Getting lean, healthy, and in the best shape of your life has been made to seem very complicated when really there are simple steps to actually make it happen! Everyone wants to get in better shape, but only few actually know how to do it right. Most people will lose weight then put it right back on quicker than they lost it. Other’s will try but won’t lose any weight at all. But the ones who get in great shape, and stay that way, didn’t just get lucky! It’s not because they are genetically gifted, have more time to do it, or any other excuse that you may come up with. There are plenty of wrong ways to do it, and just a few right ways. They did it right, and it shows. So here I am going to go over the most important aspects to actually shedding body fat, and achieving a great physique for your next vacation, spring break, summer time season, competition, wedding, or simply because you want to live a happier, healthier, more energetic, and attractive life!
#1 The Right Diet For You
Nutrition is the most important part of seeing results from any health or fitness program! It accounts for at least 75% of our results. To lose weight, you need to eat slightly less calories than you burn each day. Unfortunately the majority of the people (usually ones who try to lose weight wrong) think they just need to keep eating less. That is not necessary how to do it! Maybe eat less of the foods they currently are eating, but replace it with healthy options. Some may even need to slightly increase their amounts eaten. If you eat too little, your body won’t give up the fat it has now. Don’t go less than 8 calories per pound of bodyweight each day. Taking out the foods that cause negative effects and replacing them with more nutrient dense options, will keep you feeling more full, and energized, while aiding in burning fat and aid in muscle repair, and tone. Another thing is portion sizes. Americans tend to get so many calories in a single meal from crappy foods, directly causing unwanted weight gain. This is very easy to do when drinking too many sugar filled containing drinks such as soda. All of this added up leads to where you are now. If you’re not happy with where you are now, here are some simple changes to make to actually reach your weight goals.
Make better choices! Everyone’s heard it, and it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Simply change some of the bad foods you’re eating now, and replace it with a healthier option (Click here for Top 10 Foods to Burn Fat and Build Muscle). Your body will thank you for it, and this could make a world of difference. Another change is drinking water. Seriously, if you can’t do this, you just don’t want to better your body. It’s is the simplest, cheapest, and possibly most effective change you can make. Stop drinking sugar filled, high calorie drinks, and drink water instead! About ½ oz per pound of bodyweight every day. For more on this spicific topic, visit Dieting To Look & Feel Your Best.
#2 Exercise You Enjoy
Keeping up with an exercise program will take your health, physique, energy levels, and more to a whole new level! But you need a plan that you will stick with. Don’t just go to some plan, made for experienced lifters, if you are new to it. No matter your experience or level, choose one that is made more specific to your needs and goals, because the best plan, is the one you actually do! Exercise should be done 3 – 5 times per week (6 days for more advanced lifters) with sessions lasting 45 – 60 minutes. Much longer, and you can start to produce higher cortisol levels, causing catabolic effects. When it comes to losing fat, lifting is so important. Performing exercises with resistance cause your muscles to work slightly tear, which in turn need to heal. This means you body will be working to repair and rebuild the muscle tissue for the following 24 – 48 hours, which increases calorie burn. If you are serious about losing weight, improving muscle tone, and body composition, lifting is a very important part of your program!
Many people try to lose weight, to get six pack abs, which is a great goal! But understand that you must also train abs to build them and get them to show. They are a muscle group like any other, but can be trained a little differently for optimal results. For more on Abs Training, visit 3 Important Tips For Abs or Abs Training For Beginners
#3 Cardio That You’ll Do
Cardio is obviously an important means to losing body fat. It is also the most well known one. Just get on the treadmill and go, right!? True, but that can sound awful for many people, and there are many other forms of cardio that can be even more beneficial! Some other forms of steady state cardio are jogging out site, bike ride, swimming, rowing machine, stair master, or even a hike or walk. You need to pick one or more that you will enjoy and stick with for 3 – 5 days per week for 30 minutes per day. Just because you don’t like the treadmill, doesn’t mean cardio isn’t for you! Another form of cardio is interval training. (H.I.I.T.) This has been proven to be the most beneficial and quickest form of cardio. It burns the most fat around the abdominal area, can improve muscle tone, increase heart health, and the list goes on. It is a form of training where you perform maximum effort for 30 – 120 seconds, followed by resting for 30 – 120 seconds. Exercises include sprints, battle ropes, punching bag, burpees, swim sprints, or anything else you can get your heart rate up close to your max. This can be done in 15 – 20 minutes about 2 times per week.
