Last Updated on May 05, 2015

What is Abs Diet?

The Abs Diet devised by David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine, revolves around eating 12 nutrient-packed foods containing a healthy mix of proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber, along with exercise, which promotes lean muscle growth and fat loss in a span of six weeks.

12 nutritious foods -- Almonds and nuts, beans and legumes, spinach, dairy, instant oatmeal, eggs, turkey and lean meat, peanut butter, olive oil, whole grains, extra protein and raspberries and berries – together form the acronym and core of ABS-DIET-POWER.

The diet plan involves eating six times a day to maintain good energy levels and keep hunger pangs in check. Each meal must contain at least two super foods. The diet does not emphasize on calorie-counting or strict dieting, which often results in falling off the diet wagon.

Menu plans emphasize eating proteins during every meal and snacks since it provides satiety, spurs lean muscle growth and accelerates fat burning.

Alternating meals with snacks, limiting alcohol to 2-3 drinks per week, eating one cheat meal in a week and drinking plenty of water are some of the other guidelines of the Abs diet.

The Abs diet for women and men follow realistic plans emphasizing on a combination of nutrient-rich foods and regular exercise along with providing a plethora of helpful tips. The workout schedule includes a combination of cardio and strength training on alternate days. Abs exercises are recommended twice a week.

Health Benefits of Abs Diet

The Abs Diet provides nutritional advice and exercise plans, which if followed correctly would help attain the twin goal of weight loss and improved overall health.

This diet endeavors to help you attain a flat stomach, as well as getting rid of wrong eating habits that result in weight gain. Unlike diet plans, which advocate hard-to-follow rules and forbid eating foods you love, the Abs diet is a flexible diet program, which keeps cravings in check by letting you indulge your taste buds once a week.

The combination of proper eating habits, healthy food choices along with weight training accelerates fat loss, which is the correct way of losing weight.

Refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sweets, saturated and trans-fats must be avoided since they lead to belly fat accumulation.

Good for Heart:

Power foods like oatmeal contain beta-glucan whereas nuts, olive oil and peanut butter calcium whereas leafy vegetables are magnesium-rich foods, which possess anti-hypertensive properties. Curbing the intake of saturated fats and trans-fats rich foods like bakery products, red meat reduces the risk of cardiac problems.

Better Metabolic Rate and Higher Energy Levels:

The Abs diet advocates eating six meals in a day, alternating between meals and snacks. Such an eating pattern is effective in controlling cravings for the wrong foods and hunger by preventing overeating thus promoting weight loss. Eating meals at frequent intervals keeps the metabolic rate high and maintains stable energy levels throughout the day.

Strong Bones:

The Abs diet encourages the intake of bone-friendly nutrients like protein, calcium and Vitamin K. Also, strength training is advised, which increases the bone-mineral density, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Lower Cancer Risk:

Nuts are an excellent source of Vitamin E, berries are brimming with flavonoids and leafy vegetables contain beta-carotene and Vitamin C. All these nutrients function as powerful anti-oxidants combating cancer-causing free radicals.

Food for Brain:

The Abs diet power foods contain nutrients which benefit brain functioning. Dairy products promote serotonin production, which regulates mood and cognitive functioning. Eggs are packed with choline, which help with memory and learning. Whole grains ensure a steady supply of glucose, which is the primary fuel for the brain. Regular exercise improves blood circulation to the brain.

Adequate Nutrition:

The Abs diet advocates a balanced eating pattern consisting of eating a wide variety of foods from all food groups. The 12 Abs diet super foods provide all the five pillars of nutrition -- carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, which nullifies any chance of nutritional deficiencies.

Smoothie Recipes

The Abs diet encourages intake of fruit smoothies. They are a quick and easy of combining power foods to meet nutritional requirements in today’s hectic lifestyles.

Pro-Berry Smoothie:


  • 1 Banana
  • ¾ cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup mixed berries
  • 2 teaspoon Whey Protein Powder
  • Ice cubes


  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients.
  2. Serve chilled with crushed ice cubes.

Breakfast Recipes

Innovative recipes you can eat for breakfast while following the Abs diet are:

Veggie Egglicious Wrap:


  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 rotis
  • 1 finely chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion and capsicum
  • 1 finely-chopped green chili
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon oil


  1. Scramble egg whites in a bowl. Add onion, tomato, capsicum, green chillies and salt.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and add the egg white mixture to it and cook till the mixture turns semi-solid.
  3. Place the stuffing between two rotis and cook on both sides on a griddle using oil.
  4. Serve hot.



  • 2/3 cup guacamole
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon hung curd
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 whole wheat rolls
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Combine guacamole, tomatoes, lemon juice, flaxseed, hung curd and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Split the rolls into two and spread the mixture.
  3. Serve immediately.


  • Starvation or drastic calorie reduction i.e. less than 1200 calories for women and 1400 for men isn’t ideal for permanent weight loss.
  • Instead of eating three full meals, it is better to distribute the food intake over six small meals.
  • Exercise for 45 minutes for 4-5 days in a week can aid in weight loss.
  • A sleep cycle of 7-8 hours is good for health.

Latest Publications and Research on The Abs Diet

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