Have you ever heard the phrase, "Abs are made in the kitchen"? Well, getting that six pack you have been dreaming about requires both commitment inside the gym and the kitchen. You can do a million crunches and still not see those abs if you aren't eating properly.
There is another popular phrase that goes along with it: "You can't out-train a bad diet." Working out can only do so much for your body. After a while, you have to look at what you are putting inside that precious little mouth of yours. Many people have the six pack, but it is just hidden underneath that little layer of fat. (How annoying.) Eating the proper foods can make a big difference. So what foods should you be eating?
You've heard the word, seen it on the back of a nutrition label, but do you know what a calorie actually is? Calories are basically units of energy that your body needs to perform all the daily functions including breathing. Each person needs a specific number of calories according to their height, weight, age, gender, physical activity level. and so on. Each person has a unique number that fits them.
Figuring out how many calories you need is a crucial component to achieving a six pack. Once you figure it out, try counting calories to make sure you aren't consuming too many or too little. Too many calories will result in weight gain. But too little can also be detrimental to your health.
Consuming an adequate amount of lean protein is very important. Protein does so many things for the body. When you work out, your muscles begin to break down. Protein is what helps to repair your muscles after a training session. Include these foods in your diet: Fish, chicken, lean beef, protein shakes, nuts, beans and low-fat dairy products.
Fiber sometimes takes the backseat in many people's diets. Eating a good amount of fiber has been shown to really help in weight loss. Fiber has many other health benefits including a decreased risk of cancer. Fiber helps you to feel full -- people who consume a diet high in fiber tend to not eat as much as people who do not consume a lot of fiber.
Include these fiber rich foods in your diet: Fruits, vegetables, potatoes, brown rice, bananas, beans and oatmeal. Eat more fiber, feel fuller and you are on your way to those abs.
Rather than eating three large meals and calling it a day, try to include more snacks into your diet. Snacking helps to keep your body fueled all day long, burning more calories. Snacking a lot also helps to prevent hunger.
Many people eat breakfast early and then don't eat until lunch. Between breakfast and lunch, you can get pretty hungry. By the time lunch comes around, people tend to stuff their face because they are starving. You never want to allow your body to feel that hungry.
After you stuff your face at lunch, you probably feel very full. You never want to allow your body to feel that full either. Maintaining a perfect balance between being hungry and feeling full is where you should be at all times and snacking will definitely help.
Whole grains seem to be all the rage lately. Everything you see in the supermarket has a whole grain alternative and you should choose it. Whole grains contain much more fiber than refined grains. Swap out that white pasta for the whole wheat kind.
You may be thinking I am absolutely crazy to tell you to eat fat to lose fat but it's true. Now, there are different kinds of fats and the one that you should focus on to achieve a six pack is the monounsaturated kind. These are the "healthy" fats and help to aid in belly fat loss.
Stay away from saturated and trans fats. These are the "bad" fats and will make you gain weight and are not very good for your health. Include these foods into your diet: Olives, avocados, nuts and seeds. One more thing about these fats -- be careful when eating them. They tend to be high in calories so even though it's good fat, eating too much can make you gain weight.
Ever wonder why some gyms have an area where they sell protein shakes? This is why. Consuming calories after your workout is vital. Like I said, your muscles need food to build back up after a workout, otherwise, they won't recover properly. It's important to eat within 30 minutes after you work out. Anything will do but it's good to have something high in protein to give your muscle a speedy recovery.
Making sure you eat the right foods and train the right way is really important in obtaining a six pack. You won't be able to see those abs if you eating poorly and not training correctly.
It's important to be knowledgeable. There is a ton of information out there that will give you tips and tricks to getting abs. Do it the right way though, those fad diets won't do anything for your middle ... they will only leave you starving and disappointed. Watch what you eat and exercise. It's really pretty simple.
As for training, be sure to incorporate cardio into your workout. High intensity exercise is always best for getting rid of belly fat. Only doing three sets of 20 crunches probably won't do much for you. Learn a bunch of abdominal exercises and try them out. It's also important to focus on your entire core, which includes your lower back as well. Make sure you are challenging yourself.
During cardio exercise, be sure to keep your belly engaged throughout. Stand up straight. Standing up straight does wonders for your core, without you really even feeling it. (It will also make you look a lot better). With that said, follow these tips and you'll see that six pack in no time.
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