You already may have come across this phrase zillions time Abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. Diet is critical for your success. In this post I am sharing the six pack diet you need to build great looking abs.
Plan your six-pack diet to get defined abs
You are likely picturing yourself eating healthy meals, having tons of salad, and loading on protein shakes to get rippled washboard abs. You are right, eating right is important, but your approach to six pack diet is a much bigger part of the game.
Everyone has six pack abs. The only way to make them visible is to uncover the layers of fat that are covering them. But no matter how hard you train, it is impossible to reduce fat in one specific area of your body. So the only way to make abdominal muscle visible is to cut down body fat percentage and maximize lean muscle mass. That’s where the role of nutrition comes into play.
In men, a body fat percentage between 10-12 would result in an attractive six-pack. Most women can achieve a ripped midsection at body fat percentage between 15 to 18.
It is important to note that some people can find it easier to get visible abs than others due to varying metabolism, genetics, body type, and health condition.
How to plan your six-pack diet?
Get in a calorie deficit
The first step to get ripped abs is to lose fat by cutting back on calories and stay in a calorie deficit. You will need to consume fewer calories than you burn and force your body to burn stored fat for fuel.
If you restrict your calorie too much, you will enter starvation mode and start losing muscle mass.
To lose fat effectively you need to determine your daily calorie intake and stick to that fixed calorie deficit number.
Cut out high-calorie food and switch to healthy, nutrient-dense, and low-calorie food.
Adding foods to your diet that are high in satiety index can reduce your hunger. This will help you stick to your meal plans.
Eat more Protein
Rich protein food is an essential component of your six-pack diet. Consuming an adequate amount of protein helps you preserve lean muscle mass while staying in a calorie deficit. Protein has a high thermic effect, meaning your body burns more calories to digest protein. Hence, it makes sense why eating the right amount of protein is important for visible abs.
In addition, protein has the highest satiety. Research suggests that eating high-quality protein food can help you control your hunger during a calorie deficit diet(1).
Protein has a complete essential amino acid profile that regulates blood sugar and promotes glucagon for fat release. Eggs, chicken, turkey, and fish are some of the common animal-based protein sources that one can include in the diet. For a vegetarian diet nuts, beans, lentils are the best option for daily protein dose.
You can aim for 1.6 to 2. 2 grams of protein per kg bodyweight.
For example, if your body weight is 70 kg then your daily recommended protein intake would be 70 kg* 2.2 = 154 grams of protein
Make the right eating choice
Eat a diet that comprises unprocessed, whole, and nutrient-dense foods. Avoid processed or refined foods because they are empty calories and have no effect on satiety. Eating whole food keeps you full for longer and prevents overeating. Try to include filling foods into your diet. Adding foods to your six-pack diet that are high in satiety value can reduce your hunger and prevent you from snacking on unhealthy food. < most filling food article link >https://docs.google.com/document/d/1s9HXxUUdbv1gsD9mpAGh7lg9nhMV_BVgmVrEGCS4jbs/edit
Do not cut the carbs
Cutting out carbs completely is not the best approach to lose body fat. Carbs are essential because they are the primary fuel for energy and strength. A low-carb diet combined with intense training can sabotage your metabolic rate and lead to muscle loss. Keeping carbs too low will reduce your strength level and workout intensity. This will cause you to lose muscle overtime.
But that means not that you overload yourself with too many carbs either. Remember, if you are adding carbs to your diet, you are adding extra calories too. And if you don’t do that maths well and remove an equal amount of fat from your diet, you are eating in a calorie surplus.
Carbs is one of the most tricky portion when it comes to fat loss.
Lee Haney, champion bodybuilder
He who uses carbs best wins the show
The key here is to maintain a healthy balance and set calories that are ideal for fat loss. It is also recommended to pay attention to the quality of carbs you are consuming. Choose healthy carbs such as whole wheat, brown bread, and vegetables and cut out the junk like refined sugar and white flour.
The daily recommended carbs intake in your diet is 2 to 3 grams per 0.4kg of your body weight.
Add healthy fats
Most bodybuilders are likely to ignore fat because it can induce weight gain. But we need a certain amount of healthy fat to support the normal functioning of our body as well as the brain. Not consuming enough fat can affect insulin levels and reduce your ability to produce essential hormones like testosterone.
<Low-fat diet effect on testosterone in men https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/JU.0000000000000482?PRID=JU_PR_01102020&>
Shot for 0.22 to 0. 33 g/lb of bodyweight fat to support normal functioning and hormone production.
Add a moderate amount of animal protein sources like meat and fish to your six-pack diet. It will make sure that you have all the essential fatty acids to support normal functioning. For all the vegetarians, focus on whole food fat such as nuts, avocado, coconut
Set your macronutrients
Changing your body composition and achieving visible six-pack abs requires frequent adjustments in your nutrient intake.
When you are on a six-pack diet, protein intake should remain the same as recommended to support lean muscle mass. You need to make adjustments to carbs and fat based on your goal and need. We already discussed why having some amount of carbs in your daily diet is important to support exercise performance.
