Getting the abdominals you've always wanted takes a multifaceted approach that's so much more than crunches. We've put together our best nutrition and workout tips to help you get the lean, sculpted stomach you've been after.
What to Eat
When it comes to any weight loss goal, the first thing to look at is your diet. You really are what you eat and there's no magic pill out there to undo a poor diet. Eating a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods without artificial ingredients is the first step to get you there. Go natural and you'll be on your way to a healthy lean body, not just abs.
Here are our best diet tips for getting a flat, lean stomach:
- Reduce your dairy intake -- dairy can make you bloat in addition to being high in calories.
- Drink plenty of water. Add lemon to it for an antioxidant boost.
- Ditch the soda -- not only is it full of sugar, but also sodium, which can make you retain water.
- Eat the right fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Avoid the saturated and trans fats.
- Make sure your meals contain plenty of fiber to keep your digestion system moving and fill you up.
- Protein, protein, protein. Protein builds muscles. Period.
What to Do
Now that your diet is set, it's time to talk about exercise, because the two go hand in hand for weight loss and muscle toning. The first exercise people associate with a lean stomach is crunches, but research has shown time and time again just doing hundreds of crunches won't get you the results you want. A combination of cardiovascular work and strength training is the best way to reduce fat and build lean muscle. Because if you don't burn off the fat on top of the muscle, you won't lean out.
Some of the best exercise regimens for a ripped stomach are high intensity interval training (HIIT), pilates and suspension training. HIIT workouts torch calories by alternating cardio and strength training segments, each for a set amount of time. Pilates allows you to stretch and work the muscles in several ways to elongate and lengthen them while also building strength. And finally, suspension training involves using straps attached to a wall or door frame and your own body weight to tone the entire body. Maintaining your balance during these suspended exercises will shred your midsection.
In order to get your best abs fast, you need to perform ab exercises that work out the entire abdomen at one time and get your heart rate up to burn fat. These are our six favorite moves to master for sculpted abs and so much more:
- Mountain climbers
- Russian twists
- Reverse crunches
Start with 10 reps of each with a 20-second plank and work your way up. A quick circuit like this is also a great way to wake up in the morning and get your blood flowing. Be sure to incorporate stretching into your routine to prevent injury.
What to Take
Adding a supplement to your routine can help accelerate your results to get you those abs faster. Thankfully, there are more non-stimulate options than ever to get you a lean stomach without the frightening side effects stimulants can produce, like a racing heart.
The following five supplements are our top pics for a strong, flat stomach:
- CLA -- Conjugated linolenic acid, or CLA, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in meat, dairy products and safflower oil. CLA encourages the release of stored body fat to be utilized as energy.
- Dandelion Root Tea -- A natural diuretic, dandelion root tea can help remove excess water.
- Glutamine -- An amino acid, glutamine promotes the growth of lean muscle mass while also assisting in muscle recovery.
- Raspberry Ketone -- A metabolite within raspberries, ketones give the berries their scent, but they've also been proven to be effective at burning body fat.
- White Kidney Bean Extract -- A natural carbohydrate blocker, white kidney bean can help you lose weight or manage your weight.
As always, make sure to check with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine. Pregnant and breastfeeding women aren't advised to take supplements for weight loss at the time.
Pick up the products mentioned in this post at eVitamins and save your way to better abs. Check back tomorrow for even more health news and tips.