Many diet books are like sending your bodies to prison - they're all about deprivation and restriction. These diets may work in the short-term by shackling you to keep you away from certain foods and calories. But once you get a sniff of freedom (in the form of fries and shakes), you're more likely to try to escape your diet. And you know the severe penalties for trying to escape - a life sentenced to a fat gut.
The Abs Diet is about gaining, not restricting. You gain a leaner, firmer body, you gain more control over your life, and even gain more opportunities to enjoy the foods you love. The Abs Diet trains your body to burn calories and make itself lean. You are feeding yourself the foods that force your body to lose weight, to burn more calories.
The Atkins Diet eliminates practically all carbohydrates for the first part of the plan, leaving you with only foods that contain protein and fat. That's just too restrictive. By restricting the foods you eat to only a handful of them, you'll automatically drop pounds because you've dramatically reduced your total calories. But you'll also dramatically reduce your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while upping your intake of artery-clogging saturated fats.
Both The Abs Diet and The South Beach Diet are based on sound principles of healthy nutrition. While the SBD is a great diet and overall plan, The Abs Diet features exercise as part of its foundation. One of the biggest differences is that The Abs Diet also recognizes a critical component of weight control -- muscle. Muscle exponentially speeds up the fat-burning process - 1 pound of muscle requires your body to burn up to 50 calories a day just to maintain that muscle. This plan combines exercise with the foods that most promote muscle growth.
There are many diets out there today and as long as people have the opportunity to choose a course for better health, that's what ultimately counts. Frankly, I hate the word "diet," because diet implies you have to eliminate and restrict, but to call this the Abs Nutritional Superiority Plan seemed a bit much.
I can't give you a firm number, because people's bodies have more variables than a calculus textbook. I can tell you that some people who have used The Abs Diet have lost 25 pounds in six weeks. That doesn't necessarily mean that you will, but it means that you might or that you could.
A lot of your success depends on so many factors - including your intensity of exercise and your starting weight. But we've seen a lot of people who've lost somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds in the first six weeks, as well as gain a few pounds of muscle, which will help you keep burning fat after that initial six-week surge.
For a lot of you, finding your abs might feel as daunting as digging through sand to find a buried treasure. But if you dig diligently enough - in the form of fat-burning - you will find the treasure. As far as the specific body-fat percentage, it varies.
I've seen both men and women with body-fat percentages in the teens with defined stomach muscles. For most men, you need to get to around 10 percent. The good news is that if you're exercising regularly then at least 80 percent of every pound you lose will be fat.
Yes, The Abs Diet is effective for women. In fact, one of the women who was recently featured on Good Morning America lost 19 pounds of fat in six weeks on the program. One of your concerns may center around the number of calories you'll eat, since men inherently consume more than women. And that's a legitimate concern if this was a diet that counted every calorie. But it's not.
The basic principles of eating six times a day and centering around the ABS DIET POWER foods places less emphasis on the literal number of calories you consume. Instead, those foods - those power foods - will really help self-regulate your calorie consumption. So, if you get enough protein, fiber, and good carbohydrate, in essence, your body will "count" your calories. The idea is that you're eating so that you NEVER go hungry and gorge.
Common sense is important here, too. Of course, your portions will typically be smaller than the average man's, and if you're used to eating less food, you should eat less food. But you should graze throughout the day to keep your food-consumption levels balanced throughout the day. We don't want you to get obsessed by each and every calorie.
If you follow the same principles that are outlined in The Abs Diet (as well as adding exercise), you'll be revving your metabolism to teach your body to burn fat.
P.S. -- If you're still calorie-obsessed, know this: Even if you follow the meal plans in the book, the daily calorie totals are within the average range for female consumption. Adding exercise will knock that total calorie level down.
Absolutely not. You build your diet around the Abs Diet Power 12 - and make sure you have several of them at every meal and snack. You can supplement with other foods, but if you center your meals around the Power 12, you'll ensure yourself a well-balanced diet that keeps you satiated, and provides you with the ingredients that help keep your body properly fueled and turn it into a fat-burning machine.
If you're eating these Power 12 foods, they should take care of your hunger so that you don't have the physical urges to eat a lot. By doing things like eating six times a day and making sure you get enough fiber, you'll decrease the chance of shoveling enormous amounts of food into your mouth. That said, it's always smart to be aware of how much you eat - especially when you're starting out.
You can cover your plate with the Abs Diet Power 12 foods, but there's no need to pile them so high that you need city council permit to construct your plate. Let's just say that a height restriction is in effect.
Salted foods, meats (like sausage, bacon, cured meats and fatty cuts of steak like T-bone and rib-eye) that are high in saturated fats, cereals that are sugar bombs, whole milk and (in some cases) frozen yogurt, trans-fatty foods (margarine, fried foods, commercially manufactured baked goods), hydrogenated vegetable oils, and processed bakery products like white bread, bagels and doughnuts, and breads labeled wheat instead of whole wheat, and some jellies, which eliminate fiber and add sugar.
Yes. One time a week, you can eat anything. You want a Bavarian cream? Eat it. You want a plate of wings? Eat it. You want fried alligator? Eat it. The cheat meal is designed to reward you for good work throughout the week, and help keep cravings in check.
And what we found is that once you start seeing results, many people don't even want the cheat meal - because the Abs Diet Power 12 foods satisfy so many different kinds of cravings. But the only guideline is that you only have a cheat meal once a week. Do it any more and you might as well be on The Doughnut Diet.
Many of the 12 categories are broad enough where you have some choice. Low-fat dairy includes milk and yogurt and lean meat can include turkey, fish, and chicken, for example. We do offer some substitution examples for different kinds of foods.
But if you're allergic to one category of food - say almonds - then the important thing is figuring out what ingredient you're missing from not eating that food and making up for it somewhere else. So having avocado or pumpkin seeds can help give you some very important monounsaturated fats if you can't eat nuts.
Recipes are a little like CD collections - what works for me might not work for you. But from the smoothies I've had, I can't even taste the oatmeal after it's blended - especially when there are berries or chocolate whey powder in them. The importance is that the oatmeal adds bulk to the smoothie, as well as the all-important satiating fiber.
Well, you can't spot reduce per se. That's a myth. But if people lose weight - particularly if they're doing some moderate exercise at the same time - they'll lower their body fat and will likely notice that loss in their bellies since that's where most of the fat lives. And if you are doing ab workouts and strengthening those muscles, then as the fat peels away, there will be room to see the washboard.
Look at any exercise machine: It'll tell you that half an hour of stepping or jogging or elliptical training has just burned off, say, 300 calories. A bowl of cereal will wipe that right out. It's demoralizing.
But strength training and interval training help to build muscle; they burn almost as many calories as cardiovascular exercise, but the difference is, when you're done strength training, your body isn't. You keep burning calories for the next 24 hours. Plus, you're building muscle, which helps burn fat. So I want you to burn fat all day and all night, not just during the 30 minutes you're in the gym.
It's not uncommon on any plan to lose some weight, then hit a little lull. For starters, I recommend scaling back, so to speak, on weighing yourself. Don't weigh yourself every day - maybe every week or two weeks. That will help you stay away from the psychological pressure that you have to see instant results.
When you do hit a wall, you can try mixing up your workout. Add heavier weights, or lift slower, or try new exercises. Your body can adapt to the same plan if you do it enough, so you'll want to do what you do when you throw someone a surprise party - give your body the unexpected.