First and foremost I would like to emphasize the importance of a proper diet. You can absolutely kill it every day in the gym, but without proper nutrition you will not take your body to its full potential.
Step 1: Know What, And How Much You're Eating
Find an effective way to track what you're eating. Personally I use MyFitnessPal by Bodybuilding.com and it works perfectly for me. I know it may seem overwhelming to track everything, but it takes the guess work out of dieting. This actually makes it much easier for you by letting you know exactly what you've eaten so far that day.
Step 2: The Mindset Behind The Plan
You can skip straight to the plan if you want(pg. 12). In this section I'm going to give a short synopsis of various macros and why the diet plan is established the way it is. A healthy diet is based on balance. If balanced correctly, after a meal you will feel revitalized and fulfilled, yet you won't feel sluggish. I'm going to show you how to do this.
Not all carbs are created equally. You have fast absorbing starchy carbs which cause a fast spike in insulin levels. This will cause you to feel tired and can result in weight gain if not consumed in the proper amounts and at the proper time. The best time to consume starchy carbs (non whole grain pasta, bread, rice) is for breakfast or immediately after a workout.
Then you have your non-starchy carbs. Non starchy carbs raise your blood sugar levels slowly, in turn giving you sustainable energy without making you feel tired or sluggish. It is recommended that you eat these carbs throughout the day with your meals to maintain energy. Non starchy carbs include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The non starchy carbs are high in fiber which is an important component to your diet. It will make you feel full and satisfied without skyrocketing your caloric intake.
Proteins are simple. You want to stick with your lean proteins such as fish, chicken, lean beef, and low fat dairy foods. Furthermore, you want to eat A LOT of them, essentially as much as you eat carbs, if not more. While there are many variables that come into play, proteins are the foundation for all sorts of physiological growth.
When I first started paying attention to my diet I was completely oblivious to the benefits of healthy fats. I attempted to avoid fats all together because I thought that's how you stayed lean, however, like I said, balance is key. Eating healthy fats, in moderation, is a great way to curve hunger, feel full, and give your body the necessary fatty acids it needs. When it comes to healthy fats, a small amount goes a long way.
Many people do not get the amount of water they need on a daily basis. In turn, I recommend having a large glass of water every time you sit down to eat. As well as having a personal water bottle that you keep with you and drink throughout the day. Considering that water is within all of your cells, tissues, and organs, it is important intake a large amount on a consistent basis.
Those are the main points I really wanted to hit on. I can't stress enough how important a healthy balanced diet is to obtain a healthy lifestyle and get the body you want. If you are reading this, then I'm fairly certain you're interested in showing off a nice set of abs. Whoever said that abs are made in the kitchen was not lying. No matter how large and strong your abs are, it counts for nothing if they're invisible behind a thick layer of fat. Follow this diet plan and you'll being seeing that 6 or 8 pack in no time.