Granted, lifting weights is essential to build your muscles and reshape your body, but what you eat is more important. Whether your goal is to have a bikini body with flat abs or more of the leaner, athletic look, most figure models and competitors have, nutrition is vital. People say, abs are made in the kitchen and that saying can’t be true enough; ‘You are what you eat’.
Of course with all the information on the internet, in magazines, and just through chatting with friends about one fad diet or another, how do you know what really works AND is healthy? Below I’m going to list some basic rules to follow if you want to lose body fat, tighten up and help build muscle to shape your body how you want it!
1.) Always have breakfast within an hour upon waking. Be sure to include a lean protein source (ie egg whites, cottage cheese, chicken,etc).
2.) Eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This will keep your body burning calories and feeding your muscles and brain.
3.) In every meal or snack you have, make sure there is a protein source. We can live without carbs and fat (except the essential fatty acids; those we should try to get in from either diet or supplements) but NOT protein. Every function in the body relies on protein – whether you move your arm or blink your eyes; we need protein to function optimally.
4.) Drink at least half your body weight of water in ounces. So, if you weigh 140 lbs, your goal should be 9 cups/day. Another good way to know is by checking if your urine is relatively clear and not drinking water only when you feel thirsty. When that happens, you’re already 2 or more % dehydrated.
5.) When training, push yourself hard. For instance, if you aim for a range of 8-12 repetitions you should be struggling for at least the last 2-3 repetitions.
6.) You don’t need to train abs daily to get ‘abs’. Everyone has the six pack (or four pack, depending on your genetic make up) under the fat. Its through heavy lifting (for the most part), cardiovascular training, and most importantly, clean eating that will reveal those sexy, flat abs.
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