To build a sturdy foundation you have to start with one brick at a time.
In terms of fat loss or lean muscle gain the best thing you could do for yourself (besides get moving) would be to change your nutritional habits for better ones.
There are many fat-loss and muscle-building programs out there that get a lot more in depth than I will and just like building a structurally sound foundation, you are going to have to complete step 1 successfully before you look at or even consider step 10. The consequence? confusion, frustration and then you go back to they way you were once eating..and look at how far that brought you.
This is what happens almost every time with men and women alike on their new year quest to, dare I say it, lose a few pounds. Too much too quickly is a bad thing. So do your self a favor and start with one step at a time.
According to Dr. John Berardi and the guys Precision Nutrition, to lose fat there are 10 steps you should follow. (for the sake of not dragging this post on for 10 weeks I will post them all here)
1. Exercise for 30 minutes
2. Take fish oil and a multivitamin at breakfast
3. Drink at least 8 cups of water
4. Eat at least 4 one-cup servings of vegetables
5. Sleep at least 8 hours (including naps and night-time sleep)
6. During each meal, stop eating when 80% full
7. Twice during the work day, get up and do 5 minutes of muscle stretching
8. Eat 4 – 5 meals
9. Eat lean protein with each meal
10. Replace grains with greens during each meal
Great! now that you have read all of these very simple steps to fat loss, choose ONE
If you already do more than one thing on this list, continue on and pick one more(the next step). I suggest to try out a step for 2 weeks, being completely compliant before adding.
Now that you understand the basics let me move on.
The big question that I get all the time is what am I supposed to eat? What most people don’t understand that it’s equally as important what your eating and how much as is when exactly your eating it!
Like Dr. John Berardi says you only need to do five things, nutritionally-speaking to reduce fat and those are:
1. Decrease your calories
2. Increase your protein
3. Replace your grains with greens
4. Lower your carbs
5. Eat healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, fish oil, etc.)
There should be a lean protein included with every meal/snack. Weather it is Lunch:
or a snack like Greek Yogurt (which is about 1 minute and 30 seconds quicker to make than the salmon dish..yes that’s how long it was in the microwave for).
Bottom line is you should have a lean protein (chicken, tuna, tofu, ground turkey,etc..) , carbohydrate (whole wheat rice, beans, whole wheat pasta, vegetables,etc..) and healthy fat source (nuts, avocado’s, olive oil, fish oils) with EVERY MEAL.
For this week try to save your most carbohydrate heavy meal for after your workout!
Keep in mind however, the best thing to do is to eat your grained type carbohydrates ( bread, pasta, rice, beans, etc..) post workout! Your body will thank you for the fuel (read energy). The rest of the day you can get your carbohydrates from vegetables & fruits.
On a scale of 1 to 10 ( 10= ya 100% I can follow that rule & 1= no way I can do that) ask yourself if you can follow that rule and give it a number.
If the number you gave is below 9 lets dial it down a notch and follow this rule 4 days of the week.
Still below 9? how about 3 days of the week?
Get the idea?
As per the healthy fats, my favorites are Fish oil’s. Some of the benefits of Omega-3’s fatty acids (read fish oils) are (click here to read how omega-3 fatty acids work):
- Omega-3’s make us leaner: They improve insulin sensitivity and make our bodies better at using stored body fat for energy.
- Omega-3’s help with inflammation: While acute inflammation is good for us, and an important part of the healing process, chronic inflammation is not. Chronic inflammation is like the body’s “broken record”.
- Omega-3’s make us smarter: Are important for brain cells because omega-3s provide energy and make up membranes of the brain cells. No surprise that healthier and happier brain cells means better brain development and function, including memory.
In the end it is a lot easier than you think!
Use the number scale that I stated above to help you gauge your success rate on a new goal and just like a new toy or product, try it out for at least 2 weeks before you move on and upgrade it.
Write down or review the steps I provided above and choose 1. Start with that and once you have conquered it move on to add another.
To your success,
Questions, Comments? – Feel free and ask away!