Carbohydrate guide to getting six pack abs
Here’s a quick explanation of carbohydrates – This macronutrient is very complex; but to keep it short, it’s basically a ton of sugar molecules tied together. There are two types of carbs:
- Simple Carbs that your body breaks down super fast
- Complex Carbs that your body takes hours to break down
If your fitness goal is to get six pack abs, you need to know how and when to eat carbs. They are a major player in the body’s essential functions – primarily for energy but also for regulating blood pressure, absorbing calcium and a number of other things. When your body doesn’t have adequate carbs for a long enough time, it is susceptible to freaking out and resorting to muscle tissue (protein) for energy…Therefore carbs aid in supporting and protecting muscle tissue.
How Much Carbs Should You Consume?
What I’ve noticed when I don’t get enough carbs, my body lets me know. I can sometimes start feeling light-headed, groggy, tired, nauseous… Just really crappy. It can become hard to focus and you won’t be able to exercise as intensely as you need to. We discussed that lifting hard is important to support muscle growth – so if you can’t lift hard/heavy, it will become a whole lot harder to build the quality muscle mass you need for six pack abs. Now don’t get me wrong – there is a right and wrong way to do this. You can’t just gorge on carbs. You need to know which carbs are acceptable and which will end up making your fitness journey difficult.
The number of carbs you need daily is dependent on how active you are and/or how much fat you need to lose to reveal your six pack abs, so for an exact number I always tell guys to consult with a nutritionist or doctor.
PERSONALLY, I’ve found success in using the rule of thumb to having around 40% of calories per day from carbs for my weight loss, but again guys everyone is a little different. I have been using fist-sized portions twice a day of carbs to keep myself energized, but still have me on track to losing any stubborn belly and keep the six pack abs showing.
I try to have my carbs in the earlier part of the day. I have them in the morning when I’m heading to work or at lunch, but most importantly, around workout time. The sugars broken down from the carbs can help fuel you while you kick ass in the gym, then can be utilized after the workout to help replenish your muscle’s glycogen stores.
So now you know HOW: A couple of fist sized portions strategically scheduled in the early part of the day and the time that you exercise are crucial for six pack abs…but WHAT carbs should you be eating?
The Carbs I Use To Build Six Pack Abs:
High fiber complex carbohydrates are the universe’s gift to athletes and lifters everywhere: The fiber helps regulate the digestive system, improve weight loss and provide long lasting energy throughout the day. Sources of these carbs usually come from whole grains: Brown rice, buckwheat, whole wheat, oats, wild rice, whole rye, quinoa, and whole-grain barley. You can also get similar effects (minus the fiber, unfortunately) from red potatoes.
High fiber foods (that usually also have considerable carbohydrate values but will serve more to regulate digestion and improve intestinal health) include beans, vegetables, leafy greens, and some fruits – although fruits are also high in sugar, so avoid having too many if you want six pack abs.
Foods to avoid are candy, soda, high fructose corn syrup, syrups, white rice/pasta/bread, pastries and desserts. These have little to no nutritional value and the simple sugars will be absorbed very quickly by your body, which can make your blood sugar skyrocket and lead to fat storage.
So now you know…to help fuel your six pack abs you WILL NEED carbs – complex carbs high in fiber, at specific times of the day in smaller, fist-sized portions.