Most people think that doing thousands of sit ups and crunches will give them a perfect midsection. Unfortunately for most people, this won’t work. To get a nice set of abs you have to work hard in the gym as well as the kitchen. You don’t have to start working out on your kitchen counter but you do need to eat the right foods.
Fat Storage Area
The reason that the midsection is such a big problem for so many is because this is where the majority of people store fat. To get your abs to show you need to get rid of this fat through diet and exercise. The simplest way to put it: you need to consume less calories than you burn so that your body uses your fat stores for energy.
Eating Fat Does Not Make You Fat
One common misconception is that eating fat makes you fat. The truth is that eating too much of anything (fat, carbohydrates or protein) will make you fat. Fat is no different. You shouldn’t totally avoid fats but you should reduce your intake of saturated and trans (bad) fats.
Sugar is a big concern if you’re trying to eat for your abs. Sugar is digested very quickly and if you don’t use all of those calories right away, (which you likely won’t) all the extra calories will be converted and stored as fat.
Stay away from foods that are high in sugar such as candy, soda, sugary snacks and other junk foods. If you really want to eat these, do so in moderation. Don’t eat the whole bag of cookies in one sitting.
In addition to sugar, you should also stay away from refined carbs. These include white bread, white rice and white pasta (or anything with white flour). Like sugar, these are digested quickly, and if not burned immediately, are stored as fat.
Carbs Don’t Make You Fat Either
You shouldn’t cut all carbs out of your diet. Whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and brown rice are all digested slowly. These will release energy steadily throughout the day and give you more flexibility on when to burn the calories. Eat foods that are high in fiber, low in calories (fruits, vegetables, salads, whole wheat flour) to make you full for longer and keep your total calories down.
The Bottom Line
To get results in the shortest amount of time you need to put yourself on a good exercise regimen that will burn calories and build abdominal muscles. Diet alone won’t give you the perfect set of abs.