Abs Are Made in the Kitchen
You’ve probably seen the headlines: Get a 6 Pack in 6 Weeks with Our Ab Supplements! or Ripped Abs in 4 Easy Steps. At Supplement Superstore, we won’t lie to you: there are no ab supplements, abs are made in the kitchen. Workouts and supplements are important in your overall routine, but there aren’t any ab supplements that specifically target your abs. We’ll tell you what workouts and supplements help you get to your dream abs, but if you want shredded abs or a six-pack to flaunt, it takes serious discipline with your diet.
The Science of Abs
You might want to get ripped abs, but don’t realize which ones you are actually targeting. Side planks, bicycle kicks, and lumberjacks? All of those movements target abs, but not your six-pack. Instead, they target your oblique muscles, which are important for physique and performance, but not for that six-pack you want. The six-pack area of abs is called the rectus abdominis. They are not six separate muscles, but two vertical muscles, separated by connective tissue that makes it look like six separate muscles. These muscles primary function is in flexing the spine; that’s why most people turn to crunches to develop them. But they also have two other important functions: to create a wall of pressure to protect your internal organs, and to aid in respiratory functions, especially in difficult breathing situations, like after your workout!
Are you ready for abs?
When you think about your body goals, shredded abs might seem to be a no-brainer. But let’s really break down what needs to be done – your core needs to be so lean that your muscles poke out. Are you ready for that type of body change? If you are more of a bulker, your diet is going to have to go through a complete change to a leaner diet. That means protein, protein, protein, all lean, and fewer calories overall. That is going to affect your whole body, not just your abs, so you need to be ready to make that change and be disciplined with your diet before you move forward!
What is the Best Diet for Abs?
If you thought you were tough on your diet beforehand, welcome to the real discipline! In order to have shredded abs, you can’t turn to nonexistent ab supplements. Instead, serious calories and sugars need to be cut from your diet. We’re going to give you tips to a new eating schedule, what to eat, what to avoid, and how to manage your cravings. The important takeaways are this: eat often, eat reliable protein, and cut the excess. If it doesn’t feed your muscles, it probably doesn’t belong in your new diet.
Six Pack, Six Meals
Before you drastically change your diet, you should talk to your doctor. But one of the first changes many athletes and bodybuilders implement is moving from three larger meals to six smaller, protein-packed meals throughout the day. Here’s the basic schedule:
- Snack 1
- Snack 2
- Snack 3
You are building muscle in one of the most difficult spots to do so – your core. For each of these small meals, you need protein you can rely on. The hard part is resisting your body’s urge to also pack the fat around your stomach, which is one of the first places it goes!
What to Avoid in your Diet?
Before we dive into your new ab-friendly snacks, let’s talk about what you need to cut out of your diet. We want to avoid any excess ingredients that would cause fat retention, so these should be the first to go:
- Commercial peanut butter
- Whole milk
- Pasta & bread
- Ice cream
- Red meat
You might be wondering why foods like commercial peanut butter, milk, pasta, and red meat are on this list. Commercial peanut butter is full of unwanted fats and additives, so the payoff from the protein does not outweigh the extra pounds. Whole milk has a little too much fat for your new body goals, so switch to a smaller percentage of fat in your dairy. Red meat has also been studied by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to have added unwanted weight. You don’t have to drop it altogether, but turning to leaner meat like chicken, fish, and lean pork will be in your best interest when it comes to defined abs.
What to Eat for Abs?
It’s important to balance carbs and healthy fats throughout each of those meals, but the reliable protein is your key. Here are a few sources of healthy fats and protein to fill your stomach, without hiding your abs:
- Lean meat
- Egg whites
- Fatty fish
- Green tea
- All of the fruits & veggies!
At Supplement Superstore, we know ab supplements are a gimmick, but real food to show you real results are available. That’s why we have a section we call “Functional Foods.” We know not every athlete can eat egg whites and almonds every day, sometimes you need your salty and sweet treats without going full-on cheat day. These snacks will fill your cravings with the protein your body deserves, and your abs need! From Protein Puffs to Muscle Mac and Cheese, who needs “ab supplements” when you can eat real protein in functional food? If you have a sweet tooth, we have two words for you: protein cookie. Quest Protein Cookies come in your favorite recipes like oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter. Your post-workout snack can also be a sweet one with Quest Bar flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and birthday cake!
