By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (LowFatLowCarb.com)
For many, many years I was under the belief that the only way to make my stomach flat was to do an incessant amount of crunches and sit-ups. But the master key really lies with your diet, followed closely by the type of exercise you do.
Many experts agree that about 80% of your ability to reduce excess body fat is determined more from what you eat, and the other 20% is related to exercise and other healthy habits, such as sleep and stress reduction.
What I have been taught is that if your diet is full of sugar/fructose and processed foods, your chances of burning out your deep, visceral fat is slim, even if you workout like crazy.
I have had many clients come to my clinic in desperation to lose that last layer of fat. What I have witnessed is there is simply no way they will see those defined muscles if they keep their poor diet, or eat excess carbohydrates. The body will just hold on to the excess fat, and not let it go; no matter how many sit-ups you do, in the presence of insulin you can’t lose the stored fat.
There are so many hidden sugars in our food resources today, including beverages, seasonings, and dressings. It is so hard to avoid the excess fructose unless you start to change your shopping and cooking habits.
These are some good guidelines to follow:
- Limit your sugar intake to 25 grams or less per day.
- Limit or eliminate all processed foods.
- Reduce or eliminate excess gluten from your diet
- Avoid excess artificial sweeteners.
- Try to eat more raw food.
- Increase your fresh vegetable intake.
- Read food labels carefully, and understand what is in your foods.
- Watch condiments, dressings, and sauces for hidden fructose.
- Be wary of dried fruits, they are high in sugars.
- Watch out for liquid calories, such as enhanced waters, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
Unfortunately, there are many foods that hide under the guise of being ‘healthy’. And many times, even the “organic” labels still have hidden sugars. Don’t be fooled. Sugar is sugar. There is a formula to figure out how many teaspoons of sugar are in a product; every 4 net carbs is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar. So even whole grains, oats, as well as fruits, which are healthy, can still prevent someone from burning the stored fat. I know it’s frustrating, but its just chemistry.
If you want the flattest abs, you must really scrutinize your daily diet, watch your sugar, alcohol intake and read all labels carefully. You can do it!