This is part 2 of the Eating Clean series.
If you read part one of this series you may recall the body can only process 3-6 grams of simple carbohydrates at one time. This is equivalent to 1 TBSP of sugar. Sugar is in all dairy (lactose), fruit (fructose), candy (refined sugar) and yes in alcohol too.
All the hard work you do in the gym will not reveal your abs until you eliminate sugar. If you feel like a hamster on a treadmill and are fed up with doing endless crunches for minimal results, it is time you turn to your kitchen. If you are in this category, I want you to stop reading this article right now and go into your kitchen to take a closer look at what could be hindering your progress.
Open the refrigerator and cupboards and start reading some labels. What do you find?
Most cereals that are considered ‘healthy’ are not; their sugar content is usually high and they are processed. Milk and yogurts are also unsuspecting culprits too.
Are you drinking juice with your breakfast? How many grams of sugar does it have in one serving? Remember your body can only process 3-6 grams of sugar at one time. Over consumption of simple carbohydrates is the leading cause of weight gain. High sugar intake has also been linked to diabetes.
To really wrap our heads around this, let’s take for example one 8 oz. serving size of plain non-fat Greek yogurt. It has approx. 9 grams of sugar in it. Now add 1 cup of blueberries to your Greek yogurt, and you are consuming over 21 grams of sugar in one serving, so 15 grams of sugar will store as fat.
After vigorous exercise, your body is like a sponge and it is primed to accept simple carbohydrates. Your glycogen stores have been depleted, and you need to replenish them quickly. This is your one window of opportunity to enjoy those simple carbohydrates, and it will not store as fat.
Simple carbohydrates can be identified on food labels as raw sugar, brown sugar, turbinado, etc. They are found in most juices, sodas, ice creams, candies and cakes. White flour-bleached, processed and refined flours can be identified on food labels as enriched, unbleached, durum, semolina, white rice, white pasta and white bread. Again avoid these, with the exception of your post workout nutrition.
What Else Could Be Hampering Your 6 Pack Progress?
Not all fats are created equal. Avoid saturated fats, whole milk, red meat, butter and cheese. Trans fats are partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, most margarines, vegetable shortenings, baked goods, commercially prepared French fries and onion rings. These unhealthy foods put stress on the pancreas and increase buildup of fat deposition.
Therefore the calories must be kept clean in order for your abs to be revealed. If you follow those guidelines and are still not able to reveal your six pack, you are in a caloric surplus and will need to cut down on your daily caloric intake.
So What The Heck Do You Eat?
Now that you know what to avoid, it is time to fill the refrigerator with nutritious choices. Foods that are organically grown, free of chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics or steroids are best. This list will help you stock up on some ab-friendly food for the refrigerator.
Protein - select from lean sources such as chicken breast, turkey breast, egg whites, fish, shellfish, and lean pork. Limit red meat such as veal, bison, lamb and lean beef to once a week. Some vegetarian sources could include nuts, seeds and legumes such as beans, chick peas and lentils.
Fats - all cold water fish, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, macadamia, pecans, flaxseed, avocado, and olive oil.
Complex carbohydrates - could include whole wheat, rye, barley, spelt, millet, brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa, sweet potatoes, yams and squash.
Fibrous carbohydrates - choices could include a variety of green vegetables including green beans, asparagus, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, artichokes, kale, collard greens, arugula, okra, peppers, zucchini, celery, mushrooms and eggplant.
The list is endless; you just have to be creative!
Now you have a better understanding of how your body processes sugar, and you have taken an inventory of your refrigerator. It is time to make some changes!
I bet you have answered your own question as to why you can’t lose that last ounce of belly fat. Spend some time in the kitchen focusing on planning and preparing your meals for the week. Make these simple changes and in the long run; your abs will thank you for it. Let me know how it goes!