Many women AND men alike desire to have a flatter midsection. Unfortunately, a lot of folks believe in the myth that doing a bunch of crunches (ab exercises), will ensure a six pack. Although exercise plays a role in slimming your waistline, the biggest factor is what you EAT!

If you google “ab diet plan” you’ll come up with a ton of free resources and nutrition ideas to help you achieve your goals. Personally, I think the biggest things to consider in developing your personal meal plan are 1) total calorie intake (based on activity level), 2) fiber 3) protein 4) water. Muscle and Fitness has a great detailed plan to help you get a jump start on developing that 6-pack in time for the Summer (and possibly the Spring if you are really disciplined).

Some of their recommendations include slow and steady calorie reduction, serious hydration, and variety. Here’s a sample of what the first phase of the meal plan looks like:

PHASE 1 (Weeks 1-2)

• 4 egg whites
• 1 whole egg
• 3 oz chicken breast
• ½ cup green pepper
• 1 medium apple

• Coconut-Lime Chicken Bites with Baked Zucchini Fries   Get the recipe here!

• 4 oz turkey breast, boneless, skinless
• ½ cup brown cooked rice
• 1 cup broccoli, steamed
• ½ large grapefruit

• ⅔ cup cottage cheese
• ¼ cup blueberries
• 10 almonds, chopped

• Spicy Citrus Shrimp with Quinoa   Get the recipe here!

• 20g whey protein isolate
• ½ tbsp peanut butter, natural

Daily Totals: 1,480 calories, 169g protein, 119g carbs, 40g fat