One of the most desired physical attributes in the fitness world may just be a set of six pack abs. I am going to discuss with you some nutritional tips that will help you reach your goals and attain that lean midsection you’ve always desired. Some of these are timing to control your metabolism, choosing the right kinds of foods consuming the right amounts of macro-nutrients and pre and post workout meal selections.
To get that nice set of six pack abs you must keep in mind that it is important to have a low body fat percentage. While dieting, it is important to remember metabolism which controls your energy expenditure must always be kept high. Eating five to six small meals a day is one of the best ways to keep your metabolism burning. Every time you eat your metabolism rises so it is ideal to shoot for eating a meal every three hours throughout the day. It is also very important to eat first thing in the morning when you wake. Waiting to long to eat your morning meal can cause your metabolism to slow down. Keep in mind it is already slow from being in a fasting state from the previous night’s sleep.
Choosing the right kinds of food for your diet is one of the most critical aspects of losing body fat and leaning out to reveal those great abdominal muscles! The macro-nutrient profiles of your food is also very important. You want to try and stay on a high protein diet eating between 1/2 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So for a 200 lb. man this would be between 100 and 200 grams per day. This is important because it takes the burning of more calories to digest a gram of protein than that of carbohydrates or fat. It also helps to preserve muscle mass while dieting and muscle cells burn more calories at rest than fat cells. This will help you to stay lean. Good sources of protein include lean fish such as salmon or tuna, egg whites, lean turkey, fat free cottage cheese, chicken and protein shakes. You want to keep your carbohydrate intake low between 1/4 and 1/2 grams per pound of body weight. When carbohydrates are consumed they cause your insulin levels to spike which will cause your body to hold onto fat so keeping your intake low is ideal. Remember though you don’t want it to be to low because it can have a negative effect on your metabolism. Good sources of carbohydrates include fruits and vegetables, brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. Lastly we come to everyone’s favorite fat. Fat intake should be kept low at no more than 50 grams per day. Choose healthy fat sources such as peanut butter, lean red meat, and nuts.
Finally we come to pre and post workout nutrition. It is important to eat one of your small meals an hour before your workout. Make sure to include a healthy carbohydrate and protein source in this meal. The carbohydrates will give you energy and the protein will make sure your body doesn’t go after your muscles for it’s amino acid requirements. Both are very important when on a calorie restricted diet. For your post workout meal you should once again choose a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Eating this meal as soon as possible after your workout is key because your metabolism will be at it’s peak and your body is less likely to store any of the food as fat. This is a good time for fruits because the sugars will help to drive nutrients into your muscles to help repair them after a hard workout. Try some of these tips and you are sure to be on your way to a great lean midsection and set of six pack abs in no time.