Abs Diet: A Beginner’s Guide and Meal Plan

The abs diet involves an exercise plan and a list of food for abs strengthening and flattening within six weeks. To pursue the best diet for abs strengthening, you will need to eat six times per day including three small meals and three snacks.

Essentially, you will eat something about every two hours throughout the day. The six-week abs diet plan includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whey protein, and lean protein. Further, smoothies are an important part of the abs diet meal plan, which can count as a snack or meal sometimes.

What Is the Abs Diet?

The abs diet is a six-week plan that combines nutrition and exercise. The main aspect of the diet plan includes 12 power foods that you’ll need to add to your meals throughout the six weeks.

What is Abs Diet
What Is the Abs Diet?

The abs diet food list involves healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, legumes, and tea. Nutritious, whole foods like these are essential for defining, flattening, and strengthening your abdominal muscles.

The typical foods for the abs diet have plenty of nutrients and antioxidants while remaining low in calories. Also, you’ll find tons of fiber, healthy fats, and protein in the diet to get abs. The ab diet meal plan is a trendy one in the fitness industry, but it also requires you to follow an exercise regime for more defined abs. 

Physical fitness is an important part of the process to tone your abdominal muscles and lose calories. The diet for abs strengthening can last anywhere from six to eight weeks. Your ab diet plan should involve an emphasis on protein intake and drinking at least eight cups of water per day. 

How does the Abs Diet Work?

In the first week or two on abs diet plans, your breakfasts should include egg whites or whole eggs with a small amount of chicken or other protein as well as a vegetable and fruit. Your lunch and dinner can include protein, brown rice or quinoa, vegetables, and fruit. 

As you move forward in the future weeks, your caloric intake should drop slightly. For instance, in the first couple of weeks, you may consume about 1,500 calories. By the third and fourth weeks, you should decrease your caloric intake to 1,440 calories and then down to 1,310 calories in future weeks.

You’ll also want to add two power foods to your meals, such as almonds, beans, spinach, dairy, eggs, turkey, or peanut butter. 

The nutrition plan here will benefit the abdominal muscles as well as improve metabolism and fat burning. Further, you’ll feel full by eating six times per day including three snacks and three small meals.

What Are the Health Benefits of an Abs Diet?

The health benefits of the abs diet for women and men are outlined below. 

  1. It supports weight loss
  2. The abs diet food list boosts fat burning
  3. It leads to a flatter stomach and defined abdominal muscles
  4. The abs diet foods list alleviates back pain
  5. The abs diet improves sleep

The ab diet for women has plenty of nutrient-rich ingredients with protein, healthy fats, and calcium. You will also feel full throughout the day and not end up feeling hungry since the diet requires you to eat every few hours. 

The fab abs diet is sure to improve your look and health. You may experience a decrease in blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer risk, and diabetes risk.

Furthermore, the ab diet for men and women will promote weight loss, encourage protein intake, and emphasize exercise. You will more likely follow a strength and cardiovascular training regimen to lose weight and flatten your stomach.

What Are the Health Risks of an Abs Diet?

The health risks of an abs diet are outlined in the list below.

  1.  An unhealthy eating habit involving a cheat day
  2. Eating frequently does not promote weight loss adequately
  3. Some power foods have an excess of sodium, which may bring high blood pressure

If you take a weekly cheat day, you may not have a healthy relationship with food, as it promotes thinking of certain ingredients as “good” or “bad.” The high-sodium power foods for abs diets like frozen vegetables or instant oatmeal also lead to higher blood pressure at times. 

Further, those who pursue the abs diet workout may want to avoid physical activities if they suffer from arthritis in the back or knees, or if they have mobility problems in the joints. 

How To Do an Abs Diet?

You can follow the six-week plan when dieting for abs strengthening by combining nutritious foods and an exercise regime. You will need to incorporate physical fitness with multiple power foods to eat to get abs. The main strategies you should follow to pursue the abs diet are detailed below.

How to do Abs Diet
How To Do an Abs Diet?
  • Incorporate a meal plan high in proteins and healthy fats
  • Add at least one or two power foods to every meal
  • Consume three meals with three snacks throughout the day
  • Participate in strength training exercises
  • Take part in aerobic exercises
  • Have one cheat meal per week, allowing you to consume any foods you want

You can also consider consuming milkshakes to replace a snack or a meal every day. Lastly, you should drink eight glasses of water per day as well as green tea or low-fat milk.

Who Should Do the Abs Diet?

People who have an excess amount of fat in their abdomen should consider following the abs diet to lose weight in the stomach area. Anyone who is overweight may want to follow the abs diet for weight loss. Women or men looking for more defined abs for the beach season may benefit from the abs diet.

