No one wants a protruded tummy, but maintaining a flat one has become difficult, and you need a combination of abs diet and exercise to be successful. Certain foods can improve the fat-burning process and are your best bet to get six-packs. If you’re committed to getting the abs of your dreams, you would have to switch up your diet and make some lifestyle changes.
Over the years, many fitness instructors have developed meal plans and eating habits that promote a flat tummy. While some proved effective, others contributed to weight gain and loss in other body parts. A meal plan for one body type will not work for the other, as they some tweak to get an individualized abs diet for best results.
You might not know this but working towards reducing belly fat and defined abs may better your general health. Read on to find the best foods for defined abs, the ones to avoid, and all other essential things you should be doing to achieve your banging mid-section.
How to eat for Defined Abs
Staying on a healthy diet aids your overall body structure. Abs diet needs lots of proteins to boost building muscles in the stomach. However, it would be best to incorporate still a percentage of carbs and healthy fat in the right proportion. That’s because a diet that consists of only protein cannot give your body the needed energy. You expend lots of energy to perform even the most exercises, and food with carbs and fats is the primary energy source.
Although it is impossible to trim down fat, only in specific areas (spot reduction) you can minimize the impact of fat loss with the proper diet. The first approach many people seek when they plan to drop lower tummy fat is the calorie deficit diet. Such a diet reduces overall body fat, which might not be your aim. That’s because it requires the intake of calories lesser than your daily body needs. It forces your body to seek energy stored as fat to function, with the deficit in calories.
Caution should be taken when reducing your calories, as done in excess can affect your metabolism and energy levels. The recommended rate you should go to should not be above 2 pounds per week. Going with that calculation, you should only reduce your calorie intake by roughly 1000 calories daily. When you increase your food consumption containing fiber, fruits and vegetables are the best options for such diets. Fibers fill up your tummy, while fruits supplement your body with needed minerals and nourishment with small calories.
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Foods to include in your calorie deficit diet for abs
Your diet should contain the right amounts of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Proteins take up a more significant percentage of the diet proportion, and they can come from several food sources. Below are some examples of food items you should include in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables
Regardless of the fruit and veggies, you’re most comfortable eating, they provide the best source of nutrients. While some fruits are richer in nutrients and antioxidants than others, they are generally low in calories. Unless you want a specific fruit/vegetable, it gets recommended to you. Without even going on a diet, consuming many fruits and vegetables helps maintain a trimmed waist and body. So, it is only fitting to include them in your abs diet to boost your fat loss plan. It would help incorporate them into all the day’s meals for the best results.
Food rich in protein forms a bulk of abs diet, and several sources can give your required calories. You can opt for legumes such as beans, peas, tofu, and dairy products like low-fat milk and eggs. Your meat choice should be lean meats such as beef, lamb, and poultry products like turkey and chicken.
When you add them to your diets, they do not only give protein but also give zinc and other minerals that reduce tummy fat.
Your diet must include whole grains, the most common being oats; thankfully, you can make them in several delicious ways. Include grains like barley and buckwheat for a fiber-rich abs diet. When you have the proper intake of fibers, it reduces your weight and aids digestion. In addition, grains contain vitamins and minerals that will benefit your weight loss journey.
A simple gesture as switching to whole-grain bread for breakfast shows significant changes. Eating grains can also make you feel fuller; this reduces your portion size and eating frequency and affects your weight drastically.
Nuts and seeds
Studies have shown that adding nuts to your diet can reduce stomach fat on several occasions. In turn, this affects your body weight and waistline. The regular store-bought walnuts, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chia seeds, pecans, and hemp should always be a part of your diet. Meals infused with nuts and seeds balance out the proteins and other foods items in your diet.
Fish is a rich source of protein and forms the core of abs-defining diets. When you feel like eating fish, opt for fatty ones like salmon, herring, and tuna rich in omega 3. They improve your overall health, inflammation, and brainpower. A Diet with lots of fish will reduce your belly fat and decrease specific health issues.
To complete your diet, you need drinks that aid the meals’ effects and boost metabolism. Infusing fruits like lemon and cucumber in your water is good for burning belly fat. You can also buy pre-made detox drinks and smoothies to improve your abs diet; if you’re still unsure if detox water is for you, read about the benefits here.
Taking herbal teas such as black and green tea also assists in weight loss and trimming the tummy. Green tea contains EGCG, and it helps burn down daily calorie consumption. Black tea, oolong, and other teas generally help reduce belly fat.
