New Abs Diet

The New Abs Diet was created by David Zinczenko – the editor for fitness magazine “Men’s Health”. The book is written in a style aimed at men, but the principles can be applied to anyone.

For many years most athletes, fitness models, and bodybuilders have applied the same basic fundamentals to their diet. Principles like eating often (5-6 times per day), building muscle, eating lean proteins, and aiming to eat whole unrefined carbs.

Sadly many dieters have failed to take note of these techniques, often believing that calorie restriction is the only way to lose weight.

New Abs Diet Useful Information

Hidden under the glossy marketing-speak in The New Abs Diet, you will find sensible and workable ideas for fat loss. The principles are not new, but simply repackaged for a different market. In fact the program is quite similar to Body For Life.

Whilst the book is called “The New Abs Diet” – having visible abdominal muscles is about attaining very low levels of fat – rather than any magic diet, special exercise, or special piece of equipment.

Attaining defined abs is difficult and challenging – but it sells, and many men now consider visible abs to be the pinnacle of a good body. However, the New Abs Diet doesn’t eliminate fat completely from the diet but focuses on using limited healthy fats in the diet.

The 12 Power Foods

The New Abs Diet contains a 7 day meal plan, made up of 12 ‘power foods’, along with recipes. One meal per week is designated as a ‘cheat’ meal – where you eat anything you want. The book advises avoiding foods like fatty meats, processed/refined carbs, high-sugar foods.

The New Abs Diet 12 Power Foods
1. Almonds and Other Nuts eaten with skins intact.
2. Beans and Other Legumes
3. Spinach and Other Green Vegetables
4. Dairy: Fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese
5. Instant Oatmeal: Unsweetened, unflavored
6. Eggs
7. Turkey and other lean meats. Lean steak, chicken, fish
8. Peanut Butter – All-natural, sugar-free.
9. Olive Oil
10. Whole-Grain Breads and Cereals
11. Extra-@Protein Powder@(Whey)
12. Raspberries and Other Berries

If you are wondering why almonds, spinach, raspberries, and turkey were singled out — nothing scientific — it just helps to make a catchy acronym – absdietpower !

Cardio and Weights

Essential to The New Abs Diet program is strength and interval training. This is based on the premise that building muscle increases metabolism which will assist in burning fat.

See a sample of the abs diet circuit training workout.

Do You Get A Flat Tummy?

This is what The New Abs Diet author says in response to spot reducing:

“…you can’t spot reduce per se. That’s a myth. But if people lose weight – particularly if they’re doing some moderate exercise at the same time – they’ll lower their body fat and will likely notice that loss in their bellies since that’s where most of the fat lives…”

Unfortunately this isn’t quite true. Women, in particular, carry most of their fat deposits around the thighs and hips. Also, belly fat can quite often be the last place that fat disappears from. However the book does is aimed at men which may explain the authors comments.

The New Abs Diet also contains a chapter on how to get 8 pack abs for those that think a 6 pack just isn’t good enough.


The New Abs Diet pretends to be something new. However it is simply a basic guide to strength training, good nutrition, and exercise. It provides good sensible nutritional advice, and, if followed correctly would result in weight loss and improved overall conditioning.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • DESPRfiS, J. P., POULIOT, C., & MOORJANI, S. (1991). Loss of abdominal fat and metabolic response to exercise training in obese women. link
  • Chaston, T. B., & Dixon, J. B. (2008). Factors associated with percent change in visceral versus subcutaneous abdominal fat during weight loss: findings from a systematic review. International Journal of Obesity, 32(4), 619-628. link
  • Maki, K. C., Reeves, M. S., Farmer, M., Yasunaga, K., Matsuo, N., Katsuragi, Y., … & Cartwright, Y. (2009). Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults. The Journal of nutrition, 139(2), 264-270. link

47 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. Mikel Ruffinelli


  2. darlene bauler

    hi where i can buy that book in germany? can i have the complete name author of that book? THANK….

  3. Jason

    I love Men’s health and let me say David Zingthingping is a GENIUS, I mean the way he writes, he’s like a poet or something. It’s like he’s talking to you except he repeats everything at least five times. GENIUS and the book is only $30. It’s not like you can’t rip it off the net for free or get it in a second hand bookshop for a few bucks. And the food you can eat is awesome, it’s like taking regular food and making it taste like shit. Gotta go, I’m on day 6 – you know beat your meat then have a two minute break. AWESOME.

