By Ben Boudro STACK.com
You need two things to have perfect, flat abs: the right workout and the right diet. You might try one without the other and expect results, but it simply doesn’t work that way. Workouts develop defined abs, and eating healthy allows those defined abs to show through your skin.
So, in an effort to help you achieve six-pack abs, I am providing the following flat abs workout and nutrition blueprint. Do this flat abs workout two to three times per week in addition to your regular workouts and transform your nutrition to watch the fat melt off your stomach.
Flat Abs Workout
Perform grouped exercises (e.g., 1a and 1b) in superset fashion. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, resting for 30 seconds between moves. Repeat for two sets each.
- 1a) Irregular Plank Holds
- 1b) Hanging Side Plank Hold
- 2a) Hanging Swiss Ball Raise
- 2b) 360 Towel Abs
- 3a) Band Walk Outs
- 3b) Reverse Lunge with Lean
- 4a) V-Sit Hold
- 4b) TRX Walk Backs
- Repeat for 2 rounds
- 5a) Seated Figure 8’s
- 5b) Seated Back Strokes
Flat Abs Diet Plan
No matter how hard you train your abs, if you have a layer of fat covering them, you won’t have a six pack. It’s just the way it goes. So your diet plays an equally important, if not more important, role in achieving your goal for flat abs. Here are seven tips you can implement right now to reveal those abs that you’re hiding under your skin.
1. Send a Signal to Your Brain That You’re Done
Yeah I said it. Eat dessert. Why? It sends a signal to your brain that the meal is over. You start to relax and you eat less. But you have to be smart about this! Pick high-quality dark chocolate. I’m talking like 1 or 2 pieces max! Don’t overstep your bounds with this one.
2. Eat Lots of Fiber
We don’t eat enough of this stuff. Did you know we are supposed to get at least 32 grams of fiber per day? If you’re nowhere near that, you will miss out on the digestion, skin health, blood sugar control and heart health benefits. Start eating more plants, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds and watch your belly shrink.
3. Get It Hot!
Are you a fan of peppers? I sweat like crazy when I eat hot stuff. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I suck it up because I love the taste. And, hot peppers are packed with capsaicin. This stuff is awesome. It adds the flavor you love and it temporarily kicks up your metabolism. That’s a win-win situation.
4. Eat Clean/Go organic
The key to eating clean? Clean your cupboards. I do this with every single one of my clients looking to flatten their stomachs. Take out all the junk food and either donate it or throw it out. After that, head to the grocery store and stock up on the healthiest foods.
In general, if you make your own meals, you have less of a chance of eating unhealthy. You know exactly what goes into your food, and you won’t add crazy ingredients that might hurt you in the long run. And of course, packaged foods are typically loaded with sodium. If you eat too much sodium, you will bloat, and your abs will go back into hiding.
Ideally, choose organic foods, but this is not a requirement. Remember, just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy. If you email me at [email protected], I will send you a healthy grocery list checklist.
5. Eat The Skin
My wife never eats the skin and it drives me nuts. Whenever we eat sweet potatoes, she never eats the skin! That skin is packed with the fiber and flavonoids that are super healthy for the gut and heart. Keep the skin on!
6. Cheat A Little Bit
Yep. It’s called a cheat night. Why do it? Insulin sensitivity. When you eat a clean and healthy diet with limited carbohydrate intake, your body becomes more sensitive to insulin. That’s a good thing. I recommend that my clients have one cheat night per week. Pick a night like Saturday night. If you worked out at least five times that week and ate clean all week, allow yourself to eat like a pig for four hours. Boom! Your body will ignite a fire and send your metabolism into overdrive! All good stuff for you to get your belly flat.
7. Cut The Cheese
I know cheese has its benefits in a diet. It does pack some calcium, potassium and zinc. But I think Americans eat way too much cheese. A few years back I took a big chunk of cheese out of my diet. What did I notice? More revealed abs and that giving up cheese was way easier than I expected. Cheese can sit around for awhile and be really tough for the body to break down. Start small and slowly take cheese out of your diet. You will be shocked at how easy it is to live without.