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Get a Washboard Stomach this Summer!

Jun 16, 2012 09:05AM

Photo courtesy of ImageSearchPro

Written by Susan Thorn

Who doesn’t envy ripped washboard abs? Getting one of your own is all about the right mix of cardiovascular training, proper nutrition, and abdominal moves. So what are the important factors when deciding the best nutrition program for obtaining a tight physique and six pack abs?

The key to keeping it tight is an active metabolism. Your metabolism is the body's way of burning the food you eat (fuel) to provide energy. You can entice your metabolism to step it up a notch with a commitment to three nutritional components: frequency of meals, volume consumed, and type of food. The key to a healthy metabolism is six to seven small meals throughout the day, two and a half to three hours apart. The type of food you eat is just as important as the volume and frequency.

You need protein! Including three to four ounces of clean protein at every meal will help you feel full longer and prevent the urge to grab a quick, unhealthy fix. Add chicken, salmon, cottage cheese, eggs, almonds, and low-carb protein shakes to your nutritional arsenal for adequate protein consumption and boosting metabolism. Clean protein also helps to moderate the blood sugar response to ingested carbs. It has been shown that a lack of protein and an excess of carbs will place an undue stress on the pancreas and glycemic response, which has been correlated with increased abdominal girth. Washboard abs need clean burning food!

Fiber should be the main source of your carbohydrate intake and should consist of high fiber sources like vegetables, fruits and whole unrefined grains. Fiber satisfies your hunger for longer periods of time, gives you a steady stream of energy and will reduce cravings for simple sweets. A diet rich in fiber includes lots of veggies like broccoli, asparagus, kale, cabbage, and fruits like watermelon, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, apples, papaya, and avocados.

Refined foods and grains are a no-no; if it comes in a box it probably does not have much fiber. The whole purpose of including fiber in your nutrition plan is to keep things moving and maintain a good glycemic response, which will thereby help in creating lean. Fiber also aids in the detoxification that speeds up burning fat. Consuming refined carbs must be avoided as they will cause fluctuating blood sugar levels, this will cause you to crave carbs and make it difficult to shed fat. Look for carbohydrate sources that have at least three grams of fiber per every 12 grams of total carbs.

It is a myth that fats are not to be consumed when aspiring to have six pack abs. Fats are essential for a lean core and glowing skin, especially as we get older. Foods healthy in good fats are nuts, avocados, olive oil, eggs, virgin coconut oil and organic meats. Saturated oils can also be consumed in controlled quantities. Avoid margarine, processed foods, fried foods, sweetened items and hydrogenated oils. Consuming the appropriate fat can guide you to becoming lean! Lean muscle and fat burning require optimal hormone production; estrogen, insulin, and testosterone are example of hormones needed for a healthy lean body and are dependent on the inclusion of fat in your diet. Hormones build muscle, create a sense of well-being, and maintain bone density. Stay away from man-created, processed, chemically-altered fats that are found in most processed foods. Following a balanced healthy nutritional plan, getting in the cardio and abdominal moves will get you abs to envy!