1) Not all calories are created equal. Drinking 190 calories from a can of soda and eating a slice of whole wheat bread with some natural peanut butter on it aren't going to give you the same benefits. You need to focus your diet on the right sources of nutrition. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats and fish are your best friends.
I strongly encourage you to take 15 minutes of your life and read about nutrition. Pay special attention to the different types of fats. Mono and polyunsaturated fats are actually good for you and can found in nuts and seeds. Trans and saturated fats are the devil and will be avoided at all costs.
2) Completely replace sodas with water and juices. Sodas are 100% empty calories that aren't doing anything for you. Here's a fun statistic. A can of soda is typically 150 calories. If you drink 2 cans of soda per day that's 2100 calories per week. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. You've just gained 2/3's of a pound of fat in sodas alone EACH WEEK. Also, make sure the juices you're drinking are 100% juice. You're not fooling anyone with those crack bags of Capri Sun.
Nutrition Tips3) If you're going to cheat, be smart about it. Get a small instead of a large and get a water or juice instead of soda. Everyone gets weak and if you absolutely have to go to Jack-in-the-Box for some fast food grub don't get the Double Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger. Instead, go for the grilled chicken sandwich and skip the mayo. If it's too dry add some ketchup.
- Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats and fish are your best friends.
- Completely replace sodas with water and juices.
- Don't eat carbohydrates (carbs) within four hours of going to bed if you're trying to cut weight.
- Never grocery shop when you're hungry.
- Snack on something healthy to get that blood sugar stable.
- Drink ridiculous amounts of water every day.
4) Portion control is GOD. There is a delay between when your body is hungry and tells you to eat and when your body has had enough. If you eat until you're full you're actually OVER-eating. Eat slower and keep your caloric intake per meal to around 500-600 calories. Even if you're still hungry put your food down and wait 20 minutes and see if you still feel like eating. Probably not.
5) Eating smaller portions more frequently stabilizes your blood sugar and allows your body to increase it's metabolism. Your metabolism is the internal engine your body uses to turn calories into energy so that you can function.
6) Your body is an extremely complex organic machine that adapts to its surroundings. If you starve yourself your body interprets that as meaning not enough food is available and will go into survival mode. That means slower metabolism so you're burning less calories per day (because you aren't eating as much). It almost sounds counter productive but eating more will actually allow you to burn more fat.
7) Your metabolism is your best friend. Do not abuse it. It is a magical thing that allows you to burn calories 24 hours a day even when you're sleeping. Look up ways to increase your metabolism.
8) Don't eat carbohydrates (carbs) within four hours of going to bed if you're trying to cut weight. Your body has no need of the complex sugars and will only store it as fat while you're sleeping. That means your dinner should shouldn't have carbs in it; only protein, fruits and veggies. A lean (85% or higher) steak, chicken or fish over mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette dressing is the kind of dinners you want to be eating.
"Eating MORE will actually allow you to burn more fat!"
9) Eat something as soon as you wake up in the morning. It gets your metabolism going to start burning that stored energy! 4 glasses of water can also substitute food to get your metabolism going early in the monrning. It has to be at least 4 glasses, though. Breakfast is a good opportunity to get those carbs into your body to prepare for the days tribulations. Stick to whole grains, though. Google why we like whole grains.
10) Exercise self control at the grocery store and never shop when you're hungry. Everything will look delicious. You should be able to walk along the edge of the store and get everything you need. The isles only contain processed foods (with exception to the grain section) and you don't need any of that. Fruits, veggies, meats, dairy and juices are all along the walls and that's what you want to be eating. If you're getting most of you food from isles and not walls than you're doing it wrong.
11) In between your 3 main meals of 300-600 calories you should be snacking on something healthy to get that blood sugar stable as previously mentioned. My rule of thumb is every 2-3 hours eat something. I'll do breakfast at 6am, snack at 9am, lunch at 12pm, snack at 3pm, dinner at 6pm and a snack at 9pm if I'm feeling devilish. Your snacks are typically yogurts, fruits, nuts or meal replacement shakes.
