Do you think doing endless crunches is the fastest way to get great abs? Guess again!
The only way to get a visible six-pack is to get rid of the body fat while you build muscle. That means a combination of cardio exercise, strength-training core exercise, and good nutrition.
When you’re trying to build rippling abs, there are some diet modifications you can make to speed up your progress. To get you started, here are six secrets to great nutrition for great abs:
Secret 1: Eat fewer calories than you need.
It’s simple science: if you take in more calories than your body burns for fuel, those extra calories are stored as fat. If you have too much fat stored on your body, your abs will stay hidden.
Try consuming about 15% fewer calories than you need each day. This is a large enough amount to keep you from feeling too deprived, but small enough to ensure your body burns every last bit of excess.
Secret 2: Eat several small meals a day.
Instead of consuming all your calories at three large meals, try eating five or six small meals throughout the day. Eat only until you feel satisfied, not until you feel completely full.
This eating strategy has several benefits: it keeps your hunger in check; it keeps your metabolism revved up all day long; it keeps your energy level high; and it keeps your stomach from becoming stretched out by large quantities of food.
Secret 3: Pack in the protein.
Protein is great for building muscle. You may have seen bodybuilders eating tons of egg whites in order to increase their protein intake. While you don’t need to go that far, do get some extra protein throughout the day.
A can of tuna or a couple of boiled eggs make satisfying meals. These foods are packed with protein. Nuts and low-fat dairy products are good snack choices. You can also drink high-protein shakes, but keep a careful eye on their sugar and calorie content.
Secret 4: Avoid sugar and sodium.
Sodium and simple carbs like sugar have one nasty thing in common: they contribute to bloating. That’s because both of these substances cause our bodies to retain fluid.
Carbohydrates attract water molecules, and sodium forces our bodies to cling to fluid in an effort to dilute the irritating salt.
Root out hidden sodium and sugar in your diet. Pay careful attention to frozen and prepackaged diet foods, as these often have added sodium or sugar to enhance their flavor.
Secret 5: Eat good fats in moderation.
A non-fat diet isn’t healthy. We need some fats to help our bodies absorb vitamins, and to promote satiation. Just be sure you’re eating the right kinds of fats in the right amounts.
Fish, olive oil, avocados, and nuts are excellent sources of unsaturated fat. Since fat is high in calories, use careful planning to avoid going over your daily calorie allotment when eating these foods. Set a goal to take no more than 25% of your total calories from fat.
Secret 6: Drink plenty of water.
Water is like a miracle in a bottle. It keeps our bodies working, lubricates our joints to make exercise less painful, and flushes out the fluids our bodies try to hold on to. Give your abs a fighting chance by giving your body enough water each day.
Water intake is crucial, especially if you’re exercising on a regular basis. A good rule is to drink
half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, try to consume 75 ounces of water daily.
Now that you’ve been let in on the secrets, it’s time to put them to good use! Remember: abs take time. Don’t get discouraged if yours don’t emerge as quickly as you’d like.
Just stick with your workout and nutrition routine, and you’ll be rewarded with the sculpted abs you’ve always wanted.
Remember that you can say no to endless crunches, sit-ups and taking bogus pills with the Applied Body Science Personal Training. We are Goal Oriented and Results Driven. Applied Body Science Personal Training serves the Chadds Ford, West Chester, Glen Mills, Kennett Square and Avondale areas of Pennsylvania, as well as the Wilmington, Greenville, Hockessin and Centreville areas of Delaware. Applied Body Science Personal Training specializes in weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain and total body transformation.