There is a debate between a high carb diet and a low carb diet. If you perform high-intensity training, a high-carb diet can improve your performance. But achieving higher performance ability is different from achieving a great physique. Athletes looking to maximize performance can compromise on having some amount of fat as long as they are able to perform at an optimal level. But body fat may not help you with your lean six-pack goal. Hence, you need to find a middle ground between the high carb and low carbs recommendations.
If your goal is to just fuel your strength training without storing excess fat from the carb, then aim for 1-2g/lb of lean body mass or target body weight.
Remember, when your carbs go up, your fat intake should go down to stay within the confine of calorie deficits.
Refeeds and carb cycle
Occasional overfeeding and cycling your carb intake offset some negative effects of chronic calorie restriction. On rest days, stick to lower calories and a carbs diet with carbs primarily coming from whole food. Adjust the rest of the calorie number with healthy dietary fat like fatty fish and nuts. And on training days, eat a relatively higher carb diet and add fat from lean protein sources.
For a comprehensive guide on
A day of two refeeding can help you break through a plateau and restore glycogen storage. Depleted muscle glycogen can lead to low blood sugar, fatigue, and impaired exercise performance. Hence, you would want to reload your glycogen by eating enough carbs before training days.
Check out the step by step guide to cycle your carb for fat loss < carb cycling article link>https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pgirnNMAkTHEu7JJhmuiPO1cSuiAoxSiVSsWM5oIZxs/edit
Make sure that your body has enough fluid throughout the day for proper internal functioning. The recommended formula to keep the hydration levels at an optimal level is ½ body weight in ounce per day(1 ounce=29.5ml)
Drinking large amounts of water during meals can result in poor digestion due to the dilution of gastric acid and enzymes. Drink water at least 30 minutes after eating.
Foods to eat
Your six-pack diet should include foods that are low in calories but high in micronutrients. Soluble fiber, protein, and healthy fats play an important role in enhancing your overall body composition. Keep in mind that your goal is to cut down excess body fat rather than targeting a specific area of your body.
These are some healthy whole food that you can include in your ab-building diet.
Green vegetables – High in fiber, antioxidants, full of minerals and vitamin, high satiety value
Almond and nuts- Full of fiber and healthy fats
Fatty fish- rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein
Oatmeal- healthy carbohydrates, high satiety, and satisfying
Green tea- boost metabolism due to catechin, promote weight loss
Eggs- high protein source, promote muscle synthesis, high in satiety value
Chilli peppers- ramp up metabolism due to capsaicin, reduces hunger
Apple- prevent fat storage, contains antioxidant
Cinnamon- regulate insulin levels, prevent fat storage
Foods to avoid
Processed food- fires, burger, pizza
Sugary drinks- energy drink, soda, sports drink
Refined grains- white bread, white pasta, white rice
Foods with added sugar- candies, cake, pastry
Sample Six pack diet
Breakfast: First thing first, never skip your breakfast. Not eating breakfast is one common mistake a lot of people do when trying to lose fat. Keep in mind that the first meal after waking up affects your mood and controls what you eat later in the day. Your breakfast should revolve around protein and fiber. Eating protein-rich food offsets your hunger for longer hours and fiber keeps you full and energized.
1 serving of high protein source( 3 eggs or animal-based protein like meat)
1 piece of whole fruit or one bowl of oatmeal
Snack: Eating at frequent intervals prevents starvation and helps you avoid binging. That is why snack time is important. Be mindful of the quality and portion of your snack so that you don’t end up overloading yourself. Try to include high fiber food and a moderate amount of carbs in your snack.
One bowl of bean or boiled veggies
One or two banana
Lunch: Your lunch should be planned carefully. Ensure it has an adequate amount of high protein and some healthy carbs.
One bowl of brown rice
1-2 serving of animal protein( lean meat/turkey/grilled tofu)
A small plate of green salad
Snack 2 If you haven’t snacked up in the evening, you are likely to be super hungry around dinner time and end up overeating. To avoid that, keep something healthy and filling for an evening snack. You can include almond, soy nuts, smoothies, and protein shakes.
Half cup almond, walnuts, or nuts
Dinner Your dinner should be light yet balanced in nutrients. Try to include one or two servings of the right protein and keep carbs relatively low. It is recommended that you eat your dinner 30 minutes before bedtime.
1-3 serving of animal protein ( lean meat, fish, etc)
1-4 serving of complex carbs( brown rice or vegetables)
This meal template is a diet prototype. You will have to adjust the portion and serving size based on your specific calorie number.
Abs are attractive, but they require discipline and commitment. The reason why only a few people can achieve it Because not all can have the dedication to follow an six pack diet and an training routine.
Seeing people flaunting their ripped abs in magazines, movies and social media can make us feel that we are missing out. But remember, having six packs doesn’t indicate great fitness or strength. If you are planning to show off your abs in a photoshoot, athlete contest, or perhaps take it as a personal challenge, then Go ahead! It’s totally worth it.