How to Eat to Get a Six‐Pack : Maxener Wellness

Part 1 Creating a Meal Plan

Calculate your body fat percentage. Your body fat percentage indicates how much fat you have on your body. To get a six-pack that’s visible, you’ll need to have a low body fat percentage. If you have a high body fat percentage, you’ll need to lose weight through diet and exercise to get a six-pack.

  • The best way to calculate your body fat percentage is to do caliper testing. This is a simple, painless test that you can get done at many gyms.
  • However, keep in mind that digital calculators that rely on BMI do not distinguish between muscle and fat. Someone with a lot of muscle will have a high BMI, but may not have much excess fat.
  • If you have a high body fat percentage, work on lowering it by losing weight through diet and exercise. Men need a body fat percentage of around 6-13% to have a six-pack. Women need a body fat percentage of around 12-20% to have a six-pack. For example, if you’re a man with a body fat percentage of 18%, you’d need to lose at least 5% body fat to get a six-pack.

Calculate how many calories you should be eating every day. Whether you’re trying to lose, gain, or maintain weight, it’s important that you figure out your ideal daily caloric intake. Since getting a six-pack requires having a low body fat percentage, you’ll want to pay extra attention to how much you’re eating every day so you’re not going over or under your daily calorie goal.

  • Once you know your ideal daily caloric intake, make it a goal to eat that many calories (and no more) every day.

Log what you’re eating every day in a food journal. Keeping track of what you’re eating every day will help you determine if you’re getting the right amount of calories. If you’re not seeing results from your six-pack meal plan, you can check your food journal to see where you need to adjust your diet.

  • Buy a notebook or journal to write down your meals in.
  • You can also use a fitness app, like MyFitnessPal or Calorific, to keep track of your daily eating habits.
  • When you’re logging what you’ve had to eat, include the number of calories. Then, at the end of the day, you can add up all the calories you’ve had.

Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. Eating small meals throughout the day will help keep your blood sugar at a stable level, which means you’ll have enough energy for your workouts. It’s also helpful for keeping hunger and any unhealthy-food cravings under control. Your meal schedule could look something like this:

  • Oatmeal with a banana for breakfast.
  • 2 eggs with whole grain bread in between breakfast and lunch.
  • Grilled chicken with spinach and a sweet potato for lunch.
  • A protein shake in between lunch and dinner.
  • Fish with broccoli, quinoa, and carrots for dinner.
  • A protein bar and an apple for an after dinner snack.

Avoid going for longer than 3 hours during the day without eating. When you’re eating regularly throughout the day, your body is actively working to burn calories. However, if you stop eating for longer than 3 hours, your body starts to burn fewer calories. Make sure you’re eating every 3 hours so your body is operating efficiently.

  • If you’re eating 6 small meals spread throughout the day, you shouldn’t have any problem eating every 3 hours.
  • It may help if you set a 3-hour timer on your phone or computer so you know how long it’s been since you last ate.

Have a protein shake 1 hour before you work out and then right after. Protein shakes are an easy way to get the amount of protein your body needs to build muscle. Drinking a protein shake 1 hour before your workout and right afterward will help your abdominal muscles grow bigger and stronger.

  • Avoid using protein powders that contain a lot of added sugars.

Part 2 Eating the Right Foods

Eat 0.6-1 gram of protein per 1 pound (0.45 kg) of your bodyweight. Protein is an essential nutrient and building block for muscular growth. To get a six-pack, you’ll want to make sure you’re eating enough protein every day. Some protein-rich foods you can include in your diet are:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Meats like chicken and turkey
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Broccoli
  • Peanut butter
  • Cottage cheese
  • Milk
  • Seeds like chia and hemp

Have complex carbs make up 50% of your total daily caloric intake. Carbs help fuel your body, which is especially important when you’re trying to get a six-pack. Carbs will give your body the energy it needs so you can work out more. Stick with complex carbs like fiber and starch, and avoid sugary simple carbs. Complex carbs can be found in:

  • Vegetables like asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cauliflower.
  • Fruits like apples, bananas, and strawberries.
  • Whole grains like oats, barley, brown rice, and whole-grain bread.

Include healthy fats as 10-20% of your total daily calories. While you want to avoid too much saturated fat, you want to include plenty of healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats help your body absorb nutrients, and they keep your metabolism functioning properly. Some foods that contain healthy fats are:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Tuna
  • Edamame

Add chili peppers to your meals to reduce junk-food cravings. To get a six-pack, you’ll want to avoid foods that are high in sugar and salt since they can cause you to gain weight. Chili peppers can actually stop your body from craving salty and sugary foods, so add a few of them to your meals every day if you need some extra help sticking to your healthy diet.

  • For breakfast, try adding chili peppers to an omelet.
  • You can also add chili peppers to salads and stir-frys.

Eat a couple servings of yogurt every day to help prevent bloating. Stomach bloating can make a six-pack less visible. Yogurt is full of probiotics, which reduce bloating, so try to include a couple servings of yogurt into your daily diet plan.

  • You can add yogurt to smoothies, eat it with some granola, or use it to make a dip.

Drink green tea before your workouts to burn more fat. Having a serving of green tea before you work out can speed up the rate at which your body burns fat during exercise. If you need to lower your body fat percentage to get a six-pack, green tea may be able to help you do it faster.

  • Make your green tea using pure green tea bags and hot water. Avoid sugary green tea drinks that are sold in stores.

Drink 3–4 litres (0.79–1.06 US gal) of water every day. It’s important that you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water when you’re trying to get a six-pack. Staying hydrated prevents bloating, which can impact how visible your six-pack is. Also, since you’ll be working out more, you’ll need to make up for the water you’re losing through sweat by drinking more every day.

  • Make sure you’re drinking 8 fluid ounces (240 mL) of water every 15 minutes during your workouts.

Part 3 Avoiding Unhealthy Foods

Avoid eating unhealthy processed foods. Processed foods are often filled with too much sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats, meaning they can make you gain weight. Since you need to be lean to get a six-pack, you’ll want to cut processed foods out of your diet. Examples of processed foods you should avoid are:

  • Processed meats like bacon and sausage
  • French fries
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream

Cut out sugary sodas and energy drinks. Sodas and energy drinks are full of added sugars that can make you gain weight. They can also end up affecting how much water you’re drinking every day if you drink them too much.

  • Stick with water so you’re staying hydrated throughout the day.

Limit how much alcohol you’re drinking. Alcohol, particularly wine and beer, is high in calories. It also increases your appetite and makes you more likely to eat unhealthy foods. While you’re trying to get a six-pack, limit your alcohol consumption to 1 or 2 drinks a week so you’re not taking in too many unnecessary calories.

  • If you’re going to have a drink, go with a vodka and soda water instead of wine or beer.

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