A recent episode of 20/20 on ABC featured Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity with John Stossel, and focused on Challenging Conventional Wisdom. One of the topics was Six Pack Abs, and 20/20 interviewed David Zinczenko, the author of the Abs Diet. Zinczenko wrote the Abs Diet in 2004, and recently followed up with The Abs Diet for Women in 2007. According to them, the idea that abdominal crunches flatten the stomach is a fitness myth. Sure, exercise is necessary, but they claim that six pack abs are created in the kitchen, not the gym. Could it be that easy?
The Abs Diet teaches us that good abs are 80% diet and 20% exercise. You have to get rid of the fat before your abs will even show, so the right diet should be your priority. The Abs Diet focuses on whole foods, including 12 nutrient packed Power Foods such as blueberries, peanut butter, and almonds. The diet also eliminates trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and limits sugar. It's a moderate carb, high protein, and low fat diet, and includes a lot of dairy. While on this diet, it's important to eat 6 times a day to keep your metabolism revved up to burn fat, not muscle. It's pretty easy to pull off because the book includes a lot of delicious smoothie recipes that can be whipped up in a couple of minutes.
On the 20/20 program, Zinczenko said there's no need to do hundreds of crunches. Three sets of eight to 12 crunches will suffice, and you can get by with doing them two or three times a week. You also don't need fancy ab machines, which really are no more effective than crunches anyway. The book, however, outlines a more intensive total body exercise program, but it all sounds very do-able. You'll do strength training 3 times a week, to make sure your whole body gets attention. You'll also include cardio 3 times a week on your non-strength-training days. You'll include the abs workout just twice a week! The book is filled with photos to teach you how to do the necessary exercises.
If you go to the bookstore, you'll find a variety of Abs Diet books. There's the original Abs Diet and the new Abs Diet for Women, then there's the The Abs Diet Get Fit Stay Fit Plan, The Abs Diet 6-Minute Meals for 6-Pack Abs, The Abs Diet Eat Right Every Time Guide, The Abs Diet Ultimate Nutrition Handbook, and two different Abs Diet exercise DVDs. You probably don't need to buy them all. In fact, the original Abs Diet book may be all you need. It's almost identical to the Abs Diet for Women book, and includes plenty of recipes, menus, and detailed exercise guidelines to get you where you want to be. We've read a lot of Abs Diet success stories by couples that followed the original plan together, so it works well for everyone. You will probably want to use FitDay or another meal tracking program to keep on top of your calories and tweak according to your weight loss needs.
Overall, the Abs Diet looks easy to follow, includes delicious food options that are balanced, and the fitness plan sounds reasonable. If the basics behind this plan appeal to you, why not give it a try?