Blog, Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition

Are Abs Made In the Kitchen?

You often hear people say abs are made in the kitchen? Or you may have come across this in a publication. So is this a fact? Are Abs really made in the kitchen?

It is important to understand that there are four components to whether you are able to have flat abs. These are; genetics, your body fat percentage, muscularity and your diet. Doing sit-ups and crunches alone isn’t really going to achieve a flat stomach or a six-pack quickly.

If you have a layer of fat covering up your stomach then you are wasting your time in the long run doing all those sit ups. You need to lose the layer of body fat in the stomach region to expose your abdominal wall.

The shape of your abs and insertions of your abdominal muscles are to a large extent determined by genetics, your body fat percentage and your diet. What you eat has a direct effect on how much – and where you store fat. Eating foods that are less likely to contribute to fat gain are essential if you want visible abs.

The foods you consume and your diet will be the deciding factor when it comes to a flat, defined stomach or an abdominal wall that’s hiding behind that belly fat.


Another factor to consider is controlling insulin when you are attempting to build your abs. Therefore, correct food choices are very important. No amount of exercise will get you a flatter stomach if your diet is bad. Focus on eating healthy foods and cut down on junk food and sugar. Avoid foods which also have added sugar in them. Sugar causes insulin to spike which slows down your metabolism. This combined with those added calories encourages fat storage – in particular around your mid-section.

A diet rich in protein will help reduce overall belly fat. Cut out refined carbs i.e. white bread, pastas, potatoes, and white rice. Switch to whole grain breads and grains. Eat raw foods, such as vegetables, these take longer to digest and will keep you fuller longer. Similar to the fact that some food can make you gain weight and increase body fat some will promote fat loss. 

When you consume foods rich in protein they produce a thermic effect. The thermic effect of food is the caloric cost of digesting and processing different macronutrients. It therefore, plays an essential role in stimulating your metabolism – the thermic role of food encourages the body to burn more calories to digest and absorb it. It’s recommended to avoid sugar because it has a very low thermic effect. Protein has a thermic effect upward of five times greater than carbohydrates or fat.


Water Intake
is very important for health in general and to lose weight. Replace all regular soda and sugared drinks with water. Try drinking fresh lemon water – this naturally speeds up your metabolism and makes a very refreshing, healthy drink.

Reduce Sodium Intake. Salt can lead to bloating in the belly. If you are worried your food will taste bland then garnish your food with herbs, spices. Try flavouring food with a little fresh tomato salsa or cayenne pepper – which boosts metabolism.

Lack of sleep can lead to stressful days. This in turn can lead to erratic eating patterns, emotional eating, and increase in appetite and binge eating. So ensure you get enough sleep.

Therefore, to conclude it’s definitely true that one of the deciding factors in achieving those flat abs is largely to do with your diet.


Thank you for reading!


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Dal Dhaliwal is a health and wellbeing expert, educator and special advisor on physical activity. She is also an active professional speaker and TV/ radio presenter. She consults and presents for some of the UK's leading businesses and organisations within the wellness, sports and business arena.