ARE ABS REALLY MADE IN THE KITCHEN?
Time to read 8 min
Time to read 8 min
Are you trying to build abs? Well, lucky for you, we have a MIRACLE CURE that can create abs. Doctors hate us for showing you this!
Just kidding. Don’t click on those kinds of links. There is no miracle pill or form of cheat code that can help you build abs. Sorry for the tease, but since you’re here, let us show you how abs are really made.
'Abs are made in the kitchen’. You’ve probably heard that line before, whether from a nosey Aunt at dinner, a ‘life coach’ on Instagram, or an advert on TV trying to sell you a non-stick frying pan. Believe it or not, they aren’t wrong. But they are somewhat one-sided. There are many ways that you can build abs. Let’s break down your ab-building options.
First things first, a six-pack doesn’t define whether you’re in shape or not. While they may look more aesthetic, you shouldn’t judge your progress on whether your abs are visibly showing. A massive factor in how visible your abs are comes down to how much subcutaneous body fat you store around your stomach. Let’s be clear: not having a visible six-pack does not mean you are overweight. A visible six-pack requires a body fat percentage much lower than what is needed for general health benefits (Read, T. 2021).
Apart from making you look like a Greek God carved from marble, let’s discuss how training your abs will actually benefit you.
Beyond looking aesthetic, training your core and abdominal muscles play a more significant role. Your core muscles stabilise the spine, allowing it to bend and twist as required. Training your core can help you increase your balance and endurance (Read, T. 2021).
If you want to start training your core, it is important to establish a training routine that you will repeat 2-3 times per week. These exercises don’t need to be complicated, but they should include exercises that occur in all planes of motion (Read, T. 2021). The 3 planes of motion are:
Sagittal (forward & backwards movement)
Frontal (side-to-side movement)
Transverse (twisting or rotational movement)
Some of the best core exercises include:
Push-up lateral row
Skip with a twist
These can be completed efficiently within your own home, and doing them several days a week can help you improve your core, protect your spine, and increase your performance with other lifts and movements. With a consistent routine, even just twice per week, you can improve your core (Quinn, E. 2022).
We may have digressed a bit but we saved the best for last. Are abs created in the kitchen? Of course they are. If you’re eating Maccas and KFC every day, you’re not going to build abs. What you eat matters. What you fuel your body with matters. Training and diet go hand-in-hand.
Building toned abs require reducing excess body fat and building abdominal muscles. Both diet and training go into making this happen.
If you’re trying to add definition to your abs, you must be mindful of what you eat. Certain foods may help boost metabolism, encourage body fat reduction, and leave you feeling fuller for longer. In contrast, foods with low nutritional value or added sugars and fats can halt your progress and make it more challenging to achieve your ab goals (Ritcher, A. 2021).
You’re right in thinking that your kitchen is the best place to build abs. If you can fill your diet with nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and high-protein items, you will have a much better chance of success (Ritcher, A. 2021).
Let’s start simple:
Consuming an appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables is pivotal in maintaining a healthy diet and building abs. No single fruit or vegetable can provide the goodness you need, so eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day is important. Fruits and vegetables are high in indigestible fibre, which is great for your gastrointestinal health. They can also support your weight goals by consuming them! Did you know berries, apples, pears, soy, and cauliflower have all been associated with weight loss? (Harvard T.H. Chan)
Whole grains are high in dietary fibre and can lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels when consumed regularly. Whole grains can support digestion and are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Getting more soluble fibre into your diet can improve insulin sensitivity and may enhance your weight loss results (Anderson, J et al. 2009).
Nuts and seeds provide fibre, protein and healthy fats, which can all support your goal of getting healthy fats. In particular, almonds can beneficially affect lipids and lipoproteins, which can be substituted for a high-carbohydrate snack to support your health (Berryman, C et al. 2015).
Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies cannot efficiently produce. Getting these through fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines can support your cardiovascular function and brain health. Fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA have been linked to immune function and have shown promising results in weight management and cognitive function in those with very mild Alzheimer’s disease (Swanson, D et al. 2012).
Green tea has long been studied for its weight-loss and fat-burning properties. Green tea is considered one of the healthiest beverages on the planet and is loaded with antioxidants and plant compounds that can benefit your health goals and help you build abs. Green tea contains caffeine, a well-known stimulant that has been found to assist with fat-burning and exercise performance. Green tea has been found to support the reduction of abdominal fat, which is often associated with inflammation and insulin resistance (Gunnars, K. 2018).
Consuming protein is essential if you’re training to achieve weight and muscle goals. Protein can help you lose weight naturally, and a high protein intake boosts metabolism, reduces appetite and can help you alter several weight-regulating hormones. It can also help you lose weight while burning more calories (Gunnars, K. 2017).