Further, those who pursue the abs diet should have the ability to pursue aerobic and strength training exercises including abdominal workouts. Essentially, any people with mobility issues, back pain, or arthritic knees should speak with their primary care physicians before pursuing the abs diet and exercise routines.

In addition, this particular diet is better for those who eat meat regularly. Vegans and vegetarians who want to try the diet will need to increase the number of beans, nuts, and other legumes they consume. 

How Many Calories Should You Consume When Doing an Abs Diet? 

When pursuing the abs diet, you should take out about 500 calories from your entire day of food intake. That should help you safely lose one or two pounds per week. However, experts state that you shouldn’t decrease your caloric intake to less than 1,200 calories per day for women or 1,500 calories per day for men.

Generally, you should eat anywhere from 1,300 to 1,400 calories per day on the abs diet. To track how many calories you’re consuming, write down every snack and meal you eat throughout the day. You can also add a calorie-counting mobile app to your smartphone to track your calories when following the abs diet.

What Is the Proposed Time Frame for the Abs Diet?

The standard abs diet time frame is six weeks in length. You’ll need to consume a meal or snack every two or three hours. David Zinczenko, author of The Abs Diet: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life, came up with the six-week diet and exercise plan in 2004.

What Are the Best Practices to Follow the Abs Diet?

The best practices to follow the abs diet include the advice in the list below.

  • Eat six times per day including smoothies
  • Drink eight glasses of water
  • Incorporate power foods into every meal
  • Add a “cheat meal” once per week to satisfy your cravings
  • Avoid alcohol intake and sugary drinks

You’ll need to eat a snack after every small meal you have during the day. Along with water, you should drink green or black tea as well as low-fat or fat-free milk. 

Furthermore, the abs diet includes an exercise plan in which you should partake in physical activities three times per week for at least 20 minutes per session. 

How Simple Is It To Follow the Abs Diet Program?

The abs diet program can get somewhat complex, as you may need to track the number of calories you take in along with the power foods you need to eat with each meal. Therefore, you’ll need to add power foods like almonds/nuts, green and leafy greens, beans, dairy, eggs, turkey and other lean meats, olive oil, peanut butter, and whole-grain bread. 

You can also fill up smoothies with power foods like protein powder, peanut butter, berries, and yogurt. To make the diet plan truly effective, you’ll also need to keep track of your exercise routines. 

For example, you’ll need to pursue strength training about three times per week and abdominal exercises twice per week. The rest of the week, you can pursue cardiovascular workouts.

What is a Sample Abs Diet Plan?

Throughout a typical week on the abs diet, you will need to partake in the following food intake. A sample abs diet is showcased below.

What is a Sample Abs Diet Plan
What is a Sample Abs Diet Plan?
  • Day 1: A low-fat yogurt for breakfast, a protein smoothie for a snack, sardines and tuna salad sandwich for lunch, crackers with peanut butter for a snack, baked salmon with broccoli for dinner, and a handful of almonds for a snack.
  • Day 2: Eggs with turkey bacon for breakfast, half of a grapefruit for a snack, grilled chicken and veggie salad for lunch, one orange as a snack, turkey meatballs with zucchini for dinner, and a banana smoothie as a snack.
  • Day 3: Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk for breakfast, a piece of toast with peanut butter for a snack, turkey breast and avocado open-faced sandwich for lunch, protein and berry smoothie for a snack, chicken breast and spinach for dinner, and trail mixed nuts for a snack
  • Day 4: Egg sandwich with turkey breast for breakfast, hummus with veggie sticks for a snack, chickpea salad with tomatoes for lunch, low-fat ice cream for a snack, sweet potato with butter and bacon for dinner, and apple slices with peanut butter for a snack 
  • Day 5: Wheat toast with peanut butter for breakfast, veggies with guacamole for a snack, black bean with tomatoes and avocado wrap for lunch, berries with almonds for a snack, white fish with asparagus and broccoli for dinner, and a fruit and peanut butter smoothie for a snack
  • Day 6: low-fat yogurt with berries for breakfast, dark chocolate for a snack, turkey and bean chili for lunch, stir-fried edamame for a snack, turkey and brown rice for dinner, and chocolate-covered strawberries for a snack.
  • Day 7: high-fiber cereal with low-fat milk for breakfast, roasted chickpeas for a snack, hard-boiled egg, beans, and veggie wrap for lunch, deli meat with apple slices for a snack, brown rice with chicken, eggplant, and bell peppers for dinner, and guacamole with veggies for a snack.

What Are the Best Recipes for the Abs Diet in Men?

The best diet for abs sculpting in men includes five different recipes along with important exercise routines. The best recipes for the abs diet in men include the following five dishes.

  1. Verry Berry Smoothie
  2. Eggs Breakfast Sandwich
  3. Chicken Salad Lunch
  4. Roast Beef Sandwich
  5. Brazilian Chicken

To make the Verry Berry Smoothie, combine oatmeal, skim milk, frozen berries, protein powder, and ice. For the breakfast sandwich, combine three fried eggs, ham, sliced bell peppers, and a tomato slice on two pieces of bread. 

