Eat for absMost women would kill for killer abs, but contrary to popular belief, achieving super flat abs has a lot to do with your diet versus exercise. While regular ab exercises are crucial, certain foods contribute to unsightly belly fat whereas others can help eliminate it.

Always keep on moving

Belly fat, which stands in the way of achieving rock hard abs, is actually visceral fat. This type of fat churns out stress hormones such as cortisol that affect the body's production of insulin, increasing your risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The good news about belly fat is that it melts away with aerobic exercise. Any exercise that gets your heart rate up, such as running, swimming, and biking, will help you lose excess belly fat. In fact, one study showed that jogging 12 miles a week, or just less than 2 miles per day, is enough to substantially reduce belly fat.

 

Keep movingThe right kind of diet

Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and saturated fats contribute to belly fat, meaning no matter how hard you work out, your abdominal muscles will never see the light of day. That's why it's important to adopt the right kind of diet in addition to exercising and strength training on a regular basis.

Protein is essential for building muscle. As you age, your body produces more insulin, which promotes fat storage. But a diet high in protein may protect you against insulin resistance. One study suggests that people whose diet is made up of at least 30 percent protein tend to lose substantially more belly fat than those who don't follow high protein diets.

Complex carbohydrates are also essential to helping you reach your fitness goals. The fiber from complex carbohydrates reduces belly fat while increasing your body's levels of satiety hormones that stop you from overeating. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include brown rice, wheat berries, and quinoa.

 

The right diet

It's important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water helps to flush out excess sodium from the body, reducing belly bloat. You should eat water-rich foods as well, such as cucumbers and watermelons, to help detoxify your body.

Other foods you should eat more of that can help you achieve killer abs include:

  • Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is packed with 23 grams of protein per cup. It's also a great source of calcium and probiotics, which can help shrink belly fat. Make sure to stick to plain low-fat Greek yogurt that contains live and active cultures.
  • Asparagus. Asparagus is rich in prebiotic fiber, which helps to fight belly bloat. What's more, it acts as a mild diuretic, flushing out excess fluid from your body.
  • Almonds. Almonds stabilize blood sugar levels and help shed abdominal fat. They also prevent constipation and bloating.
  • Salmon. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid that promotes fat burning by making your metabolism run more efficiently. Plus salmon is loaded with ab-friendly protein.
  • Berries. Berries are low in calories and high in fiber, making them ideal for combating bloat.
  • Quinoa. This whole grain has 5 grams of fiber and over 10 grams of protein per serving. The powerful combo instantly promotes killer abs by increasing muscle growth and decreasing bloat.

Lots of crunchesIt's crunch time

When it comes to killer abs, you'll have to go above and beyond just doing some crunches. In addition to exercising and strength training regularly, you should maintain a healthy diet if you want to achieve killer abs. Remember to eat plenty of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Stay away from saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and salty foods that'll only make you look and feel bloated.

 

 


References
  1. "9 Ways to Finally Lose That Stubborn Belly Fat," Women's Health, August 20, 2014.
  2. "The 23 Absolute Best Ways to Lose Belly Fat," Redbook, December 22, 2017.
  3. "The 10 Best Foods for Flat Abs," Fitness, n.d.
  4. "Weight Loss Tips for Flat Abs," Shape, n.d.

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