The only problem is, you actually have to work to get toned abs, and you have to work to maintain them.
Fortunately, getting a toned abdomen isn’t rocket science, and it won’t take long to start seeing progress once you commit to a regime that will eliminate belly fat and work your abdominal muscles.
Here are seven facts about toning your abdomen that will help you develop the perfect balance of diet and exercise to get the hard, defined belly you’ve always wanted.
1. Diet matters just as much as exercise
Belly fat is the most dangerous fat you can wear. It causes inflammation all over your body and increases your risk for cancer and heart disease. It also covers your abdominal muscles, so no matter how strong they are, you’ll still appear flabby around the middle.
The worst things you can eat when you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle are refined carbs and sugars, unhealthy fats and foods high in sodium.
Instead, you should focus on eating mostly unprocessed foods that have high nutritional value, including fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
The food you eat in a day should supply you with the optimum amounts of carbohydrates, protein and fats.
Cutting carbs and fat out of your diet is a recipe for disaster.
The calories you consume should be comprised of between 45 and 65 percent carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent protein and 20 to 35 percent fat.
It’s not just what you eat that counts, but also when. Research shows that eating six times a day instead of three maintains an energy balance that lends itself to losing fat and gaining lean muscle.
You’ll still have your three main meals a day, but make them smaller and supplement them with three snacks. Each meal and snack should be as unprocessed and healthy as possible, and should always include some of the powerhouse foods that pack in the nutrients, including fruits and vegetables, almonds, beans, greens, eggs, lean meats, whole grains and berries.