Let me start by saying that getting a defined stomach and abs (like in the picture below) is directly related to your body fat levels…which means how healthy you are eating.
You can do all the ab exercises in the world, but if you don’t lose the fat covering your abs, you will never see them.
And the best way to lose that fat is, of course, through your diet (ideally combined with a good workout program).
This is why I wanted to share with you the best female diet plan for abs and getting lean in general!
First of all, let’s start with the type of foods that you should be incorporating into your diet to slim down.
FOOD TO FOCUS ON TO GET A FLAT TUMMY AND ABS
1. EAT MORE PROTEIN PACKED FOOD
I have talked about why you need protein for fat loss in a previous post (it also discusses if eating more protein will cause your muscles to bulk up).
One of the best things about eating protein is that your body actually burns more calories digesting protein than it does digesting carbs and/or fats.
So, here are some foods that are great sources of protein:
- Poultry – chicken & turkey
- Lean red meats – avoid fatty cuts, deli meats, and minced/ground meats
- Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
- Protein powder – whey or vegan protein (hemp, pea, etc)
- Nuts and seeds – walnuts, almonds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
2. AVOID TOO MANY CARBOHYDRATES
Eating a lower carb diet will help you lose weight quicker, but you don’t need to cut your carbs completely.
One of the issues that people have when cutting carbs is the lack of fiber. Most high fat and protein foods don’t contain fiber – it is mostly in the carbs.
And you need fiber for many reasons – the main ones being that it helps with hunger (trust me, I’ve made this mistake and neglected fiber – it makes such a difference!) and keeping you regular.
So, make sure you’re eating healthy and fibrous sources of carbs.
Best sources of fiber include:
- Fruit (focus on berries if you’re sticking to low carb: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
- Vegetables (starchy carbs in moderation, so avoid potatoes, corn, and beans)
- Whole grains in moderation (brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole-grain breads)
3. UP YOUR HEALTHY FATS
Fats are high in calories, which is why people have been scared of eating them in the past due to the popularization of high carb, low- fat food.
The truth is – healthy fats are extremely good for you and will actually help you LOSE fat.
They help with the production of hormones that regulate your metabolism, they help your body burn fat as fuel, they help protect your vital organs, and they have LOTS of other bodily functions.
And, most importantly for every diet regime- fats will make you feel full. That’s why a lot of people that switch to high-fat food actually stop being hungry often.
Here are some sources of healthy fats:
- Oily fish such as salmon, trout, tuna
- White fish
- Nuts and nut butter
- Coconut, avocado, macadamia and olive oil
LEARN YOUR BODY TYPE SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON THE RIGHT TYPE OF DIET FOR YOU
If you really want to get those abs, I would also highly recommend you to find out your body type. This is super important since different body types lose weight and build muscle differently.
I have created a special Body Type Quiz that will help you learn your body type in just 2 minutes. And it’s completely free :)
WANT TO KNOW YOUR BODY TYPE?
We’ve Created A Quiz To Help You Determine Your Body Type!
- It’s FREE
- Takes Only 2 Minutes To Complete
- You’ll Get 3 Workout & 3 Nutrition Tips For YOUR Body Type
FEMALE MEAL PLAN FOR ABS – WHAT SHOULD A WOMAN EAT TO GET ABS FAST
The most effective diet for abs is definitely a low carb diet, which is why I’m going to make this meal plan low in carbs to help you lose weight quicker.
But I have written another blog post on the recommended macronutrients for each body type so have a read of this!
To work out your ideal calorie intake, read this blog post.
The calories and macros for this female meal plan for getting abs are:
- 1500 calories
- 25% carbs (x grams)
- 45% protein (x grams)
- 30% fat (x grams)
I have made the meals quite simple and (hopefully) they are easy to prepare. You can always change it up a bit, but make sure you keep the calories and macros the same.
Note: If you’re normally not eating a lot of salty food, make sure you up your sodium intake a bit (add extra salt on your meals or drink more broth). When you go low carb your body will start shedding extra sodium and water weight as your insulin levels go down.
OK, so let’s get to the food!
EXAMPLE OF A WOMEN’S MEAL PLAN FOR GETTING ABS QUICKLY
Brekkie: Protein Smoothie
Lunch: Chicken satay and green veggies
Dinner: Salmon with veggies
If you’re looking for snacks as well, try sticking to hummus and veggies.
For recipes for each of these meals, check out the table below.
Breakfast: Protein smoothie
Lunch: Chicken meatballs with pesto zucchini noodles
Dinner: San Choy Bow
Snacks: Banana muffin (click for the recipe)
Breakfast: Chia Pudding
Lunch: Cashew chicken stir-fry
Dinner: Steak and vegetables
Snack: Nut butter and feel free to add on some berries
And if you’re looking for some healthy snack ideas, read my blog post here.
TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING
I am a bit fan of intermittent fasting for getting lean faster, so I wholeheartedly recommend it for dropping body fat.
That said, it’s not the right fit for everyone so make sure you track how you feel and find an eating window that suits your body and lifestyle.
I wrote a guide to intermittent fasting (for getting lean), so if you’re interested to give it a go, have a read here.
THE BEST WORKOUTS FOR GETTING TONED ABS & LEAN BODY:
LEAN LEGS PROGRAM 1
I should also mention my Lean Legs Program 1.
It is an 8-week workout program that includes full-body resistance training which is the right type for your body type.
This program is tailored for you and your body if you’re aiming to slim down your legs, get toned abs, lean upper body…without getting bulky in the process!
Here is a snippet of one of my full body workouts from the Lean Legs Program 1:
Because I know how important nutrition is to losing weight and changing your body shape, you can also get an 8-week meal plan, just take a look at the Next Level You Package with your Program.
I’ve also included a Vegan Meal Plan for all my plant-based lovelies!
It takes the guesswork out of it, you don’t have to count calories and macros yourself (which can get very time consuming) and you don’t need to think of healthy recipes.
Everything is there for you! xx
I love your blogs and workouts!! I was just wondering what brand of protein you use?
We usually recommend plant based protein powders as they don’t have any dairy which can cause some unpleasant side effects.
Of course, you can use whey powder if you prefer and aren’t lactose intolerant.
Here are some of the best protein powders we would recommend:
Vega Clean Protein
Livwell protein blend
PranaOn Plant Protein
For more helpful tips please have a read of this blog post:
Absolutely love your blog and the work you do! Your programma has been a miracle sent from heaven, had been looking to lean down my bulky legs for YEARS!
My questione is about the diet plan you provided; I’m a vegetarian and was wondering what I could substitute the meat and fish for to still jeep relatively low carb. I have been eating eggs, low fat dairy and legumes and pulses, would those be good substitutions?
Hi lovely, yay I’m so so happy to hear that! Yes you can definitely swap out the meat and fish for these options that you’ve mentioned. Eating a vegetarian diet means your diet will be slightly higher in carbs and this is fine so don’t stress too much about that :) xxx
Hello, your article indicates the meal plan is 1500 calories, but when I plug the Day 1 food into My Fitness Pal it only amounts to under 900 calories. Can you kindly clarify?
Hi, I also used My Fitness Pal to calculate these calories. I guess maybe it’s the quantities you put in or the brands of things! Sometimes My Fitness Pal has foods that have the incorrect numbers of calories and sometimes they show 0 macros. So you need to make sure you choose the right ones xx
Hi Rachael. In your recent email, you link to this article as well as one that explains the negative effects of soy. However, soy is in this diet plan. Could you please explain? Thanks!
Hi lovely, oh you are right! I wrote this article long before I had done my research on soy. Instead of the soy sauce in the recipe, I would use tamari xx