The best abs diet approach to a healthier lifestyle is predicated to your goals and your specific body type. Everyone responds differently to food. Two of the biggest factors are genetics and habits.
The objective of this article is to draw information on the best approaches to obtain stellar abs from some of the authoritative websites and magazines in the fitness space.
The intent is to see if the suggestions are consistent and notice the parallels and overlaps between the sources.
Quality of food is a consideration and a factor in obtaining weight loss and optimum health. Organic food, wild fish, free roaming food sources, are all a better choice to your specific best abs diet approach.
The first thing to consider and to get in the habit of is eating clean. That means cutting out the processed foods that are empty calories. That’s crackers, cookies, chips, candy and low value foods (little to no nutrition).
Once you’re in the habit of eating clean, any transition into a particular style of diet will be much easier. This is the foundation to your best abs diet.
Ditch the junk, processed, empty nutrition low value foods for natural nutritious foods, that will not only make you look better, but make you feel better. Dump the “calories for nothing foods”.
Some popular and effective diets are:
- The Low Glycemic Diet
- The Mediterranean Diet
- The Atkins Diet
- The Paleo Diet
- The Keto Diet
- The Dash Diet
- The Raw Food Diet
- The Vegan Diet
These diets are similar in that they are based on smart carbs, vegetables and protein sources, with the exception of the Low Glycemic Diet.
FITNESS MAGAZINE‘s article, Food for Flat Abs, suggests these top 10 foods to get and maintain in their best abs diet approach with tips on when and how to eat them. Here is the list, but the nutritional benefits are provided in the article.
- Leafy Greens
- Vegetable Soup
The premise of the book is based on 12 power foods, eating 6 smaller meals a day and portion control, with some exercise.
The claim for following the program is dropping 12 lbs in two weeks and be on the road to six pack abs within six weeks. The Abs Diet is a six week plan. No calorie counting, but certainly portion control and the allowance of 1 cheat meal a week.
The idea is to keep the hormone insulin at low levels and steady in the blood stream. Eating snacks in between the smaller meals avoids an insulin spike maintaining a steady level while also warding off hunger and cravings. Insulin is responsible for the body storing fat.
So what are the power foods?
- Almonds and other nuts
- Beans and Legumes
- Spinach and other green vegetables
- Dairy (fat free or low fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
- Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)
- Turkey (other lean meats)
- Peanut butter
- Olive Oil
- Whole grain breads and cereals
- Extra protein (whey powder)
- Raspberries and other berries
The Abs Diet Plan Summary
- Eat 6 meals including snacks evenly spread out throughout the day.
- Have at minimum 2 of the power foods in every meal and snack.
- Emphasize protein, fiber and healthy fats.
- Limit refined carbs, like bakery goods, sugary foods, white bread, rice, pasta, saturated fats, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup.
- Allowed to eat 1 cheat meal per week.
- Exercise at least 20 minutes 3 days a week.
Does the Abs Diet plan work?
There has not been any direct study of the specific plan itself but the concept of it is supported by good evidence according to US News.
From MUSCLE and FITNESS in their article 8 Weeks to Six Pack Abs: The Diet – suggests a plan to introduce a variety of new foods into the diet every two weeks. Each phase includes two new recipes.
Protein is never sacrificed and remains steady throughout the eight week plan. There will be a calorie reduction in each phase. Energy levels will be maintained with healthy fats throughout all phases.
This program is very big on hydration. Plan on drinking a gallon of water per day and tracking it so it doesn’t interfere with the eating plan.
The remainder of the article is the eating plan broken down from breakfast to lunch showing the foods with macronutrient and calorie information.
Here is an example of one day on their eating program. Phase 1 (weeks 1-2)
- 4 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 3 oz chicken breast
- ½ cup green pepper
- 1 medium apple
- Coconut-Lime Chicken Bites with Baked Zucchini Fries
- 4 oz turkey breast, boneless, skinless
- ½ cup brown cooked rice
- 1 cup broccoli, steamed
- ½ large grapefruit
- ⅔ cup cottage cheese
- ¼ cup blueberries
- 10 almonds, chopped
- Spicy Citrus Shrimp with Quinoa
- 20g whey protein isolate
- ½ tbsp peanut butter, natural
Daily Totals: 1,480 calories, 169g protein, 119g carbs, 40g fat
MEN’s FITNESS article, 11 Ways to Improve Your Diet and Make Your Abs Pop, makes their suggestions on how to get ripped abs listed below:
- Eat 5-6 meals a day.
- Eat before you get hungry. Hunger pangs are a warning after the fact. Don’t let them guide you on when to eat.
- Calculate your protein needs. If your training than figure rule of thumb is minimum of .8 – 1 gm of protein per lb of body weight.
- Eat protein with every meal. It is known to speed up the metabolism and help burn calories. A two for one in that it also builds muscle.
- Be prepared to make adjustments to your protein intake. Sometimes too much protein will be spilled into fat gains.
- Diversify your carbs. Eat a variety of carbs so your system doesn’t adapt.
- Alternate your carb volume. Don’t allow your body to adapt to the same amount of carbs. It’s good to mix up the quantities.
- Use carb shock once every two or three weeks. Lower your carb intake and force your body to burn other sources for energy.
- Drink plenty of water. You need it for protein conversion and to flush toxins out.
- Your first meal of the day and first post meal of the day should be your biggest concentration of carbs.
- Make your last meal light. Cut way back on the carbs at this meal and emphasize protein.
BODYBUILDING.COM in its 6 Pack Abs Diet Strategy That Gets Results article discusses a lifestyle approach to getting abs. Ninety percent of the approach is based on diet.
They suggest to figure out your calories. What are you trying to achieve? How active are you? Two questions to help you figure your daily caloric intake.
Protein is another area very important to your abs diet and another area that needs to be monitored and measured.
Carbohydrates seems to always be the demon in these diets. Bodybuilding.com suggest carb cycling to both reduce weight while also retaining energy to workout. A tough balancing act, but with enough practice you will get it down.
Eating fats to get really ripped has to come from the best sources and avoided before and after a workout. In this plan it is suggested to keep fats at a low percentage of your calories.
Some other factors to consider:
- Sodium – keep levels low or else risk a bloated look
- Sleep – for muscle growth and a steady metabolism
- Water – keeping hydrated is essential to flush toxins and absorption of nutrients
Summary of Best Abs Diet Tips
- Incorporate the common recommended foods into your diet. Eggs, protein sources, vegetables, berries, nuts, whole grains. Use two sources from the power list in your meals as well as snacks.
- Portion control is a major factor to your success. Less calories, less weight, and a major contributor to getting lean.
- Exercise, at least 3 times a week and exceed 20 minutes. The more intensity to workout the faster you’ll get fit. Don’t be afraid to increase your workout time.
- Eat the majority of your carbs in the morning and post workout.
- Stay hydrated with water. Drink plenty of it to flush out those toxins. It aids in digestion and promotes nutrient absorption.
- Sleep is critical. Getting enough rest will aid in a healthy metabolism making your health goals easier to achieve.
- Rotate your carbs when your meal planning. Don’t let your body adapt. Use carb cycling.
- Eat protein with a carb for better absorption. Strive for 1 gm of protein per pound of body weight.