#4 Putting It All Together
Doing all of this makes for some simple steps towards becoming much healthier, happier, energetic, and achieving an even better body! Nutrition is the fuel you put into your body, and by eating the right foods, you can see more beneficial change than ever before. Exercise is a key point to fat loss and muscle tone as you can literally improve every aspect of your bodies physique, and greatly increase daily calories burned. Lastly the right cardio for you will aid in fat burn, heart health, and more. These all have to just be a way that is right for you, because if you enjoy it, you will stick with it to see the results, and lose the weight you are looking to lose. Always remember why you started, and don’t give up when it gets tough. Because once you’ve done it, you’ll realize how great it really is!
As I’ve stated, it can be hard to come up with the right program and routine for you. Most people end up taking years to realize what works for them, which is why I am here to help. If you are interested doing it the right way now simply check out my Meal Plans and/or Training Programs to see how you can get a plan made specifically for you and your goals!
When it comes to losing weight or building muscle, your diet comes into play quite a bit! About 75% of your physique changes, wether good or bad, come from how you are eating! So what should you do to get the most out of each meal for positive health changes, and to produce maximum results in the gym or on the field? Through this post you will learn what type of diet will best accommodate a healthy individual to reach his or her health and fitness goals!
It all starts with the goal you have in mind! Without that, it is very hard to decide what rout to take and focus on. So first decide what you want to get out of your exercise and nutrition! Do you want to lose weight, build muscle, or simply maintain a slim healthy athletic body? When you know which of these appeal to you most, you can focus on what is needed to accomplish it.
Like most people who go to the gym and eat healthy, your main focus is to lose weight by burning more fat! Thats great! Congratulations on making the right choice by learning how to do it correctly! When it comes to achieving that goal, the diet is huge! Which is soon how you will no longer feel! This is where a lower carbohydrate diet works well. I am not saying to cut out carbs completely, but limit the amount you eat, and stick to healthier, complex carbohydrate choices. These include sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, vegetables, and more. Fruits are also a good part of a meal, but should be limited as well as they are a more simple carb containing mostly sugars. What people tend to over look is this. Decreasing carbohydrates takes away from your bodies most immediate source of energy. So you should be replacing some of those carbs with healthy fats. This will increase your energy levels, along with boosting your beta oxidation (metabolizing fats). These healthy fats consist of avocado, nuts, coconut oil, and more. So decrease, not eliminate, your carbohydrate intake (no to less than 100 grams per day though) and slightly increase your healthy fats intake. Just keep an eye on your portion control when it comes to using fats as part of your meal. I like using slightly less than 1 – 2 tbsp at a time.
Gain Weight (Build Muscle)
So, you’re already feeling pretty lean, and want to build up some more muscle mass and overall strength! Awesome! It will take some work and time, but by learning hear how to do it the proper way, it’s almost like taking a short cut, and making all this progress much quicker! For this plan, you will want to consume more carbohydrates as they will aid in a calorie surplus, energy for the gym or practice, and muscle recovery! It is still beneficial to consume mostly complex carbohydrates as listed in the section above. However, as you are building more muscle, it is okay, and actually really good sometimes to throw in some simple carbohydrates such as sugars or white grains before and after a training session! Since you are getting the majority of your calories from carbohydrates with this diet, you will not necessary need to consume a large amount of fats. Save your appetite for more carbs and protein, while keeping fats to only 20% of your total daily calories.
Maintaining What You’ve Got
You’ve put in the hard work, and are proud or content with what you have done for yourself. At least for the time being. That’s really good! Be proud of yourself, and don’t let is slip away! This diet is a little easier to maintain, as you do not need to drastically cut anything out, nor do you need to force yourself to eat more in order to make changes. If you are simply trying to maintain the body you already have, you should keep your total daily calories at a comfortable level. This means, eat until you are satisfied, but not overly full! You really don’t need to watch every calorie you consume unless you see a quick fluctuation in your weight, or lifts. Carbohydrates should still include mostly complex carbohydrates, and the majority of fats should come from healthy, unsaturated sources. Maintain a consistent nutrient split of 45% carbs, 30% protein, and 25% fats.
