11/07/2013 08:51 BST | Updated 11/07/2013 08:51 BST

How a Purposeful Diet Can Help You Achieve a Six Pack

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While scientific advancement has enabled doctors to offer new and increasingly effective treatments for a number of ailments, there are some health concerns that continue to impact heavily on the lives of UK citizens. Take obesity, for example, which has increased steadily since the turn of the century and now threatens the everyday lives of both children and adults nationwide. There has been a four-fold increase in the number of children and teenagers admitted to hospital for obesity-related conditions during the last decade. The result? The UK now has the highest rate of child obesity in the whole of Western Europe.

How to Get a Six Pack: Why Diet is Key

When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing the perfect six pack however, individuals often become preoccupied with exercise and muscle building. While this represents a key component of healthy living, it is important to remember the importance of diet as the starting point of the process. Unless you eat the right types of food and manage your consumption of fat and sugar, any efforts you make to lose weight are likely to prove fruitless. Consider the following ways in which a carefully constructed diet can contribute towards that desirable a six pack.

Foods with Saturated Fat: While the body requires certain fats in order to function, saturated fat is the most significant contributor to rapid weight gain. This type of fat contains 15 calories per gram, and is most commonly found in food such as crisps and salted peanuts. If you consume too much saturated fat, you will be unable to create a well-defined six pack regardless of how much exercise you do each week.

The Importance of Protein: In the quest to build muscle and maintain a healthy weight, protein is the most important dietary component. Found predominantly in food items such as white meat, fish and eggs, it is excellent for calorie burning and also contributes heavily towards the development of lean muscle mass. You should look to consume up to 150 grams of protein each day, as the body uses three times more energy to digest this than it does for carbohydrates. Your intake of protein can also be supplemented with powders, and this can be key in shaping your summer-ready six pack.

Consider Your Fluid Intake: It's important to remember that your fluid intake forms a key part of your diet. Sugary drinks such as Coca Cola can lead to a steady accumulation of fat, especially when consumed regularly and especially if enjoyed on an everyday basis. By drinking sugar free beverages like green tea, it's possible to reduce your calorie intake without excluding all of the foods that you enjoy. Additionally, the consumption of green tea within 2 hours of any meal helps to reduce fat absorption by up to 33%.