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10 Nutrition Strategies For Ripped Abs!

A 6-pack is the hallmark of having a ripped body. No fitness or figure competitor would be caught without one. Try these 10 strategies and soon you'll want bathing suit season to be a year-round event.

By: Marie Spano

Article Summary:
  • Many sugar free gums and candies have sugar alcohols in them.
  • Studies showed that calcium may help with weight management.
  • Trans fats increase your risk for coronary heart disease.
  • dot
    10 Nutrition Strategies For Ripped Abs
    dot

    A 6-pack is the hallmark of having a ripped body. No fitness or figure competitor would be caught without one. However, for those of us who didn't win the genetic lotto when it comes to flat abs, achieving a 6-pack isn't as simple as doing ab exercises and watching what you eat.

    Instead, you need to hunker down and tweak your diet to perfection. Try these 10 strategies and soon you'll want bathing suit season to be a year-round event.

    Cardio Bodybuilding.com:
    Abs Super Feature.

    This comprehensive listing will feature ab workouts, a breakdown of the abs and its muscle parts, top ab muscle builders, and much more.

    [ Check Out The Abs Super Feature Here! ]

    dot 1. Whey Less dot

      Whey helps build muscle tissue, that's old news. But, did you know that its rich leucine content also means it stimulates fatty acid oxidation (leucine also upregulates muscle protein synthesis while decreasing muscle protein breakdown). A 2006 study showed that adding 60 grams of whey protein/day, in comparison to 60 grams of soy protein or 60 grams of carbohydrate, led to significant decreases in body fat and weight after 6 months.

      Whey protein has also been shown to increase satiety. Increase satiety and theoretically you should eat less later! You'll be less hungry at least. Whether or not you eat is up to you.

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    dot 2. Bone Up On Dairy dot

      Aside from the obvious bone-building and blood pressure lowering benefits of dairy, researchers at the University of Tennessee stumbled on a potential connection between calcium and weight several years ago. Dairy companies became giddy about this research and started putting "weight management" claims on yogurt products and in milk commercials.

      While some subsequent studies showed that calcium may help with weight management, others revealed that consuming calcium had no effect on weight.

      Clinical trial data may be mixed in part due to the study length or the fact that supplemental calcium, versus dairy products, was used in the some of the studies. Why does the source matter? Because dairy products also contain vitamin D.

    Dairy
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Some Studies Showed That Calcium
    May Help With Weight Management.

      One 24-week weight loss study in obese adults showed that body weightloss was 26% greater in the high calcium group (1,200-1,300 mg calcium/day through diet and supplementation) but an astounding 70% greater in the high dairy group (1,200-1,300 mg calcium/day obtained solely through dairy foods).

      Fat loss was also significant in both groups though much greater in the group obtaining calcium through dairy products, 38% and 64% respectively from each group. In this study, dairy was superior over supplemental calcium.

    Cardio Calcium Products:
    Sorted By Top Sellers.

    Calcium is known best of all as a promoter of healthy and strong bones. But it plays a critical role in performance as well.

    [ Calcium Products Sorted By Top Sellers! ]

      Vitamin D is inextricably linked to calcium because it promotes calcium absorption. In addition to the importance of vitamin D in maintaining normal blood calcium levels, lab research shows that calcium and vitamin D may work together to regulate fat metabolism in fat cells by suppressing fat synthesis and sparking fat oxidation (burning). In addition, low circulating levels of vitamin D have been linked to excess adipose (fat) tissue.

    dot 3. Eat Large Quantities Of Food dot

      Remember the book Eat More, Weigh Less? There was some truth to the title. For several years now, Penn State University researcher Dr. Barbara Rolls, has been studying how the volume of food in a meal affects our satiety and therefore the number of calories we ingest. A concept she has termed Volumetrics.

      How does Volumetrics work? Rolls tells us that we should focus on the energy density of foods and consume foods with low energy density, those that are low in calories but fill us up based on their total volume. Low energy density foods include broth-based soups, non-starchy vegetables, many fruits (not dried ones though), and whipped shakes.

    dot 4. Eat Often dot

      This should be a no brainer but some people literally have to set their Blackberry to beep when it is time to eat. When we eat we burn calories (thermogenic effect of eating) and we end up less hungry later. Skip meals and you are setting the stage to overeat at your next meal. So, do what it takes to remember to eat often.

    RELATED POLL
    How Often Do You Eat?

    Every Hour
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    Every Three Hours
    Every Four Hours
    Every Five Or More Hours

    dot 5. Drink Green Tea dot

      Green tea extract when combined with caffeine, increases energy expenditure (calories burned). Studies have also shown that habitual green tea consumers are better able to maintain their weight.

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    Green Tea Phenomenon!
    What is causing all the buzz about green tea? Polyphenols are the answer. These polyphenols are vital for every bodybuilder trying to get ripped.
    Author:
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      Researchers have theorized that weight maintenance is easier due to increased thermogenesis and fat oxidation. Tea has a multitude of other benefits as well so you can't go wrong with adding tea to your diet. If you prefer, try an energy drink with green tea extract and caffeine.

