You've heard it before: you are what you eat, and there's no where on your body that what you eat is as apparent as on your abs. Crunch, plank and twist until it hurts to inhale, and you still won't get a visibly toned, taut tummy. To get a healthy, trim midsection, you need to focus on diet.
Eat for Abs
We're not dismissing the importance of core training: it is part of creating a strong, healthy, sexy torso, but it is not the biggest piece of the infuriating ab puzzle. You can exercise like crazy and develop killer core strength, but unless you eat for your abs, all your hardwork will likely be hidden underneath unwanted fat.
Eating to reveal your best abs is simple: just eat clean. Not exactly revolutionary, right? It’s not, but for many people, it is easier said than done. The reason is can be so difficult is two-fold:
Eating clean in a world awash with processed junk and misinformation is hard. While they should be synonymous, ‘eating healthy’ and ‘eating clean’ are often not the same thing. Companies trying to push their ‘health’ foods will say they are promoting healthy eating, when their products are chock full of sodium, sugar, and preservatives that can bog down your metabolism, mess up your hormones, and lead to an influx of fat everywhere — especially around your midsection.
In fact, hormones are even more powerful than genetics in contributing to excess belly-fat. The main ones that affect our midsection are testosterone, GH, estrogen, insulin, leptin, ghrelin and cortisol. When we regularly eat crappy food, these hormones move out of whack, and you’re left carrying the brunt of the abuse around your waist.
Eating clean, by contrast, is a relatively simple concept: eat as many unprocessed, whole foods as possible. Do 90% of your grocery shopping from the peripheries of the store where the fresh and frozen fruits, veggies and meats are kept. Limit what you purchase from the middle aisle, which is usually junk food and highly processed items. Invest in educating yourself about clean eating. Buy a nutrition guide, a meal plan, a cookbook. You know what they say: Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and eats for life.
Your expectation for your best abs may be unrealistic. Everyone has a genetic 'set-point' or a healthy predetermined weight range that generally spans 10 to 20lbs. There is nothing you can do to change this set-point, but there is room to move within it. One person's might be 110 to 130lbs and another person's might range from 150 to 170lbs.
You'll know when you've hit your set-point because you'll be able to easily maintain this weight by simply living a mostly clean and balanced lifestyle - no starvation and no extreme overeating required. For most of us,our abs will likely make their appearance when we are at the lower end of our set-point, but your set-point is yours, and you have to embrace this. You may never have the abs of your dreams, but you can get the best abs of your reality.
There is no single miracle food that is going to unearth your abs. Like the rest of us, you just have to bone up on the basic principles eating clean, and then put those principles to into practice. Pick up our meal plan for the simplest and most effective place to start. We’ll help you create great habits that will last for life.