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Is Rice Good For Abs? (Everything You Need To Know)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

As a personal fitness coach and strength trainer, I have many people ask me what they need to do to get the most ripped abs possible. The answer isn't just a great ab workout routine but a carefully planned diet.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation out there, like eating loads of raw carrots or staying away from kale.

Another interesting suggestion is eating rice for a ripped six-pack.

So I did some research with my dietitian and some testing with a few clients to see whether there's any truth to this.

Quick Summary

  • Rice comes in different forms, and it's important to understand how the level of refinement impacts your body.
  • Eating the right type of rice can help to fuel your workouts and allow you to chisel out those six-pack abs.
  • You also have to be careful with how much rice you eat so that it doesn't mess up your dietary macro profile.

Is White Or Brown Rice Good For Six Pack Abs?

White and brown rice top view comparison

Brown rice is better than white rice for abs. And there are two common misconceptions about rice that lead people to come to the wrong conclusions.

First of all, you have the die-hard opponents of any kind of carbs when it comes to getting ripped. They say that carbs, in general, are evil and will make you fat.

Then there are those who say that if you're heading to the gym five days a week and doing lots of ab workouts, then you need all the raw energy you need, and you should be eating lots of carbs.

Ironically, both of these arguments have credit, especially when it comes to rice.

Here's the thing.

Highly refined white rice is easily digestible starch, and research has shown that people who eat a lot of starch, like white bread, tend to have more belly fat [1]. And I recommend all my clients and readers stay away from such highly refined carbs.

At the same time, getting a defined core requires a lot of work at the gym, and you will need to load up on carbs to fuel all that work. And the right type of rice can play a key role in providing that kind of fuel.

How Does Rice Impact Belly Fat?

Rice impacts belly fat by delivering simple or complex carbs, depending on the type. If you eat highly refined white rice, you are taking in carbs with a high glycemic index of over 80 [2].

"New research shows what many health experts have long said. It's not carbohydrates, per se, that lead to weight gain, but the type of carbs eaten."

- Brunilda Nazario, MD WebMD.com

What does that mean?

The closer the GI of a food is to 100, the faster the body absorbs it and turns it into glucose. That means white rice is close to refined sugar and can cause blood sugar spikes that lead to weight gain [3].

And some of that extra fat will land on your belly.

Brown rice, on the other hand, has a GI value of just over 50 [4]. That means it's much slower to absorb and won't cause blood glucose and insulin spikes that cause so many weight issues.

Are There Better Types You Should Choose?

Brown rice in a bowl

Yes, there are better types of rice that you should choose for your diet. Highly processed and refined white rice should never be on your menu.

It's far better to stick with brown or wild rice that has gone through very little refinement.

You'll find brown rice in pretty much all stores. But for wild rice, you might need to go to Asian specialty stores.

Also, don't overcook your rice until it's almost a soggy mess. There should still be a bit of a bite in it, and that slows down the absorption of the carbs further.

FAQs

Is It Ok to Eat Rice Every Day?

Yes, it's OK to eat rice every day. Since rice is a staple diet for billions of people, there shouldn't be any problem. But you want to stay away from highly refined white rice if you're going to eat it every day.

Should You Eat White Rice after a Workout?

No, you shouldn't eat white rice after a workout. It's better to eat brown rice and lots of protein to replenish your blood glucose levels slowly and provide the protein for your muscles to recover.

Eating The Right Type Of Rice

If you're going through a bulking phase where you are heavily focusing on your abs, then you have to be careful what kind of carbs you eat. Highly refined carbs with a high GI, like white rice, are not an ideal choice.

But eating brown rice on a daily basis can be a great way to fuel all those ab crunches ahead.

And if you want to get a bit of a head start when it comes to removing belly fat, then I would suggest adding the following products to your supplement stack.

These aren't magic pills, but when combined with a tough workout routine, they can remove some of that stubborn fat that's hiding those six-pack abs.


References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20040803/too-much-white-bread-giving-you-big-belly
  2. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load
  3. https://www.health.com/weight-loss/the-real-reason-youre-not-losing-weight
  4. https://www.tarladalal.com/glycemic-index-of-brown-rice-1618
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