Do you ever wonder why some people manage to get those well sculpted six-pack abs, and you just can’t seem to get there? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, many dietary fitness guides only provide general statements and descriptions. They inform you all about proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, but neglect to provide any meaningful information about the specific products themselves. If you don’t know which foods to avoid, and which foods you should eat, then you’ll have a tough time achieving your goal.
Foods to Avoid for Abs
1. Processed Foods
Processed foods are foods that have been stripped of their nutrient content and fiber, such as canned soups, chips and snacks. Processed meats preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding chemicals such as sodium nitrite, including ham, corned beef, bacon, bologna, salami, pastrami, hot dogs and bratwurst should all be avoided while trying to achieve a six pack. Processed foods are also usually high in sodium, refined carbohydrates or fat, and only provide a small amount of protein.
2. Refined Sugars
Included in the foods to avoid for abs are refined sugars (carbohydrates), such as maltose dextrose, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, and fruit juice concentrates, should be avoided while trying to achieve a six pack. Refined sugars can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which in turn causes insulin levels to rise, and if sugar is not quickly used for energy, it can be stored in the body as fat.
3. Fatty Foods
Our bodies need some fat from food. It’s a major source of energy, and it helps us absorb certain vitamins and minerals. However, you’ll want to avoid trans-fat and saturated fat. Trans-fat is the worst and is found mainly in solid margarines, vegetable shortening, and many cookies and pastries. Saturated fats aren’t much better, and they are found in whole milk, whole-milk dairy foods, red meat, coconut oil, cheese, and many baked goods.
5. Refined Grains
Other foods to avoid for abs are refined grains that have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ, and it also removes dietary fiber, essential vitamins, and iron. Examples of refined grain products include white flour, white rice, degermed cornmeal, and white bread. They are excessively starchy, high in gluten, devoid of natural fiber, have many chemical additives, are bleached, and contain many artificial coloring and flavorings.
6. Liquid Calories
Liquid calories, especially sodas, can do some serious damage, and are defiantly foods to avoid for abs because they are typically full of refined sugar, making them a huge source of calories. Sodas are loaded with refined sugars and energy drinks aren’t much better, and even some fruit juices are working against you. Don’t be fooled by the word “fruit”, because some of these beverages are stripped of all nutrients and have more sugar and additives than soda.
7. Fast Foods
In today’s on-the-go society, many people really don’t find the time to prepare healthy meals. Instead, they often rely on fast foods for their meals. The problem is, fast foods are foods to avoid for abs. Eating fast food more than once a day, or several times a week is an easy way to consume more calories than you should, which may ruin your chances of achieving six-pack abs. It’s much easier to control your caloric intake by preparing and cooking your own food, while saving a lot of money.
Foods You Can Eat
1. Vitamin C Rich Foods
Even if you eat healthy and exercise, constant stress can prevent your abs from developing. When the body gets stressed it begins producing the hormone cortisol, which encourages the storage of cholesterol-raising fat around the mid-section. Fortunately, vitamin C-rich foods, such as bell peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli and peas may help keep you trim. Vitamin C helps by allowing the body to quickly clear out cortisol, which increases sugars in the bloodstream.
Egg contains a nutrient called choline that boosts metabolism and may help turn off the mechanisms responsible for belly fat storage. Choline deficiency can cause muscle damage and abnormal deposits of fat in the liver as well. If you’re looking to lose some weight, the inclusion of protein-rich eggs in a weight management program may also enhance weight loss. Make hard-boiled eggs to eat on the go, or scramble them up first thing in the morning, you just can’t go wrong eating eggs.
Let’s face it, you’re not going to like the idea of showing off those six-pack abs if you’re bloated. Bananas can provide a one-two punch preventing the bloating in two ways. First, bananas are rich in potassium that prevents water retention by regulating sodium levels in your body, thus reducing salt-induced bloating. Secondly, banana is a good source prebiotic fiber, which increases bloat-fighting bacteria in the gut, and improves digestion. Studies show that eating bananas twice daily can reduce bloating in women by as much as 50%.
4. Lean Poultry
Why not burn some calories while you eat? One of the ways to keep your fat levels in check is to use the thermic effect of food to your advantage. Thermic effect of food represents the energy it takes for digestion, absorption, transport, metabolism and storage of all the foods you eat. The higher the thermal effect, the more calories you burn just digesting it. Lean cuts of turkey and chicken provide you with a high thermal effect, and you should be consuming them every day.
A fitness goal that focuses on nutrient-dense foods like legumes, which includes a whole range of nutrients with relatively few calories, not only provides energy, it supports good health by nourishing the body. Legumes, such as peas, beans, and chickpeas are a low-fat, high-protein source of essential vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidant compounds and dietary fiber helping to reveal those six-pack abs. For those who are on a calorie-restricted diet, researchers have determined that eating four servings of legumes a week aids in weight loss more effectively than a diet without them.