There are lots of claims from companies selling the newest miracle pill to get you in shape with a “ripped” set of abs. Is there really a pill that can do that with no exercise? Not likely if you want lasting results. There really is no mystery to how to do it. The basics are well known and what most people need is motivation more than anything else. Here are the key areas we found are consistently being used by those with a great core.

What you eat and how you design your exercise routine will really help to increase your metabolism so you can burn more fat in a shorter period of time. Your diet needs to be consistent and include healthy foods to limit the calories you intake from fast and processed foods. This is critical regardless if you are an athletes or regular, average individual just looking to lose some belly fat.

Eating the traditional 3 meals a day is not the process most gurus are recommending now. Eating 5 or 6 smaller meals a day that each has protein, carbs and good fats will keep your body fueled with a steady supply of energy and nutrients to feed recovering muscles. Your body is programmed to store energy if it is not getting it consistently each day so eating more than 3 meals will help to stop your body from reacting to “starving” between inconsistent meals.

Carbohydrates are ranked on the glycemic index based on their ability to create an insulin response. The slower you digest your carbs, the less likely you will be storing extra energy as fat in your body. A low GI carb will digest slowly and not create a huge insulin response from lots of glucose being fed into your system really quickly. You should aim for about 40% of your total calories from low GI carbs. Less processed carbs (natural foods) tend to be low on the index. The one time you will want to use high GI carbs in after your workout. Your body needs to replenish glycogen and getting a good supply quickly will help do that. As the carb digest, they also supply nutrients your muscles need to start the recovery process.

Low GI Carbs:

Fruits – berries, apples, barley
Vegetables: asparagus, beans, lettuce
Grains: bran cereals, whole grain bread and pasta, wild rice
Dairy: milk, yogurt, cottage cheese
Beverages: vegetable juice, grapefruit juice, green tea
Sweeteners: fructose, stevia

Moderate GI Carbs:

Fruits: grapes, watermelons, mangos
Vegetables: carrots, corn, yams
Grains: brown rice, oatmeal, pastas, sourdough bread
Dairy: custard
Beverages: apple and orange juice
Sweeteners: raw honey, brown sugar, maple syrup

High GI Carbs:

Fruits: raisins, bananas
Vegetables: baked potato, French fries, sweet corn
Grains: white bread, bagels, breakfast cereals, white rice
Dairy: ice cream
Beverages: soft drinks and sport drinks
Sweeteners: sucrose (table sugar), maltodextrin, maltose, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

An intake of extra protein will do two things: it will give your muscles the amino acids they need to repair the damage done while working out and it will burn more fat than extra carbohydrates because protein takes more energy to digest. As a general guideline, eat 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.There are a number of theories on how to get a good looking body but these areas are ones that most will cover as a part of their program.