Have you seen your abs lately? We all have abdominal muscles, but when we gain weight, it tends to accumulate in the stomach area. Not only does this hide those abs and increase our pant size, it’s also bad for our health. Excess belly fat has been linked to disease of the heart, liver and other organs.
David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine, recognized this problem and designed the Abs Diet. Geared toward men, the diet incorporated a list of healthy foods, small, frequent meals, and an exercise regimen into a plan to flatten the stomach. The eating routine turned out to be popular to the point that Zinczenko adjusted it for ladies. Released in 2007, The Abs Diet for Women: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Belly and Firm Up Your Body for Life was a great success.
Eating on the Abs Diet
One of the keys to success with the Abs Diet is the incorporation of twelve “power foods” into the diet. These foods all have great nutritional value, and it’s easy to remember them using the acronym “Abs Diet Power.” They are:
Almonds and other nuts
Beans and legumes
Spinach and other green veggies
Dairy (low-fat or fat-free)
Turkey and other lean meats
Whole-grain bread and cereal
Raspberries and other berries
Another important part of the diet is eating not three, but six meals each day. Eating frequent small meals can help satisfy hunger with fewer calories. It also boosts the metabolism and helps avoid cheating.
In any case, maybe the most prominent part of the Abs Diet is the flexibility to eat whatever you need for one supper every week. Dieters are not required to follow any of the diet’s guidelines for this one meal. It’s sort of a built-in splurge, allowing you to enjoy your favorite foods on occasion without breaking the diet.
The Importance of Exercise
When it comes to having great abs, exercise is an absolute must. Surprisingly, exercise is optional during the first 2 weeks of the Abs Diet plan. This is intended to help dieters ease into the transition, making them more likely to stick with it. But on the third week and beyond, regular exercise is required.
The Abs Diet exercise program focuses more on muscles than on a cardiovascular workout. It is built around circuit training, which consists of a series of strength-building exercises done at a fast pace. This keeps the heart rate up, burns fat and keeps the workout as short as possible. The program also promotes the use of compound exercises, which are simple exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at the same time.
While there is some debate about whether you can really flatten your stomach in just 6 weeks, the testimonials for the Abs Diet have been quite favorable. It combines good nutrition with an intense yet short workout routine to promote overall health, weight loss, and leaner abdominal muscles. The ability to eat six times a day and work out for just 20 minutes three times a week has made the Abs Diet a favorite of many.