Depending on your goal, you can’t have your cake and eat it too! Step slowly away from the cake. If your goal is to see your abs pop, then I will let you in on a little secret. Abs are not made in the gym; they are made in the kitchen.
If you are doing countless hours of cardio and ab crunches and seeing no results, it’s time to reevaluate your program. Everyone wants the secret to a six pack; well this truth may hurt...it's your diet. Until you clean up your diet you will never see the lusted after six pack.
I speak with people all the time who are frustrated. They tell me that they ‘eat clean.’ Really are you?
What is your idea of eating clean? Think about this for a moment: if you can’t kill it or grow it, you shouldn't eat it. I told you this may hurt, but how bad do you want those abs?
The key component to losing body fat is not only being in a caloric deficit, but also having good nutrition. This means avoiding processed foods. If you can’t pronounce it, don't eat it.
The less processed a food is, the better it is for you. Read labels and remember, the fewer ingredients the better. Canned foods are processed. Deli meats are processed and full of nitrates; avoid them both.
When reading labels be aware of ingredients such as minerals and vitamins. If they appear on the label they have been added, and the product is processed and not a good choice. This rule applies with 2% and low fat milk, as they both have added ingredients. Avoid them.
Better choices would include almond, goat or rice milk. If you are thinking, “what about my soy milk?” Soy produces estrogen and estrogen produces fat!
The body can only process 3-6 grams of sugar at one time (maximum 6). More than 6 grams turns to fat. Look at simple sugar as poison in the body.
It takes 3 weeks to withdraw from simple sugars. You will experience withdrawals; it is a chemical. Sweet-n-low and Splenda are chemicals. Choose Stevia, 1 TBSP honey or 1 TBSP sugar (no more!) A fruit by itself is a sugar!
Everyone wants the secret to a six pack; well this truth may hurt...it's your diet. Until you clean up your diet you will never see the lusted after six pack.
As for carbohydrates, select from complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, old fashioned oatmeal and sweet potatoes. Avoid simple carbohydrates including white rice, white bread and white bagels.
Some excellent choices include Ezekiel bread, Kangaroo whole wheat pita pockets, and Gia Russia whole wheat angel hair pasta. Ezekiel bread can be found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. The Kangaroo pockets can be located near the deli section. Select a grain with 3 grams of fiber or more.
Cheat Days And Six Pack Abs
Now what about those cheat days? I have found out through trial and error what worked best for me, and that was setting aside the cheat days.
For a long time I heard it was okay to have a cheat meal once a week, and that this would help my metabolism. I used this practice for quite a while, using different variations including a single cheat meal on a Friday, or an entire day of cheating once a week. Then I decided to stick to my meal plan do a cheat day or cheat meal only once a month.
Then it got to the point where I really wasn’t interested in cheating. It was almost too stressful to figure out what I really wanted! It was easier to stick to the plan. It was right after I had this epiphany that my abs started showing.
If you are eating clean, but still in a caloric surplus, your abs will not show. You not only have to eat clean but also be in a caloric deficit with relatively low body fat for your abs to really show. A higher amount of clean calories on training days and a lower amount of clean calories and carbs on non train days.
Now this does not mean if I was super duper hungry on leg day, I would not have an extra cup of oatmeal. I would, but the calories would be clean. No ifs, ands or buts about it!
Of course there is always an exception to every rule (post-workout nutrition) but this is a topic for another day. Your body also tells you what it needs. After a while you get so used to eating clean you stop craving junk, it is just a mindset.
This gave me the best results, the most muscle, and very little fat deposit. When you start to incorporate cheat meals or indulge in sugar, no matter how you cut, too much sugar equals belly fat. Simple as that!
When you whine and say you are not reaching your goal, take a look - I mean a REAL look at how clean you are eating. I bet you will answer your own question...you aren’t eating as clean as you could be.
Again it all depends on your goals, but if you are on a quest to see the illusive six pack, ditch those cheat meals, eat clean and watch your abs pop! That is the secret.