Abs Diet and Snacking Tips
Making the switch to a healthy diet and creating healthy snacking habits doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Eating healthy meals and snacks for abs and finding ways to cut out the processed foods that you have grown to love is a lot easier than you think! Check out these 25 quick abs diet tips, and you will be on your way to six pack abs in no time!
- Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Skip the grocery store, and shop at local farmers markets for the best quality and price. Buy what is in season for maximum taste and freshness. Dark leafy green veggies are a great pick because they are rich in iron. Loading up on lots of fruits and veggies at all of your snacks and meals will help reduce your craving for traditional carbs like rice, pasta, and bread.
- Replace your candy bar with a protein bar. Instead of eating a chocolate bar full of empty calories, opt for a protein bar with natural ingredients and low sugar. There are several tasty varieties available today, and some are covered in dark chocolate to satisfy your midday chocolate cravings. Brands I Recommend: Clif, LaraBar
- Keep healthy snacks with you everywhere you go. Skip the temptation to hit the vending machine or visit a fast food restaurant. If you have a healthy snack in your bag or at your desk all the time, it is hard to justify choosing an unhealthier option. If you have trouble planning healthy snacks, pick up pre-packaged, single-serving varieties of your favorite healthy snacks.
- Use butter instead of margarine. This may be surprising to hear, but butter is better. It is all natural, and it adds great flavor to what you are cooking or eating. It is more satisfying to eat than margarine, and the natural fats will make you feel full faster. Since it is more calorie dense than margarine, you can also use less. 1 Serving = 1 tablespoon or less. Substitute with olive oil or canola oil when you need more.
- Use plain yogurt instead of flavored yogurt. Low fat yogurt is a great protein source, but flavored yogurt often has a lot of additives and sweeteners. Some flavored yogurt contains as much corn syrup or sugar as a candy bar, and some may use artificial sweeteners. Opt for low fat or fat free plain yogurt. Add fresh berries, reduced sugar fruit preserves, or drizzle on some honey to sweeten it yourself. To maximize your protein intake, choose triple-strained Greek-style yogurt.
- Use spaghetti squash to satisfy your pasta cravings. Spaghetti squash is a great vegetable substitute for traditional pasta in your favorite spaghetti and meatballs recipe. After it is cooked, spaghetti squash will have a similar shape and texture as spaghetti without all of the added carbs. If you can’t find spaghetti squash, always buy or make your own whole wheat pasta instead. Bonus Tip: Skip the jars of pasta sauce at the grocery store, and buy or make fresh sauce instead. Many jars of pasta sauce contain excessive amounts of corn syrup or sugar that your abs don’t need.
- Skip the bread bowl at restaurants. Don’t go to restaurants or bars so hungry that you load up on empty carbs before the main course arrives. Politely ask the wait staff to take away the bread bowl or chips when they offer it to your table. Conversation is a better appetizer than a bowl full of empty carbs.
- Choose healthier frozen treats. In hot weather, a cold treat goes a long way to satisfy your appetite. Substitute frozen yogurt for ice cream and frozen fruit bars for popsicles. Ice cream and popsicles are tempting, but they will do nothing for your six pack. Frozen yogurt with a low sugar content and frozen fruit bars with low or no sugar are the best picks for summer treats. Save going out for ice cream for a special occasion, and you will see your six pack abs soon! Bonus Tip: Never add sprinkles to ice cream. It’s like spooning extra sugar on top of your ice cream. Sprinkles do not add any flavor, but they do add 70 calories per tablespoon!
- Eat crunchy veggies instead of chips. Crunchy veggies are great six pack snack in low fat dips like hummus and salsa. The extra crunch will satisfy your craving for chips. You can also slice zuchinni or sweet potatoes extra thin, lightly drizzle with olive oil and spices, and bake on high heat for an all-natural, crispy snack. If you must eat potato chips or tortila chips, use only the baked varieties – never fried!
- Avoid sweetened drinks… including diet soda. This one is obvious, but it is difficult if you are a diet soda addict. If you find yourself drinking a lot of sweetened drinks, begin replacing 1 serving a day until you are able to kick the habit. Good choices are water, unsweetened tea, or unsweetened coffee. Sparkling water with a splash of lemon or lime is a great substitute if you are a soda drinker. Over time, you will begin to enjoy the flavor of unsweetened drinks. Bonus Tip: The chemicals used in artificial sweeteners are enough reason to stop drinking diet soda. Also, the sweet flavor can trick your brain into overeating by sending the message that you need more calories. Kick your diet soda habit ASAP to achieve your six pack abs goal!
- Ditch your dependency on sandwiches at lunch time. Instead of boring turkey sandwiches or bland hamburgers, consider eating high quality lean meats with a side of steamed veggies or a small salad. Season your meat with your favorite herbs and spices, and use high quality ingredients. If you remix familiar favorites like buffalo chicken wings into a buffalo chicken salad using grilled chicken breast, you will not miss sandwiches. If you must have a sandwich or pizza, stick to whole wheat varieties – especially whole wheat pitas, whole wheat flat bread, and thin whole wheat pizza crust.
