Building a body you can be proud of takes a lot of hard work. The gym isn’t the only place to put in an effort, though! You need some hours in the kitchen to ensure your body gets the right sort of nutrition. The following quick ab tips can help you build the right diet to support your ab-building goals.
Your Caloric Intake – How Much Fuel Goes In?
Here are the basic USDA — United States Department of Agriculture — guidelines for adults. Women between the ages of 19 and 51 are supposed to get 1,800 to 2,000 calories every day. Men in the same age range have slightly higher needs, ranging from 2,200 to 2,400 daily calories. How active you are can cause your needs to vary outside of this range. Understanding your daily caloric intake is important because all of the nutritional labels on your food are based on the recommendations outlined above. You need to get your calories from healthy, useful sources in order to build abs, too. Protein is particularly important for core growth.
Stay Away From Processed Food
Processed foods are your enemy when you’re aiming to sculpt your abs. On your next trip to buy groceries, stick to the edges of the store where you’ll find the healthier, fresher foods. Stocking your kitchen and pantry with natural foods will give you healthier options to choose from and give you more useful nutrition than you’ll find in sugar and salt-stuffed processed foods. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a daily sodium intake of no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. According to the CDC, though, the average American takes in roughly 3,500 milligrams per day, not including seasoning.
Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods
In order to build better abs, you need to be eating foods that promote healthy digestion and deliver tons of great nutrients. Yogurt, for example, will give you probiotics — digestion-aiding bacteria that can prevent constipation and bloating. Picking high-protein foods will also help stave off any hunger pangs you might feel while changing your diet and discourage you from doing any unhealthy snacking. Since many people find resisting unhealthy food cravings to be the hardest part of starting to eat healthy, this can be a big help to you! Protein boosts the rate of your metabolism and helps preserve lean muscle mass, something that can be tricky on a low-calorie diet. Meat, fish, beans, Greek yogurt, and lentils are all good protein sources.
Some fats can be beneficial when you’re building a healthier diet. Monounsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, are one prime example. Research has shown a strong correlation between eating monounsaturated fats and losing belly fat. Even between two diets that provide the same number of calories, the diet with more monounsaturated fats is better for the belly. These fats help moderate your blood sugar, discouraging fat accumulation on your torso. Having a good understanding of your nutritional needs and making smart choices to meet them will help you build those abs faster.
Planning Your Meals
Setting out weekly meal plans is one of the best quick ab tips you can follow. Having a full stock of healthy meals planned and ready to cook will make it much less tempting to eat something unhealthy. At the end of each week, set aside a few hours to make your meal choices and do as much advanced preparation as you can. If you’re including plenty of fresh, healthy foods in your diet it might not be feasible to prepare all of your meals a full week in advance. That doesn’t mean you can’t at least select your meals and write up your grocery list, though! Planning things out in advance gives you full control over your nutritional intake, letting you fine-tune your diet to meet your fitness needs precisely. Meal planning also cuts a lot of empty calories — like those that come from sugars and solid fats — out of your diet entirely. With a little planning, you can put yourself well on the path to fitness success!
If You Snack, Snack Healthy
Sometimes even the best of us get a craving for some quick, tasty food, especially late at night. Surrendering to a bag of chips around bedtime isn’t always the best idea, though! Turning in early would probably be healthier for you! If you have things to do in the evening and need some energy, opt for healthy, high-protein foods to make sure you stay satisfied. No one’s entirely certain whether or not late-night eating is itself unhealthy, you can’t deny that eating more adds to your total calorie count for the day.
If you’re positively dying for some food late at night, pick out a nutritious high-protein snack and make sure you eat it at least two hours before turning in. This time period will give you some digestion time before you go to bed. Bear in mind that you seldom really need the calories you’re taking in when you snack at night; your overall energy needs are typically much lower than in the daytime. Keep a sharp eye out for food cravings that might be caused by stress or boredom rather than a genuine need for fuel. It’s true that your body needs energy even when you’re sleeping, but those needs are very modest compared to the most active parts of your day!
If you want to develop a really impressive set of abs you have to be dedicated to your goal. Getting plenty of exercise isn’t your only task, either! It takes good nutrition and smart dietary choices to back up all of your hard work in the gym. Make good use of the quick ab tips provided here so that you can start giving your body the right kind of support on its ab-building mission.