By: Garin Kilpatrick
Nutrition is vital for awesome looking abs take a daily dedication to making improvements to your fitness and nutrition.
I know from personal experience that you can exercise every single day and still not get awesome looking abs. It takes smart eating, too.
Eating for abs is not rocket science. Eat plenty of fiber and protein, and limit your junk intake (fat and unhealthy snacks). Focus on these three aspects of nutrition and you will be well on your way!
Fiber helps your body digest food efficiently, rather than leaving it lingering in your digestive tract. Without daily fiber you will feel and look more bloated than you otherwise would.
Protein boosts your metabolism and helps your body build muscle, and burn off that pesky fat.
Focus on foods that are low in fat, and high in EFA’s (Essential fatty acids). The best EFA to look for is omega 3, which has many health benefits, and is found in supplements like fish oil, and vitamin D.
Try to eat smaller meals more often. Less is more.
It’s time to take charge of what you eat. Take a strong step towards getting a set of six pack abs by integrating the ten foods below into your diet, and eliminating the junk.
Almonds are a great snack. They are not messy, so I can just throw a hand full on my desk and eat them as I am working away.
Almonds contain about 18% protein, so they are a great metabolism booster.
A handful of almonds lower the LDL (Low Density Lipids), or ‘bad’ blood cholesterol, by up to 10%, which can help prevent heart disease.
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, with 25g providing 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
Almonds also have good amounts of magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fibre and are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat. Almonds also contain more calcium than any other nut.
I had a salad with sliced almonds and maple syrup dressing the other day and it tasted AMAZING.
Fish are high in protein and low in fat. They also contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits.
The health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids include cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease prevention, and promotes better immune function and brain health.
Chia is a superseed. The health benefits of Chia cannot be overstated. Just check out the gram for gram comparison of Chia and other foods below.
An astonishing fact of Chia is how it contains 8x more Omega 3′s than Salmon!
Chia is easy to integrate into almost any food. I eat Chia every day. This morning I mixed Chia with my eggs, and it also goes well with oatmeal or cereal.
Chia comes either as a seed, or as a ground powder. With both products you get to enjoy the great health benefits.
A large apple has five grams of fiber, but it’s also about 85% water, which helps you feel full.
The old saying does hold truth “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
A study of 10,000 people showed that those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer.
Some studies claim that an apple is more effective metabolism booster in the morning than coffee!
Researchers believe this low lung cancer risk is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.
Oatmeal is a delicious and super nutritious food.
As the soluble fiber of oats is digested, it forms a gel. This gel delays stomach emptying and makes you feel full longer. New research suggests that children who ate oatmeal were 50% less likely to become overweight, when compared to those children that ate no oatmeal.
Oatmeal is also a significant source of dietary fiber. This fiber contains a mixture of about half soluble and half insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber breaks down as it passes through the digestive tract, forming a gel that traps some substances related to cholesterol, such as bile acids. This entrapment reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
6. Salad and Greens
Pretty much any leafy green food is good for your midsection, since the calorie count in greens is minimal. I’ve heard before that when you eat celery you are actually burning more calories by eating the celery then is in the celery itself!
One cup of spinach contains only about 40 calories, while a cup of broccoli has 55 calories and satisfies 20 percent of your day’s fiber requirement.
Most leafy greens are also a good source of calcium, which is essential for muscle contraction. In other words, they help fuel your workouts.
Hemp seeds are delicious and nutritious. This underrated super food delivers a healthy portion of protein and plenty of Omega 3′s.
One tablespoon of Mum’s provides 5g of easily digestible vegetable protein and over 1.2g of Omega 3. Rich in chlorophyll, vitamin E, enzymes and GLA, Mum’s is packed full of nutrition.
Mum’s also makes hemp oil, which I am planning to purchase soon, since it is a much healthier alternative to butter or olive oil for cooking.
Yogurt is just milk or cream that is cultured with active live cultures. These cultures are good bacteria that are necessary for optimal body functioning. Healthy levels of good bacteria also promote digestive health and boost the immune system, and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that cause bacterial infections and diseases.
Good bacteria prevent imbalances in the body’s yeast levels, which can prevent various types of yeast infections.
For an extra added health benefit to yogurt, mix more healthy ingredients in. Chia and hempseeds are delicious in Yogurt, and so are fresh fruits, like strawberries and blueberries.
Since yogurt is made from dairy products, it is very high in calcium, which is great for bone and teeth health. Yogurt is also a good source of protein.
Choose carefully next time you are in the yogurt section of the grocery. Some yogurt is very high in sugar (while claiming to be fat free), and other varieties are sweetened with potentially deadly chemicals like aspartame.
9. Beans and Other Legumes
Beans are low in fat, and high in fiber and protein. Beans truly are a nutrition powerhouse, containing over 20% protein, and 20% fiber.
Beans are also very affordable, which is a nice added benefit. For more information about the many health benefits of beans check out the free white paper from ADM Inc. “Little Beans, Bug Nutrition.”
Quinoa is very similar to rice, but I like the taste better. It packs more nutrition punch, too.
This whole grain contains 5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein per half cup. Quinoa’s protein is about 16 percent, which is higher than any other grain.
11. Whole Grain Bread
Whole grains are often an a great source of key nutrients, and can have as many antioxidants as colorful fruits and vegetables.
One of the nutrients present in whole grains include B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber, as well as other valuable antioxidants not found in some fruits and vegetables. Most of the antioxidants and vitamins are found in the germ and the bran of a grain.
Eggs are a great source of protein. Every egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
They are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
They contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.
Eggs are even good for your eyes, and you can cook them so many delicious ways!
Like other dark greens, spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant.
Spinach has been shown, among other things, to reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Spinach fights heart disease and cancer as well.
Chicken is a very good source of lean, high quality protein. Protein is an essential nutrient for growth and development and also plays an important role in helping people lose weight.
Protein keeps you feeling fuller longer and burns more calories as you digest it.
Chicken is a rich source of niacin, a B-vitamin that protects the body against cancer.
15. Veggie Soup
Forget the recommended 8 glasses a day. That’s not a bad start but let’s double it.
Do you want to get lean? Then drink at least a gallon of water a day.
While dieting for competition, bodybuilders will drink up to 2 gallons of water per day. Why do you think that is? Water not only helps to curb the appetite but it actually helps to flush out excess fat.
Every now and then if I eat something that I’m feeling a little guilty for I will guzzle a quart of water immediately afterward.
It dilutes the digestive fluids and accelerates the passage of the junk food from your body.
Remember, don’t give up!
What foods do you eat to stay lean? Let us know in the comments below!