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Diet Profiler: The Abs Diet

Are you looking to shed some weight, and tone up at the same time? Perhaps you’ve always yearned for a flat stomach or six-pack abs. Well, the Abs Diet may be just what you’re looking for. The Abs Diet, formulated by David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health Magazine, is a complete package of healthy eating plans and fitness regimes. Let’s take a closer look at this effective weight loss approach . . .

The Abs Diet is founded on the Twelve Power Foods, to be consumed over six meals spread throughout the day.  The name “Abs Power Diet” is the acronym of the Twelve Power Foods, for example, A for Almonds, B for Beans, S for Spinach, and so on. The highlight of the diet is the “cheat meal,” the free meal allowed once a week when you are permitted to eat anything you want.

The Twelve Power Foods

  •     Almonds (and other nuts with skin)
  •     Beans (and other legumes)
  •     Spinach (and other green vegetables)
  •     Peanut butter (natural – up to 3 tablespoons per day)
  •     Olive oil (extra virgin)
  •     Whole grain bread or cereal
  •     Extra protein (whey) powder
  •     Raspberries (and other berries)
  •     Dairy Products (low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese)
  •     Instant oatmeal (sugar-free and not flavored)
  •     Eggs
  •     Turkey and lean meat (lean steak, chicken, fish)

Principles of the Abs Diet
The Abs Diet concentrates on eating protein-rich foods and building muscle. These two tactics combined help the body burn more calories, resulting in weight loss. The elaborate exercise regimen outlined by the diet promotes weight loss as well as firming and toning.

Normally, diet plans focus (and often fail) on the emphasis on foods not to be eaten. In the Abs Diet, more stress is given to the foods that should be eaten. This positive approach is encouraging to the dieter, and the free meal makes the diet all the more attractive.

The Abs Diet involves eating six meals per day. For the three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – you should include at least three Power Foods. For the three smaller snacks in-between meals, at least one Power Food should be included. The snacks are scheduled at least two hours before the main meal. There is no restriction on portion size or calories and even better -- no starving. The logic behind this “unrestraint” is that all of the 12 Power Foods are light and lean with few calories.

The Diet forbids consumption of saturated fat, trans fatty acids, high-fructose corn syrup and refined carbohydrates. It promotes low-sugar, low-salt, and low-fat nutritious foods. The unusual item in the list of Power Foods is whey powder. The reason behind its inclusion is that whey powder has fewer calories and quality proteins, which is helpful in building muscles and thus burning more calories.

The Abs Diet gives great importance to weight training and other forms of exercises to help build muscle. This includes 30 minutes of strength training three days a week, abdominal exercises on two days and aerobic or cardio exercises up to three days per week (which is optional).

The Abs Diet was initially formulated for men, but the principles of the diet apply equally to women. In fact, David Zinczenko recently co-authored a new book entitled The Abs Diet for Women.

The Abs Diet has many things common with other diet programs, such as eating six meals a day, and focusing on lean proteins, unprocessed carbohydrates and exercise. But in the Abs Diet, all these are arranged in a systematic and easy-to-grasp style, which makes it simple to follow. And, you may just end up with a bonus six-pack in the process!

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