12) Feeling slightly hungry isn't a bad thing. Learn to suppress that little devil on your shoulder by reminding yourself you're eating enough and that your body just isn't used to a healthy normal portion. Also, if you have a time of day to look forward to eating it will make ignoring the hunger pains easier. If I'm hungry at 8 in the morning I'll tell myself I can eat my snack in an hour and it gives me something to look forward to.
13) WATER WATER WATER. You should be drinking ridiculous amounts of water every day. Our body uses water to do almost everything. Your work outs will be more effective, you'll have more energy because your body is transporting nutrients more efficiently and you'll lose more weight if your body is properly hydrated. Do not be afraid of drinking too much water. I drink 2-3 liters a day on average plus juices. You can gauge how hydrated you are based on the color of your pee. You want it to be almost clear. A very feint yellow is fine but if you can find your shade of pee in a rainbow you're not drinking enough!
14) Remember that you're eating to live and not living to eat. Look at every meal you're about to eat and ask yourself this question "Am I eating this to live or living to eat this?" Food can be tasty but it's just a means to an end. A sexy stronger slimmer healthy end.
1) Your work outs don't have to be long as long as they are effective. A good work out can be achieved in as little as 5 minutes as long as your intensity is there. Look up M100's for a good cardiovascular (aerobic exercise that require oxygen; typically your main fat burners) exercise that will give you a total body work out and suck that fat off your body.
2) Ladies, you're not fooling anyone using the super high incline on the treadmill at walking speed. Sure it will help tone your gluts, the higher the incline the higher up your leg the workout will get, but none of the muscle you're building will matter if you don't start running and burning some serious calories to highlight your ASSets.
3) Incorporate weight lifting into your work out schedule even if you only want to lose fat. Lifting weights will help build lean muscle and your muscles are like furnaces that require calories to exist. More muscle will naturally increase your metabolism.
Fitness4) For effective weight loss work outs use high intensity interval training (HIIT) to burn those calories and build that lean muscle. P90X and Insanity are good examples of HIIT. The idea behind HIIT is that you keep your heart rate elevated and resting between sets minimal. It turns your body into a giant furnace of calorie burning. It's similar to when you floor the accelerator on your car after a red light. You take off really quickly but you burn up more gas per distance covered as opposed to someone who takes off slowly and graduate builds speed.
- A good work out can be achieved in as little as 5 minutes as long as your intensity is there.
- Incorporate weight lifting into your work out schedule.
- Machines are a great way to start off working out to begin developing muscles.
- If you can't maintain proper form discontinue the exercise.
- Each work out should begin with a 5-7 minute active dynamic warm up
5) You don't need to buy P90X or Insanity for good HIIT. It just makes it easier when someone is telling you what to do and when to rest.
6) Keep your work out consistent of mostly compound exercises. Compound exercises require multiple muscle groups to complete an action as opposed to isolation exercises that focus on only one. Bench press is a compound exercise as it uses your triceps and your chest. Bicep curls are an isolation exercise since it only focuses your bicep. Compound exercises will help create balance in your musculature so you aren't over working a muscle group and also maximize your calorie burning.
7) If you want to do isolation movements to sculpt an area of your body (typically your biceps or triceps) do them after your compound movements.
8) An easy approach to weight lifting is rotation between Legs, Pushing exercises (triceps and chest) and Pulling exercises (biceps and back). You can do Pushing on Monday, Pulling on Wednesday and Legs on Friday. Pushing exercises are going to be your bench press (barbell/dumbbell), incline press (barbell/dumbbell), shoulder press (barbell/dumbbell), flyes and push ups. Your Pulling exercises are going to be pull ups (alternate hand grips to focus more on bicep or back), lat pull downs on a machine, seated row.
9) For variety in your work out switch out your hand grips from wide, regular and close. It will focus different areas of the same muscle group. For instance a close grip incline bench press will hit the upper inside pectoral muscles more effectively than a wide grip flat bench press which will focus more heavily on the outsides of your pectoral close to your arms.
10) My own personal standard of weight lifting is Dumbbells > Barbells > Machines. Dumbbells allow the most range of motion and will simultaneously work out the primary muscles of your exercise as well as stabilizer muscles that can't normally be targeted when using machines. Barbells are similar to Dumbbells only the effect is lessened but you can use more weight.
