Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Little Spring Cleaning

Spring is upon us, and as usual, gym goers everywhere start focusing on their body composition and making sure they are in good enough shape to rock that bathing suit for the summer. But are they doing everything they can in order to get their body composition to an ideal state?

What it all boils down to when it comes to altering ones body, in terms of fat loss, is diet. I don't mean diet as is restrict everything and cut down calories. I really hate that word, "diet." "Diet" seems to equal "restriction," and that's not what it is all about. Diet should just be what you eat on a day to day basis. Lets call it proper nutrition, or lifestyle change. It has been said that this aspect can be anywhere from 60% to 80% of the fat loss equation. This is most definitely true as YOU CAN'T OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET!! Reign in that nutrition pillar, and results should follow.

The next aspect that is also super important is your training/exercise.

Nutrition + Exercise = Awesomeness
Movement is the key to burning calories. The more you move, the better. However this is not an open invitation to just mindless go about walking on a treadmill or ellipticalling (yea i made up a word, so what) on an elliptical. I'm talking real movement, real training sessions.
Finally, sometimes the body needs a little push in the right direction and that is where minor supplementation can come in. I am not suggesting taking silly fat burners, because if you read the article from last Fridays, "Fitness Friday," you would know that most if not all fat burners are bogus. However, that's not to say that there are ways to boost your metabolism in one way or another.
First and foremost, get rid of the crap in your diet. Eliminating processed food from your diet will go a long way towards getting you towards your goals. Sometimes this is a hard step as people have grown accustomed to their processed foods. If you start to look at your body as a luxury car, and you should, you wouldn't want to put toxic sludge or crappy fuel into it. You'd want to fill it with the best, cleanest fuel possible. Do the same with your body.
Are you eating enough fat? Seriously are you? I'm talking healthy fats, not garbage fats and Omega 3's are one of the top fats to be taking. This is because all cells have a fat layer to them (cell wall), and the production of certain hormones needs those healthy fats. So don't skimp on the fat.
Protein is key! It is filling and aids in muscle repair from your workouts.
Eat your veggies! Seriously, fill up on those vegetables.
DO NOT DRINK YOUR CALORIES- Stick to water and tea (green tea especially). Staying hydrated creates an ideal environment for you body to burn fat. Try aiming for about 1/2 your body-weight in ounces to drink each day. Maybe a little more.
Sounds like a lot to keep track of and follow, but it'll be worth it in the end, and changing little habits now will go a long way to making habits permanent.
Your training and workout sessions should be intense and full of movement. And movement doesn't just have to come in the gym. It can come anywhere at anytime. Sports, walking, random back levers and human flags at the park scaring the little kids away. Movement is everything.
Another key aspect to your training is to train hard, train heavy. This is important to induce hormonal responses that are conducive to fat burning.
Lastly, intense circuits and intervals that tap into an anaerobic response will ignite your fat burning furnace even further.
I rarely if ever suggest supplements as you should be getting most vitamins and minerals in your daily nutrition strategy. However, sometimes there is a need for it. The top supplement that I can suggest for fat loss is Omega-3 fish oil. Again this goes back to making sure you're eating those healthy fats.  This will reduce the inflammation that occurs in your body on a daily basis. 
Speaking of diet, supplementing your protein intake with a quality protein supplement (whey protein powder) ensures that you will get enough protein in your diet. Use it in your shakes or oatmeal, or really anything. Ive been using it to make pancakes, shakes, I've even seen brownies and ice cream made with it. So possibilities are endless.
Vitamin B is also huge when it comes to fat loss as well, so think about incorporating that as well if you are deficient. 
I know this is a lot to handle in one post, but little changes over time can make a huge difference.  Take on one habit at a time, and slowly it'll build and become routine. 
"I didn't say it was going to be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it"

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