April 30, 2014

Abs are Made in the Kitchen and Revealed in the Gym

Since everybody is looking for toned and defined abs to complete a summer beach body, I want to post a little motivation.  This is also to motivate myself, since I've been slacking a little.

I firmly believe in the statements: abs are made in the kitchen, but revealed in the gym.  You can work your core for hours, but if you have a poor diet, you're work is negated and progress remains at a standstill.

I've seen the positive and negative effects that a poor diet can have on my abs.  If I eat a lot of processed sugars and sodium, my belly bloats and my abs go on vacation.  Once I resume my healthy diet, my abs begin to pop out again.

To get you started, I want to share one of my favorite ab routines as well as some diet tweaks that you can do to get you started.

  • Reduce processed food.

By reducing the amount of processed foods you eat, you’ll quickly see a decrease in belly bloat.  Processed foods are loaded with sodium and refined sugars which cause extreme bloating.  Try seasoning you foods with sea salt or natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey, or agave.
Because whole grains do not undergo heavy processing, they are higher in nutritional value.  Switching from processed white flour foods to whole grain based foods is beneficial because the white flours have been refined to reduce their nutritional value.  Fill your daily grain requirement with brown rice, oats, whole wheat pasta, and sprouted grain bread.  You’ll meet your daily fiber requirement which will also help keep you feeling fuller.

  • Healthy fats are key.

Be mindful of the fats you’re consuming.  Healthy fats are important to help boost your body’s ability to burn the bad fats.  Just because peanut butter considered a healthy fat, doesn’t mean that consuming the whole jar in one day is healthy.  Moderation and variety are important.  Stick to nuts/nut butters, avocados, coconut/olive oils to get most of your daily fats.

  • Add lean protein.

Lean proteins are going to help build muscles.  Stick to chicken, turkey fish, Greek yogurt, and whey protein to make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of protein daily to help repair muscle tissue.

  • Drink water.

Increase water consumption to help flush toxins out and keep you feeling fuller.

Now for the "reveal".  Here's a basic pyramid routine that will work your upper, lower, and side abs.  Give this a try 2-3 days a week.  For beginners, try reducing the pyramid numbers in half (30 second plank hold, 25 crunches, etc.) but still complete everything in the same order.

Remember that diet and exercise combined are going to help you achieve your goals!

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