I understand the struggle – you look down and see a big tummy and conclude your days of having flat belly vanished the day you gave birth. Even if it has been years since you’ve had a flat tummy, the fact still remains, you have abs. And a great diet can help you flatten your stomach and find these missing abs. Most people who are starting a new fitness mission start by asking me one basic question: What do I eat? Great question.

Eat Lots of Protein

One of the most important components of developing incredible abs is to eat enough lean protein, which promotes muscle gain and fat loss. A protein-rich breakfast is a great way to start your day. This can keep your blood sugar steady and prevent dips that can later in the day lead to snack binges. Though a protein-rich breakfast won’t just magically make you lose weight, it sets a healthy tone for the rest of the day.

Eat Six Meals a Day

Are you tempted to reduce your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t do it. Hunger can increase your levels of cortisol hormone, which is stress-related, and this can lead to weight gain. In fact, I recommend eating 5-6 meals a day. Several people can’t cope with consuming this much food, so eat small and work your way up. If you’re eating the right foods, your body will be fueled while you’re working toward that goal.

Drink More Water

When on a fitness plan, hydration is essential, so drink a lot of water because it is beneficial for your midsection. Water also flushes out excess sodium to prevent your belly from bloating. If you don’t know how much water to drink, I advise using your body weight to get started. However, keep in mind that everyone is different. For instance, you may need to drink more water if you exercise frequently.

More Fat, Less Carbs

When it comes to belly fat, the worst offender is processed and refined carbs and not fat. Carbs break down easily into minute sugar molecules that activate the pancreas to start working. The pancreas is responsible for releasing insulin that guides blood sugars to your muscles and liver for fuel.

However, in the case of too much blood sugar, the insulin converts the excess blood sugar to body fat. To keep your blood sugar level balanced, eat carbs that also contain grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, fiber, and other foods that break down slowly. When it comes to fat, more is better. Stick to unsaturated fats, they are healthier and more found in salmon and avocados.

The bottom line

If you want to eat well to keep good abs, changing your diet is key. Jazmin Johnson is the best-selling 1 on 1 Meal Planning book, an informational speaker on health and fitness topics, and an actress that starred in Married to Medicine Los Angeles. For more health and fitness resources or want to know more about Jazmin Johnson and Married to Medicine Los Angeles she starred in, sign up for email notifications today.