The old saying "You are what you eat" plays a crucial role in achieving six-pack abs. As a common fitness goal, six-pack abs require a dedicated training program along with a specific nutrition plan. Certain foods are recommended, while other foods should be avoided. These foods provide empty calories without adding essential nutrients. According to the Mayo Clinic, proper nutrition is a result of understanding the roles of fiber, fat, cholesterol and calories. Always consult a doctor or dietitian before changing or starting a nutrition plan.
Processed foods such as canned soups, hot dogs, chips or other snacks should be avoided while getting a six pack. These foods contain various artificial ingredients, fillers and preservatives that don't provide essential nutrients. These foods are also typically high in fat, carbohydrates or sodium while only proving small amounts of protein. For example, one hot dog contains nearly 190 calories, 7g of protein, 16g of total fat and 550mg of sodium.
Sweets, including candy, cookies and crackers, should be avoided while getting a six pack. Containing primarily simple carbohydrates from sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, sweets don't provide protein or other nutrients. The excessive amounts of carbohydrates in sweets provide significant amounts of calories that promote fat storage, which reduces the potential for achieving a six pack by increasing the body's blood sugar levels.
Fat receives a bad reputation when it comes to getting a six pack, but there are good fats and bad fats. The bad fats include trans fat, saturated fat and significant amounts of total fat. Foods with high fat content that should be avoided include whole dairy products, such as milk and cheese, and saturated animal fats from fatty meats, such as beef and pork, notes the website Time to Run. A balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and fat is essential for getting a six pack, and these fatty foods prevent you from achieving that proper balance.
Similar to sweets, alcoholic beverages contain significant amounts of simple carbohydrates, without providing essential nutrients. While moderate intakes of alcohol can provide minimal health benefits, consuming alcoholic beverages can prevent you from adhering to a balanced nutrition plan that contains complex carbohydrates, lean protein and essential nutrients.