Thanks to Victoria's Secret models and the covers of every fitness magazine, it seems that having defined abs is one of the most coveted aesthetic goals of women everywhere.
As a personal trainer, I am consistently asked what exercises to do and what foods to consume to achieve this look. I am confident that I know the so-called secret to a six-pack, but I will never, ever recommend it to my clients. Let me explain.
It is very unnatural for most women to have six-pack abs while maintaining a healthy relationship with food and exercise.
This is because women generally need a body fat percentage of at least 20 percent in order to remain fertile and have regular menstrual cycles. This is in comparison to men, who can get to as low as 6 percent body fat and still remain in the "healthy" category.
Yes, there are some exceptions to this. Some women have a more muscular build or a naturally low body-fat level that allows for their abdominal muscles to be visible.
Unfortunately, the heroin-chic look of the '90s morphed into the equally unattainable "strong is the new skinny" and "fitspiration" trend plastered all over social media today.
Achieving visible abs as a woman is unfortunately seen as the "gold standard" of fitness.