Get your abs back in just 10 minutes per day
-Apr 15, Hannah Hargrave , Fitness -
If your six-pack has gone from having pride of place on your stomach to lurking in the back of the fridge then it might be time to up your abs game.
Whether you’re on a mission to get washboard abs for the first time or you’re determined to recover the defined tone you once had, you’ll need to be consistent. The reality is that 10 minutes of crunches a day isn’t going to get you the ripped physique you’re looking for. But with dietary changes – because abs are made in the kitchen – combined with the right exercise you can start seeing those contours with a few minutes of daily dedication.
Why is it important to have strong abdominals?
A strong core isn’t just about looking good. Taut tummy muscles help prevent injuries, improve posture and strengthen the lower back too.
What is the best diet for abs?
Those stomach muscles shine through because they’re not only strong, but there’s also very little fat covering them. Since fat loss is mostly about diet, you need to look at what you’re eating to minimise belly fat.
First and foremost it’s about eating in a balanced and nutritional way. So filling your diet up with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats is imperative. As is ditching processed foods and refined sugars which can make you pile on the pounds – especially around the midsection.
Here are the foods you should be eating and the foods you should avoid if you want to get your abs back.
Foods to fill up on:
Protein – Protein boosts your metabolism and it’s been shown that eating more more of it can lead to loss of belly fat. Ensure you have protein, such as eggs, lean meat, fish, beans or legumes in each of your meals.
Fruits and vegetables – Your five – or seven – a-day are packed with nutrients which can aid weight loss and burn fat. They’re also low in calories but very high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so it makes perfect sense to load up on them.
Whole grains – Reach for the quinoa, oats and barley if you want to get winning abs. Whole grains are fibre rich which means they can lower your blood sugar and help with weight loss. It’s also been shown that eating whole grains can help to reduce your appetite.
Green tea – Regular consumption of green teas has been linked to reduced belly fat and waist size too. It can help weight loss and fat burning as well.
Nuts and seeds – They make for a perfect, healthy snack when you’re working towards a six-pack. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts as well as the likes of pumpkin seeds, chia and flax seeds are perfectly balanced with fibre, healthy fats and protein. Just ensure you don’t overload on them and measure them out accordingly.
Fatty fish – Roll out the salmon and mackerel if you want to whittle your waistline. High protein fish is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids which are not only play a key part in weight control but in heart health, inflammation and brain function too.
Foods to avoid:
Refined grains – White bread, pasta and rice need to be struck off the list if you’ve got ab goals. But you can switch them out for whole grains instead.
Sugary drinks – It’s not just what you eat but what you drink that affects your midsection. Drinks such as sodas and fruit juices are loaded with sugar which will lead to weight gain.
Fried food – It goes without saying that chips, fried chicken and even fried eggs are off the menu. Fried foods arere calorie laden and high in trans fat. They won’t just cause weight gain but they’ll up your risk of heart disease too.
Alcohol – Alcoholic drinks are all too often high in empty calories and sugar which will just lead to a larger waistline. The odd drink won’t hinder your efforts but excessive consumption will definitely put a major dampener on them.
Processed foods – A clean diet is key to getting the stomach of your dreams. So you’ll need to cut out processed and packaged foods. Look at the label and if you don’t recognise the ingredients, it’s likely you’ll want to put it down.
Exercise for abs
Sadly, sitting on your sofa, eating the right foods won’t get you a defined, flat stomach. You don’t have to go crazy at the gym, with hour long sessions seven times a week, but you do need to make physical activity part of your daily life if you want to see real results.
Make these changes to your exercise regime to maximise your chances of getting abs quickly and safely.
Exercise for abs
Add cardio – It’s tempting to focus purely on ab exercises when that’s the area you want to change most. But to get leaner all over you need to incorporate aerobic exercise. It’ll help burn that extra fat which is covering the stomach muscles.
Don’t just crunch – Abdominal exercise such as crunches and planks are great for increasing muscle mass, but keep in mind that they don’t decrease belly fat. Add them to a healthy routine but don’t make them the only thing you do.
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training is great for burning fat and involves short burst of high intensity exercises followed by brief recovery periods. Add a 10-15 minute HIIT session to your daily routine and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.