Do you want to know the best nutrition for healthy six-pack abs?
Achieving a flat stomach and washboard abs takes more than just exercise. Sure, it’s great if you’re active in hitting the gym, doing cardiovascular and core workouts. You’ll reap plenty of health benefits like added strength and improved heart health, but the truth is, half of the time, getting firm abs involves making significant changes to improve your diet and lifestyle.
So if you’re wondering why your midsection isn’t getting firmer, you should start paying attention to what you’re eating.
Where are My Abs?
To give a brief background, your rectus abdominis—more commonly known as “abs” —is located in the middle section of your abdomen. It’s a pair of long muscles that extends vertically from the sternum (chest bone) towards your pelvic bone (hip bone), covering a wide section of your stomach. The image on the left shows the muscles where your six-pack is situated.
Why Getting Ripped Six-Pack Abs Take Time
To get your rectus abdominis muscle to appear, you need to lower your overall body fat to remove the fat around your waist. Exercise alone won’t get you rock hard abs faster, so you also need to have a healthy, balanced diet. This means replacing bad food choices, like greasy fast food and frozen meals, with more nutritious options. While other factors like body type, age, height, and weight can affect your journey to getting washboard abs, maintaining a clean and nutritious diet still works best for anyone. Over time, once you’ve lost the excess fat covering your ab muscles, your six-pack will start to show.
To help you out, here’s a simple and informative six-pack abs nutrition guide:
- Reduce Your Calorie Intake
Cutting down on calorie-rich foods will help lower your overall body fat. Sweets and high-carbohydrate foods make stomach fat worse, so it’s best to ditch the junk food, soda, and processed meals. Get carbs from healthier sources such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, and nuts like almonds. Take note: Lessening your calorie intake doesn’t mean you should totally deprive yourself. Even when you’ve reached a lower body fat level, you still need a level of healthy carbs to keep your metabolism from crashing.
- Eat Lots of Protein-Rich Foods
Increasing your protein is a must when you’re gunning for six-pack abs. High-protein foods helps keep your body from losing muscle mass. It even increases your metabolism and helps stave off hunger pangs. It encourages muscle gain and fat reduction. Protein-rich foods include eggs, white meat poultry, fish, yogurt, beans, and soy. It takes a while to get used to a new diet. However, with many high-protein food options out there, you’re likely to find something tasty and satisfying.
- Make Sure to Get Fiber into Your Diet
Aside from adding more protein into your diet, be sure to eat high-fiber foods. Fiber helps promote weight loss by regulating bowel movement and preventing constipation. Fiber-rich foods also help you feel full longer, keeping you from snacking in between meals. Foods high in fiber include fresh fruits like apples, berries, and oranges, as well as green veggies like spinach and kale.
- Keep Yourself Well Hydrated
Staying hydrated actually keeps your stomach from bloating. Drinking water helps eliminate excess sodium in your body, which causes water retention. When you’re dehydrated, your body tends to store more water, which accumulates around your midsection. Keep yourself hydrated. Without the added water weight, you’ll definitely look leaner.
- If You’re a Drinker, Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Apart from adding unnecessary calories to your diet, which can add to that ‘beer belly,’ alcohol can actually hinder healthy digestion. Too much can also cause dehydration, which can lead to stomach bloating as mentioned in number four. Drinking alcohol can also stimulate your appetite, making you want to eat more. If you really need to go for a drink, stick to just one or two, at the most. However, the best way to get those abs is to avoid alcohol and hydrate with water instead.
By following the six-pack abs nutrition guide, you’re better equipped to reach your fitness goals. Once you have your nutrition in order, your body will better respond to your workouts. When it gets tough, just keep these simple diet tips in mind to help you stay on track. You got this, so keep going.