I hate to break it to you but doing crunches for breakfast, lunch and dinner is not going to give you the six pack abs you desire. Although exercise is important for firming and shaping the abdominal muscles, you need a good diet to reveal them. Start your day with the best breakfast for abs consisting of lean protein, fibre, fresh fruit and berries.
Don’t forget to add wholegrain, unprocessed foods such as oatmeal, eggs, nuts and vegetables. For an added benefit, take a ginger shot to settle your stomach, boost your metabolism and immune system.
Easy-to-make healthy breakfasts for abs
The healthiest breakfasts which are beneficial to your abs and overall chiseled looks are also the easiest to make. Reason being is that the less time you spend cooking and processing the ingredients, the more nutrients and vitamins in their purest natural state they have. With that in mind, here are some ideas for you:
- Oatmeal, granola or muesli with almond milk, fresh berries and nuts
- An egg omelette with peppers, onion, tomatoes and mushrooms
- Scrambled eggs on toast
- Avocado on toast with almond butter and smoked salmon
- Toasted wholemeal muffin with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon
- Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit, berries and nuts
- A smoothie with spinach, frozen berries, banana, almond milk, chia seeds, protein powder and alternative milk
A good breakfast for abs which you can make the night before is the classic overnight oats. Put half a cup of rolled or steel-cut oats in a jar or cereal bowl. Pour one cup of low-fat or alternative milk. Add a pinch of salt and drizzle a bit of honey or maple syrup.
Add some toppings such as chopped apple, banana, mango, coconut shavings, chia seeds and/or nuts. Stir well to mix it all together. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
A fat-burning drink for six pack abs
Instead of having coffee, drink green tea as part of your abs breakfast. It has proven fat-burning qualities which come in handy when you need to reveal your abs. It also lowers your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
There are many varieties of green tea such as matcha, sencha, sincha, bancha which also come with added health benefits. If they sound too unfamiliar, stick to the more traditional ones with different flavours – jasmine, mint or honey-lemon green tea.
Abs breakfast ingredients and meal ideas
We’ve already established that when it comes to abs, your diet is equally (if not more) important than exercising. Consume fewer calories than you burn through exercising and other physical activity. That is a sure way to burn fat and reveal your six pack.
Choose a low fat diet rich in foods which help you to stay full throughout the day without making you feel bloated. Don’t overlook the size of your portions and nutritional values of your meals.
Read more: How to get six pack abs
Fresh vegetables and fruit
Odd as it sounds, eating vegetables for breakfast is good for your waist and the research is out there to confirm it: vegetables reduce the risk of weight gain and fat storage around your belly.
To get the full benefits from it, make sure the vegetables on your plate are fresh and that you have more than four servings a day. In case you wonder – one cup of raw or cooked vegetables equals one serving. One whole piece of fruit also counts as one serving.
However, the prospects for crips, chips and fries lovers are not so good. I couldn’t find any research to confirm that they are “good” for your waist or general body shape. So best to stay away from them, no matter how good your cheesy fries dipped in milkshake and ice cream taste.
You could swap your toast in the morning for wedges of sweet potato. If that doesn’t seem too appetising for you, have a piece of toast with peanut butter and chopped banana instead.
Omelette/ scrambled eggs with vegetables
The easiest way to add vegetables to your breakfast is in an omelette or to have them with your scrambled eggs.
Heat a pan over medium heat, add oil and half a chopped/diced onion. Sauce it for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add one chopped bell pepper and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until they are slightly tender.
Crack four eggs in a bowl and beat them with a fork until the yolks and egg whites are combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour in the pan. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
At this stage you can either scramble the eggs or leave them to cook on one side for a couple of minutes then flip over with a spatula to make an omelette.
If that seems like too much work, you can always add a cup of spinach to your smoothie.
Whole grains and fiber
If you want to stay full for longer, go for a breakfast of whole grains and fiber. Oatmeal, granola, muesli, wholegrain bread or muffins are great breakfast choices. They are high in fiber and take longer to digest which ensures you are full until your next meal.