11) Machines are a great way to start off working out to begin developing muscles you aren't used to using. However, you should transition to free weights (barbells and dumbbells) once you feel you're ready as it will help contribute to a more complete total body fitness.
12) If you're trying to get massive muscles chances are you already know what exercises you need to do and a lot of what I'm saying won't be useful for you so I won't go into detail on how to bulk up or how some of the tips I'm suggesting aren't effective.
13) Typically, you want to do your weight sets in reps of 12, 10, 8 than 6 and rest for 1-2 minutes between each set. That means you'll put up 135 lbs on the bench press 12 times rest for 2 minutes then do 10 then rest for 2 minutes and so on..
14) Do not ignore your legs. Your legs are the biggest muscles on your body making them the biggest calorie burners. Squats and lunges are your bread and butter leg exercises. Squats are practically mandatory for anyone serious about working out as it works out so many different muscle groups.
"It's important you feed your body within 30 minutes of a work out so that it can pump nutrients into your broken down torn muscles for recovery."15) Since legs are naturally massive already you don't have to apply the same rules of weight lifting to them as you would your upper body. I like to do my squats sets in reps of 25, 22, 19 and 16. The lower weight higher rep range helps tone my leg muscles to give them nice definition and also reduces the possibility of snapping your back up. Squats are an easy way to throw your back out if you don't practice good form.
16) The cardinal rule of weight lifting: If you can't maintain proper form discontinue the exercise. When it comes to lifting weights quality always beats quantity. Throwing your back into that last bicep curl isn't doing you any good. Keep your motions slow and precise to avoid using momentum to cheat (you're only cheating yourself when you use momentum).
17) As previously mentioned, only 3 days a week of lifting weights are needed to get a good total body workout. However, you can incorporate cardio and abs in almost every work out. I start all my work outs with a 2-3 mile run and end them all with a minimal ab routine. Since I do weights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'll allow myself to do odd ball exercises or really heavy cardio on Tuesday, Thursday and Weekends if I missed a day during the week.
18) Don't be afraid to listen to your body. If it's telling you no than sometimes you should listen and allow yourself the flexibility to move days around depending on what your schedule is like. If i don't feel like legs on friday because work was rough I'll do it Saturday instead.
19) It's important you feed your body within 30 minutes of a work out so that it can pump nutrients into your broken down torn muscles for recovery.
20) Work out supplements are over rated in my opinion. I use a pre workout like Jack3d to get my blood pumping and put me in the mood and a simple recovery shake with whey and casein protein. I also take daily vitamins to supplement my diet if I've missed something that day. Usana is a great company that delivers quality health supplement products.
21) Each work out should begin with a 5-7 minute active dynamic warm up (I run). This elevates your heart rate and prepares your body and muscles for whats about to happen. Think of your muscles like taffy. If you pull it out of the freeze and try to bend it it will break in half. If you warm it up with your hands first it will bend, though. Your muscles are similar. NOTE: You shouldn't stretch before working out as it reduces your muscles effectiveness by roughly 15% and takes about 15 minutes to cover after a stretch before they are in optimum condition. Active dynamic warm ups don't cause loss of muscle effectiveness. Google active dynamic warm ups to get a better idea.
22) You should stretch for 5-7 minutes immediately after a good work out. It prevents lactic acid (the stuff that causes muscle cramps and is a byproduct of anaerobic exertion) from building up and helps prevent the DOMS effect (Delayed Onset Muscle Syndrome). DOMS kicks in 2 days after your work out and will be brutal if you didn't stretch.
23) A typical work out week for me will be
Monday: Cardio/Pushing exercises/Abs
Tuesday: Cardio/HIIT or Swim
Wednesday: Cardio/Pulling exercises/Abs
Thursday: Cardio/HIIT or Swim
Saturday/Sunday: Rest or pick up a day I missed during the week
I find this regime caters well to my specific needs as it has an emphasis on building muscle but still incorporates cardio and flexibility.
That's pretty much all I can think of. If you managed to read this far remember that this is just advice and shouldn't be taken as fact. I'm 6'3 and 186 lbs and these are the rules I live by to stay in shape. Also, as a treat for finishing the article here is Boyce Avenues latest cover. It puts the original version to shame. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0czg_TQAcA&feature=feedu