"Abs Are Made in the Kitchen": What Does It Mean?
First let's nail down a definition. "Abs are made in the kitchen" means that "when it comes to achieving a flat midsection, diet is the most important factor," said Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist and fitness adviser for Bowflex. You can do ab workouts and build your core muscles, but without the healthy diet component, the abs themselves won't be visible. Your six pack might actually be there — it's just underneath a layer of fat.
Your body type also comes into play, said Erin Coates, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic. "All bodies are unique and some have an easier time 'seeing' their abs than others," she explained. She agreed that diet plays an important role in getting visible abs, but added that "ultimately. . . abs are made in both the kitchen and with consistent resistance training. You need a combination of the two."