January is now upon us which means your new year’s resolutions should be well and truly underway! If one of your resolutions revolved around getting into shape and more specifically, getting those sculpted abdominals that you and your partner always dreamed of, then read on. Unfortunately, this article does not involve smoke and mirrors or any kind or a magical solution, but what it does do is to concentrate on one aspect of obtaining a six pack that many individuals seem to forget, the diet.
It’s all well and good performing 500 sit-ups every morning before work but if your dietary considerations are not taken as seriously as your training regimes then you are only setting yourself up to fail. This article highlights 5 dietary tips, which if placed alongside a comprehensive abdominal workout should have your six pack surfacing in no time at all.
Key Diet Tips
So without leaving you in suspense any longer, let’s introduce principle number one:
- Reduce your calorie intake: The issue with weight gain for many is that it tends to occur around the waistline, acting as a cover up for any potential abdominal definition. Fortunately, the science behind weight loss is relatively straight forward; burn more calories than you consume. If you reduce your calorie intake by 500 per day then your body will soon breakdown your excess fat stores and convert them into a usable energy.
- Eat little and often: In recent years there has been a shift away from the traditional 3 meals a day in favour of eating up to 6 smaller sized portions, spaced evenly throughout the day. This method assists your body in maintaining a stable blood sugar level and reduces cravings of unhealthy foods. It is important not to skip meals as starving your body of food for more than 4 hours can ultimately reduce its calorie burning capabilities.
- Place emphasis on protein: Regardless of how many exercises you complete, protein is the basic building block for the human body. So if you’re looking to recover and develop, quite simply your body must get enough protein. As a rule of thumb, for those individuals looking to build muscle, you need to consume 2 grams protein per kilogram body weight. Protein itself also requires more energy than carbohydrates to be digested by the body.
- Select your carbohydrates carefully: Carbohydrates obtained from processed foods such as white bread are stored easily by the body and cause both rapid spikes in your blood sugar levels and the feeling of hunger. Also avoid fast foods, sweets and alcohol. No one said getting a six pack was easy! Instead opt for slow release carbohydrates which can be found in food groups such as brown rice and pasta, oats and lentils.
- Drink plenty of water: This is probably one of the oldest dietary tips available but many individuals underestimate its importance. Drinking water can have a 2-fold effect as not only does it provide a feeling of fullness, allowing you to eat less but it has also been hypothesised that the body can sometimes mistake the feeling of thirst for hunger. Try to consume approximately 2 litres of water per day and always carry a bottle with you.
The 5 dietary tips provided above are relatively straight forward and can be implemented into your diet almost immediately. If 2012 is the year of the abs then these 5 tips may be the final piece to your puzzle.