If you’re looking for the magic pill for flat abs, The Abs Diet, written by David Zinczenko, is as close as you’re going to get. This diet-meets-workout combination whittles your waist, without making you go hungry.
The diet focuses on eating a variety of super foods that follow the acronym ABS DIET POWER (as in power foods). The foods focus on protein and fiber, with enough carbs to fuel your fitness. Those foods are:
- Spinach (and other green veggies)
- Instant Oatmeal
- Turkey (or lean meat)
- Peanut Butter
- Olive Oil
- Whole Grains
- Extra Protein Powder (whey)
- Raspberries (or other berries)
You’ll eat six times every day on the Abs Diet to keep your body fueled, metabolism revved and tummy full so you don’t need to slip up. You will have to be sure that you limit salt and drink eight glasses of water every day.
Work Your Way Flat
Besides strength training and cardio workouts – including a day with intervals – it’s important to carve out two days a week for abs focused workouts. These exercises will get you there faster than you can say washboard. Do one set (15 reps) of each exercise, then repeat the circuit.
1. Plank Hover
Start the exercise lying face down in a push up position, or plank, but resting on your forearms and elbows. Stay on your toes, and slowly flex your feet. Push back on your arms, keeping your hips in line with your shoulders and feet. Slowly push forward, pointing toes, maintaining that long line with hips, shoulders and feet. Repeat front and back 15 times.
2. Double Crunch
Lie on your back with knees up above hips, fingers behind your ears. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground, chin tucked, and draw your knees in. Crunch top and bottom abs together, as if you were trying to form a letter C with your abs. Slowly lower, maintaining the resistance on the way down.
3. Leg Pull
Lie face down, legs outstretched and rise to a push up (plank) position on your hands and toes, with a mat, towels or two magazine pages under each foot. Keep hands directly under your shoulders during the exercise. Slowly pull your feet in, bringing your knees to your chest, crouched down low. Push feet back out to the starting position to complete one rep. Work slowly, concentrating on tightening your abs to bring feet in. Be sure your hips don’t come up as you bring feet in.
4. Push Aways
Lie flat on your back with legs outstretched. Cross arms over your chest, or place hands up next to your backside. Contract your abs to lift your legs up. Lift your legs only as high as you need to to keep your lower back pressed against the floor for the entire exercise. This is the key to working your abs without letting your lower back take over. Bring one knee in and flex your foot, pushing away an imaginary heavy box on the floor. When the leg is extended, repeat with other the leg for one rep.
5. Oblique Twist
Sit on the floor with knees bent, and lean back slightly, holding a weight, medicine ball or if you’re at home, a heavy book. Twist your upper body, and lightly touch the object to the ground. Then, twist to the other side to complete one rep. To make it harder, lift your feet off the ground, keeping abs tight to protect your lower back.