If your goal is to have six-pack abs, it’s important to keep a consistent workout routine while maintaining a diet that will reduce excess body fat while building abdominal muscle.
Some foods aren’t necessarily unhealthy, but they might not boost your metabolism, build muscle, or burn fat as well as others.
It’s best to avoid certain foods because they do little more than add sugars or empty calories to your diet.
While Black Box Fitness will keep you engaged and committed to a healthy HIIT-style strength training routine, it’s just as important to recognize that a wellness routine is only part of the solution. When you learn to fill your diet with the healthiest choices, you’ll begin to see definition where before there was none!
Food for Defined Abs
Let’s take a look around the kitchen to see how we can start building some abs. What kinds of foods do you have in your pantry or refrigerator? Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein-rich foods, healthy fats? Foods in each of these categories are necessary for a healthy diet.
Protein and Fatty Fish
You’ll need a suitable amount of protein to build muscle. Fatty acids are also essential as they play a key role in heart health, brain function, the body’s immunization system, and weight control.
Foods that are rich in protein or healthy fats include:
– Poultry such as chicken and turkey
– Lean meats
– Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna
– Vegetarian protein options like tofu and beans
– Most nuts
– Seeds such as quinoa and sunflower
When people altogether remove carbohydrates from their diet, they’re essentially depleting the body of fuel. But, on the other hand, carbohydrates provide the body with energy to keep pushing through your Black Box Fitness workout battles.
Many of these foods also provide essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as iron, copper, and magnesium.
Examples of carbohydrates include:
– Brown rice, oats, and other unrefined grains
– Whole wheat pasta
– Beans and legumes such as lentils, beans, peas, and peanuts
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide the body with vitamins and minerals that support overall health. They’re also lower-calorie foods that contain fiber, which can create a sensation of fullness. When you replace higher-calorie foods that provide less value with fruits and vegetables, it can help reduce body fat.
In addition, studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables has been linked to lower overall body fat, reduced risk of weight gain, reduced waist circumference in women, and less overall belly fat.
Be sure to include a variety of fruits and vegetables for optimal benefit, including:
– Non-starchy vegetables like spinach and broccoli
– Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and green peas
– Vegetables rich in vitamin C such as peppers, broccoli, and brussel sprouts
– Bananas, as studies have shown they can reduce belly bloat, and also they’re a good source of potassium
– Berries, cherries, and apples
Water is essential, and it’s beneficial to develop a habit of keeping a water bottle nearby to sip on throughout the day. Also, remember to take water breaks throughout workouts and focus on healthy drink choices.
Among other benefits of water is that it can contribute to a feeling of fullness, which can deter overeating. In addition, water can reduce bloating by encouraging movement of the bowels and waste removal from the body. Dehydration can impair the ability to exercise, and in fact, it can be dangerous if the body becomes overly dehydrated.
People enjoy tea worldwide, and consumption has been associated with health benefits that prevent damage to cells, reduce the risk of heart disease, enhance weight loss, and fight belly fat.
Green tea is exceptionally high in catechins, naturally occurring antioxidants that can boost your metabolism and help burn fat.
Black teas, including Earl Grey and English Breakfast, have been linked to weight loss and waist circumference.
Black tea is also high in flavones, which might result in a lower body mass index (BMI) when consumed over a long period as part of a regular diet.
Foods to Avoid
When enjoying healthy drinks like tea or foods like broccoli, avoid adding empty calories with foods such as sugars, dressings, or sauces that can slow your path to that sexy six-pack.
Most sugary drinks such as sodas, sports drinks, and juice are high in calories, packed with sugar, and do contribute few benefits. Often times this is one of the last things people drop when they’re in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, but once they do, the results are obvious.
Consumption of sugary drinks can increase body fat, make you feel sluggish, and has been linked to increased risk of obesity and diabetes. They’re also associated with tooth decay, cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.
Foods such as mozzarella sticks, chicken strips, and French fries are high in trans fats, which are linked to heart disease, weight gain, and increased body fat. Since trans fats are produced via hydrogenation, which allows oils to remain solid at room temperature, it’s not a healthy option for an ab-building diet.
While alcohol in moderation can be part of a healthy lifestyle, studies have shown that people who consume more than two drinks per occasion tend to have excess body fat compared to others.
Excessive alcohol intake has also been linked to larger waist circumference and can harm your overall health.
In the long run, drinking too much alcohol can create havoc among digestive enzymes, cause damage to the liver, lead to excessive sugar levels in the blood, and develop into an addiction, which has additional adverse physical and emotional effects.
Whole grains retain nutrients, while refined grains have been stripped of bran and germ to give them a longer shelf life and finer texture. These were changes made to attract consumers, but unfortunately, the process also strips the grains of nutrients, including fiber.
Refined grains are processed foods that can result in unsteady blood sugar levels. Also, there’s no sensation of being full since the fiber has been removed, which means you’ll consume more calories.
Exercise for Stronger Abs
What you consume in the kitchen will have a huge impact on your pursuit of more well-defined abs, but of course, you’ll build muscle and reach your goals sooner if you incorporate your food choices with your regular Black Box Fitness routine.
The HIIT-style strength training workout that Black Box Fitness delivers, hits every major muscle group, including your abs. Your consistent workouts along with a healthy diet will put you on track to having the abs you’ve always wanted.