Health experts recommend staying at home and social distancing as ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, after months of quarantine, many people have developed unhealthy habits like eating unhealthy food and neglecting exercise. In fact, a study shows 22 percent of adults have gained weight during the pandemic.
Summer is fast approaching. Although it’s not completely safe to go out, you can still spend some time at the beach while following health safety protocols. Make sure your body is beach-ready. Having a set of six-pack abs is an ultimate goal for many.
Toning your abs, however, requires hard work and dedication. Not only do you have to follow hardcore workout routines focusing on the abs, but you also have to watch what you eat.
Why Diet is Essential in Getting A Six-Pack
Working out regularly helps in toning your muscles. But many focus on their workout routine alone and ignore their diet. Proper nutrition is as essential as exercise. Without it, your body will not function effectively to deliver the results you want.
Health experts explain the lack of nutrients can affect your health and your performance. But they also highlight the importance of paying attention to what you consume. Healthy food is vital to a healthy lifestyle. Your diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fluids, particularly water.
Not prioritizing your diet can result in loss of muscle mass, lower bone density, and fatigue. It can increase your risk of illness and injury, longer recovery time, hormonal problems, and other health issues. Your body will also not get the energy it needs to perform the job you need.
There are different diet plans you can follow to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Each diet is designed for different fitness goals. Mediterranean diet, for example, focuses on a high intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, and other healthy food. It is ideal for those who want to lose weight. This diet is also beneficial for your heart and brain health, cancer prevention, diabetes prevention and lowers your risk of chronic disease.
What Should You Eat for Your Abs?
Getting a set of toned abs is a tricky business. It’s a combination of the right training and diet plan. Nutritionists explain a good balance of the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) plays a role in your body composition. When it comes to getting a sculpted midsection, you should maintain a calorie deficit and build your lean muscle mass through consistent weight training.
A high protein diet can support you with your weight training, which is important in sculpting abdominals. Adopting calorie deficit, meanwhile, helps in fat loss. Apart from resistance training, you should also combine your diet with cardio exercise to achieve a more defined ab. Research shows doing cardio exercises three to four times a week helps in reducing belly fat. Walking, running, biking, and swimming are easy cardio exercises you can do to help tone your abs.
Your ab diet should include the following
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Complex carbohydrates
- Lean sources of protein
- Healthy fats
Remember that portion sizes matter in getting the right results. Women should aim for about 1800 calories a day, and men should get 2200 calories daily.
The protein intake depends on your body weight. 0.8 grams of protein per KG of body weight is the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). If you want to know the amount of protein you should take daily, multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.36. Make sure to include protein in your meals, especially during breakfast. Starting your day with a protein-packed breakfast can help you feel full and focused throughout the day.
Additionally, your first meal of the day and after working out should have the largest carb intake. You should replenish the glycogen stores of your body that deplete when you wake up. This is vital to your physical and mental functioning.
Not all diet plans, however, deliver the same results. It depends on how your body adopts the changes you make. It’s best to consult a nutritionist to understand what your body needs to achieve your fitness goals. Working with a fitness coach will also help you find the right workout routine to achieve the set of abs you want.
Getting a toned, sculpted set of abs doesn’t happen overnight or even for a week. You need to find the right workout routine and diet plan that work for you. It also requires consistency and discipline to maintain your abs.