Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

Image of fit, strong abs courtesy of Pixabay

When it comes to fitness, there is a wide variety of options for workout plans that are often tailored to the desired results of the individual. Whether the goal is losing ten pounds or a six pack stomach or toned legs and glutes, there are countless programs available on the market today for whatever your fitness goals.

Among those programs, what may not be taught and is often under-explored, is one of the most important and simple ideas to getting that abdominal tone and definition that needs to bellowed from hilltops far and wide - ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN!

You can spot train all you want, doing dangerous crunches for hours that contort and hinder your spinal health but the lack of results is due to a simple formula that abdominal training follows and that is that ab definition consists of a delicate formula: genetics + muscle +body fat + diet = shredded tummy. A trimmed and defined six-pack can be revealed through the simple addition of healthy alternatives to some of the most over-consumed foods that we will look at below.


Flax seed bread and veggies image courtesy of Pixabay
While cutting out carbohydrates altogether is very dangerous, particularly for more active people, the consideration of healthy alternatives will leave you feeling energized and looking lean. Although whole-wheat is a good emerging option to the standard white bread, it is important to inspect labels for ‘enriched whole wheat flour.’ Enriched whole wheat flour is a variety of carb production where the actual natural nutrients we require from our carbs are removed and added in a chemical compound form on the back end of the food creation.

For example, milled whole grains used to produce the necessary food compounds needed but by upping production and lowering costs companies found a way to essentially create a bread void of any required nutrients that they added through a chemical compound in the baking process. This can cause the carb stores to be misplaced in the body (i.e. sit on the stomach) and also leave you with digestive issues. For all carbs, reach instead for buckwheat alternatives. Buckwheat is an ancient grain that has the most bang for buck on healthy proteins and carbohydrates. This brittle pasta, found in most international sections of your grocery store will leave you with a lighter feeling of fullness and not fill up heavy stores around your stomach region. Quinoa is also an option of ancient grain that supports high levels of protein and needed fibers and makes a good addition to any meal.

Fruits and Veggies for Fullness

Snacking in between meals can be a healthy way to keep your metabolism churning if done correctly. Avoiding processed foods and designing your caloric intake in between meals to consist of mainly fruits and veggies will leave you feeling full while avoiding unwanted food stores around the waistline.

Hummus image courtesy of Pixabay
Some options for healthy snacking include:

  • Tub of hummus and assorted veggies: buy a two-pound tub of hummus (make sure first ingredient is chickpeas) and heads of bok choy, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. Nature already provides a perfect dippable delight with these foods so simply clean the raw vegetables and dip and eat with the hummus
  • Nuts: although the overall amount of consumption should be monitored, mix an assortment of nuts in a Tupperware or big bag and keep it handy in your desk or car for a quick bite on the run. Avoid processed ‘trail-mix’ as the sugar content is always more than needed
  • Peanut butter and Banana: ensure that you have correctly processed peanut butter (ingredients should just be peanut butter and salt) and spread it on banana slices for a filling and delicious snack

Healthy Fats and Sugars

Kombucha tea image courtesy of Pixabay
While we need healthy fats and sugars to support brain functionality and energy, as a culture, we consume too much of, or the wrong fats and sugars altogether. Put down the Gatorades and soft drinks and the stores of fat around your stomach will begin to dissipate. If you must have a sweet drink throughout the day reach for a kombucha tea and check the ingredient list for a low sugar content (this will also provide awesome cancer fighting antioxidants).

Replace cooking oils with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil for a healthier fat option and aim to get all of your sugars naturally from fruit and vegetables.

The pursuit for trimmed six-pack starts with a conscious focus on ingredient lists. Be sure to keep your sugar and fat content down and aim to avoid processed foods by all means. One of the easiest ways to start is to write down a list of the foods you like and piece together a diet based on the raw ingredients rather than processed foods. Fruits and veggies should be your best friend on the way to a toned core!

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