  4. Annie

    Jess, I am in the same shape as you, workout everyday watch what I eat, everything and if for some reason I stop exercising for 3 weeks (injury) I gain 5-7 lbs. So I decided to research and the big difference was my birthcontrol, hormons are really bad for you so look there maybe that could be also your problem. I will let you know how am I doing after stopping with that.

  5. Manan

    Absolutely it’s working.. i love it and even after eating so my i don’t put on weight at all .. that’s amazing. there are other Health tips that everyone should consider reading it.. very helpful..

  6. Ben

    I have been eating these foods for almost 4 days allowing me to have one unhealthy thing a day, whether it be a bowl of chips, a couple of squares of chocolate or a can of coke. From the second day onwards I felt and noticed a huge change in my abs. My stomach thinned down and my healthiness went up!

  7. Ron Foxx

    I tried the Abs Diet Plan about four years ago. I did the “diet” part but never got busy with the workout part. Using the eating philosophy I lost 52 pounds – I’m 5-11 and went from 210 to 158 in about seven months or so. So you can lose weight with the diet end of it though it does take some discipline. The “cheat” meal helped a lot.

    I’ve been able to maintain my weight steady in the 170s. Probably been two years or more since my weight wandered out of the range of 170-179.

    I recently picked the book up again to use the plan anew to drop about 10 pounds. This time I’ve decided to use the workout part of the book (I picked up a nice bench and weights off Craigslist). I’ve recruited a workout partner, grocery shopped based on the plan, picked up a large jar of whey and today will wrap up week 2 of a planned 20 week journey to not only learn to eat right again (and lose that 10 pounds).

    I put myself on a bedtime that gives me 7 hours sleep per night, started on the “plan” again and working out. After two weeks I’ve lost no weight (I contribute that to the whey more than anything) but I do feel like I have slightly less fat on my body, I feel better already and the aches and pains of starting the workouts is quickly fading.

    I’d recommend this book and plan to any male. It really is geared for men though the eating plan can work great for women too the whole book is geared towards men. It’s a great diet/workout plan for guys especially if you have a partner.

  8. JA

    I have been on this diet for about a week and a half now. To be honest i haven’t seen much of a change (not expecting to in only a week and half) although my friends say they can see a diffrence. I’m not overweight I’m 5’5 and 130lb and I’m built big (big boned some people call it that) according to the book. Basically just want to see my abs and be able to find a diet plan that i can stick to for life not have to change it after 6 weeks. About the cheat meal I don’t plan out a day to have one because what if i always have it on saturday and my friends birthday is on sunday and were all going out to eat. I think i would rather have cake with my friends then some ice cream sandwitch from the fridge. I really do thing this is a good diet its simple. I don’t even feel like I’m on a diet. I reread the book cause i feel like I’m doing it wrong cause it’s so simple. I will write again with my progress

  9. Christina

    I’ going to check this book out from the library. For anymore who’s already tried this, does it really help you lose stomach fat? I’m not overweight, I’m 5’3 and 118 pounds, but I really want a flat stomach.

  10. Will

    Don’t worry. Take the first couple of weeks and let the diet alone do it’s work and then jump into the exercise. I’ve lost a good deal of weight and did enjoy a cheat meal (on occasion two) a week. After you go into maintenance mode, you get a cheat DAY. This is practically required. The diet does not try to be so strict that you quit because of certain guilty pleasures that you love; just learn temperance. Remember, diet is good, but too much diet without exercise will cause you to loose muscle as well as fat. You may also find that after a few weeks, you want to do more as you may feel as you are not doing enough, but keep your weight training on their days and cardio on its. The workout / exercise routine was created in a certain way for a reason, losing weight. I have used the ABS diet to get down to the weight that I want but have now adjusted it slightly to more of a building routine. Don’t worry, give it a try, read the material so that you are not too strict on yourself (as most people tend to be and quit)and enjoy the new life and the results. BTW, my best friend started 10 days ago, diet only, and has lost 17 lbs (though he is a big boy). Good Luck!!

  11. chels

    the diet is great its well balanced and easy. but this plan also allows for a lot of leniency, so i wonder are people still getting these great results being as flexible as the plans says you can be? For example it’s not required to exercise for the first 3 weeks, and you have the one cheat day. so to someone that has followed the plan and lost a decent amount of weight, did you go ahead and give yourself that leeway or did you just attack full on from the beginning? lol please enlighten me:)

  12. uday

    Can someone help me. I want to buy this book in India. can someone guide me where to find it ? Thanks for the help..

