The phrase ‘eating for abs’ is pretty common. You must be racking your brains thinking what it means. Most likely, you are visualizing loads of greens, a bulk amount of protein with each meal and shakes throughout the day.
This phrase has been around for centuries and was coined by personal trainers and sports nutritionists which implies not just intaking food that provides your stomach with definition, but also towards nutrition and training.
Most personal trainers believe that one cannot achieve visible abs without following a well-balanced diet. If you follow an unbalanced diet, all your training and hard work will be in vain.
How important is a diet for ab formation?
Nutritionist Jenna Hope explained that a balanced diet does play an important role for getting abs although there are other factors- genetics, hormones, body type, daily activities, overall health- that have an impact on ab formation.
Lauren Windas says that along with dieting, daily exercise is also important. For a well-defined midsection, one needs to follow a proper combination of the two.
How to get visible abs?
Windas explained that there exists an integral link between the food one consumes and their body composition. A person requires a proper balance of three macronutrients- proteins, carbohydrates and fats. If getting abs is your goal, you must maintain a calorie deficit and constantly weight train for building muscle mass.
The process is simple: lose the additional layer of fat on your midsection to show off your abs.
So, what is the formula to get abs? Studies show that adopting a diet that follows a calorie deficit and manipulates macronutrients based on your exercising pattern. The best way is not just promoting fat loss, but also working towards more ab definition.
What meal plan to opt for?
According to Lauren Windas, you must focus on the overall quality of your diet by including-
- Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, spinach and bell paper)
- Lean sources of protein (chicken and turkey)
- Carbohydrates (brown rice and lentils)
- Healthy fats (nuts and olive oil)
For a woman looking to weight loss, you should intake approximately 1800 calories a day while for men it is 2200 calories daily. This is for anyone trying to lose fat and reveal abs- consuming three meals along with one or two snacks a day.
The point to be remembered here is that every person’s requirements are unique and therefore these suggestions should be taken as a guideline and not as the final word.
7 tips for ‘eating for abs’
Prioritize your protein
Adequate consumption of protein is essential since it helps in keeping you full for a longer period, stabilize your blood sugar levels, prevent energy loss and reduce sugar cravings. The more you exercise, the more you consume protein.
Hope advises drinking at least two liters of water per day. Staying hydrated helps prevent confusing thirst for hunger while maintaining your energy and brain activity throughout the day.
Keep your portion sizes in check
Consuming large portion sizes may lead to overconsumption of energy. Non-starchy vegetables should cover half of your plate while your protein should measure about the size of your hand. Your carb portion should be about one fistful while your healthy fat portion should only be around one tablespoon.
Sauces can elevate your food but you should be aware of how much you are adding since they can contribute to overconsumption, warns Hope.
Avoid skipping your meals
Skipping meals has shown to increase the total intake of energy. Hope recommends opting for a protein-rich meal or snack rather than skipping meals. This will keep your blood sugar as well as energy levels well-balanced.
Moderate your fats
If you wish to lose weight, ensure that you are not overconsuming your fats. Hope recommends intaking around 30 to 35% of your diet from healthy fats.
To achieve better results, build a body by consuming nourishing foods and indulge in activities and exercises that you enjoy.