back to top

21 Cheat Sheets For Getting Superhero Abs

Exercise routines, diet tips, and recipes for people who want a shredded midsection.

Posted on

So you want six-pack abs.

As BuzzFeed Health has reported, getting those abs to pop is about way more than doing a zillion crunches, or even lightly keeping an eye on your diet. It's actually a lot more labor-intensive, requiring most people to follow a careful diet (aimed at losing or managing body fat) and challenging their core and the rest of their body with exercise. That's a lot. To make it a little more doable, here are some cheat sheets to help you with ab-centric diet and exercise.

1. For when you're cutting down on carbs to lose body fat:

Tashween Ali / Via

Getting shredded abs is no joke; it takes a pretty strict regimen, including careful eating to lose or manage body fat. People with six-pack abs spend a lot of time making sure they're eating the amount of carbs, protein, and fat that correspond with their body composition goals, which can entail a lot of shopping, cooking, and portioning out foods for meals and snacks. Why not make it a little easier on yourself?

3. For when you're looking for a doable program that will push you and help you keep long-term goals:

Jon Premosch / Chris Ritter / Via

It can be really hard to keep yourself accountable when setting long-term goals, so that's where BuzzFeed's Strong Core Challenge comes in.


4. For a high-intensity, total-body workout that could burn some serious calories:

Photos by Lauren Zaser for BuzzFeed / Design by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed / Via

If you're goal is to burn body fat, it's beneficial to do high-intensity workouts, as opposed to doing longer sessions of low- to moderate-intensity cardio. Here are more high-intensity workouts for you to bookmark.

6. And for visually understanding what carb portion sizes even look like and how they fit into your overall meal:

It can be tough to manage your portion sizes, especially when you're exercising more and your appetite has increased.


8. For a learning how to cook — and actually eat — way more vegetables:

Voluntarily filling your plate with vegetables can be hard. But knowing how to properly cook them will make it a whole lot more enjoyable. Here are some delicious ways you can sneak more vegetables into your meals.

9. For when you're serious about full-body strength training, which, btw, helps with ab definition.

Lixia Guo / BuzzFeed News / Via

Full-body strength training will increase muscle overall, which will improve your metabolism and help reduce body fat, helping with ab definition. Here's more info on that.

Try starting with 10 minutes of each workout above, then progressively add to your time each week. You can find the full 30-day workout plan here.


12. For working on your core stability and learning how the hell to use a Swiss ball:

A Swiss ball is great for taking any basic bodyweight or weightlifting exercise and making it more challenging, working specifically on your core stability.

13. For high-protein foods that could help you build more muscle:

Protein is incredibly necessary for getting ripped abs because it's vital to building muscle and keeping you full and satiated throughout the day — here's more on that.

Here are some high-protein breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for you to try.

15. For an easy way to make bland foods taste delicious:

Trying to get more ab definition can mean limiting delicious stuff like sauces and condiments with added sugar or a lot of fat, which might make your meals sad and plain. Stock up on seasonings so you can make eating healthy flavorful.


19. For an easy, healthy, make-ahead lunch you can take on the go:

Packing your lunch can help you make healthier decisions throughout the day — as well as save you money. Here are some other healthy lunch ideas for people who can't stand salads.

20. For different ways to make a high-protein meal or snack out of eggs:

Photos by Lauren Zaser/ Graphics by Chris Ritter/ / Via

One large egg has 72 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of carbs, making it a great go-to if you're trying to eat low-carb.