Katrina and I say all the time that abs are made with your workouts but revealed with your nutrition plan. Working out, strength training and cardio will definitely burn fat and tone your muscles, but if your diet isn’t the best, then you won’t reveal all your hard work. This is where nutrition is key. So what’s the deal? Are abs really made in the kitchen?
There’s this thing in nutrition called total energy expenditure. It’s all the energy burned by your body in a day. It breaks down to three main parts: thermic effect of food (TEF), basal metabolism and physical activity. TEF is the energy it takes to break down the food you eat — think digestion. Some foods take a little more energy to break down (like protein), giving them a higher TEF. On average though, TEF is about 10 percent of your daily calorie burn. Then there’s basal metabolism, which accounts for all your body’s normal functions like breathing and thinking. This takes up 50-70 percent of your body’s total energy spent. Lastly, there’s physical activity. Here, we burn 15-30 percent of our total energy expenditure. This obviously includes exercising and doing your TIU workouts! Here is when you’ll build beautiful lean muscle.
When it comes to food, the most control you have over calories isn’t over how much you burn but how much and what type of food you consume. You take in less calories when you eat healthy, good-for-you foods because fruits, veggies and whole grains are all packed with fiber that triggers your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Plus, eating complete proteins, like our organic, non-GMO Perfect Fit Protein, ups the satiety level of your food even more. When you eat fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grains, your body is given all the vitamins and minerals it needs for beautiful skin and hair. Toned muscles and clear beautiful skin?! Talk about a win-win.
The best way to take control over what goes into your body is by cooking your own meals. We know it can be time consuming, but this is why we love meal prepping on Sundays. It cuts out a lot of prep time for you during the week. Katrina and I go grocery shopping and then spend some time hanging out while making our dinners and lunches for the week. We think of it as a gal pal date! There are thousands of easy make-ahead meals in our Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. We are currently obsessing over our Lemon Honey Overnight Oats! You can make a whole batch of them for the week and then just put them in your fridge to grab on your way to work or school. They literally only take minutes to put together. As for dinner, try our Chopped + Crunchy Summer Veggie Salad or Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili! Both are great recipes to make in advance and have throughout the entire week.
When it comes to revealing your abs, remember that both fitness and nutrition are important. Your workouts will give you definition and strength while your nutrition will give you beautiful hair and skin and unveil your sexy core!
Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott are the founders of Tone It Up — a fitness and lifestyle brand.