The following tips were written to help you get the most out of your efforts to get in better shape. By following these guidelines your body will be better able to utilize nutrients efficiently, process unwanted fat, and recover from physical exertion. So read-on, get motivated, and be active.
1. Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep stresses the bodily functions, inhibits muscle healing/regeneration, and causes an increased production of the hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol in the body cause muscle cannibalization/degeneration and increase fat storage/retention.
2. Spread your calorie intake out throughout the day. Every time you eat a meal your metabolism increases to process the food. You want your metabolism to stay high throughout the day, not go through ‘peaks and valleys’. If you spread your intake of calories out through the day your metabolism will stay higher (thus burning more calories), you will not have the after meal crash, and your body will be able to process the nutrition more efficiently/effectively.
3. Don’t believe the fad diets. Most of the diets out there are trends, and short term solutions that don’t lead to overall healthy life styles. Your body needs carbohydrates for brain function, energy, muscle building, and general functions. Your body needs some (not a lot!) fat in order to burn fat, and for digestion, muscle recovery, and joint health. The rest protein, vitamins, minerals, natural fibers go without saying. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t buy into the money making hype, and quick fixes, don’t deprive your body of what it needs.
4. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, (this is a hard one for me). Alcohol in the system represses production of testosterone (yes, you women need testosterone too!). Low levels of testosterone reduce the ability of the body to build and heal muscles. Building muscle leads to a higher metabolism (i.e. muscle tissue requires more calories for your body to maintain than fat tissue). Additionally if your liver is busy cleaning the alcohol out of your system, it can’t work to process fat into energy and will just store it instead.
5. Drink at least 10 cups of water everyday (and not all at once!). Without water your body cannot metabolize and process fat into energy. Additionally, many times when people have the ‘munchies’ or cravings for food, their body is actually just thirsty. Try drinking a glass of water before you eat a snack to cure your craving.
6. DON’T OVER-TRAIN!! Your body needs time to heal and recover after every workout. If your body never fully heals, you will quickly reach a plateau and stop progressing towards your goal. Additionally over-training leads to feelings of lethargy, and depletes the body’s ability to fight of bacteria and viruses. If you’re sick you won’t be able to train as hard, if at all!
7. Don’t push yourself so hard you no longer enjoy your life. You need to enjoy what you eat, and have fun with your exercise. If you don’t you will lose motivation, not push yourself as hard, burn out, and stop progressing. Vary your exercises and foods, we don’t want all of your hard work to be for nothing if after a couple months you burn out and lose interest, we’re working to build long term habits.
8. Don’t be discouraged if your weight increases after you have been working out for a while, (your clothes may even get a touch more snug). Your body is building muscle….. muscle weighs more than fat…. and muscle is not compressed as easily as fat. So don’t lose heart, keep pressing; when you have your body fat checked, even if your weight increases, your body fat % should go down!
9. Don’t concern yourself with your daily weight; depending on your build, your body weight will naturally fluctuate 2-5 lbs every day due to water retention and digestive processes. So don’t let short term weight gains discourage you, look for long term averages. And remember, muscle weighs more than fat, so until your metabolism catches up, you may increase in weight.
10. Try to spread your exercise out throughout the day, (Example: do 10 mins of stretching in the morning, 20 mins of cardio around lunch, and 30 mins of circuit training right after work). This will keep your metabolism up throughout the day, and will help your push yourself harder during your shorter exercise periods.
Tags:10 Tips for Losing Body Fat Percentage