getting your body to be as lean as possible is a complicated, multi-faceted process that only a dedicated few ever fully realize. There are training, nutrition and lifestyle factors to weigh…and that’s just for starters. But by breaking it down into a few easy-to-digest tidbits of lean-living wisdom, as I have done for you here, you can see tremendous progress very quickly. Try some or all of the tips and tactics laid out here to help uncover your best physique ever.
1. Drink A Lot Of Water
Drinking water is essential to your health, it helps boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. When researchers from Virginia Tech had subjects drink two glasses of water before each meal, they found that those subjects lost 30% more body fat after 12 weeks.
2. Mind Your Carbs/Fat Timing
UK fitness model and actor Mehmet Edip knows a thing or two about lean living. “Mixing carbs and fats within the same meal can actually spike your insulin levels, leading to excess fat storage,” he says. “Try not to consume carbs within three hours of eating fat since it takes longer to be digested and still could be stored as fat.” Instead, Edip says, try to focus on carb-protein combos like chicken breast on energy-packed whole wheat.
3. Clean Things Up
While you should work to keep your diet clean all the time, a one-week crash course can show you drastic change. “Eliminate sweets, starchy carbs, and alcohol,” says Eric the Trainer, a Hollywood-based trainer and creator of the Get Hollywood Muscle program. “These are the primary reasons we gain, or maintain, unsightly rolls around the middle. By taking these elements out of the equation, your body can do its magic and expose all the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym.”
4. Keep Carbs Constant
“Simply dropping out carbs, while the immediate effect may be noticeable, ultimately will become your downfall as your body will begin to store what few carbs it gets,” says David Sandler, MS, CSCS. “To stay lean year-round, keep your ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins constant and whether you cut or have a cheat day.”
5. Use Aminos and Thermogenics
“A good strategy is to up your amino acids, especially before, during and after workouts and add some thermogenics to your supplement routine,” Sandler says. “Preserving lean muscle mass while stripping is fat is the name of the game. When calories are down, anabolic agents like leucine and BCAA are a must. The thermogenics will provide a burst of energy as well help burn a little extra fat when you are working hard.”
6. Cheat With Reason
When you see “cheat day” on the calendar, do you see a license to gluttonize yourself? “Volume eating does not make for a smart cheat meal,” Sandler says. “Your body is craving fat and sugar but since you have been keeping those on the low, it cannot possibly digest and burn its way through a large pile of food. Keep it simple and manageable on cheat day — a burger and fries should do the trick.”
7. Sleep More
“Be asleep in bed by 10 pm nightly,” suggests Eric the Trainer. “All physical transformation occurs during sleep and the hours prior to midnight are key in that process.” Aim for 7-9 hours per night to allow your body ample recovery time. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that after four nights of sleep deprivation, the body’s overall ability to respond to insulin properly decreased by an average of 16%, which leads to fat storage and can lead to Type II diabetes.
8. Increase The Intensity
Long, slow cardio all the time may not work as well for optimizing fat loss but some people are still not believers. Ryno says, “You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym everyday to get maximum benefits. Research from the Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University showed that as little as three, 11-minute intense strength training workouts a week led to an increase in fat burn at rest, and an increase in energy expenditure throughout the day.”
9. Jump Rope
Jumping rope can burn up to 1000 calories per hour, depending on your tempo, style and experience level, making it one of the most efficient fat-burning workouts available. Jumping rope is also easier on connective tissues and the central nervous system. It also optimizes conditioning and maximizes athletic skills by combining agility, coordination, timing, and endurance. Jump ropes are portable and inexpensive and can be purchased for less than $10. If you go on vacation, throw your jump rope in your bag and you have no excuse to not do your conditioning work.”
10. Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training
PHA training calls for you to train non-related body parts in order to keep moving and to keep your heart rate and lactic acid clearance high. Think of it as a circuit but with specific guidelines that allow you to continue moving at a high level for 15-20 minutes (or more for advanced trainers). The goal is to shunt blood up and down the body, this is extremely taxing on the cardiovascular system but it also improves metabolic rate and burns more body-fat.
Because each sequential body part covered in each sequence is getting adequate rest between each circuit, strength will be conserved allowing close to maximal strength to be exhibited on the sequential bout. Even though your heart will likely beat at over 150 beats per minute throughout the entire workout, this does not give you a license to lower weights!
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With that said, “We have great challenges and great opportunities, and with your help, we will meet them together!” – Jason