As we’re all aware, summer is only a few months away. The impending time of pure freedom and happiness is getting closer and closer every day, so a lot of us are probably focusing on getting our bodies ready for the season. Abs are some of the hardest muscles to work, especially for women because we don’t develop muscle as easily, and we often carry more fat in our stomach than men. This can be very frustrating, because you may feel like no matter what you do, you’re not getting the abs you hoped for. The reason for this might be simpler than you thought. The saying “abs are made in the kitchen” is one of the most annoying, in my opinion, but it’s not wrong. What we eat actually has a lot more to do with how our abs look and develop than the exercises we do in the gym. Yes, the exercises tone and shape them, but you have to maintain a steady foundation by putting the right foods into your body.
Studies say some of the best foods to eat to obtain these summer ab goals are oatmeal, sweet potatoes, black beans, lean poultry, bananas, broccoli, quinoa, apples and eggs. It’s pretty much safe to say that any type of fruit or vegetable is good to eat when trying to sculpt your abs, but these are the ones that hold the most benefits. Lean poultry is the best type of meat to consume because not only is it a source of protein, which keeps you full for longer so you don’t start binging, but it also has less fat than red meat and is calorically easier to burn off than other forms of protein. One of my personal favorite ab foods is oatmeal. Yes, it’s packed with carbs, but it’s also filled with fiber and protein, which balance out the sugar from the carbs. It’s muscle friendly and fiber soluble, which decreases the risk of heart disease. There are also a bunch of ways to get creative with what you put in your oatmeal because pretty much any fruit, cinnamon or nut butter is good in it.
Green tea is one of the best drinks for your overall health in general because it helps burn fat. Green tea also contains catechins, which is an antioxidant that prevents the storage of belly fat. If you’re not into tea, studies have shown that snacking on fresh pears also holds the same level of antioxidants and can be almost as beneficial. Because of their specific role in targeting belly fat, they are some of the best things to eat and drink when building abs.
From personal experience, I can say that one thing you need to do when in the process of building abs is switch up your workouts. Doing 50 crunches every day won’t have you seeing results. There are tons of YouTube videos and articles that show what ab exercises are best. The videos are helpful because they go through the entire routine and show you exactly how the moves are done. Jillian Michaels’ self-titled app is what I use for ab and arm workouts, because it’s difficult. Challenging yourself will help you get towards your goal even faster, and Jillian goes pretty hard and doesn’t mess around, so this is a good app for getting even quicker results. Once you become familiar with a bunch of different ab workouts, you can start developing your own routines with them. Just doing a routine every day or every other day will eventually pay off, even if you don’t see it at first. Abs take time and effort, but once you get into a routine and stick to it, you’ll achieve the goals you’ve ultimately been waiting for.
Tessa Pawlik is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.