Abs are made in the kitchen
I have read 100’s of articles on the web and they’re full of advice on six pack diet, but there’s barely anything that guides Indians on the type of diet they should be taking while they’re working out their abs. Being an avid fitness freak, I used to spend hours Googling about the diet that I should take to get six pack abs. Though I came across a lot of articles, but all of them talked about food items which were not easily available nearby.
I’m not a certified dietitian and do not claim to be a know-it-all, however, I have spent over 4 years of my life studying how various types of diets and exercises affect our body. It can never be stressed enough as to how crucial proper eating is. I myself understood this fact very late in my quest for six pack abs. Without a proper diet plan, you are just wasting your time at the gym. In this article, I will share with you some simple and general guidelines that I have followed for myself. And yes, I do have a six pack. 😉
You diet should be rich in two things: proteins and fibers. Let me talk about protein first:
A protein rich diet helps to repair, build, and preserve your muscles. More the muscles you’ll have, the higher will be your metabolism, which’ll consequently lead to more calories getting burnt. In addition, there are a plenty of other reasons for taking a protein rich diet, but we won’t get into that scientific mumbo-jumbo here.
Top sources of high quality lean protein
- White egg omelets or hard boiled eggs
- Lean skinless chicken and turkey (white meat)
- Wild Salmon
- Skim milk
- Cottage cheese (fat free)
- Beans, nuts and legumes
- Soy (Tofu)
- Whey protein drink
Importance of Fiber
Fiber (soluble) absorbs water and makes you feel fuller for a much longer time. For example, plain oatmeal is high in soluble fiber and absorbs water to keep you satisfied for hours. However, eating food that is high in sugar and low on fiber causes you to get hungry very quickly. It is recommended that you consume about 25-35 grams of fiber per day.
Foods that are high in fiber and are packed with vitamins and minerals:
- Yellow and red peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Plain Oatmeal (my day starts with it)
- Berries (extremely high in antioxidants and speed up your recovery)
Now let’s put all of this together and make a diet chart for you:
Indian diet for six pack abs
Meal # 1 (Breakfast)
4 hard-boiled egg whites
1 Egg white omelet in olive oil
2 slices of brown bread
1 serving (30 gms) of plain oatmeal with skim milk (I prefer add 10 Almonds and 20 grams Walnuts and few raisins for taste)
Meal # 2 (Snack)
1 serving of broccoli
3 hard-boiled eggs whites
Meal # 3 (Lunch)
Half tandoori chicken
1 cup of mixed vegetables (Specially cucumber)
Meal # 4 (Post workout meal)
1 Banana with whey protein shake
Meal #5 (Dinner)
2 large cups of vegetables and fruits (Including cucumber, watermelon and papaya)
½ cup spinach
5-6 berries such as strawberries
Golden Rules for getting abs:
Rule #1: Eat 5-6 small meals per day and create a calorie deficit
In India, people are accustomed to having 3 big meals a day, with the last one tending to be the heaviest. No wonder most of the guys have a big fat tummy and look over-age. Ideally, you should try to eat a small meal every 3 hours. Don’t wait until you start craving for food. In that case, you will end up eating more. By having 5-6 meals per day, not only will you feel less hungry, but it will also help boost your metabolism. Take around 400 calories per meal (depending on your BMR and activity level) and say bye-bye to 3 large meals and say yes to 5-6 small meals!
Rule#2: Consume high quality protein every day
Your body has to burn the extra calories to break your protein into smaller amino acids. It will keep you satisfied for a longer time as compared to carbohydrates. In addition, protein is needed to build and maintain lean muscle.
Rule#3: Consume enough (25-30 gms) soluble fiber a day
Your carbohydrates should come from foods rich in fiber such as vegetables, fruits and high fiber unrefined grains. High fiber food will also control your blood sugar level and allow you to burn more body fat.
Rule#4: Avoid refined sugars and refined grains
This is one of the biggest reasons why people are so overweight. They consume sugar heavy drinks (soda drinks) and have high calorie foods such as biscuits.
Rule#5: Consume an adequate amount of good and healthy fat
I mean the healthy kind of fat i.e., the one derived from walnuts, peanut butter, olive oil and eggs. You should eliminate bad fats from your diet such as butter and high fat cheese.
Rule#6: Keep yourself hydrated all day
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, it means you’re already dehydrated. Keep yourself hydrated especially while working out. Try to drink 3-4 liters of water per day. Our bodies are made up of almost 50-65% water and a slight decrease in our body water level can impact our performance.