    Cardio Green Tea Products:
    Sorted By Top Sellers.

    Although we know much about Green Teas positive effects, there is still much that we do not know. Research continues into this wonder-supplement.

    [ Green Tea Products Sorted By Top Sellers! ]

    dot 6. Ban Trans dot

      Yes, there are foods that still contain trans fats. Even at very low levels of consumption, 1-3% of total energy intake, trans fats increase your risk for coronary heart disease.

    Trans Fats
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Trans Fats Increase Your
    Risk For Coronary Heart Disease.

      In addition to all of the nasty things trans fats do to increase your risk for killing your heart, trans fats are associated with increased abdominal fat deposition. So, read labels. If the product says "partially hydrogenated oil," throw it out. Your heart, gut and the rest of your body will thank you.

    dot 7. Eat Fatty Fish dot

      Omega 3s are tied to a healthy heart, healthy skin, decreased depression and a variety of other benefits. They also reduce adipose tissue, most especially in the abdominal area. Studies have revealed that omega 3s upregulate the expression of genes that lead to fatty acid oxidation and decrease the development of obesity.

    RELATED ARTICLE

    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Guide To Fish & Seafood!
    Many athletes have a large part of their daily diets that consist of fish and seafood. The reason is obviously quite simple - protein.
    Author:
    Dr. David Ryan

      So load up on salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut, sardines and tuna steak. If you hate fish, take fish oil supplements (enteric coated ones unless you like fish burps).

    Cardio Fish Oil Products:
    Sorted By Top Sellers.

    Fish oils are derived from the fat of deep-sea, cold water fish and are a natural source of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

    [ Fish Oil Products Sorted By Top Sellers! ]

    dot 8. Be Wary Of Sugar Free Products dot

      How many people do you know who chew packs of sugar free gum or candies so they won't eat? Sounds like a good idea, especially the sugar free kind. The thing is, many sugar free gums and candies have sugar alcohols in them which can cause bloating and abdominal discomfort.

    Sugar Alcohols
    A sugar alcohol is a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate, whose carbonyl group has been reduced to a primary or secondary hydroxyl group. They are commonly used for replacing sucrose in foodstuffs, often in combination with high intensity artificial sweeteners to counter the low sweetness.

      In large quantities, they can also cause a laxative effect in some people. Many sugar alcohols are known by their "-ol" ending: mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, maltitol. Mannitol is the worst offender when it comes to gas and bloating.

    dot 9. Don't Be So Sweet dot

      It should be obvious by now that sweet, sugary foods like a Cinnabon aren't exactly going to get you to look like a cover model. However, if you still crave sweet foods, you may want to take a look at your intake of artificial sweeteners. You know, the stuff in the blue, yellow and pink packets (I'm waiting for them to come out with something in a pleasant green packet).

    Trans Fats
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Sugary Foods Aren't Going To
    Help You Get That Six-Pack.

      Most sweeteners contain few, if any calories, and they won't spike your insulin the way sugar does. But, they may increase your desire for sweet foods. Let's face it, you get used to eating sweet stuff and you may crave sweeter stuff. And, there is no convincing evidence that adding these to our diet has helped us take the weight off or maintain our weight.

    dot 10. Quit Boozing dot

      If you are going to drink alcohol, at least drink wine and get a few antioxidants. But seriously, cut the alcohol.

      Do you know anyone who has ripped abs and still drinks on a regular basis (and yes, weekly counts as regularly!)? No, you don't, unless they are a genetic freak of nature. And, if you were a genetic freak of nature with naturally rock-hard abs, you probably wouldn't be reading this article.

    Alcohol
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Cut The Alcohol.

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    References:

    1. Baer DJ. Whey protein decreases body weight and fat in supplemented overweight and obese adults The FASEB Journal 2006;20:A427.
    2. Flachs P et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids of marine origin upregulate mitochondrial biogenesis and induce beta-oxidation in white fat. Diabetologia 2005;48(11):2365-75.
    3. Liel Y et al. Low circulating vitamin D and obesity. Calcif Tissue Int 1988;43:199-201.
    4. Luhovyy BL et al. Whey proteins in the regulation of food intake and satiety. J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26(6):704S-712S.
    5. Mozaffarian D et al. Trans fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. N Engl J of Med 2006;354:1601-13.
    6. Parikh SJ, Yanovski JA. Calcium intake and adiposity. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77(2):281-287.
    7. Rudelle S et al. Effect of a thermogenic beverage on 24-hour energy metabolism in humans 2007;15(2):349-55.
    8. Schrager S. Dietary Calcium Intake and Obesity. J Am Board Fam Prac 2005;18:205-210.
    9. Westerterp-Plantenga MS et al. Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation. Obes Res 2005;13(7):1195-204.
    10. Zemel MB et al. Dietary calcium and dairy products accelerate weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75(suppl):342S.

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