Getting enough protein to support your goals is difficult, particularly if you’re training more frequently at higher levels. At ASN, we offer a range of protein formulas specifically tailored to support weight loss and muscle building. They can help you curb your appetite between meals and help you drop weight, and build abs.
Phyba PLNT Protein is a plant-based alternative that offers 22g of protein per serve, in addition to a custom Gut MatrixTM that contains prebiotic, probiotic, postbiotic and synbiotics to support healthy digestion and nutrient utilisation. This low-calorie blend contains an EAA profile and can support your muscle, weight, and ab-building goals.
For a lean protein that gives you an edge against your weight goals and helps build muscle to support your ab-growth goals, EHP Labs OxyWhey Lean Wellness Protein can support you. This blend uses 100% grass-fed whey and can support your mood, immune health and metabolism. Low on calories, this blend offers between 33.2g & 37.3g of protein per serving (depending on the flavour).
If you’re serious about building abs, it is pivotal that you consume enough clean protein to support your muscle growth, metabolism, and weight loss. What you eat matters immensely, and alongside a regular training routine, supporting your results with protein can pay huge dividends.
We wouldn’t be doing our due diligence if we didn’t warn you which foods not to eat. It goes without saying that you should take McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks off the menu, but here are a few more foods that you might want to stay clear of.
Foods with added sugar, like lollies, chocolates and cakes, can cause weight gain because they are high in empty calories, may impact blood sugar and hormone levels, and often won’t fill you up, which can result in overeating. Sugary drinks like soft drinks, alcohol and sports drinks can lead to increased body fat, which can inhibit you from achieving your desired abs (Kubala, J. 2019).
Refined grains like white bread, white pasta, and sugary cereals can prove unhealthy as they can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut. They can also reduce nutrient absorption and may lead to weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, mood changes and inflammation (Academy of Culinary Nutrition. 2020).
This isn’t easy. Especially since so many things are fried these days, but cutting down on fried foods like burgers, fries, and fried chicken can damage your health and prevent you from building the abs you want. They say abs are built in the kitchen. Yes, but they are not built in a deep fryer. Fried foods are high in saturated fat and trans fat, promoting plaque buildup in arteries that can put you at risk down the line (Reisdorf, A. 2021).
So, what have we learnt?
Abs are made in the kitchen. They are also made in the gym (or at home).
Like Ying & Yang, diet and training go hand in hand when building a toned set of abs. It won’t happen overnight. It may not even happen after a few months, but if you commit to a consistent weekly routine and improve your diet and training, you will eventually look in the mirror and see that your hard work has paid off.
It isn’t easy to reform yourself to align with your goals, but if you want it bad enough, you will find a way. If you need more help understanding how to train and diet, our friendly team are always eager to help you. Reach out online or head into one of our many purple ASN stores, and our knowledgeable team can help you find the right supplements to support your routine and goals.
Until then, put on something comfortable and start planking.
Read, T. 2021, ‘The Best Ways to Get Abs (With or Without a Six-Pack).’ Healthline, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-ways-to-get-abs
Quinn, E. 2022, ‘20-Minute Core Workout’, VeryWellFit, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.verywellfit.com/quick-core-workout-routine-3120075
WebMD. 2020, ‘What to Know About Ab Stimulators’, WebMD, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/what-to-know-about-ab-stimulators#:~:text=Ab%20stimulators%2C%20a%20type%20of,abs%20without%20diet%20and%20exercise
Harvard T. H. Chan. ‘Vegetables and Fruits’, Harvard School of Public Health, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/
Anderson, J et al. 2009, ‘Health benefits of dietary fiber’, National Library of Medicine, accessed 17 January 2023, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19335713/
Berryman, C et al. 2015, ‘Effects of Daily Almond Consumption on Cardiometabolic Risk and Abdominal Adiposity in Healthy Adults With Elevated LDL-Cholesterol: A Randomized Controlled Trial’, Journal of the American Heart Association, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330049/
Swanson, D et al. 2012, ‘Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA: health benefits throughout life’, National Library of Medicine, accessed 17 January 2023, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22332096/
Gunnars, K. 2018, ‘How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight,’ Healthline, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-tea-and-weight-loss
Kubala, J. 2019, ‘6 Ways Added Sugar Is Fattening’, Healthline, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-sugar-make-you-fat
Academy of Culinary Nutrition. 2020, ‘Should You Be Avoiding Grains?’ Culinary Nutrition, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.culinarynutrition.com/should-you-be-avoiding-grains/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Specific%20Carbohydrate,changes%2C%20heart%20disease%20and%20inflammation
Reisdorf, A. 2021, ‘How Fried Foods Affect Your Heart Health’, Good RX Health, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.goodrx.com/well-being/diet-nutrition/fried-foods-heart-health
Gunnars, K. 2017, ‘How Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally’, Healthline, accessed 17 January 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-protein-can-help-you-lose-weight