Abdominal muscles develop in the kitchen. Many fitness enthusiasts long for a six-pack. But can you really train yourself to washboard abs in just a few weeks? If you believe all the workout plans and videos on the internet, yes. The reality is different, however. After all, nutrition is more important than daily ab training. We’ll tell you what really matters – and why a six-pack is not necessarily associated with a healthy lifestyle.
Pronounced abdominal muscles are a symbol of a healthy lifestyle – especially in times of social media. Washboard abs in just six weeks? In some cases, it is certainly possible. Anyone who thinks that they only have to increase their training quota for this is very wrong. The way to a six-pack is more complex than many think. If you want visible abdominal muscles, you don’t just have to deal with your sports program, but above all with your diet.
Prerequisite: a low body fat percentage
The fact that there are abdominal muscles does not mean that you can see them from the outside. The prerequisite for this is a low body fat percentage. On average, the body fat percentage in women is between 25 and 31 percent, while it is slightly lower in men at 18 to 24 percent.
The percentage from which the six-pack appears can vary depending on the fat distribution in the body. Basically, however, it can be said that the abdominal muscles in women show from a value of less than 15 percent, in men, however, from a value of less than 10 percent.
Let’s see how to manage Abdominal muscles develop in the kitchen.
Diet: 4 tips for getting a six-pack
1. Change your diet over the long term
If you want a six-pack, you usually want to achieve this goal as quickly as possible. A lightning diet is still not recommended. For one thing, diets are usually not suitable for everyday use. On the other hand, they are often associated with a yo-yo effect, especially if you radically reduce your calorie intake. It is better to change your diet over the long term and make sure that you continue to meet the calorie requirement in order to prevent cravings.
It takes patience and discipline to develop new habits. It is normal for the body not to change overnight. In addition, it is easier for us to change our diet if we get the body used to it step by step.
2. Eat high in protein
To muscles build a high protein diet is essential. Because our muscles consist of the building blocks of protein, namely amino acids.
The Nutritionist recommends a daily protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This value applies to both genders from the age of 18. A person weighing 60 kilograms should therefore consume around 48 percent protein per day. This requirement can usually be met without any problems with a balanced diet.
See also, How to lose weight without diet
By the way: a protein-rich diet does not necessarily have to consist of heaps of eggs, meat, chicken, and low-fat quark. There are also numerous herbal products that are suitable as sources of protein, such as legumes and soy products, but also nuts and some vegetables.
3. Drink a lot
Those who do a lot of sports sweat and lose water. To make up for this loss, it is important to drink enough. In addition, the kidneys and liver have to work harder if you eat a high protein diet. Adequate water intake is also essential to support these organs.
Tip: Make sure you drink low-sodium water whenever possible. Because sodium ensures that water is stored in the body – and that in turn would get in the way of a visible six-pack. Mineral water is considered to be low in sodium if it contains less than 20 milligrams of sodium per liter.
4. Eat as low in sugar and fat as possible
Those aiming for washboard abs should avoid resorting to processed foods, as they often contain a lot of sugar and unhealthy fats. The motto here is: if you cook yourself, you also know what’s inside.
However, it does not make sense to completely eliminate high-fat foods from the nutrition plan. Not all fat is the same. Most importantly, avoid unsaturated fats like trans fats. These are mainly found in
- Fast food and ready-made products
- fried foods
- Baked goods such as croissants
- Nibbles like cookies or chips.
Healthy fats, on the other hand, are a useful part of the daily diet – even if you are aiming for a six-pack. They supply the body with polyunsaturated fatty acids. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends covering around 7 to 10 percent of total daily energy intake with unsaturated fatty acids.
Including healthy fats in your meals will also help keep you feeling full longer, which in turn can help prevent cravings.
A low-sugar diet can also counteract cravings. Because when you consume sugar, it quickly enters the bloodstream and causes blood sugar levels to rise. But it also falls off again just as rapidly. The consequence: hunger reappears very quickly. To prevent this from happening and to keep the insulin level as low as possible, you should avoid refined sugar as much as possible.
Tip: Nevertheless, it makes little sense to forbid everything. Because this can also encourage cravings and thus lead to the yo-yo effect. Many swear by the Pareto principle, also known as the 80-20 rule. This rule states that 80 percent of the daily diet should be healthy, but at the same time exceptions (20 percent) are allowed. So you don’t have to do anything.
But here too, everybody is different. Accordingly, you should find out for yourself which method is best for you to cope with.
Is a six pack healthy?
Body fat has a bad rap. It fulfills many important functions in the human body. For example, the fatty tissue serves as an energy store and protects against heat loss. In addition, fat cells control important metabolic processes.
From a health point of view, it makes perfect sense to have a body fat percentage of over 10 or 15 percent. However, it must be taken into account here that every body type is different. Some people are naturally predisposed to be low in body fat. Accordingly, a six-pack is not a clear indicator of how fit or athletic someone is.
It becomes a health concern if you do not supply the body with enough nutrients over a longer period of time. When combined with excessive exercise, side effects can occur, sometimes with lengthy consequences. Women run the risk of having an irregular cycle. In some cases, the period can be absent altogether. Then one speaks of secondary amenorrhea. This, in turn, can increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
As desirable as a six-pack may be for many, you should always carefully consider the health price you will pay for it.
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