One of the most iconic signs of physical fitness is having visibly toned abs or a six-pack, depending on your personal preferences. However, one of the most common issues with being able to get them is how they are actually acquired. Training is essential as it is with any muscle definition. No one is arguing that, but how much of a role does nutrition and diet play in getting them and keeping them? And More importantly, are abs really made in the kitchen?

If you’re not familiar with the expression already, we’ll give a little back story. There’s a common saying that many fitness beginners may not be aware of when they first start out, and it’s essential to know about: ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’. It’s pretty much as it sounds. Training is not as important as your diet for your abs, but how true is it? There are a few different things to look at:


Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.


Muscle

Your abs are split pretty equally into three different segments. You have your upper and lower abdominal muscles, and you have your obliques. They all work together most of the time for you to be able to move your body in pretty much every way. They have way bigger a role than you might think. Training them is usually based on hitting each of these areas individually, and that’s precisely what needs to be done.

There is a huge number of exercises and workouts that are out there already, and they’re awesome places to start. They all need a fair amount of attention to get the muscle definition you need to make what is a reasonably small muscle group visible, and they are all reasonably easy to do in a short amount of time, but sadly, it isn’t enough.

Nutrition

It’s true; your nutrition plays a massive role in getting visibly toned abs. Your abdomen is one of the first and one of the easiest places for fat to store. It’s just how your body is built, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The thing is, if abs are made in the kitchen, they can be hidden there too. For visibly toned abs, you need to have a pretty low body fat percentage. It doesn’t really matter how much you weigh, more so the actual percentage of fat that is covering them. This goes for people who may be underweight too.

The most important thing to look at when your dieting to get visible abs is your fat consumption. You need to eat right, every meal, and for quite a while, in all fairness. For the results you want, you need to be massively cutting down sugar and saturated fat consumption and create a small calorie deficit for yourself. You need to be around 200 kcal under your daily allowance to cut fat. Once you reach that, find your maintenance calorie intake and stick at it!

So...

Ultimately, nutrition is the key if you stand a chance, and the statement is pretty much spot on. The general percentage ratio of effectiveness for getting toned abs is 70:30, kitchen:gym. You can get more definition from dieting with no training than you can from training with no diet. You need to eat carefully and frequently train for the best possible chance, especially if you intend to keep the fruits of your hard work long term.

For more information about eating a balanced diet, check out this NHS article


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.