Exercise and eating healthy are crucial to losing weight. But having killer abdominals is a direct result of your diet. A controlled diet high in whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables determines how toned your abs are. The most common myth associated with great abs is that crunches will create the “six-pack”.
However, abs have more to do with the absence of belly fat than with well-developed stomach muscles. Truth is, everyone has six-pack abs hiding under his or her belly fat, just dying to get out. And nothing says fitness prowess like a strong, toned core. Here’s how you can achieve killer abs:
#1 Reduce Calories
To have killer abs your must get rid of excess fat. You can do this by burning more calories than you take in. While willpower is not always easy to maintain, tracking your meals daily is very manageable.
I use a calorie counter and diet tracker app called MyFitnessPal. It sets goals for you based on your daily exercise routine (or lack there of). If you can cut your calorie intake by 250-500 calories per day, this will help promote gradual fat loss and help you accomplish your goal of six-pack abs.
#2 Eat Lean Protein
Lean protein is crucial for building muscle and muscle burns fat. It also provides you with a sense of satiety and can help with overeating. It’s important to eat protein in every meal and snack of the day. Great sources of protein are fish, white-meat chicken and turkey, egg whites, low-fat diary and legumes.
#3 Complex Carbs
Nothing hides abs faster than complex carbohydrates. And it takes an extremely dedicated dieter to cut out carbs completely. I suggest quality carb consumption and sticking to whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Carbs give you energy. Therefore, you should only eat them when energy is required—like before a big work out.
#4 Cut Out Sweets
Sweets are the number one source of calories in adults ages 19 and up. This includes all foods that have a high sugar content such as cookies, candy and cake. Sweets have a significant amount of calories with little to no nutritional value. Try to replace sweets with fresh or dried fruit. This will help to eliminate belly fat.
#5 Eat Six Meals A Day
To eat better for healthy abs, it’s crucial to have six small means throughout the day. Eating six meals a day helps to regulate blood sugar, control cravings and your keep hunger at bay. As long as you can choose the right foods and watch your portion sizes, having a variety of snacks throughout the day can actually help you lose weight and reveal those killer abs.
#6 Healthy Fats
Now, contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for you. I said it. In all honesty, plant-based fats and Omega 3 fats are essential to good health. These healthy fats include extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts and coconuts. Fats help to absorb nutrients and should be eaten on a daily basis.
#7 Drink Water
Drinking water before each meal has been shown to help promote weight loss. Water will help you feel fuller sooner and feel satisfied eating less calories. Plus, it’s free of sugar and empty calories that most soft drinks and fruit juices contain. Water also helps with muscle tone by assisting muscles in their ability to contract. Drink up!