  13. Will

    I have tried a couple of other diet (adtkins, south beach, etc.) but none have worked as well as this. If you are going to try this, make sure to take time to read the material before starting. If not, you may not get the results that you are looking for. Exercise and diet MUST go together. I am 5’6″ and started at 197lbs. In 10 weeks, I am now at 159 lbs. I could have been further along but foolishly took about a week off. I can now, without thinking, pick out the foods that are best to eat wheh shopping and eating out and really have no desire to have cheat days with the exception of special occasions. Understand, this diet is a continous lifestyle and meant to be ongoing.

  14. Jess

    I’ve pretty much tried every diet out there. NOTHING WORKS. Here’s the thing, I have been working out 4-5 days per week for over a year. 1 hour of cardio each day, and weights 3 days a week. I watch what I eat. I’ve never been able to lose weight. No matter what I do, I just can’t. I’m starting to think there’s something wrong with me.

  15. prince

    This is very good views.plz send other chart for abs

  16. AD

    hey for all you people who’ve tried the diet and been successful, did you actually make use of the “cheat meal” every week or did you go on without it ? would like to know , thanks.

  17. EMB

    okay soo there are several things wrong with what you just said. first of all. if you have 20 pounds to lose…the last diet you need to try is the grapefruit diet. it’s not wise and all it’s going to do is burn your muscle and slow your metabolism down and result in more weight gain. and second of all your muscle cannot turn into fat and the other way around. they are completely different cells. when you lose weight or gain weight…your fat cells merely shrink or expand. you should really try the abs diet because if you’re as active as you say…this diet shouldn’t be a problem. it helps you gain lean muscle which revs up your resting metabolic rate like crazy and in turn lowers your body fat percentage.

  18. 13e 13reezy

    PLZ HELP!!!!! Im a track and feild runner on break. After holiday season- im now 155lbs & 5’6”-some mucsle. i need to lose the 20lbs i gained before March 1st. Will this work best for me? ((i mite try the grapefruit one-my friend swears by it)) And do i need to exercise because im tryin to rest my bod and it only makes my fat turn to muscle!!

  19. SK

    I like this diet. I am actually eating healthier because of it. I picked up a magic bullet blender and started making shakes with it based on some of the p12. It fills you up (ex: 1 orange/banana/6 mini carrots/whey powder/honey/low fat milk/almonds). It is ready in 1 min. Get the bullet and stay on this diet. It makes it easier.

  20. Alliston Samuel

    It worked and is still working for me. I am a lot more physically fit, it terms of well rounded, than I was at 17-21

  21. CPO

    I did this diet and lost over 100 pounds. Seriously. To eat six times a day it a blessing. And you become very full once you get into it because so many of these products contain fiber which are filling. I would STONGLY suggest this diet to all. PS. My cholesterol went from 210 to 151 in 6 weeks! Yeah, my numbers went down significantly when on this.

  22. Jenny

    Hmmm, this diet sounds promising…


    I think you’re all stupid and if you’re gonna critic everyone then at least learn how to feel good about yourselves first!!!!!!!
    sounds like the lot of you are retarded!

  24. Knobloch

    In my experience, this diet is a good, balanced diet (I’m a software developer, not a dietitian or nutritionist). The exercise was hard to fit in at first, but after about 4-5 weeks, I got used to it. I’ve been on the diet this time (I did it a few years back) for about 14 weeks now. I didn’t need to lose much weight (I have only dropped from 165 to 155), but my body fat % (according to my scale) has dropped from about 21% down to 19%, and my total cholesterol dropped from 276 at the start of the diet to 169 now.

    The main complaint my wife had the first time we did this was that the food got boring. This time around, we are taking recipes from other sources, and applying the 12 power foods and making other substitutions to make them Abs Diet-friendly, with pretty good results. As David says in the book, almost anything for South Beach works pretty well here, and we’ve fallen in love with Kashi products.

    I have found this diet to be easy to follow, easy on the taste buds, and if you can find 30-45 minutes a day to exercise, very effective.

  25. Kansas Chick

    The recipies are basically good but could use a little reworking to make them tastier. Simple things like adding a few spices can make all the difference.

  26. I don't get it!

    How do you use the p12 do you consume everything on this list everyday?

  27. Boogie

    Listen up with this diet it is foods that we eat anyways I have lost 40 pound on this diet I exercise 4 days a week with a spin class once a week on Saturday mornings as one of them. To be sucessful with this diet you have to eat the 5 to 6 times a day it seems like your eating alot but really your not, I suggest that you eat breakfast everyday do not skip this meal also make sure you drink plenty of h2o. I feel this diet has helped me in my everyday life I feel good about myself and it has also helped my 12 year old son with his weight because now he is eating fresh food not this drive through garbage. Well good luck to all a remeber it take 20 days for our bodys to make something a habit, this is not a diet to me it is a life change.

