Cardio and Diet For Abs
By: Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
Now that Mike Geary has shown you how to train your body for fat loss to get 6-pack abs, let's find out what we need to do to eat properly for maximum fat loss and to finally get the washboard abs
You should also read his article:
5 Things You Must Know About Getting Six Pack Abs
But first, a little more on the best cardio methods for abs...
CB: Mike, what do you use for burning fat, intervals or slow cardio? Or both? Any gender differences here? Or differences between fitness levels (beginner vs. advanced)?
In most cases, my answer is definitely intervals... or as I like to call it "variable intensity training".
In general, I think slow steady pace cardio is a waste of time, especially if the goal is lasting fat loss.
I think people need to get away from this thinking about "fat burning zones" and calories burned during the actual workout, and look at the bigger picture of what you're doing in your workout to
stimulate the greatest metabolic response in your body... and the best metabolic and hormonal response is achieved through variable intensity training and strength training, not slow steady-pace
CB: And for sedentary beginners?
Now I will say that if someone is really deconditioned and can't handle higher intensity exercise routines just yet, this still doesn't mean that they can't simply use lower intensity routines, but still use it in a "variable intensity" fashion, by alternating between higher and lower exertion levels throughout the workout.
CB: Great stuff Mike. Can you let us in on 1 or 2 of your top secret nutrition tips for carving out those abs. Open your vault of info!
Well Craig, I think you'd agree that there has never been a more confusing time regarding proper nutrition for consumers.
Every so called "expert" out there seems to disagree and contradict each other on what's the best way to eat for fat loss and overall good health.
One of the most important messages I try to teach my readers in this world of heavy confusion is that your diet doesn't need to conform to any of the fad diets... you don't need to go "low carb" or "low fat", or high or low anything for that matter to be successful in losing enough body fat to get lean enough to be able to see your abs.
CB: Great, we like to avoid complex stuff!
I like to try to simplify things.
I think that balance is the key to success along with eating a diet that is made up of nutrient dense foods in their natural state (as unprocessed as possible).
In general, it is the heavy processing of foods that makes it wreak havoc inside our bodies. Most foods in their natural unprocessed state are inherently good for us. Of course there are always
exceptions... a salad of poison ivy leaves is "natural and unprocessed" but certainly would not be good for us!
CB: So, some specific tips?
I'll leave your readers with a couple of the most important aspects of nutrition that help to get you lean for life...
1. Get enough quality protein in the daily diet - not only does it have a higher thermic effect than carbs and fat (so you burn more calories digesting it), but it also creates satiety so your hunger
is satisfied longer.
Plus protein is a building block for maintaining and building lean muscle... And remember that the amount of lean muscle you carry is one of the main factors for controlling your metabolism.
2. Think fiber! When it comes to carbs, make sure that almost all of your carbohydrate intake is from higher fiber sources like vegetables, fruits, and high fiber unrefined grains.
Try to avoid refined sugars and refined grains as that is one of the main reasons so many people struggle with body fat.
I personally don't eat many grains as I prefer to get most of my carbs from veggies and fruits, but I am a bit of a fan of sprouted grains. I generally recommend looking for carbohydrate sources that
have at least 2-3 grams of fiber per each 10 grams of total carbs.
Remember that fiber helps fill you up and also slows down the glycemic response of the foods you eat, all beneficial for getting lean.
CB: What about fat?
3. Don't be afraid to eat fat!
Many people try to go way too low on their fat intake and this can negatively affect hormone levels in your body as well as causing more cravings. Try to eat enough healthy fats daily.
Good sources of healthy fats are nuts and seeds, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, organic meats and eggs, coconuts and virgin coconut oil.
On that note, saturated fats from tropical oils are VERY misunderstood, even by many nutritionists and other health professionals. Yes they are composed highly of saturated fats, but are actually beneficial (but that's way beyond the scope of this article).
4. Avoid the two worst things in our food supply at ALL COSTS:
*artificial trans fats from margarines, shortening, and hydrogenated oils that are in most processed foods
*high fructose corn syrup, which is in almost all sweetened products on the market
Again, if you avoid processed foods, it becomes easy to avoid these two worst offenders in our food supply.
I always contend that once you get a handle on these 4 main points of your diet detailed above, the rest starts to take care of itself as you gain control over your appetite, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, etc. It all falls into place, and you eventually gain total control over how lean you want to get.
CB: Thanks Mike!
For more diet and cardio tips for getting ripped abs:
Click HERE for the Truth About Six Pack Abs
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit www.TurbulenceTraining.com
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