Replace the Basics
By now, you understand that protein is the root of all your lean muscle and six-pack ab dreams. Without ab supplements, the best way to improve your diet for a shredded body is by starting at the basics. As soon as we say protein, athlete’s minds immediately think about their favorite snack: peanut butter. We mentioned commercial peanut butter needs to be removed from your pantry due to the excessive ingredients, but what will you do without your most reliable snack? You want to switch to a high-protein alternative, like PB2 powdered high protein peanut butter. Nuts ‘n more combines fresh peanuts filled with the highest protein with whey isolate and flax seeds. The flax seeds provide extra protein and Omega-3s.
Nuts ‘n more peanut butter helps you replace your most reliable protein snack, but another easy way to strengthen your basic ingredients is by looking at the food you constantly eat each week. Choose a high-protein bread and eggs whites over yolks for a lean body. If you love a big breakfast, especially after your early morning workout, skip the plain pancakes and switch to ANS Performance Keto Pancake Mix. Each serving has seven grams of protein to make protein-packed pancakes or waffles. You can even grab a protein powder, like ANS Performance N-Pro and combine it with the pancake mix for the highest (and tastiest) protein breakfast. Top it off with Sinfit pancake syrup for a sugar-free, zero-calorie syrup.
One of the best ways to make big changes to your diet and achieve your body goals is to stick with a diet plan. The Paleo diet is a great way to stay disciplined and end up with lean muscle and defined abs, but we’re not telling you that you have to go full Paleolithic caveman to get there! The Paleo diet focuses on lots of quality meat in your diet, with a heaping side of veggies and good fats, without the extra calories. If you take the general idea of the Paleo diet, that is the perfect recipe to carve out your abs! Many people believe that eating less is the main focus, but that actually increases your body’s production of cortisol, which causes belly fat! With the Paleo diet, you focus on whole foods like fish, vegetables, tubers, fruits, nuts, and eggs, and cut out all the processed food with artificial sweeteners, and a lot of grains, and you will start to see major results!
Paleo not really your style? We’re sure you’ve heard of the ketogenic, or Keto, diet by now! The Keto diet focuses on high fats in your meals. By switching to the Keto diet, you are training your body to burn fat to turn it into energy, instead of using carbs for energy! This process is called ketosis. Because you are essential changing how your body breaks down and uses food, it takes a few weeks for those on the Keto diet to start to see real change, but it will happen. During those initial weeks, you may come down with the “Keto flu,” which can be remedied with ANS Performance KetoVita. The Keto diet is founded on the idea of eliminating carbs and sugars that don’t have much fiber content, that means most fruit is eliminated, along with bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. You still get to eat your meat, vegetables, fish, and eggs, but unlike the Paleo diet, you also eliminate certain carbohydrates, even if they come from whole foods. If you’re a fan of meal replacement, try the ANS Performance KetoSys. By training your body to burn fats into energy, your midsection will slim down so your lean muscle can show off your ripped abs!
Ab Supplements vs. Fat Burning Supplements
As we mentioned, there aren’t specific ab supplements but that’s okay, because you are disciplined enough to change your diet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn to supplements to help you target fat all over your body! With fat burner supplements, your body will harness thermogenesis to burn fat rapidly. ANS Performance Diablo uses amino acids to lower your body’s fat concentration. It also uses ingredients like lotus seed extract, which controls your appetite so when you choose a diet to get your abs, you stick to it! Another supplement that approaches fat loss a different way is Allmax L-Carnitine Tartrate. Not only does this supplement target existing fat, but it also prevents your cells from storing any new, excess fat. It burns the fat from both ends! You don’t need ab supplements when you are burning fat all over your body and crushing your workouts.
Fat loss and cutting carbs are important, but you need to retain those ab muscles for them to be visible as your torso becomes leaner. One of the best ways to hold onto those muscles is by taking a slow-release protein at night, so your muscles have protein to feed on even while you’re resting. This will also prevent you from entering a calorie deficit, which causes your body to store fat. By taking a casein protein at night, like Allmax Casein FX, you are providing your muscles with the sustenance they need to retain while you target all-over body fat with your workouts and diet.
Without real ab supplements on the market, you need to choose your foundational supplements that are going to aid in your process of developing defined abs. One of these foundation supplements is fish oil, such as Allmax Omega-3 fish oil. Taking a high-quality fish oil supplement can help improve your insulin sensitivity. That means when you eat carbohydrates, your body will be less likely to turn them into fat. Allmax Omega-3 fish oil will be one of the main supplements you take to prevent excess fat and maintain your well-defined abdominals!
Pair with Your Workout
The best way to get your six-pack abs is by having a well-rounded plan. Being disciplined in the kitchen, taking fat burning supplements, and choosing the right workouts will help you get rid of fat and define your abdominal muscles. Here are some workouts that will help you get the abs of your dreams:
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Squats (core used to stabilize)
- Deadlifts (core used to stabilize)