  28. Karra

    I have always been in shape all my life but since I turned 48 a few months ago, I have noticed gaining weight without overindulging in anything. I am healthy, no meds. just multivitamins daily, yet I am overweight.Will this really work ?

  29. n/a

    Honestly a diet that appears to ommit the foods I truely enjoy is no diet for me, but mostly I do eat these things anyways with a small chocolatey or salty treat each day. Weight Watchers is the diet for me though most don’t like the points system. What it really boils down to is what works for you. To each their own I say. Over all the ABS diet is a pretty basic, common sense diet to me.

  30. reshy

    hey where can i get this diet? is it only in the book?

  31. reshy

    oh wow. im surprised to hear that u would reject all those fatty-yummy food. i have to try this diet!

  32. Abs Dieter

    I agree with you, RA. I’ve been on the Abs Diet almost 4 weeks, and foods I used to absolutely live for (i.e., Jif peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate, etc.) are disgusting to me now. I would rather have fat-free cottage cheese with a banana and toasted almonds for “dessert.” Since I tend to eat a lot of protein, plus two snacks a day, I’m never hungry. This is a diet you can really live on.

  33. RA

    This diet is very sensible. It’s a better choice over the other “3 hour or 3 day diets” because if you start to eat this way after a week or 2 your body will begin to naturally reject foods with lots of sugar and fat and you will begin eating healthy all the time with not even putting a lot of thought into it. You then will begin to see a significant difference with your weight.

  34. Julia

    Wow, this diet actually sounds reasonable! It sounds pretty healthy and sustainable. Finally, someone who got it right.

  35. Graham

    If you lot spent half as much time in the gym as you do scoring points on eachother to make yourselves feel better, you would be in great shape. Very good diet.

  36. Deborah G

    Way to go Linda. I too am researching diets because I need to loose about 40 pounds. I have a desk job and work aprox 11 hrs a day. Honestly I do not like exercising every day. I am a meat(hamburger,pork chops & potatoes person. I do like vegetables also). I need something that is quick to put together when I get home. I am not a breakfast person either. So I am exploring all of these. I did join LA Fitness as it will be on my way to work.

  37. Get on with it

    Yeah I followed this diet after I bought the book 2 years ago. I was 310 LBS and made it down to 230, which was pretty good for my height of 6’1″. Today I now weight in at 210 LBS and all down to following the instructions of this diet.

  38. Hilarious!!!

    PEOPLE, PEOPLE…COME ON! Let’s get it together and stay focused.

  39. N/A

    I’m still interested on the woman who now weighs 50 lbs..

  40. ling

    to rae the reason for hsc comment is because no matter what cause a person to visit this site or any weight loss site should not be calling people fatty.

  41. Rae

    I am an Athletic Training and Nutrition major at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and actaully this diet is very sensible. The key to weight loss is healthy eating habits and sensible excercise. However, one of the most important factors in a diet is changing the behavior patterns of the individual. If you lose a bunch of weight but dont actually change your behaviors, you will gain the weight right back.
    TO ANGELIQUE: What do you believe is a good diet? You say that this is the dumbest one you have ever seen? What sort of research have you actaully done into dieting?
    The Abs Diet promotes a weight loss system that is healthy and easy to follow. It is not a complex fad diet like so many that are out there. The instructions are simple.
    TO HIGH SCHOOL CHICK: Not everyone who diets is overweight. Some people who are on websites like this one are researching diets to suggest to clients or patients or simply to inform themselves. I would refrain from calling others “dumb” before you know the circumstances of the situation. It will get you a lot farther in life if you reserve judgement until you have all of the facts.

  42. rethedred

    hahaha ignasio u got destroyed

  43. HiGH SCH00L CHiCK

    TO IGNASIO: Why are you calling her a fatty when you are on this website probably looking for a diet yourself? That was very dumb.

  44. petite lady

    ignasio – weigh not way….. bit of a moron yourself matey!!

  45. angelique

    this is the stupidest diet i have ever heard of in my lifetime. and i have been living for a very very VERY long time. =) you should reconsider your dieting methods babeeee.

  46. ignasio

    dear linda, i think your significant loss of body fat has caused you to forget how to write. point is, you either way 50 lbs or 250, fatty.

  47. Linda

    Thank you for this wonderful diet. It is very inspiring. I thought I could never lose weight(I weighed 300 pounds) then I tried this diet and I lost 250 ! I am so excited and my new husband loves my new body , thank you SO much !! (: