There is no doubt that the path to great abs is through a person’s stomach, or rather control of their nutritional appetites. Visible abdominal muscles and a ripped physique are mainly a result of low body fat and they can be achieved even with modest quantities of exercise if your intake of fat-storing foods is sufficiently low. Consequently, there are certain categories of foods to avoid if your goal is to achieve a midsection that looks lean and ridged.
Before we discuss specific categories, we should start with some ground rules. In order to reach the best results, food should be used as a tool for your fitness program. We should achieve maximum utility from the things we consume. In other words, we should change our attitude toward food from something that is used to give us comfort and take away our hunger to fuel which propels us to our goals.
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The Body Stores Fat Easily
Old-time fitness expert Jack Lalanne famously said of his ideal diet “if it tastes good, spit it out.”
Most nutritionists would disavow with such a strict approach to eating, as it is difficult for a person to live a life devoid of tasty food. Yet the gist of the statement is worth serious consideration. The pleasant taste of food is often created by carbohydrates (perhaps the most worrisome being sugar) and fat, which should be our prime targets for restriction.
As evidenced by the placement of oily foods at the top of the food pyramid, some measure of fat is necessary for our well-being. However, when you consume excess fat, you must either burn off the excess calories through exercise or face the body storing it. There are supplements that can make exercise sessions more effective, reduce the amount of fat storage and help you to stay ripped, click here for details. These ab shredding supplements are also great for appetite suppression when dieting too.
Unfortunately for most of us, this fat is stored in unattractive ways. For men, most fat is stored in the belly area, which precludes dreams of having an impressive six pack abdomen. Women‘s fat storage tends to be more evenly distributed, but this doesn’t give them a free pass, either – smaller muscles means the rectus abdominis is easily hidden from view with fat. Carbohydrates are not much less influential than fats, as excesses of these molecules are converted into fat for convenient storage.
Limit Fat Intake
There are three important domains by which you should rank the utility of your foods: fats, carbohydrates, protein. To a lesser extent (with regard to the specific purpose of maintaining great abs) vitamins are also important elements to consider. These are arguably the four most important sections of any food label and you should be cognizant of what you are putting into your body if you intend to sculpt yourself into admirable physical shape.
Fat and carbohydrates can preclude you from achieving your aesthetic goals.
Excess fat consumption can, as the name implies, increase your body fat, which will cover your abdominal section with a soft layer of flab. While carbohydrates are your main source of energy and are necessary for heavy workouts, what you don’t use in exercise is converted into fat for storage. Protein is critical for muscle health, which is required for maintaining hard abs, for building more muscle, and other things.
Stay Away From Junk Food
One category of foods to avoid is those which are high in fat and low in other nutrients. This is the classic cornucopia of junk foods which teachers, parents, and even government advertisements. Most candies and chocolate bars, oily foods (foods which are cooked with high amounts of oil – especially foods that are deep fried), and many types of meat and cheese fall into this category.
For example, a nutrition label for a popular chocolate bar indicates that it has 12 grams of protein (constitution 18% of the average ideal daily intake) and only 4 grams of protein. This chocolate bar is composed of two such servings.
Second in line for optimization are those foods with high quantity of carbohydrates but little value in other areas. Sugar is the most notorious type of carbohydrate for its noxious effects not only with regard to any type of fitness goals, but also to general health. Candy, flavored drinks (especially soft drinks), ice cream, artificial jams, and sweet pastries should be consumed only very sparingly if you want your six-pack to have any sort of visibility. Cutting them from your diet completely is an even better alternative.
Watch Your Carbohydrates
Bread, potato, pasta, and rice all have very high quantities of carbohydrates. This is especially true for certain types of bread and pasta, such as white bread, which contains many carbohydrate calories but little in the way of other nutrients. These foods should not necessarily be avoided – indeed, potato and whole wheat bread are staples in bodybuilding diets – but you should be aware that carbohydrates which are not used during exercise are converted into fat.
It is prudent to measure how much of these foods you eat and not to over-indulge, as a few too many scoops of pasta or slices of bread can lead to some surprising chubbiness in a short amount of time even if you avoid fatty foods directly.
The arch-nemesis of the flat belly and one of the key types of food to avoid to stay ripped, though, is a combination of the two aforementioned types of foods – those delicacies which are high in fat and carbohydrates. Donuts, cake, French fries, nutty chocolate bars, baklava, and many types of pasta-in-sauce dishes all combine foods to give you the filling comfort of carbohydrates and the exciting flavors of fat at the same time. Most would agree that these foods unlock the upper regions of taste far more effectively than any other foods. They are also the most efficient in causing the accumulation of body fat.
So the words of Jack Lalanne were not exceedingly far from the mark of truth.
Many of the best-tasting foods can be diet killers.
Yet the most important thing to remember above all is that few foods, individually, are problematic. A problem arises with excess consumption of food, no matter what the food is. Tuna has high quantities of mercury, despite having low levels of fat and vast stores of protein. Chicken breast, the proverbial centerpiece of the diets of bodybuilders and models, is full of cholesterol. Often times it is moderation rather than strict prohibition which works best.