Many women want to lose some flab off their bellies or have a more muscular abdomen. The book “The Abs Diet for Women,” by David Zinczenko and Ted Spiker, promises women a way to achieve a flat, strong abdomen in six weeks by eating meals centered on what the authors call the 12 “power foods”: nuts, such as almonds, beans and legumes, berries, green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, low-fat dairy products, eggs, plain oatmeal, whole grains, lean meats, peanut butter, whey powder and olive oil.
Reason for the Abs Diet
Fat that sits around your abdomen is more dangerous than any other fat on your body. According to Zinczenko and Spiker, belly fat releases hormones that have a negative impact on your body. It raises the level of cortisol, the hormone released when you are under stress, and can increase your risk of heart attack. Belly fat also interrupts your body’s ability to break down insulin, which can lead to diabetes. When you change your diet and exercise routine to burn off belly fat, you drastically reduce your risk of chronic conditions and death.
Meals on the Abs Diets
You get to eat six meals a day on the Abs Diet, which can either be a blessing or a pain, depending on your schedule. You’ll eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and three snacks. Aim to include at least two of the 12 power foods in each main meal and at least one of the power foods in each snack. Some of the meals included in “The Abs Diet 6-Minute Meals for 6-Pack Abs,” a supplement recipe book, contain up to eight power foods per meal. The “Ultimate Power Breakfast” contains one egg, oatmeal, berries, nuts, whey powder, milk and yogurt, flax seed and a banana.
Skip exercising for the first two weeks on the Abs Diet if you wish, so that you can get acclimated to your new eating habits first. If you already were on an exercise regimen or are in great shape, you can start exercising right from the start. Zinczenko and Spiker encourage exercises that build strength over cardiovascular, aerobic exercises such as running. Strength training boosts your metabolism so that you continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished working out for the day. “The Abs Diet” encourages you to try circuit training, during which you perform a group of exercises in a row as well as compound exercises, which work more than one muscle group at a time.
Why It’s Different
According to Zinczenko in “The Abs Diet,” many other diets on the market are designed to fail over time, since you won’t be able to keep up with them, either because they involve reducing your caloric intake too much, include complicated recipes or cut out too many foods. Calorie counting is not part of the Abs Diet, since the authors believe the power foods will automatically lead to a reduction in calories. You also get one cheat meal a week, in which you can eat whatever you want. Certain foods on the diet, such as green vegetables, can be consumed in unlimited quantities, and many of the meals on the plan can be prepared simply and quickly.
Does It Work?
The main premise of “The Abs Diet” is that after only a month and a half, you’ll have the flat, six-pack stomach of your dreams. That result is most likely unlikely for many women, according to “That’s Fit.” If you simply want to strengthen your stomach muscles, get more exercise and lose a few pounds, the plan may work well for you.