Diet

What Diet to Follow for Flat Abs?

Overview

To reduce belly fat and achieve flat abs, a strict diet and exercise regimen is necessary. Calorie-restricted diets will help you eliminate excess body fat in your abdominal area to help flatten your abs.

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strong>Calorie Requirements

If you’re overweight or obese, you can help reduce fat in your abs by consuming a diet consisting of between 1,200 and 1,600 calories per day, as recommended the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  You can reduce your overall calorie intake by reducing your intake of high-fat meats, butter, desserts, added sugars, and refined carbs such as white bread, regular pasta and white rice. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 provides free, healthy 1,200-calorie and 1,600-calorie meal plans.

 

 

Fat Recommendations

Fat provides nine calories per gram, while carbohydrates and protein each contain 4 calories per gram. Keeping your dietary fat intake in check can help control your overall calorie intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults consume between 20 and 35 percent of their daily calories from fats. This is equivalent to about 44 to 78 grams of fat per day for a 2,000-calorie diet.

Super Foods to Help Get Rid of Belly Fat

1.    Whole Grains

Replacing refined grains with whole grains can help you feel full for a longer period of time, which is helpful for calorie reduction and fat loss. Whole grains are low in fat, high in fiber and are often fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Examples of whole grains include whole-wheat or whole-grain bread, high-fiber cereals, oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.

2.    Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids and can help increase satiety after meals, which may cause you to eat fewer calories. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis may also help protect your heart and reduce your risk for heart disease.

3.    Nuts
Nuts such as almonds and cashews are rich protein and fiber, and can help you feel full and satisfied for long periods of time. In fact, a 2009 study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” reports that nuts are helpful for weight management because they help you feel full and may increase your resting energy expenditure.

4.    Broccoli
Due it its high fiber content, low calorie content and low glycemic index, consuming broccoli on a regular basis is a great way to help burn excess body fat and achieve flat abs. Low-glycemic index foods cause a lower peak in blood sugar, which can help you feel full for a longer period of time.

5.    Eggs
Eggs are a good source of protein and vitamin B12. Consuming egg whites or egg beaters instead of whole eggs can help you reduce dietary fat and calories. The Institute of Medicine recommends adult women consume at least 46 grams of protein per day, and adult men consume at least 56 grams of protein on a daily basis.

Increasing your protein intake and reducing your carb consumption may help you lose excess weight and body fat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that low-carb diets generally result in greater fat loss compared with other reduced-calorie diets during the first six months.

6.    Low-fat Dairy Products

Low-fat and fat-free dairy products, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and reduced-fat cheeses, are also excellent sources of protein. Low-fat dairy products are also generally low in calories and rich in calcium.

7.    Blueberries
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and fiber, and have a fairly low glycemic index compared with other fruits. Best of all, 1 cup of blueberries only contains about 85 calories, and can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

8.    Grilled Salmon
Grilled salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein and is carb-free. Consuming salmon on a regular basis can help meet your protein requirements, reduce your total calorie intake and can help keep your blood sugar levels under control.

9.    Spinach
Spinach can help you burn belly fat because it’s low in calories and carbs, and high in fiber. Spinach is also a great source of vitamin A, iron, folate, potassium and vitamin K.

References

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/aim_hwt.pdf

USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/dietaryguidelines/2010/policydoc/policydoc.pdf

Institute of Medicine
http://www.iom.edu/Global/News%20Announcements/~/media/C5CD2DD7840544979A549EC47E56A02B.ashx

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19144727

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=2332

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