Get leaner, faster (with these easy to maintain practices)
I cringe at the thought of that title because you guys will know by now that I actually despise quick fixes and the ever constant focus that is placed on aesthetics and body fat (or a lack there of). I believe that the key to health and fitness sustainability lies in your intention. Focus upon feeling better, stronger and more skilful and you’ll always feel good about our training and nutrition. If being ‘slimmer’ is your only or number one reason to train or eat clean then your motivation will be at the mercy of a fluctuating self esteem. Add being a Cancerian to the mix and you’re guaranteed an undulating emotions and therefore emotional cravings regardless of self esteem. #shoutouttothewatersigns
However, that being said, the five tips I am about to share with you, will help you both short term and long term. They are very healthy practices that will only enhance your life if you take them on consistently.
But sometimes what gets us on to a long term path is seeing the changes that can occur in a short space of time. So here they are:
- Hydration: Drink 4+ Litres of water per day. Now while it’s not imperative for you to drink that much water (as we can often get water from our foods) it does ensure that you’re adequately hydrated. Adequate hydration is imperative for fat loss and not just that, a leaner looking body. More often than not, looking puffy or undefined is related to water retention a common symptom of dehydration. Water also supports the kidney’s to do their job properly, allowing them to eliminate toxins. A high build up of toxins can also lead to fluid retention. Get that water down throughout the day particularly if you’re struggling with a little bit of retention. Adding a teeny bit of Sea Salt to the water will help you to stay hydrated too (but not too much, just a pinch).
- Drop the booze: As a health professional I always feel this pressure to justify peoples cultural need to drink. But I can’t, in fact if you really want to get leaner, alcohol is absolutely a big obstacle, staring you right in the face, waving it’s high-caloric poisonous arms around. We slandered carbs as the bad guy but happily turned a blind eye to the blatant disruption and havoc that consistent alcoholic consumption can have. Now, I get that this may not be a long term possibility but if you want to be leaner in a short period of time, stop trying to out drink Russell Brand (well, the ‘old’ Russell, he’s changed now). Just try two weeks for me - including weekends. You will see and feel results.
- Eat your starchy carbohydrates and sugars after weights workouts: When you lift weight, you use up the glycogen stores within the muscle to fuel the movement. When you finish a heavy (which I recognise is relative) weights workout you actually want to raise insulin to shuttle amino acids and glycogen back into the muscles for recovery. How can you do that? By consuming starchy, relatively high GI carbohydrates - think sweet fruits in a post workout protein shake or your protein choice with a nice big serving of baked sweet potato, or if you really can’t be assed, a scoop of protein and a scoop of dextrose in a shaker with water. A big sugar spike post weights workout will raise insulin at the right time to support muscle growth. Might I remind you that muscle growth is also what you mean when you say you want more definition, it’s not ‘getting bulky’. You can’t just drop body fat and expect their to be some shape under there - unless you’re going for that whole skinny fat look which is fine too but this is the wrong website to be on for that. Try TracyAnderson.com 😉 Kidding (but not really). The other benefit to doing this, is that you still get to have carbs in your diet, you just make use of them at the right time. They are important for brain and metabolic function so removing them from the diet completely can actually slow down the process of fat loss.
- Go High protein and Fat post HIIT and Cardio: After a HIIT/Cardio session you actually want to keep insulin levels relatively low so that you don’t switch on storage. So think protein shake with water or mylk and cinnamon (to help lower blood sugar), or just simple protein like eggs and avocado with some greens (because less pants more plants).
- Have protein with every meal: If you’re not counting your Macros, use the hand method of eating: 1 x protein portion the size of your palm and 2 x fist full of veggies at every meal. It really helps to keep portions both bespoke for you, but also consistent. Protein helps to produce and stimulate the wonderful neurotransmitter Dopamine which will help you to feel motivated, both in general for life, and for your workout! It will also satisfy you for longer meaning you’ll be less likely to reach for those crisps to pick you up at 3pm.
Take a calendar and mark out the 14 days that you’re going to stick to these tips verbatim. Let me know how you feel and look. Combine it with a regular weights, cardio and stretch regime and BOOM, you’ll be surprised at how incredible you’ll feel.
Remember these aren’t dangerous practices, I would NEVER recommend a crazy juice diet with lemons for breakfast and enemas for dinner because not only is it not sustainable (and risky if you’ve got to get on a busy tube), it’s highly likely that you will lose muscle, which will negatively effect your metabolism, potentially slowing it down.
After the 14 days, take note of how you feel and hey, if you feel good - why stop there?
Health is attainable but only if it’s sustainable.