Foods you must avoid for the abs diet
Now that you’re aware of all the foods you should include in your abs diet, you should plan to avoid some that will ruin your diet for defined abs. Below are some of the food items you must eliminate or eat rarely if you wish to achieve desired results.
You should cut out drinks and snacks with processed or artificial sweeteners such as sodas, cakes, cookies, and juices. They contain high sugar content, which equals increased calories, and fat build-up. In addition, sugary drinks contribute to belly fat and overall body weight gain. Try reducing or eliminating the sweetened drinks and snacks for eight weeks, and you will notice a significant difference in your body composition. In the diet secrets revealed here, take a cue from Halle Berry, who completely cut sugar out of their diet and opted for a customized keto diet.
You will find the most comfort foods in this category, like white bread, rice, and pasta. Before landing on the shelves, they go through several processing stages to ensure they stay preserved in good quality. They would have been stripped of some of their nutrients and might not give you the required fiber amount you need. So, it is better to stick with whole grains that contain the essential nutrients you need.
Eating fried food will only slow down your belly fat-burning process. That’s because foods like French fries contain high calories and trans-fat, which solidifies fat in the body. Aside from cutting fried foods to lose weight, it is best to avoid them for health reasons. When found occurring in excess, they make you prone to heart diseases.
No diet plan can thrive on heavy consumption of alcohol, and it only works against the diet in addition to deteriorating your health. You can enjoy occasional sips if you must, but always avoid drinking in excess. The only liquid you can drink in excess is water for improved metabolism and weight loss. If you can stick to the abs diet and avoid the unwanted foods, you should see a visible reduction in your belly size.
However, to get toned abs, in other words, abs to die for, you need to perform several workouts to back your diet plan. You will need to alternate between cardio exercises (jogging, swimming, cycling), resistance training, and high-intensity training. To succeed in carrying out these physical activities read our post on how to get a slimmer midsection with a waist workout.
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Abs diet by David Zinczenko
According to David, getting a flat abdomen goes beyond the aesthetics of a beautiful body. He believes it can improve health, back pains, and even your sex life. This diet consists of up to 6 daily meals of power foods, which you can lapse out once a week. The diet gets backed with thrice-weekly exercise for 20 minutes.
The plan proved to be effective in trimming down the midsection for a flat abdomen, as expected from a respected name in the diet and nutrition industry. He has written many books such as “The Zero Belly Fat” under the “Eat This Not That!” franchise. Here is a rundown of the abs diet plan by David Zinczenko.
The six weeks abs diet
You will have to follow the simple plan for six weeks since it doesn’t include many food restrictions and calorie watching. The fun part is that you get to eat up to six times a day, making it pleasant to follow. Here fruits and vegetables are the star component of the diet plans, as you both eat and include them in your smoothies. Also, it would help if you had lots of whole grains, whey protein, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Your beverages should be nothing less than 2liters of water daily, green tea, low-fat milk, and occasional sips of diet soda.
In line with the food sources, you need virtually all the types of beans you can lay on hands-on, from the kidney to black beans. Then with carbs and nuts, you must apply portion control. The six meals per day will consist of three regular-sized foods and three snacks. Zinczenko maintains that it keeps you sated to avoid backsliding into binge eating. He also based this on a rough calculation that states that food intake and energy output need balance for weight loss.
So, you will be required to follow this pattern, a large meal followed by a small healthy snack two hours ahead of lunch and dinner. Following this plan shows you eat two snacks only after breakfast and the last one after dinner. You can alternate this for the 12-hour day plan, which requires eating at 3 hours intervals. Smoothies should consist of protein powder, yogurt, peanut butter, berries, and other fruits.
The power foods
A list of food items forms the bedrock of the diet plan, as you must add two of them to each meal of the day, including snacks. They are:
Legumes, dairy products such as fat-free milk and yogurt, eggs, nuts, almonds, peanut butter as a spread, cereal, whole grains, whey powder, turkey and lean protein meats, olive oil for cooking, unsweetened instant oats, for both breakfast and snacks. Berries, especially raspberries.
So, a day in life should commence with:
- A breakfast smoothie made with oatmeal, yogurt, low-fat milk, and peanut butter garnished with ice.
- Apple slices should follow this two hours before your veggie wrap lunch and some berries and nuts for the second snack.
- Your dinner can be a quinoa salad with grilled chicken, to finish with a dark chocolate snack two hours later.
While you might be in a hurry to begin your journey to a banging body with an abs diet, you should get clearance from your physician or dietician to launch your diet. Then you can rule out possible health risks of calorie deficit or a high protein diet and if it will work for you. After commencing your diet, watch out for changes in your body, and personalize to suit your body needs.
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