By: Matt Weik
Have you been trying for years to get 6-pack abs, but nothing seems to work? You've tried this diet, that diet, this pill, that pill – only to find yourself frustrated? You're not alone. The fact is, while everyone has 6-pack abs, they hide under a very stubborn layer of fat that, even with hours upon hours of cardio, may never poke through unless your nutrition plan is solid.
Below, you will find seven poor nutritional habits that are getting between you and your 6-pack abs. If any of these sounds like something you do, work towards improving and changing the habits to allow yourself to get closer to seeing those 6-pack abs poke through.
If you want 6-pack abs, you need to eliminate all of the junk in your fridge and pantry. Let's face it, if it's there… you're going to eat it. That means potato chips, pretzels, cookies, sugary and carb-filled snacks, regular soda, fill in the blank with whatever unhealthy food or beverage you regularly consume.
Rather than throwing it all away, if it's unopened, donate it to a food bank or homeless shelter. While these foods aren't the healthiest options, anything is better than nothing when it comes to having food to put in your system and having nothing. You'll be doing a good deed for the community while also helping yourself in the process.
You know you're guilty of this. It's cool, so do many others. Now that we've established this and taken ownership, it's time to fix the issue. If you want 6-pack abs, you can't be snacking on the couch. Why? Because most people will grab the box, bag, or whatever packaging that the product comes in and will plop down on the couch. What happens next is a continuous cycle of your hand reaching in and then making its way to your mouth.
When you are distracted by the television, you're going to lose track of how much you've consumed. Rather than taking the packaging with you to the couch, first, dump an appropriate portion into a bowl or on a plate so you know exactly how much you are consuming. When the food or snack is gone, you know you're done. Now, you simply need to have some self-control and not go back for more.
Speaking of snacks you can't put down, MPA Iso Poofs are a fantastic snack option for any time of day! MPA Iso Poofs are loaded with high protein, minimal carbs and fat, and less then 110 calories per serving. When looking for a healthy snack you can feel good about the whole family enjoying, reach for MPA Iso Poofs. But beware! Once your family tries them, you may find an empty bag the next time you grab them from the pantry (they're that good!).
One of the best ways to feel full throughout the day is to sip water. Water will keep volume in your stomach to trick your brain into thinking you're satiated. In addition, water is incredibly important from a hydration standpoint, as every cell in your body demands it.
The best thing to do would be to use a water bottle and keep it by your side all day – every day. Water is even more important if you exercise regularly as you need to stay hydrated throughout your workouts.
A bottle that is insulated will help keep your water cold all day long if you prefer your beverages chilled. It will also allow you to have a visual of how much you've consumed throughout the day at that point and provide you with a reminder that you still have more to drink before it's gone.
When you drank it all, fill it back up and start all over again. Water is a great way to fix poor nutrition habits and help get closer to seeing your 6-pack abs.
I can hear the moans and groans through the screen at the thought of eating more vegetables. Unfortunately, most Americans don't even consume enough vegetables throughout the day to achieve all of the micronutrients they need. Something else most Americans negate is the fact that the right choice of vegetables can help provide them with fiber, which can help improve satiety and keep them fuller throughout the day – a weight-loss tactic worth implementing.
Broccoli, for example, is a great vegetable to add to your daily nutrition plan. If you want to achieve 6-pack abs, you're going to need to become friendly with green vegetables. If not, you're going to find yourself incredibly hungry throughout the day and lacking many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to get you closer to those 6-pack abs.
Nothing beats a homecooked meal. You know how it was prepared, you know the portion sizes, and you have total control over the entire process. When you eat out, you're going to get a portion that is generally at least twice the size you should be consuming, and it will usually contain butter or oils that you have no idea how much was actually used – this can cause a considerable increase in caloric content of the meal. This, ultimately, leads to overeating and can put you in a caloric surplus – causing you to gain weight and kiss your 6-pack abs goodbye.
If you're not a fan of eating vegetables by themselves, try mixing them in with your meals. For instance, you can make an egg omelet and toss in some spinach or peppers. You could make a stir-fry and add cut-up pieces of broccoli. Use your imagination and find ways to "hide" vegetables into your meals if you're generally not a fan. You can even make a protein shake or smoothie and add a handful of spinach into it. Best of all, you really don't taste the spinach at all.
I've said it a thousand times over the years but, you don't know what you don't know. If you aren't tracking your calories, how do you know how much you consume during the day to put yourself in a caloric deficit in order to lose weight and allow your 6-pack abs to show? The answer is: you don't.
Tools like MyFitnessPal are incredibly helpful and a convenient way to track your nutrition. You can make sure you're not only hitting your daily caloric intake but also your individual macronutrients.
If your maintenance is 2,000 calories, you need to consume fewer than that number in order to see any sort of weight loss. Anything higher than 2,000 calories, and you risk gaining weight and putting on body fat. For that reason, it's imperative that you focus on tracking your calories.
Last but certainly not least on our list of poor nutrition habits that are getting between you and 6-pack abs is the failure to plan your meals. When in a hurry, we tend to grab anything that is convenient to eat. That means processed foods, fast food, etc. All of which are horrible options when you're trying to drop body fat and achieve 6-pack abs.
You should consider taking one day each week (such as a Sunday) and making that your designated meal prep day. On that day, you prepare healthy meals for the week and put them in Tupperware containers, so all you need to do is grab the container, and you're ready to eat or pack it to take with you to work or wherever life takes you.
Focus on healthy protein and carbohydrate sources and then fill in your healthy fats where need be based on your meal's macronutrient breakdown.
Follow these helpful strategies to change your poor nutrition habits and get closer to achieving those 6-pack abs you've been working so hard to show off.