- Redefine dessert. If you have a sweet tooth, it is hard to finish a meal without having a little dessert. Instead of reaching for the chocolate cake, have a fresh fruit tart or a light sorbet. Eating extra dark chocolate (70% or more cocoa content) will satisfy your chocolate craving in a much smaller quantity. Fresh berries dipped in melted dark chocolate or unsweetened hot chocolate are great dessert options.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Eating foods with too much sodium leads to water retention in your body. If you are bloated, you will not be able to see those six pack abs! Snacking on unsalted nuts instead of salted and limiting the amount of processed food you eat are important steps to achieving this. Be especially careful about sodium content in things like frozen meals and canned soup.
- Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. This is one mistake that everyone has made. If you are hungry, it is easy to walk up and down every aisle picking up things that “look good” but you don’t really need. Have a set shopping list with a meal plan in mind when you go grocery shopping. Go immediately after eating a meal, and go during off-peak hours to avoid standing in line. Plan to get in and out, so you can avoid any impulse buys that will derail your abs diet.
- Order smart at restaurants. With our busy lives, it’s often difficult to avoid stopping at McDonald’s on the way home or ordering Chinese takeout late at night. To stay on track for a 6 pack, skip the fries and soda at fast food restaurants, and order only a sandwich or salad. At other types of restaurants, order steamed or grilled entrees with whole grain carbs like brown rice. Always order sauces and dressings on the side, since these are often laden with sugar and mystery ingredients.
- Avoid fried foods at all costs. No one has gotten six pack abs from downing a large order of fries. This is another obvious one and goes hand in hand with revising your ordering strategy at restaurants. If it’s not grilled, broiled, steamed, or baked, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. If you have a craving for something crispy, drizzling olive oil and seasoning and baking at high heat should do the trick. Bonus Tip: Skip the heavy dipping sauces that often come with fried foods. Add the herbs and spices directly to what you are cooking.
- Drink water, and take vitamins. Drink water every time you are thirsty. 2 liters a day is recommended, but your body may demand more or less than this amount. Take a multi-vitamin supplement to achieve peak fitness. If you’re not sure about what vitamins to take, local vitamin and nutrition stores should be able to offer some good recommendations for your abs diet plan.
- Skip hidden calories in sauces, dressings, and toppings. Always order light sauce or sauce on the side, so you can control how much you eat. Opt for simple, all natural dressings like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs. At home or at the movie theater, eat plain popcorn instead of popcorn with butter. Be very careful about sauces at restaurants. The worst offenders often do not publish their nutrition information. Play it safe while you are building your abs.
- Eat high protein snacks throughout the day. The best snacks for abs are high in protein and low in carbs. Some great examples are a handful or nuts, a cup of cottage cheese, or a few pork rinds. Check out the best snacks for abs on this site, so you can get a better idea of the many high protein snack options for abs.
- Eat whole, natural foods that are rich in nutrients. Whole grain snacks and whole wheat bread are much better for you than white bread. Brown rice is better than white rice. Egg yolks are more rich in nutrients than egg whites. Eating whole foods will keep you feeling full longer and will give you a natural source of vitamins and minerals.
- Never let yourself go hungry. Eat at least 5 meals and snacks throughout the day. This could mean eating every 2 to 3 hours during the day. Getting your body into this pattern will kick your metabolism into high gear. Eating at least 2 hours before going to bed will keep your body burning fat while you sleep.
- Develop a consistent eating pattern. Eat more carbs at breakfast or lunch instead of dinner, so you have a longer period of time to process them. Eat a consistent diet with similar meals and snacks at the same time each day. This will keep your body processing at its peak. If you need the extra motivation, allow yourself 1 “off” day during the week where you can reward yourself for sticking to your new six pack abs diet.
- Drink a glass of red wine instead of mixed drinks or beer. Though you should avoid alcohol as it slows down your metabolism, red wine is the best choice when you want to have a drink. Whether you are out with friends or relaxing at home, a glass of red wine is best because it provides some anti-aging antioxidants and healthy heart benefits. Always remember that moderation is key.
- Throw out all the junk food in your house. Have no mercy here! Once you’ve decided you are committed to building abs, throw away every bit of junk food – even your secret stash. Don’t worry about the food going to waste. It is not going to help you or anyone else. If you are not sure if something is junk food, then it probably is. Getting rid of all the junk food in your house and not buying it again is a powerful step toward getting six pack abs.
- View the switch to six pack abs diet as a permanent lifestyle change. If you view this as a temporary fix or you are too hard on yourself about following the diet, then you are setting yourself up for failure. A positive, long term attitude is key to achieving and keeping six pack abs. Remember: Allow yourself an occasional treat as you meet important goals that you have set for yourself, so you can stay motivated on your journey to abs.
You can start making these changes to your diet and snacking habits right away! Also, be sure to check out the best snacks for a 6 pack and the best ab exercise tips to get you on your way to perfect toned abs.