Fiber is your digestive system’s best friend. It keeps your bowel healthy by normalising your bowel movements and stools. In the long-term, it helps you maintain a healthy weight.
A high-fiber diet also helps to control blood sugar levels, it lowers cholesterol and reduces bloating.
According to research, you can reduce your belly fat by replacing white bread with wholegrain wheat bread for 12 weeks. Wholegrain foods prevent the build up of belly fat. Incorporate them in your breakfast and other meals to lose some ion the weight you carry and reveal those abs you work so hard to build.
Scrambled eggs on toast
Heat a pan over medium heat. Put a couple of slices in the toaster (wholegrain bread). Add some oil to the pan and crack a couple of eggs. Scramble them and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Put the toast on a plate and cover with the scrambled eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add silly flakes if you feel adventurous.
When it comes to building lean muscles and maintaining a slim waist, protein is the key ingredient you need to add to every meal, not just to your breakfast. Aim for 25-30 grams of protein per meal to grow your abs and keep them on show. You are also likely to feel less hungry throughout the day which means less snacking and bad meal choices.
High-protein foods for breakfast include eggs, egg whites, whey protein, low-fat diary such as cottage cheese, milk and yoghurt. The plant-based alternatives include pea protein, beans and tofu.
High-protein breakfast bowl
Add a pot of your favourite yoghurt, protein powder and a couple of spoons of peanut butter. If you are feeling adventurous – add some cinnamon too and mix well.
Top with a sliced banana or apple, granola, nuts, berries, shredded coconut, dried fruit or any other healthy toping.
The right kind of fat is actually good for your abs. Unsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil, avocado and fatty fish are known to help you lose weight and inches of your middle. It goes without saying that they are only beneficial when part of a balanced diet which provides the right amount of calories for your level of activity etc.
Other sources of unsaturated fats are seeds and nuts such as almonds. Eating a handful of almonds helps to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar levels.
The easiest way to incorporate them in your breakfast is to add them to your oatmeal or spread almond butter on your toast.
Avocado on toast
Toast a couple of slices of wholegrain bread wholegrain muffins or bagels work too). Live a ripe avocado in half, take out the stone and peel off the skin. Cut each half into thin-ish slices. Take the toast out and arrange the avocado slices on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If slicing and arranging the avocado over the toast is too much effort for you, just mash it instead.
Spread almond butter over your toast to increase your intake of “good” fats.
Burn fat to reveal your abs
Take your favourite fitness influencer’s promises of achieving six pack abs just by following their exercise programmes with a pinch of salt. Feel free to incorporate some crunches, hanging leg raises, planks and other similar exercises into your workouts to strengthen your core but don’t expect any miracles.
If you are serious about your abs, you need to melt the layer of fat that envelopes your core and hides your six pack.
Read more: Six pack abs home workout
Don’t rely on spot training to reveal your abs. There’s enough research to back this up. Exercising one muscle or body part may well contribute to overall body fat loss but there’s no evidence to suggest that it targets topical fat loss.
Your abs are no exception. Include core-strengthening exercises in your fitness routine but don’t expect to lose any belly fat doing 100 crunches a day. To achieve that, you ought to focus on strength training and regular cardio which help to burn body as well as belly fat.
Even then you need to be realistic in your expectations. It takes a considerable amount of physical activity over a prolonged period of time to see any noticeable results. Do more than the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercising per week and don’t neglect your diet.
- Regional fat changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance training – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23222084/
- The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925973/
- The Relationship between Vegetable Intake and Weight Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Cohort Studies – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266069/
- Fruit and vegetable intake and body adiposity among populations in Eastern Canada: the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health Study – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5898328/
- Effects of Whole Grain Wheat Bread on Visceral Fat Obesity in Japanese Subjects: A Randomized Double-Blind Study – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29671172/
- The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25926512/
- Effects of unsaturated fatty acids on weight loss, body composition and obesity related biomarkers – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4653532/
- Effects of Daily Almond Consumption on Cardiometabolic Risk and Abdominal Adiposity in Healthy Adults With Elevated LDL‐Cholesterol: A Randomized Controlled Trial – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330049/