle really took over. What is it you guys in america call it when you start college, the freshman 15? Pretty sure i got that and more!


I gained "The freshman 15" in college, but it wasn't fat. And that was with just cafeteria food, didn't have any money for supplements or extra food of any sort. It just depends on whether you're serious or not, all in your head.

Simplest way to accomplish your goal is to post pics here every 1-2 weeks with your progress. That will keep you accountable, along with posting what you did each day in the gym and food-wise.


Your diet is not optimal for what you're trying to do. You have very little protein and apparantly no fat in your diet. This diet isn't optimal to sustain life much less build an impressive physique.

Are you a vegetarian, or do you avoid meat for some other reason?

Is that really all you eat during the day? Your dinner "varys throughout the week", what sorts of things are we talking about? Your diet is practically anorexic for a young man at your height and weight unless you are eating a lot of food that you didn't list above.

You need to get your diet in check.

More protein. If you are a vegetarian you need to eat VEGETABLES to ensure that you actually get a complete assortment of amino acids and other micro nutrients. beans and rice, peas, lentils, greens (collard, kale, cress, spinach etc.) squash, pumpkin, peppers, onions etc. etc. etc. Mushrooms are also a great source of amino acids although not high in protein. Can you eat cheese, cottage cheese, greek yogurt etc? How about eggs? If you are not a vegetarian EAT MEAT.

Fish are an excellent source of protein when dieting. Salmon contains a lot of quality protein and quality fat. Which leads to my next point.

Not eating fat is bad for you. Really, really bad for you. Your body requires fats to produce things like hormones, the chemical messengers that tell your body to do things like burn fat and build muscle. If you are a vegetarian your diet needs to include things like extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, avocados, flax seed oil, dark chocolate (80% or darker), pumpkin seeds (pepitos) etc. If you are not a vegetarian you should eat the stuff I just listed plus butter, eggs, fatty fish and meat.

I'm seriously having trouble even wrapping my head around how little food you have listed above.


Yup exactly! I am in my final year of college now and because of the workload i think i have only gone out drinking twice in the last two months so that was another reason i decided now is a good time to get back on the wagon so to speak!

It does sound like i wouldnt be very motivated but there were a few reasons i couldnt stick with programs...i wasnt as pissed off at myself as i am now, and i didnt realise how bad i have started to look (but i have seen some pics of myself and heard people talking so now i really do!), and the other big thing was that i never had the money to join a proper gym (you know, not one where they think squating your bodyweight makes you a god?)

I think i will start doing that. Which forum should i do it in if i can ask a stupid question?

The list of what i eat there was just off the top of my head so i probably missed a few things, and yeah when i read it back it didnt seem like much! Also i can be a grazer some times..so ill be walking by the kitchen and grab some apples/bananas/peaunut butter sandwiches and not even remember i did it. So ill start writing down what i eat.
A few of the dinners i have would be: spaghetti bolognase, steak and sweet potatoes with veg, mackeral/salmon with potatoes and veg, roast chicken with potatoes and veg, chicken stirfrys etc. those would probably be the most regular meals i make. Oh and we have a bunch of chickens here at home so egg based meals are eaten quite a bit too!
Only after reading back what i said i eat did i realise i only really have meat at dinner...which should hopefully change soon i was told about a good cheap butchers where i can actually afford the meat!

Oh and apologies to all of ye for anything i say that doesnt make sense...been working 15 hour shifts for the last 2 days and have to work 2 more of them so im a bit tired. But i need the cash so i cant complain :confused:


I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I don't really care anymore.

Earlier this year I did precisely what you're looking to do, and dropped from 21% bf to 9% in 6 months. If you'd like to know a little bit about the training and dieting I used feel free to PM me. I'm happy to share.

Best of luck.


And that's how you get away with such tiny meals, you're making up the rest in constant snacking. Yeah, start a food log and keep it for at least a week. It will be totally eye opening. You can keep any follow up on your progress in this same thread. The beginners forum is the best place on here for you to get help right now.

Eggs can be really cheap, so can things like canned fish (tuna, salmon, mackeral, herrings etc.) and both provide good protein and fats. Big cuts of meat are cheaper than steaks, buy a roast and cook it to make food for the whole week. You can eat well on a tight budget if you pay attention and make smart choices.


Ok yeah i will try keep the log and see how it goes. One last question before i head to bed, the answer sounds obvious but i thought i would just double check....like i said im looking to lose a lot of fat so i will have to adjust my diet and assuming i have to take in less calories, should i feel like im hungry all the time or not?


Why would this get you flamed? You would be perfect to help him.. Look at your pics. As long as you did it the RIGHT way, help a brother out.

OP, my .02 - If you already have some muscle on your frame, this is going to be pretty easy.. Especially eating the way you do and drinking as often as you do. 6 months is a REALLY long time when you are doing the right things. Like H4M said, you have to be accountable, and everyone here will do just that. As much as we all hate, we love to see progress.


Yes, if you are doing it right you should be hungry in between meals and ravenous after workouts. Many small meals a day can help deal with this, i.e figure out your calories for the day and spread em out between 6 to 8 meals or snacks.

Once you have an idea of what you'e currently eating it's important not too cut too fast at once. Dial the calories in a little bit until you notice fat loss then eat at that level until fat loss stalls, then dial in a little further etc. If you try to cut the calories too fast you will sabotage your workouts and your muscle mass.


I've gotten some shit for posting about my transformation whenever I was trying to give input for posters hoping to lose a gut...I guess they mistook it as me being an egoist. I did it with a paleo diet and circuit weight training.


Oh geez, it wasn't shit dude, it was a joke.

No carbs made you so sensitive :wink:


The wife says I am no longer allowed to have strictly protein/fibrous carb days anymore. Towards the end of the day, I was singing to a slice of bread to get in my belly.


Now that was funny. And it wasn't just you I was referring to.

BTW, what's your diet like these days? You're looking pretty awesome. Is it all that steady-state? :wink:


You're just trying to butter me up... it worked

You're not getting me on that paleo crap, I'm content with 40-30-30


It can be done, the pics in my profile took place over 5 months, although I had about 3 years of training in before that transformation and my training and diet was dialed in 100% for about 4 months. Its very difficult to get THAT low for the average person. You probably would not like to do what I had to do to get that low.

Are you simply trying to get down to that low of weight, or are you in this for the long haul and to eventually get and impressive physique? If its the later I would cancel this little bet and focus on the big picture. If its the former, post pics in this thread and we can better help you.