It is a common knowledge that the role of your diet is equally prominent as the workout you do, if you are going to develop the six pack abs. If your diet isn’t right, if you are consuming unsaturated fats, then no amount of crunches and planks can get you the taut midsection.
In this article, we will list experts’ endorsed eating habits that can help you turn your wobbly one pack into sexy six pack. By following the advice given in this article and combining it with an intense fat torching workout, you can even lose the most stubborn pockets of fat around your waistline.
Five to Six Meals
The fitness experts and nutritionists have been shouting about the weight loss benefits of five to six meals a day diet plan for years now. However, unfortunately, the majority of people looking to lose weight have failed to heed the advice and still cling to their old usual three days a week diet plan. The common logic used behind three meal plan is that by going for hours without eating anything, they can shred more weight. Yes, the low calorie three meal plan can help you lose weight, but you can’t replicate the effective fat burning benefits of the smaller and more frequent meals.
A low calorie meal and healthy snack consumed every three hours have several benefits. It keeps your blood-sugar levels stable, gives your body a steady stream of necessary nutrients and is elemental in preventing hunger-induced cravings that can lead to indulging on unhealthy snacks. Also, it provides more effective glycogen storage in the liver and muscle tissues, which ensures that your body won’t gorge on muscles for energy during workouts. So, from now onwards, prepare small protein rich meals and spread them out. If you have a busy schedule, then pack your meals beforehand.
The biggest drawback of allowing your hunger to be your guide is that it is bit unreliable. The signs that hunger uses to indicate that the body is in need of food are always bit delayed. So, by the time you suffer from the hunger pangs, the body is already nutrient deficit. The hunger pangs are your body’s last ditch efforts to tell you that you need to eat.
Instead, stay ahead with six meal plan and fuel your body before it feels the need to sound the alarm bells. Often, people believe by going hungry, they would be able to lose weight more quickly. However, they fail to realize the health problems their approach can cause. The body will grow weaker with time, you won’t be able to do your workout effectively and moreover you will look like someone, plagued with a serious disease. Instead, go for the healthier way and lose weight like an athlete with proper diet plans.
Analyze Your Protein Needs
One of the most important factors that decide whether your diet will work or not, is the amount of protein present. Protein is essential for losing weight and building lean muscles. If you have a clear idea of how much protein you need, then you can create a better diet plan. This is very essential for those who have to spend hours away from home because if they know how much protein they need, then they can pack ahead.
The daily protein intake should be somewhere between 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of lean muscle mass. To find the accurate protein need, you can multiply your targeted body weight with 0.8 or 1. For example, if your ideal weight is 160 pounds, multiply it with 0.8 and you will find that your daily protein requirement is 128 grams. Spread that protein requirement across five meals, which means you will have to consume around 26 grams of protein per meal.
Protein is a Must
Though, eating anything raises the metabolism rate, it is protein that gives it the highest boost. Chicken, fish, cheese, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts and cottage cheese are some protein rich foods that will push your metabolism into overdrive. Also, protein is essential to building muscles. And, more the muscles you build, the more efficiently your body will burn pockets of fat. Grab a protein rich breakfast, to have a fat burning start.
Remember that your muscles burn calories even at rest. So, if you don’t fuel your body, then you stand at risk of losing muscle tissue. And, if you fuel your body with fats, then you run the danger of having excess of it getting accumulated in your body. This makes the proteins essential as it doesn’t compromise on muscle mass for a weight loss.
Small changes and initiatives go long way in achieving success. Keeping track of your protein intake for the month is one such initiative. Depending up on your progress in weight loss program, you can make changes to your protein intake. For example, if you have hit a plateau in weight loss, then you need to increase the protein intake. The improved protein input will help you build muscles better and rev up the metabolism rate, and, if you are gaining fat, then you need to cut back on the protein intake. Try to stack the calories, you are consuming with the calories you are burning. If you are gaining weight, then the chances are that you might be consuming far more than needed.
Mix Up Your Carbs
Often, you are tempted to stick with tried and tested carbs that have worked for you. However, your system works even better if you surprise it. Don’t allow your body to get struck in a rut and consume diverse types of carbs to get better results. Also, there are chances that your low carb diet might not be able to meet your daily nutritional needs.
However, that doesn’t mean you can eat candy bars and pizzas. The majority of your carb intake should consist of potatoes, brown rice, pasta and vegetables. The daily intake of carbs shouldn’t exceed two to three grams per pound of body weight. Always remember that it is never safe to overdose on any healthy food. Any excess calories, no matter if they came from protein, carbs or healthy fats, they will always be stored as fat.
Change Carb Volume
Though, it is a good idea to identify your daily carb diet and consuming it with consistency for the initial period, but you will have to change your intake after a certain period. The habit to eat equal amounts of carbs during every meal will train your body to get used to certain amount of essential nutrients. However, this habit maintained for a longer period will lead to homeostasis, which means your body will adapt to the pattern and will work just enough so as not to endanger the present fat stores, while maintaining the regular body functions. To continue your weight loss, you will have to change carb intake and make your body work harder.
Get a Carb Shock
Another great strategy to keep your body guessing and making it work harder is to limit your daily carb intake to 125 grams for 48 hours every two or three weeks. Due to lower carb supply, the body will search for alternate energy sources, which will break its rhythm and will send metabolism into overdrive. This approach helps in combating the potential prospect of homeostasis. Also, the body will immediately consume the sugar carbs once you return to the normal diet.
However, if you are diabetic and prone to hypoglycemic episodes, then this strategy is not for you. Also, do not limit the carbs for more than couple of days and never let it drop below 125 grams per day as your critical heart and body functions are dependent on carbs. This will also make you lethargic, light headed, frustrated and angry. So, it is better, you try it on weekends, when you can get adequate rest.
Water It Up
Water is an effective catalyst in weight loss program. Without enough water, your body can’t convert carbs into energy. The studies have revealed that the delivery of essential amino acids to the muscle tissues is also hindered by lack of water. So, not only your workouts will suffer due to less supply of water, but your body’s fat breakdown procedure will also be affected.
Don’t rely on thirst to gauge your body’s water requirement. The thirst is indication that your body has already entered the first stage of dehydration, meaning you already are too late. So, remain hydrated, especially before and during the workout. You should drink at least ten cups of water per day. Up to one gallon per day is acceptable as well.
Have a Hearty and Nutritious Breakfast
When you wake up in the morning, your glycogen stores are depleted, which makes it very important to replenish them with a healthy and large breakfast. Failure to have a good breakfast can affect your physical and mental functioning, and will also slow down your metabolism, which is never a good thing for someone looking to burn fat. For breakfast, have a mix of simple and complex carbs, and proteins. Also, you need to have similar hearty meal within 60 minutes of workout. A serious weight training session depletes glycogen stores as well. A good meal will restore energy and assist in long term muscle recovery.
Finish off your day with a light and protein rich dinner. You should avoid slow burning carbs such as pasta at all costs. Also, if you are going to consume carbs, then make sure they are medium fiber and high water foods such as cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus and leafy salads. Step clear from high fiber and low water type because they will suck water out of your system. Whereas, the wet carbs on the other hand can help you maintain the water levels during the night.
It can also prove to be beneficial, if you can get in a habit of eating fish for dinner. It makes a protein rich and light meal, which replenishes your amino stores. Also, it has several other health benefits.