The grilled chicken salad includes carrots, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and green bell peppers. The Brazilian Chicken includes salsa, tomato sauce, and garlic cloves.

What Are the Best Recipes for Abs Diet in Women?

For women, the best diet for abs strengthening includes several healthy and nutritious dishes. The best recipes for the abs diet in women include smoothies and a few other options showcased below.

  1. Hidden Spinach Smoothie
  2. Turkey Tacos
  3. Turkey Egg Scramble
  4. Blueberry Basil Smoothie
  5. Avocado Whole Grain Toast

The Hidden Spinach Smoothie includes cherries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, and spinach along with milk and protein powder. The turkey tacos include shredded carrots, parsley, turkey breast, and sliced avocado on top of corn tortillas. The avocado toast includes tomato and avocado slices.

What Are the Foods You Can Eat While on the Abs Diet?

The main foods you can eat while on the abs diet include categories like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, fatty fish, and tea. The type of fruit you can eat include grapefruits, apples, and berries. When picking vegetables, you can eat tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, avocado, and leafy greens.

Oats, buckwheat, barley, and quinoa are a few common whole grains. Pistachios, almonds, walnuts, and pecans are popular nuts for the diet. Tuna, sardines, and salmon are a few healthy fish to try. Legumes include beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas.   

What Are the Foods That You Should Avoid While on the Abs Diet?

The foods to avoid while on the abs diet include sugary drinks like soda, juice, and sports drinks. You should also avoid fried foods like French fries, fried and breaded chicken tenders, onion rings, and more. Further, avoid alcohol intake. 

Also, you’ll need to avoid sweet, sugary treats like cake, candy, ice cream, and cookies. You should also limit white rice, white bread, and pasta made of refined grains. Whole wheat options are much healthier.   

Does the Abs Diet Contain Artificial Sweeteners?

The abs diet can contain artificial sweeteners since it does allow one or two diet soda drinks per day. Further, you can take one meal per week as a cheat meal, which means you can eat anything you want during that meal including artificial sweeteners. It is advised to consume something like monk fruit or stevia over the artificial sweeteners found in most diet and health foods.

What’s the Abs Diet’s Carbohydrate Intake Limit?

The abs diet does not have a specific caloric intake restriction or a carbohydrate intake limit. Therefore, you can eat as many carbohydrates as you like while on the abs diet. Nonetheless, you will need to consume whole wheat products when seeking carbohydrates instead of white grains.

You can eat six times throughout the day and consume sandwiches, cereal, brown rice, and more. Due to this, many think that the diet is relatively simple to follow since you don’t necessarily need to count every single calorie or carbohydrate you consume.

What Are the Alternatives to the Abs Diet?

The alternatives to the abs diet include the following options.

  • The Mediterranean diet 
  • The flat belly diet
  • The plant-based diet

The Mediterranean diet consists of consuming whole foods and plant-based ingredients. On the diet, you can eat nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, avocados, soybeans, olive oil, and whole grains. 

The flat belly diet involves a 32-day regime in which you start the first four days consuming only 1,200 calories and eat no more than 1,600 calories per day for the rest of the program. A plant-based diet includes vegetarian or vegan-friendly recipes.

What Are the Facts About the Abs Diet?

Five facts about the abs diet are discussed in the list below.

  1. The abs diet is a six-week plan including exercise and a nutrition plan.
  2. The abs diet includes up to 12 power foods you should include throughout the six weeks.
  3. The diet requires aerobic exercises and strength training workouts.
  4. The diet for abs sculpting involves a combination of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
  5. The meal plan requires you to eat six times per day along with a weekly cheat meal

You’ll need to add strength training and the meal plan into the first week of the abs diet. 

Does the Abs Diet Work to Get Abs?

The abs diet works to get abs sculpted as long as you consume a low-calorie meal plan with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grains along with a good exercise routine. You’ll need to perform abdominal muscle exercises, strength training workouts, and aerobic exercises. 

You should eat fatty fish like sardines, salmon, tuna, brown rice, leafy greens, berries, and low-fat milk. These types of foods will help you lose belly fat and sculpt your abs through exercise.

Is the Abs Diet Combined With Exercise Possible?

The abs diet combined with exercise is possible to get the results you want if you follow the best abs workout program, which includes crunches, reverse crunches, and oblique crunches. For the best results, you will need to combine your nutritious, abs-building diet with a standard workout and a generally healthy lifestyle.

Is the Abs Diet Combined With Supplements Possible?

The abs diet is possible when combined with supplements. The best supplements for abs diets include whey protein, casein, glutamine, fat burners, branched-chain amino acids, and meal replacement shakes.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.