From Val Willingham – CNN Medical Producer
Nutritionists say a set of awesome abs takes more than just doing sit-ups. “New research shows that what you are eating may be just as important as your workout,” says Katherine Tallmadge, author of “Diet Simple” and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
So how can you get abs like Mario Lopez, Gerard Butler or Beyonce? Combining workouts with a good diet leads to the most defined abs. Tallmadge suggests giving your diet a makeover: Fill it full of fiber, high quality carbohydrates (like fruits and vegetables) and plenty of protein.
“Fiber cuts down on bloating, carbs rev up your energy and protein builds muscles,” Tallmadge says, noting that the last point is important as people get older. “We lose muscle as we age. So even if you are doing your ab workout [but] not eating properly, you are not building up your abs.”
Getting enough protein also helps to keep weight down. “Losing muscle decreases resting metabolic rate, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat,” says William Evans, director of the Nutrition, Metabolism and Exercise Laboratory at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Continued…