Good nutrition and fast abs go hand-in-hand. If you expect to achieve great results with exercise alone, you’re selling yourself short. Just take a look at theabsman’s article on 6 diet secrets in 4 minutes for fast abs and you’ll quickly see just how important eating right is. It’s also one of the key reasons why so many men and women fail to change their figure, despite their best intentions.
So, what separates the have’s from the have not’s when it comes to abs and how can you help turn the tables in your favour? The answer is knowledge. Understanding the concepts of ‘energy in versus energy out’ and how calories and different macronutrients are used and metabolized by the body are fundamental in making significant changes, as are your abilities to exercise self-control and track/monitor what and when you eat.
Most people trying to get abs carry excess weight around their midsection. This however can be easily overcome through caloric modifications. Excess consumption of (any) calories which are not then ‘burned off’ through exercise, metabolic functions or glycolysis are stored as fat in adipose tissues throughout the body (mainly the belly, in men). Therefore, restricting caloric intake to a point below basal metabolic rate (BMR) is one of the quickest and most efficient methods to lose weight and place the body in a catabolic, or ‘fat-burning’ state.
Once you’ve reached this stage, you should notice a steady drop of between 1-2lbs per week. However, it’s important not to become too over-eager here as numbers greater than this can lead to atrophy and the breakdown of precious muscle tissue. This can be mitigated by consuming a diet rich in protein. The benefits of eating protein for abs are two-fold. First, it actively helps you eat less by delaying gastric emptying. Second, it helps to build and maintain lean muscle tissue, which can help to burn fat thanks to its thermogenic effect on the body. Regularly consuming natural sources like those found in peanut butter, cottage cheese, fish, meat and eggs will have the desired effects.
As for carbohydrates, they should play second to protein’s role as primary fuel source. To help you power through your ab workouts, consume ‘complex’ carbohydrates with a low GI profile such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal and pasta. High GI foods, like bananas, are acceptable and make great pre/post workout snacks, though should be used sparingly as they spike blood sugar levels and insulin which can lead to increased fat storage. Contrary to popular opinion, fats shouldn’t be feared. It’s true that processed foods containing trans-fats should be avoided wherever possible, but healthy fats found in nuts, eggs, oil, avocado and fish should be consumed regularly. Even saturated fats, once thought to be carcinogenic, found in meats have been shown to be beneficial, in moderation.