Here are the basic guidelines for how someone with diabetes can get six-pack abs.

The good news is that for diabetics who want six-pack abs, there is nothing different they need to do as far as the training exercises.

What the diabetic must do, however, that’s different than for someone free of diabetes, is monitor the blood sugar level before, during and after training, and eat sufficient carbohydrates to keep the blood sugar level where it’s supposed to be.

And keep hydrated – though that’s also advised for all people who work out and want six-pack abs.

How Does a Diabetic Get a Six-Pack?

“The ability for an individual to develop a six-pack, regardless of whether or not they have diabetes, has a lot to do with the percentage body fat,” explains Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 10 years of experience in various community and clinical settings.

“A combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity is key in working towards the six-pack goal. However, some individuals may not achieve an actual six-pack if the percentage body fat is still too high.”

This rule of thumb, as Massey has pointed out, applies to anyone who wants killer abs.

But something needs to be made clear:

There is more to getting an enviable set of abs than simply losing weight or getting thin.

Haven’t you seen plenty of “thin” people who didn’t even have the slightest amount of definition in their abs? You don’t want to get “skinny-fat” like the woman below.

Shutterstock/Red Moccasin

These are men and women who, though slender, have a soft, untoned, flabby look, and who have mushy-looking midsections – very little, if any, definition.

To reveal the six-pack, you must force the fat between your skin and abdominal muscles to be sucked out of there. Starvation dieting is not the answer.

Intense Weightlifting Sucks Out Overall Body Fat

Have you ever in your entire life seen a person who had blazing six-pack abs … BUT who ALSO had “skinny fat” arms and legs?

Have you ever seen an individual with a dynamic six-pack BUT who ALSO had pudgy flabby arms and legs?

There’s a reason why the answer is “NO” for both cases. Intense strength training, when combined with adequate nutrition and a calorie deficit, forces the body to continually use stored body fat for sustenance.

This causes fat loss and prevents the body fat percentage from getting above a certain point.


This cause-and-effect phenomenon will happen with diabetics as much as it will with those who do not have diabetes.

Have you ever seen a person with ripped arms/shoulders and sculpted legs … BUT WHO ALSO had a puffy, pudgy belly with absolutely no definition? No!

Intense weight workouts that focus on big compound movements will actually engage the abdominal muscles, making these muscles toned and firm, hard and strong.

So it’s not just about dieting off the pounds. It’s about creating firm, toned abs while slashing the body fat percentage with intense weightlifting.

In addition, to get that body fat percentage into the six-pack range, you should do high intensity interval training twice a week.

Rules for Getting a Six-Pack, Even if You’re Diabetic

• Forget the crunches and sit-ups.

• Work on the deadlift, squat, rows, pull-up, lat pull-down, leg press, bench press, seated chest press, dumbbell chest press and shoulder press.

• The abs get worked by the deadlift, squat, pull-up, lat pull-down, bench press, dumbbell chest press, pushup, kettlebell swing and sprinting.

• A daily caloric deficit is easier to achieve with intense compound strength training, as this kind of training forces the body to raid fat stores.

High intensity interval training, too, will put the body in a state of deficit and force it to clean out fat stores for recovery fuel.

• Diabetics must keep close tabs on their glucose levels before, during and after training and keep very well-hydrated.

There is no medical reason why a diabetic cannot achieve six-pack abs.

Alison Massey has been working in the field of nutrition since 2010 helping individuals make sustainable changes to improve their health.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/PKpix