It's no surprise that there are so many diets, products and workouts geared toward abs. We all want our stomachs to look good. I really love reading fitness books and this is another one I picked up.
This book is written by David Zinczeno the Editor in Chief of Men's Health. He originally wrote the abs diet and then later came out with this women's edition.
We all know that too much fat on our bodies is bad but just in recent years is when we have discovered that belly fat is more dangerous than the fat in other areas of our bodies. In this book the author goes into detail about the dangers of being overweight--diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased risk for heart attacks, etc.
The Abs diet focuses on some simple principles
1- Eat six small meals daily- Every time you eat, your body has to work to burn those calories off. Also, keeping your energy levels constant with small frequent meals keeps you from getting too hungry and keeps your energy level more balanced.
2-Make the Abs diet Power Foods the staples of your diet-
Beans and legumes
Spinach and other green vegetables
Diary (fat free and low fat)
Instant oatmeal (unsweetened & unflavored)
Turkey and other lean meats
Whole grain breads and cereals
Extra-protein (whey) powder
Raspberries and other berries
3. Incorporate Smoothies into your diet- They keep you full longer and are low in calories and high in nutrients.
4. Stop counting calories- The nice thing about this diet is that the calories are already counted for you. This eliminated a lot of time and energy devoted to figuring out calories which can get very tiring.
5-Avoid or seriously limit empty calories from beer, soda, wine and all those other high sugar drinks that add empty calories and don't feel you up.
He goes into detail about the benefits of each of the power foods and what they can do for your body.
Included is a meal plan section with 5-6 recipes in each category and a list of snacks to choose from. He goes over how to include the diet in your everyday life. On this diet you are allowed one cheat meal (not day).
The last part of the book focuses on exercise and toning up your abs. The abs diet workouts focus on circuit training- performing different exercises one right after another and compound exercises- exercises that use multiple muscle groups instead of just one.
Here's a sample of a weeks workout:
Monday- total body strength training workout with ab emphasis
Tuesday-(optional) light cardio exercise such as walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes
Wednesday- Total body strength training workout with ab emphasis
Thursday- (optional) light cardio for 30-45 minutes
Friday- Total body strength training workout with leg emphasis
Saturday(optional) abs workout plus interval workout
There are photos and explanations of each exercise and also home versions in case you don't have a gym. The workouts aren't super long, great for busy people.
I like that this book focuses on healthy eating and not counting calories. I also like the stressed importance of strength training. The more research I do, the more I believe you have GOT to strength train.
I also like the cheat meal. After eating really healthy all week, it's nice to get a little break.
I would recommend this book to anyone trying to clean up their diet and incorporate some good exercise into their life. If not, at least take a look at the power foods above and make a commitment to eat them on a daily basis.
The Fit Mamas