Have you ever felt stuck with your health and fitness and your body refuses to change no matter what you do?
I know it can be confusing.
Over the past several years, I’ve helped hundreds of men and women to take control of their health and fitness and it’s my goal to share what I’ve learnt with you. I have thus distilled my go-to ways to help you get leaner and fitter fast.
So, let’s jump in.
Focus on resistance training
Weight training is the key that can unlock your fat loss.
You do a bit of cardio and some dieting to help shed the stubborn fat around your stomach but how effective is it?
Relying on cardio as the driver to your fitness and health is a big mistake that’s bound to lead to frustrations.
Resistance training helps you build lean muscles. This helps keep your metabolism high throughout the day. When you lift weights, you break down muscle tissue which takes at least 48 hours to heal and recover. When the muscles recover after a workout, they become stronger and leaner.
Lifting heavy weights strengthens your muscles giving them that toned and fit appearance. So, if you only have to choose one form of exercise, go for resistance training at any time.
Focus on fat loss, not weight loss
Do you want to lose weight or burn fat?
You might think this is the same thing. No. These two are different and can have a big impact on your mood and results.
Whatever you focus on might determine your long-term results and your state of mind.
If the number on the scale goes down, it makes you happy. If it goes up, it messes up your entire day and can lead to despair and reduce your motivation.
But, when your focus is on fat loss, you’ll be more concerned with the fit of your clothes and how you look in the mirror.
This should be your focus.
Your weight might be higher on the scale but if your clothes fit well you are on the right track. You’ll have peace of mind and you will be able to reach your goals faster because of having a laser focus.
Eat adequate protein
Of the three macronutrients, -proteins, carbs and fats, – protein is the most important. You can cut out carbs and fats from your food and be okay without them but you cannot do without protein.
This does not mean you should cut any food group to be healthy. The best way is to increase your protein intake and reduce your fats and carbs. Take time to assess your diet, you’ll realize that it’s almost eighty per cent carbs and fats.
When you increase your protein, -more lean meats, dairy, legumes, and nuts,-you tend to eat fewer carbs. In effect, you will shed weight and become lean without the need to go on extreme diets.
So, bump up your protein intake starting today if you want the fat to melt from your body.
Track your food intake.
Have you ever tried estimating the number of calories you eat in a day? If you haven’t, this is a good time to do it because it will be an eye-opening experience. You’ll find out that you’ve been underestimating your food intake all along.
We all underestimate how much food we eat and overestimate how much we exercise.
And, this is the reason why food tracking is the best tool to give you a clear picture of what you need to do to better your health and fitness.
So, track everything you eat and drink for one week. You can use a piece of paper or one of the many food tracking apps available on the app store.
You’ll become conscious of whatever you eat and how each food affects your feelings and, you’ll end up making better food choices as a result.
Get into a calorie deficit
Closely related tracking your food is cutting down your calorie intake.
It’s difficult to become lean and fit without having a good grasp of how much food you are eating daily. After tracking your intake for at least a week, your next step will be to cut down your total intake.
Aim for 1600 calories for women and 1800 calories for men basing on your tracking results.
For now, don’t bother very much about the percentage for each macronutrient. Your focus should be to hit your target intake per day. Do this consistently and your body will start to change.
Eat clean as possible
So many people have written about eating a clean healthy diet but what does it mean?
Clean eating is making sure that whatever you eat is not processed and is its natural state or as close to the way it appears in nature as possible.
The first step is to remove all junk from your home. This includes foods such as bacon, sausages, hotdogs, white bread, fruit juices et cetera. The reason behind this is that if you don’t have junk in your home, you won’t have it.
Stock up instead on a variety of fruits and vegetables and eat as much as you want. You can never eat enough veggies. When you feel like snacking, grab an apple.
Always make sure you fill up your plate with veggies. You will a result eat less and become leaner over time.
Increase your non-exercise activity
What do you do for the rest of the day after your morning workout?
For most people it’s nothing.
When you exercise and then spend the rest of the day sitting at your desk, you in effect undo all the gains you might have gotten from your workout.
Sitting for long periods is bad for your health and is equal to cigarettes smoking.
So, if you work out three times a week, that’s the first step. Look into how you spend the rest of your day and plan to add ten-minute walks whenever you get the opportunity.
Other ways to do this to park your car farther from your office and to always use the stairs instead of the lift. These mini activities do add up with time and will increase your daily activity levels.
The more you move the more calories you’ll burn. As a result, you will increase your fitness levels and improve your health.
Increase your intensity. Do high-intensity interval training
High-intensity interval training is one of the best ways to shed fat and lean up in the shortest time possible.
Most people associate HIIT with jumping exercises like burpees and jump squats. They are as a result afraid to even attempt it out of fear of injury or because the workouts look tough.
In all my years as a fitness trainer, I’ve never met a person, no matter their fitness level, who couldn’t manage to do a HIIT workout of some kind.
The most important thing is to understand your body and your abilities.
If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to start by jumping around in the name of doing HIIT. Search online for low impact HIIT workouts that can help you burn fat and increase your fitness levels.
For example, alternating between a fast and a slow walk for thirty minutes is a simple beginner HIIT workout anyone can do.
If you’re advanced, no sweat. Sprint for a minute and walk for a minute and a half for at least 30 minutes.
Don’t skimp on your sleep
Lack of sleep affects the rate at which you lose fat.
When you don’t get at least 6-7 hours of sleep per night, the level of cortisol in your blood increases and stays high.
Cortisol is a fat-storing hormone. If this hormone remains high all the time because of lack of sleep and stress, your body will hold on and store fat.
So, to become leaner especially around your midsection, get enough sleep.
Have a regular sleep routine that you adhere to at all times. Go to bed and wake up at the same time. Cut caffeine later in the day and remove all electronic devices from your bedroom at sleep time.
These tips might be simple but they are effective.
They can change your health and life if you take the time to apply them every single day.
Here’s my challenge to you.
Pick one of these tips and start working on it now. Remember, nothing happens unless you take action and do it with consistency. Choose whatever works for you and keep at it for a month. After four weeks, reassess and make the necessary adjustments.
If you have any question about these tips, shoot it in the comments section below or reach me via email.