The expression ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ something you’ve heard many times before from all those gym bunnies and professionals in the industry. And unfortunately it could not be truer. No amount of crunches or minutes spent doing planks will give you the abs of a Victorias Secret model or Abercrombie model if you live on a diet of cupcakes, cocktails and takeaways.
It is said that diet accounts for up to 70% of fitness, and that includes the visibility of those abdominal muscles. So in order to reveal those core muscles you’ve been working hard on in the gym, it is essential you eat the right types of foods to help shed that stubborn belly fat that is covering them up.
Strong, visible abdominal muscles are one of the most popular areas of the body for developing by all. Not only do they help to create a visually healthy and fit physique, but having a strong core helps to improve your posture, protect your body from injury and really helps with every other type of physical movement.
The best foods for building abs are natural, whole foods, low in simple carbs and high in amino acids, fibre, essential fats, vitamins and minerals. These are the foods I focus on for meals and snacks when I want to keep my body fat low and reveal those core muscles I’ve been working very hard on strengthening.
For years many people have discarded the egg yolk for the fear of raising their blood cholesterol and claims it’s ‘bad’ fats. However, evidence based research has actually shown that this is false and consuming eggs every day can actually help maintain and improve blood cholesterol levels. Furthermore, studies show that those who eat eggs for breakfast were also less likely to overeat throughout the day – Winning
Almonds are packed full of protein, with 6g per handful, and monosaturated fats which help you feel full! This wonder nut also contains the mineral magnesium which helps regulate blood sugar levels, stopping you craving sweet treats in between meals. Try tossing some on top of your salad or stir fry or just as a general snack when you get those 3pm munchies.
Granola and Greek Yogurt
If you’re looking for a post-workout snack on-the-go, grab a tub of your favourite greek yogurt and pair it with some Granola. The yogurt will provide you with a natural, pure source of protein and the granola offers a combination of complex and simple sugars. Just remember to exercise portion control, as granola is a calorically dense food. To avoid going overboard on your serving, stick to the one handful rule when portioning it out.
Water retention can be a major culprit it preventing you from achieving a slender waistline.When there is an imbalance between salt and potassium in the body it can lead to water retention. Potassium rich foods can help reduce water retention by promoting the excretion of sodium into urine, helping to de-bloat your tummy.
Protein supplements are a great, convenient, way to make sure you’re hitting your daily protein macros, but not essential. There are so many myths surrounding protein shakes that women tend to avoid it in their diet. One of the most common fears that many worry about is that protein will make them ‘bulky’ or cause them to gain weight. I can assure you that this is not the case, but rather including protein supplementation into your diet can help increase lean muscle mass, support weight loss and aid muscle recovery after exercise. If the thought of having just a protein shake doesn’t interest you, then try adding it to porridge for breakfast or add it to a smoothie.
Other foods you can include into your diet are:
Leafy green vegetables
Peppermint is a natural anti-spasmodic for the gut, which help’s aid digestion and reduce bloating. Sip on some peppermint tea after your dinner to help beat the bloat and achieve a flatter stomach 😊
So unfortunately, It doesn’t matter if you have the ability to literally do 100 sit ups in a row or attend Pilates and gym classes 3-4 times a week, bottom line is, you cannot spot reduce fat. So alongside incorporating sufficient cardiovascular exercise which helps to burn body fat, core exercises to help strengthen and build the muscles, make sure to eat healthy and follow a healthy diet, and those core muscles will become more visible in no time.