So a good general rule for losing weight is to cut down on carbohydrates, make good choices on the carbs you do eat, slightly increase your healthy fats intake, and drink plenty of water. For gaining weight or building muscle, increase your carb intake, and keep most of them complex carbs from natural food sources, but allow for some simple carbs before and after a training session. Protein intake should remain the same wether you are trying to build muscle, or burn fat. 1 gram per pound of lean bodyweight. This is to aid in protein synthesis, increase muscle recovery, and keep you feeling full and energized! So in the end, they’re not drastic changes! Just adjustments to the choices of foods you eat, which all together can make a big difference in you health, energy levels, physique, and/or performance on the field!
Thank you for reading, and I hope this article helped you understand how to go about your diet to achieve your fitness goals, and the body you really want! For more information or training, please visit my Online Training, Programs, Custom Meal Plans, and other Blog Posts!
Below is a quick look at a basic day of nutrition for a healthy individual looking to lose weight or gaining mass
Weight Loss Diet – Low carb
Breakfast: (Eggs & Oatmeal) – 2 Whole Eggs, 2 Egg Whites, 1/2 Cup Oatmeal (measured dry), Cinnamon and a tsp Stevia in the oats for flavor.
Post Workout: Protein Shake (1 scoop protein isolate mixed in water), and 1 apple, hand full of Almonds.
Lunch: (Grilled chicken salad) – 5oz grilled chicken, Hand full of Spinach, 1 cup of any vegetables, 2 tbsp of any nuts or seeds, 1 tbsp Olive Oil, Optional – Balsamic Vinegar for flavor.
Dinner: 6 oz Fish or Red Meat, 1 Medium (150 grams) Sweet Potato,
Night Snack: 1 Rice Cake, 2 tbsp Peanut or Almond Butter, 1 Scoop Casein Protein Powder mixed in Water.
Mass Gaining Diet – High Carb
Breakfast: (Eggs & Oatmeal) – 2 Whole Eggs, 2 Egg Whites, 1 cup Oatmeal (measured dry), 1 Banana sliced, Cinnamon and a tsp Stevia in the oats for flavor.
Post Workout: Protein Shake (1 scoop protein isolate mixed in water or milk), 2 cups of Cereal.
Lunch: (Grilled chicken and Rice) – 5oz Grilled Chicken, 1.5 cups Rice (measured dry), 1/4 cup of any Vegetables, Optional – Lemon Juice, tsp of your favorite Seasoning.
Snack: (Wrap or Sandwich) – 2 oz Grilled Turkey or Chicken, small hand full Spinach, Tomato slice, 1 Whole Wheat Tortilla or 2 slices of Whole Grain Bread.
Dinner: 6 oz Fish or Red Meat, 1 Large (300 grams) Sweet Potato. 1/2 Cup Black Beans, 1 glass of Milk, Optional – favorite seasoning for flavor.
Night Snack: 1 Rice Cake, 2 tbsp Peanut or Almond Butter, 1/4 Banana sliced, 1 Scoop Casein Protein Powder (mixed in water or milk)
Get back to some of your favorite breakfast foods and make them healthy, high in protein, energizing, and taste great! Here are 8 easy to make protein pancake recipes that you’re sure to love! Each consisting of at least 40 grams of protein!
Instructions for all recipes are the same – Blend all ingredients in a blender or mixing bowl until smooth. Then cook 6 – 8 inch pancakes on a non stick pan over medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes each side.
