It’s crunch time! The bikinis are out and we’re panicking about getting into one. Will we be proud of our abs? The headlines of our favorite magazines scream “Get Your Dream Body”, “Tone Your Trouble Zones” and more. And every summer, we once again fall prey to the dramatic body challenges and quick-fix offers out there, like the 30 Day Abs Challenge, or The Body Challenge that throws you into an unsustainable routine, ultimately abandoning you after what I call the “honeymoon” phase.
Browsing Instagram at this time of year can give you a good dose of the blues if you don’t yet have your dream abs. But none of us believe in suffering for beauty, which is why we’ve been quite content to keep our extra flab quietly hidden under big sweaters all winter long, and even once summer reared its head, we’ve still successfully camouflaged it under light boho maxi dresses – after all, we tell ourselves, it’s the fashion!
But unless you wear a one-piece swimsuit, or even more than that, a burkini, you’re likely going to have to expose your dear little tummy at some point. It’s certainly stressful, to say the least. We aren’t toned enough, our muffin top has nowhere to hide, and those love handles suddenly don’t seem as cute as they did in private. Panic has set in!
Some of us might adopt an attitude of “I don’t care what anyone thinks, I tone my body for myself,” but let’s be honest…we all like to please our partner (who tells us he loves us exactly as we are, but hey, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t notice a hot body!)… And if you’re single, I doubt you’ll mind a seductive glance from the bachelor sunbaking nearby. And then of course, when you’re happy with your body, you feel good in your own skin, loveable in your own eyes – and you radiate that out. As I always say, you’ve gotta first love yourself before you can truly love someone else!
So…what do men love? A plump belly expressing laid-back playfulness? Uber muscular abs and not a gram of fat to be seen? A tiny figure with undefined abs? A toned tummy minus the famous “chocolate abs”? Since the best way to find out was to ask the guys directly, we interviewed about 100 men and collected their responses for you. The men were shown the following pictures (randomly ordered like so) which they then classified from sexiest to least attractive.
Check out these pictures and choose your favorite: your abs of choice might be similar to your own or the kind of abs you dream about.
And now, compare your selection with what men really like:
The results harbor good news for us! Men don’t like women’s abs too muscular at all, which is great, because we have no interest in killing ourselves to get that look! And by the way, did you know that to get abs like the ones in photos 3 + 6, your body fat percentage would have to be below the level considered healthy, i.e. below 20%, or for photo 6, even below 10%?! Note that image number 4 is overweight and some men actually liked her tummy (she weighs 187 lbs).
So for those of you who want beautiful toned abs (beyond aesthetics, a toned tummy also contributes to better back health), check out this article for the perfect guide to achieving your goal:
On we go – it’s never too late to start, so begin by sucking in your stomach whenever you pass a door!
And if you’re reading this while already in panic mode at the beach, just stay put on your towel – your tummy is naturally flatter when you’re lying down 🙂
Have an amazing summer! <3