Whether it’s a flat, firm stomach or sexy six-pack you’re after, one thing is true: Abs are made in the kitchen. This isn’t something I read in a book, but rather a reality I’ve had to practice to keep my abs and body in the shape that I want. Of course regular exercise is important in keeping your abs defined, but the road to a great-looking waistline is paved with what's on your plate.
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Eggs are one of the go-to foods for getting lean and flat abs.
Top 5 Reasons Why Eggs Are Good for Lean, Flat Abs:
1. Eggs Keep You Full
It's a no-brainer that the biggest enemy to a nice-looking waistline is overeating. Protein helps keep you fuller longer, which means overeating is easier to avoid when you eat whole eggs to stave off hunger. Don't think of eggs as only a breakfast fixture, but as a great snack food to hold you over between meals.
[Read More: Try the 30-Day Ab Challenge]
Coupling hard-boiled eggs with high-fiber fruit and vegetables will help your stomach stay satisfied which will keep you from grabbing an unplanned bite to eat. Plus the protein and fat combination in eggs decreases levels of hunger-signaling hormones and increases levels of fullness-stimulating hormones. The protein in eggs also causes your body to release the hormone glucagon, which helps your body to use stored carbohydrates and fat.
2. Lean Protein
You've heard it before: "You are what you eat." Lean protein on your plate begets lean muscle on your body and muscle burns fat. An egg weighs in with an impressive 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. And while it’s true that 60 percent of the calories in eggs come from fat, eggs are indeed a low-calorie, lean protein with only 70 calories apiece, as well as a decent amount of vitamins and minerals.
While egg whites contain approximately 58 percent of the protein (3.5 grams per egg), the rest of the nutrients; the remaining protein, vitamins (including vitamin D) and minerals (including iron) are found in the yolk. By grabbing a convenient, easily-prepared egg, you're poised to keep building fat-burning muscle and firm abs. So, don't be afraid to enjoy the entire egg to take advantage of all the nutritional benefits they have to offer.
3. Curb Carb Cravings
Studies in recent years show that eating a high-protein breakfast, like one that incorporates eggs, can help you lose more weight, lower body mass index, and whittle inches off of your waist when compared against a bagel breakfast of equal calories. Furthermore, findings have demonstrated that people who eat eggs for breakfast have lower levels of hunger-signaling hormone ghrelin vs. those who eat a wheat-based breakfast.
Carb-laden foods such as bagels cause a surge in blood sugar that leads to a crash that could actually cause a spike in your carb cravings. In comparison, eggs keep insulin levels balanced throughout the day, maintaining your energy levels for the long haul. Eggs supply the energy you'll need to work your abs and keep them toned and tight.
4. Muscle Repair
Eggs provide all nine essential amino acids, the building blocks of healthy muscles. The yolk alone, contain 240mg of leucine, the amino acid that turns on your body’s genetic muscle-building switch. To keep your abs lean and mean, you'll have to not only master working hard, but also muscle recovery. Protein is needed for muscle repair and growth when eaten after exercise. By eating eggs to help your body recover, you're primed to do your best when you get back in the gym. Cranking out crunch after crunch, planks, and bridges isn't easy. Let eggs help you.
5. The Money Factor
In addition to easy preparation, eggs are one of the cheapest lean proteins available. They are portion controlled and at just $0.15 per egg, you get a high-quality protein at a fraction of the cost of most others. Preparation is quick, easy and versatile. Hard boiled, fried over-easy, scrambled, poached, coddled, or even baked into a casserole, eggs are amazingly adept at providing different textures and flavors to keep things interesting for your taste buds.
Add to that the fact that eggs can keep refrigerated up to 4 weeks, and you're really on to something in terms of saving dollars and cents. Who says flat abs have to drain your pockets?
The Eggs for Flat Abs Checklist
Below are five action steps to make eggs an important part of your ab-flattening routine:
1. Keep a half-dozen hardboiled eggs and raw eggs in your refrigerator at all times.
2. Incorporate eggs in snack, dinner, and lunch meals such as wraps and salads.
3. Replace foods high in saturated fat like cheese with egg in sandwiches.
4. Eat eggs whole. Skipping the yolk leaves the essential vitamins and minerals that eggs contain out of the mix.
5. Eat eggs with fibrous foods to keep your hunger at bay.
-Written by Brett Hoebel