There are several factors at play when it comes to having visible abs. Nutrition happens to be at the top of the list. You cannot out crunch a bad diet if visible abs is what you are looking for.
Cocktail for abs looks like this:
For today we are covering proper nutrition for visible abs.
Now lets not get this twisted. You do not get abs by starving yourself either. You need to be eating the right foods in the proper amounts for your body. This includes staying away from foods that could cause inflammation, drinking enough water and getting yourself in the proper deficit to actually lose fat, not lose muscle and store fat! Let’s break down exactly what to do with your nutrition to get those abs your dream of.. Here we go.
Foods to avoid
Chances are you have tried to diet before but never seem to be able to get rid of the extra weight that hangs out around your belly. There is a good chance this is due to inflammation. If abs is what you seek, you need to heal your body first. This means getting rid of that inflammation and feeding your body with the proper nutrients.
Food types to avoid that cause inflammation: Fried foods, saturated fats, sugars, vegetable oils, most refined flours, most dairy, artificial sweeteners and additives.
Aside from causing inflammation, most of the foods in categories listed above tend to be higher in empty calories and less nutrient dense.
Foods to include
In order to start to heal your body inside out and get yourself on the best track to having the abs you crave, you need to start eating in a way that will change your body chemistry and reduce any inflammation that might be occurring.
Foods you can include in your diet to help reduce inflammation: Berries, oats, green tea, chai seeds, fish, garlic.
Protein is always paramount when you are trying to lose belly fat because it will keep you fuller longer, help you burn fat as it is has the highest thermogenic effect and it will ensure you are preserving your hard earned muscle when you cut down your calories.
Finally, try filling your diet with other whole foods. These would be food you can think of with only one ingredient. Whole foods tend to give you the biggest bang for your buck as they tend to be lower in calories and higher in nutrients. This will keep your body healthy and your stomach feeling full, which will help you not crave sweets and goodies.
Another trick of the trade? When grocery shopping, shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This tends to be where all the whole, fresh foods are.
When to eat
Now let's talk about when to eat. If you want to reap the full benefits of all the hard work you are putting into the gym, you should time your meals a certain way to ensure you are getting the absolute best result! You are probably thinking “ok so how do I do this?”
The best way to time meals for getting abs is to have a meal with the highest amount of carbs after your workout. Why you say? Here is a little science for you: When you lift weights you are depleting your glycogen stores. If you eat the highest amount of carbs right after your workout you will be refilling these stores and fuelling the muscle. These carbs will not be used as fat but rather used to build the beautiful lean muscle you are looking for (it’s Science!) But this is not grounds to go nuts. If you eat more than your body can store, this food will still be stored as fat. A general rule of thumb is to not eat more than half the calories you burned during your workout.
If visible abs is somewhere on your list of goals you need to be making sure you drink water. We need you to drink a lot. How much you are probably wondering? At least 8 big glasses is suggested for proper hydration. This is so important on your quest to abs because water flushes out waste that your body is producing when it is breaking down fat. Water also reduces bloating, helps you with digestion and makes sure nutrients are being delivered to your muscles.
This might be an appropriate time to also mention to avoid drinking alcohol on your quest for abs. Why? Well this is a time for a whole other blog post but the long and short of it is this. Alcohol disrupts the body’s ability to burn food for fuel therefore you will have protein, carbs and fats flowing through your body with nowhere to be used. So what does the body do with them? They get stored as fat! Alcohol is also full of calories like everything else and actually degrades muscle when over consumed. So stay off the booze!
There's hundreds of ab exercises out there, but no matter how many you do, if you ignore these other factors, you'll never get the results you're looking for.
Finally let’s talk about a proper deficit. If you are a person that has dieted again and again on low calories and still do not have a flat stomach you should not cut calories now. One should only consider cutting calories if they are at a healthy caloric intake and you haven’t been yo-yo dieting for years. If you are one of those people who is eating 1200 calories a day you must first slowly increase your calories to at least your maintenance level and stay there to let your body adjust before considering to cut again. If you are at at least a maintenance level and have been for awhile the best way to get yourself in a healthy diet is a slow cut. Every week or two slowly cut your calories and increase the intensity of your workouts.
At the end of the day CONSISTENCY is the key to success when you are looking to have visible abs. This takes time and patience and everyone is different. But if you follow the advice given in this blog you will be well on your way to the visible abs you dream of.
If you haven't downloaded our awesome new program yet, click the image below to get it now!