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How Much You Can Change Your Abs in 2 Weeks

Cosmopolitan logo Cosmopolitan 12-09-2018 Elizabeth Narins

Most people who want more defined abs do a couple extra crunches or eat half their pint of Halo Top rather than the whole thing - but Iulia Danilova, a 25-year-old Los Angeles mom to a 2-year-old daughter, recently pulled out ALL the stops in an effort to sculpt her own core, posting before-and-after photos taken two weeks apart.

Although she started out pretty freaking fit in the first place, her transformation shows exactly how much you can realistically change your abs by following safe, science-backed weight loss strategies - like doing cardio and reducing calories from carbohydrates- which can lead to loss of belly fat and help those abs shine.

Leading up to her before photo, Danilova lifted weights for 45 minutes to an hour up to six mornings a week, working different body parts throughout the week. (See? Said she was fit!) 

Although she didn't do any cardio, she tracked her diet pretty closely, sticking to carbs like rice, pasta, and potatoes; protein from red meat, chicken, eggs, and protein shakes; and fat from avocado, hummus, and olive oil. In an effort to put on muscle mass, she went out of her way to eat up to 15 percent more than her body actually needed. (FWIW, Danilova doesn'ttrain for anything in particular. "I'm just doing this for me," she says.)

View this post on Instagram

Leg workout from yesterday: 1. Hack squats - 50lbs (4x12) 2. Body weight curtsy lunges (using hip band) - 4x20 (superset with hack squats) 3. Lunges - 10lbs plates (4x20) 4. Single leg stiff legged deadlift - 10lbs plates 4x10 (superset with lunges) 5. Hip thrusts - 50lbs (3x15) 6. Leg extensions - 70lbs (3x12) 7. Single leg side leg press - 15lbs (3x12 each leg) 8. Elevated Hip abduction - 250lbs (4x12) I still can’t do any heavy lifting but this kind of workouts burn soooo much!!! Tag some friends and try it out!! Rocking my @tilyoucollapse Periwinkle leggings 💙 Happy Sunday!❤️ #squats #legday #legworkout #girlswholift #fitgirl #workout #gymgirl #tilyoucollapse #fitnessmotivation

A post shared by Iulia Danilova (@fit.with.iulia) on

During the two weeks that passed between photos, she did up to four weekly cardio sessions in addition to her regular workouts: She'd either hike or return to the gym in the evening and spend up to 40 minutes doing a combination of the Stairmaster, treadmill, and stationary bike.

Related: 39 Secrets That Will Get You Flat Abs (POPSUGAR)

Instead of crash dieting, which can lead to binge eating and general misery, she ate about 10 percent less than the amount her body needed,amping up her protein intake while scaling back a bit on carbohydrates, but sticking to the same foods she was eating before. "I'm absolutely not starving," she says, shooting down extremely low-calorie diets, which can leave you feeling deprived and aren't the only way to lose weight.

Although Danilova has no specific weight-loss goal in mind, she plans to continue this routine for a couple more months. "I'm documenting my journey to show that anything is possible," she says of her fitspirational Instagram account.

o that end: It's not possible to change your body overnight - it takes effort and patience. As always, the easiest change you can make involves your mindset, since no cardio is needed to accept your body as is. As for that Halo Top: Pass the spoon?

Watch: 11 Fitness: Full body workout with weights (WBAL TV Baltimore)

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Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the author's own and MSN does not endorse them in any way. Neither can MSN independently verify any claims made in the article. You should consult your physician before starting any weight loss or health management programme to determine if it is right for your needs.

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