Summer is the time when your layers of jackets and hoodies come off and the reality is right there in front of everyone to see – right through your linen shirts or tight polos. No wonder then that men start fussing over six pack abs more in this weather. But we all know – abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. It is a combination of 70 per cent diet and 30 per cent workout. So do not underestimate the importance of a healthy diet, else you will not be able to see the results you desire. Here are some ways in which you can start the process right now!
Your staples should include protein. The best source of protein for our body is animal food because it contains amino acid that our body needs. This is vital for our body to perform its functions. Chicken, fish, eggs and turkey are common sources of essential animal proteins. Protein powder (either homemade/ ready-made) can also be consumed. You can also have avocados, nuts, nut butter, olive oil and coconut to get monosaturated fats (good fats) which you won’t be getting from these proteins.
Your pre-and post workout meals should be according to your workout needs. However, there is no one perfect plan that fits all. You can take a protein and carbs shake in the ratio of 1:2 (protein:carb) immediately after your workout. This can include bananas, milk and nuts. A combination meal of protein and carbs can be consumed 60-90 minutes after the shake. Many theories suggest that you must include fat in workout diets but this is not suitable as fat slows down digestion process.
A strict low carb diet reduces your ability to replenish fuel stored inside muscle cell. This fuel (glycogen) helps in building and maintaining muscles. Muscles require constant energy to build and maintain; and also contribute to your fat loss goals.
The carbs in your diet should come from foods such as brown rice, pasta and vegetables. Most green vegetables are very low in calories and burn more calories than they contain. You can take two to three grams of carbs per 0.4 kgs of your body weight.
Eating every three to four hours, does a three dimensional job for you. Your blood sugar level is stabilized, you get adequate nutrients and it constantly helps to control hunger cravings. Eating frequently also leads to more effective glycogen storage in the muscle tissue, thus your body won’t cannibalize muscle as an energy source during training. So divide your meals in half and spread them out.
If you work out everyday, protein is essential for your body for gaining muscles and losing fat. For example, your weight is 54 kgs, then you multiply this by 0.8 which makes it 44 grams. This means you need to intake 44 grams of protein in one day.
Insufficient liquids in your body will hinder fat breakdown because fat is mobilized through a process called hydrolysis. Drink liquids throughout the day. Especially before and in between your workout. There is no fixed amount of water one should drink everyday as it varies from person to person and on the amount of other liquids that they intake. Ideally it needs to be 2 litres/20kg for example at 60 kg you need 3 litres of water)
Never wait till you are thirsty. Keep sipping through the day.
Carbs are an ideal way of starting your day and replenishing your body right after a workout. Body’s glycogen stores are depleted when you wake up. So reloading them before you do some physical activity is crucial.
Your last meal should emphasise on protein. It should have medium fibre and high water content because high fibre and low water food absorb tremendous amounts of water, leaching it out of your system. Because you can’t drink while you are sleeping, carbs help you maintain a relatively good amount of water during the night.
Try and include fish in your last meal of the day because fish is a lighter meal and gives you amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hence, making it a healthy option.