Eat some "power foods" every time you eat and you'll lose weight, gain lean muscle and have better sex, claims David Zinczenko, "Men's Health" editor-in-chief and author of "The Abs Diet." The 12 power foods include almonds and other nuts, beans and legumes, leafy green vegetables like spinach, low- or nonfat dairy, instant unsweetened oatmeal, eggs or egg substitute, lean meats like turkey, sugar-free nut butter, olive oil, whole grains, whey powder and fruit, especially berries such as raspberries. On the Abs diet, you'll need a meal plan that incorporates at least two of these into every meal and at least one into all three of your daily snacks.
Sample Abs Diet Breakfasts
A man following the Abs diet will consume between 1,800 and 1,900 calories each day. For him, breakfast might consist of a beaten egg mixed into instant oatmeal, low-fat milk, whey powder, ground flaxseed, chopped nuts and berries cooked in a microwave and served with plain yogurt. Women on the Abs diet will consume around 1,400 to 1,600 calories daily. Breakfast could be an orange paired with a black bean quesadilla made with whole-wheat tortillas and reduced-fat cheese.
Sample Abs Diet Lunches
Lunch for a man on the Abs diet typically consists of a wrap or a salad. For example, a man might spread mustard on a whole-wheat tortilla, top it with cooked chicken, mixed salad greens, chopped tomatoes and reduced-fat shredded cheese, roll the combination up together tightly and enjoy that at lunchtime. A woman might have a whole-wheat roast beef or turkey sandwich with a piece of fresh fruit and low- or nonfat milk.
Sample Abs Diet Dinners
For an Abs diet-friendly dinner, a man might stir-fry thinly sliced flank steak with strips of bell pepper, sliced green onions, soy sauce and hot sauce. Served with nuts like cashews on top, the meal provides four of the recommended power foods. Men who prefer to avoid red meat could instead microwave thin white fish fillets with vegetables like carrots and asparagus, seasoned with lemon juice, garlic, herbs and spices. A woman could have homemade meatballs in tomato sauce served on whole-wheat hoagie rolls, or chicken breasts marinated in salsa, citrus juice and seasonings, then grilled.
Sample Abs Diet Snacks
Snacks are not an optional part of the Abs diet. According to Zinczenko, eating three snacks spaced at regular intervals between your meals will keep you feeling full and lessen the chance you'll binge on unhealthy food. Smoothies, fruit, nuts, yogurt, reduced-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers are all recommended options. A man might have plain yogurt mixed with berries and ground flaxseed, fat-free microwave popcorn and a low-fat granola bar for his three snacks of the day. A fruit smoothie, cheese and crackers and frozen yogurt pops could serve as a woman's snacks.