You want to know what’s worse than toiling away on crunches, sit-ups, and other exercises designed to give you perfect, flat abs?
Doing all those exercises and still not getting the results around the midsection you want.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect stomach and can’t seem to achieve it, maybe it’s not your exercise routine that’s to blame.
In fact, it’s way more likely that the way you eat is actually the reason your ab area isn’t showing any results.
So here are 10 eating habits to adopt to bring out your toned abs and tight tummy in all its sexy glory!
1. Eat More Frequently – 5 Or 6 Meals Over The Course Of The Day
There’s been more and more evidence coming out in support of eating smaller, more frequent meals over the course of the day – and yet I still see the vast majority of people eating 2 or 3 huge meals per day and expecting it to work for them.
The truth is, it doesn’t. It’s actually much more efficient and healthy to eat 5 or 6 smaller meals – both for your body and your metabolism.
That’s because when you eat 2 or 3 meals, what you’re really doing is dumping a ton of nutrients into your body at the same time, causing your blood sugar to spike. Plus, you have to endure hours of hunger in-between meals that could lead to snacking.
Better to space out 5 or 6 smaller meals over the course of the day, so that you give your body a steady stream of nutrients it needs without the blood sugar spikes that will throw it off all day.
2. Take Hunger Out Of The Equation
The human body is designed kind of poorly – by the time that your body actually tells you that you’re hungry, you’re already hours overdue for the nutrients it needs. Hunger pangs are your body panicking and begging you to eat.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t let your stomach get to the point where it’s growling and begging you for food – instead eat before you get hungry at specific times to ward off hunger.
3. Figure Out How Much Protein You Need
Different people need different amounts of protein. Like, it makes sense that someone who sits at a desk all day and commutes to work needs less protein than an athlete training for competition.
The rule of thumb is that you need somewhere between 0.8 and 1.1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. When you’re figuring that out, use the body weight you want to be, rather than the body weight you are. For instance, if you want to weigh 130 pounds, you’d multiply that by 1g and get to 130 grams of protein per day.
4. Eat Protein At Every Meal
Every meal kicks your metabolism into gear in some way, but protein is the best and most efficient at getting your metabolism running strong.
You can get your body using its nutrients and calories most efficiently when you kick start them with protein.
Plus, you need the amino acids in protein for a host of body functions, including building muscle. By the way, the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn. Even while resting, muscles are burning calories – while the fat on your body just sits there being… fat.
5. Pay Attention To Your Body’s Trends
Try tracking the amount of protein you eat in a month. Then, look at your overall weight loss during the month. Did you plateau? Even start gaining weight? Then adjust the amount of protein you’re eating.
Often, fitness plateaus can be due to over -training, where you don’t give your body enough time to rest between workout sessions. Make sure not to spend every day at the gym, and give your muscle groups time to rest.
6. Don’t Always Eat The Same Types Of Carbs
It’s easy to get stuck in the pattern of eating the same few meals over and over again, because you like them and it’s easier to stick to a routine that you’re used to than try new things.
However, when you feed your body the same carbs over and over again, it gets used to them – and doesn’t work as efficiently.
Try switching things up between foods that are high in carbs that are good for you, like pasta, vegetables, brown rice, and potatoes. Don’t eat more than 2 or 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight in a day.
7. Cut Off Carbs For Short “Shock” Periods
A great way to keep your body operating at peak efficiency is to keep it guessing – by cutting down carbs as much as you can for 48 hours once every three weeks or so. Try keeping your carb intake below 125 grams per day on those “cut periods”.
Your body will look for another source of energy, which will bring it out of the rut that it might be stuck in and reignite your metabolism. Then, when you do eat carbs again, the sugary carbs will be the first thing your body attaches to for energy.
8. Stay Hydrated
Adequate amounts of water for your body are key to pretty much every function required for you to live, so make sure you’re not getting dehydrated.
Your body needs water to turn carbs into energy, and it also needs water to use the amino acids from protein and rebuild your muscles with them.
Getting thirsty is about the same as getting hungry – in that your body signals to you that you’re thirsty after you’ve been deprived of water and dehydration has already set in. Make it a habit to always be drinking water, even if you’re not especially thirsty.
9. Begin Your Day Right
It’s been hammered over and over again, but it bears repeating: don’t skip breakfast!
Breakfast is when your body gets the vital nutrients it needs after a night without foot, and without those calories your body will be left sputtering, unable to function correctly or normally.
Make sure to eat a mix of complex carbs, simple carbs, and protein when you wake up – and also right after a workout to replenish your body’s fuel.
10. Finish Strong With Protein
The last meal you eat in the day should be heavy in a protein source, rather than heavy on carbs. Focus on “wet” veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, steamed asparagus and leafy green salads to keep your body hydrated during the night.
For protein, a great source for the last meal of the day is fish. Fish will give your body the amino acids it desperately needs, and it’s a lighter meal to help you fall asleep easier and get better sleep.
The Best Nutritional Habits To Give Your Abs Definition
- Eat more frequently – 5 or 6 meals over the course of the day
- Take hunger out of the equation
- Figure out how much protein you need
- Eat protein at every meal
- Pay attention to your body’s trends
- Don’t always eat the same types of carbs
- Cut off carbs for short “shock” periods
- Stay hydrated
- Begin your day right
- Finish strong with protein
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