Posted by personaltrainersscottsdale.com | Posted in Fitness, Health & Wellness, Nutrition | Posted on 13-01-2011
If you’re like most people you probably wanna lose a few pounds or at least “tone” up. And if you’re like most people you also want instant gratification. You wanna get there fast. You want results and you want ‘em now.
Whether you’re trying to lose some serious weight or you’re just trying to tighten up your physique, chances are there are a few things that you could be doing that don’t take a lot of effort, but do yield some pretty cool results.
For those who want (or need) to lose some serious pounds, these tips can serve as an easy starting point and you can build up momentum and consistency as you go along.
For the folks who just want to fine tune their body or their appearance, these tips may be enough to get you most of the way there.
1. Grab some CLA
Conjugated linulaic acid or “CLA” is a super powerful supplement with a ton of benefits. One of the most incredible of those is it’s ability to help the body metabolize fat more efficiently, AKA burning fat. Recent research studies shows that when over several months CLA can have a profound impact on fat loss. People using CLA steadily for up to one year have been able to decrease body fat by as much as 5-10%. What’s even more impressive about CLA’s fat burning effect? It has an uncanny ability to target abdominal fat and most likely has a positive impact on hip and thigh fat in women.
2. Sip a (protein) Shake
If you’ve been following the health and fitness trends for a while now, one thing you’ve probably noticed is that eating frequent, small meals throughout the day and consuming an adequate amount of protein over the course of the day are two pieces of advice that have been shoved in your face constantly. It’s enough to make you wanna ditch the diet and go binge on a box of donuts, right? Wrong. You keep hearing these things because, well, they work. One little caveat is that there are some other options aside from constantly eating all day that also work (and some recent evidence shows that the six-meal-a-day habit may not be as effective as once thought), but eating small meals is still a good strategy – especially if combined with others. Another good strategy (and one that’s not likely to be argued over anytime soon) is to consume moderate to high levels of protein at consistent intervals throughout the day if you’re looking to stay lean or add some muscle mass.
So why the protein shake, exactly? Easy. Although a lotta folks think that protein shakes are just for muscle heads or athletes, the simple fact remains: protein shakes are awesome for everybody because they provide an easy, portable, and complete protein source for people who are busy on the or just want something convenient. When it comes to protein powders, whey is pretty good when it comes to filling up the blender post-workout. But for those who want something even better than the plain ‘ol whey that can be used as an even more efficient protein choice any time of day, a powder that includes a blend of proteins is the best bet. A high quality protein that includes whey, casein, and even egg albumin proteins gives you several sources of muscle-building amino acids that will all digest at different rates to give you both an immediate and sustained amino acid IV-esque drip that will keep your metabolism revving and your muscles happy throughout the day.
3. Fast Intermittently
When people think about “fasting” they often picture some strange extreme lemon-flavored water fast where they suddenly say bye bye to food few several days or more. Not only are unplanned, spontaneous fasts like this stupid (and dangerous for some), but they are also ineffective, at least when it comes to the long term. A better solution? Intermittent fasting. This type of fasting is different than your typical juicer-only diet in that it not only can help you lose weight, but it allows you to burn fat while sparing muscle – and it still lets you eat “normal” foods. Another benefit? Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting can reduce mortality risks via it’s positive effects on insulin release (and sensitivity) thereby extending lifespan.
So how do you do it?
There are a few strategies but here are the basic guidelines of the easiest way to try intermittent fasting:
1. Eat a normal amount of calories (as many meals as you would like, but at least three) from the hours of 10AM to 6PM
2. Consume a high protein meal that contains egg and or casein proteins as your last meal at around 6PM. Whole hardboiled eggs and cottage cheese are great choices.
3. Do not eat any foods from 6PM until 10AM the next morning. Keep in mind that you will be sleeping or in a pretty inactive state for much of this time so it is not as hard as you think…
4. (…Except for this step which can be a little tricky) If your schedule allows – and you want to crank up the notch on fat burning – then try a “fasted” workout when you wakeup. This ideally should be done so that you are finished with the workout at 10AM and can consume a wholesome meal directly after.
5. Consume a high protein, high carb breakfast and repeat steps 1-5 until the desired results are achieved.
*Note: consume a food containing about 10 grams of BCAAs before your morning workout if you want to make this protocol more effective. This will guard against muscle breakdown and help stabilize blood sugar levels. It will also give your would-be-sloppy workouts a little extra oomph. The best way to get those 10 grams of BCAAs? Consume a simple protein shake (just protein mixed with water) that contains about 30 grams of protein. (this will probably be about 1-2 scoops depending on the brand)
Want an extra trick to keep you in line? Sip lemon water (just iced water with sliced lemons) throughout the day. It will help fight hunger, keep you hydrated and may help with fat burning.
4. Drastically reduce your Carb intake (but only for a few days)
Cutting carbs can be tricky for people most of the time and that’s part of the reason doing it for just a few days is smart: you’ll see results – yes, even in a few days – and you won’t be depriving yourself for very long, so after the few days are up you can keep going (and see even better results) if you have the motivation to do so. What’s the magic number to shoot for? If you’re trying to get lean really fast, say in a few days to one week, try to take in no more than 50 grams of carbohydrate. Keep in mind that this only works out to about 200 calories in the form of carbs. Obviously you have to take in way more calories than this regardless or gender or weight so the rest of your energy needs to come from fat and protein. In this situation your protein should be very high and your fat intake should be moderate. (this is where following step 2 can help both by controlling those cravings and giving you an easy way to take in high amounts of protein). Since 50 grams of carbs is extremely low I only recommending doing it for short time periods when you want to shed fat ultra fast and are not particularly active (working out hard). If you want to get lean over a longer period of time, say one to three weeks, up your carb intake to around 100 grams per day. This amount is a little easier to get by on over the long haul as it’ll give you more energy and won’t feel as tough mentally. The key while doing this with both examples is to keep protein intake high and consume adequate amounts of water (1-3 gallons depending on body size – yes I said gallons) as that will push your body to get rid of extra toxins. balance electrolyte levels, (it will help with potassium levels particularly) and more efficiently eliminate body fat. The lack of carbs (and presence of tons of water and protein) will prevent not only weight gain but also water retention, so this step (as well as all of the other steps in this post) will help a lot with water retention.
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