After cooking, add 1 – 2 tbsp of peanut butter on top
# 3 – 3 Ingredient Power Cakes
1 Cup Egg Whites
1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
# 4 – Pumpkin Pump Up Pancakes
½ Cup Egg Whites
1 Whole Egg
¼ Cup Quick Oats
1 Scoop Vanilla or Pumpkin Protein Powder
Dash or Pumpkin Pie Spice and Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Powder
# 5 – Fruit Filled Pancakes
1 Cup Egg Whites
1 Scoop Vanilla, Banana, or Strawberry Protein Powder
½ a Banana
¼ Cup Sliced Strawberries
1 Tbsp Flax (Oil or Seeds)
# 6 – Blueberry Builders Cakes
¾ Cup Egg Whites
2 Whole Eggs
½ Cup Quick Oats
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
⅓ Cup Vanilla or Blueberry Greek Yogurt
¼ Cup Blueberries
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
# 7 – Power Up Birthday Cake Pancakes
3/4 Cup Egg Whites
1 Whole Egg
1 Scoop Birthday Cake Protein Powder
1 Cup Quick Oats
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Baking Powder
# 8 – Str8 V’nilla Pancakes
½ Cup Egg Whites
1 Whole Egg
1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
Splash of vanilla extract
Video below on Power Up Birthday Cake Pancakes (# 7)
Thank you for checking out the post, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy some of these great protein packed pancake recipes! For more high protein recipes and health and nutrition, please check out my Custom Meal Plans Page, Fit Recipes, and other Blog Posts
Carbs tend to get a bad wrap and whenever people try to lose weight, they try to cut out carbs completely. However, this is actually very unhealthy and can lead to a lot of muscle loss, and even fat retention. Not to mention, can put a fairly large toll on not just your body, but your wallet as well! So here I will be going over how to properly include carbohydrates in your diet so you can still burn fat, build muscle, stay healthy and energized, and all while not spending your entire paycheck on vegetables, chicken, fish, and eggs!
First of all, carbohydrates are your bodies most immediate source of energy. So cutting them completely out will make you feel fatigue, sluggish, and both physically and mentally drained! Making them important to include in your diet. The trick is to keep it at the right amounts, and from the best sources. Your exact amounts per day depend on your body. Height, weight, activity level, metabolism, goals, etc. It is recommended for any healthy individuals to get at least 150 grams of carbohydrates per day, but if you are very lean or more active (exercise 3+ times per week) you will still lose weight by increasing to a maximum of 2 grams per lb of body weight. For example: A healthy, fairly active 150 pound individual who engages in 3 or more days of physical activity for 45+ minutes (pick up game, jog, workout) can still lose weight with 300 grams of carbohydrates per day, while fueling their body with the energy needed to perform!
Best Carbohydrate Sources
There are actually a few categories you can break carbs into. Mostly simple and complex. The simple carbs are sugars and white grains such as white potatoes, white rice, white bread, etc. These are a faster acting carbohydrate and tend to be the “bad carbs”. They can leave you feeling hungry even after you’ve had the calories from them. The complex carbohydrates contain more fiber, a more controlled release for longer lasting sustained energy, and require your metabolism to work a little harder to break down which can lead to more calorie burn. These are the “good carbs” and are found in foods like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, black beans, almonds, and more. Below is a chart of some great complex carb choices with a breakdown on their calorie and macronutrient count.
1/4 Cup (46 g)
1/2 Cup (50 g)
1/2 Cup (55
1/2 Cup (40 g)
1/2 cup (130 g)
Whole Grain Bread
Whole Grain Bagel
1 Rice Cake
Whole Wheat Tortilla
Whole Wheat Pasta
Lastly, trying to maintain a very low carbohydrate diet can get very expensive since the foods you do eat, such as meats, fish, eggs, and healthy fats are more expensive. It is important to keep these foods in your diet to hit your daily protein and fat needs, but if that is all you have, you will need to eat a lot more of it than necessary to meet your overall calorie needs. So including the recommended carbohydrate amounts listed above will help you meet your daily calorie needs to build muscle, burn fat, keep your metabolism going all day long, stay energized, and keep your wallet happy to!
Going to the gym is a great way to help yourself become the best you can be! You can literally improve yourself, your mind set, your health, your physique, and so much more! But what if you’re not helping yourself as much as you’d like to?
Here I will go over 3 simple steps to improve everything about your workout, so you are getting the most out of each training session, and truly helping yourself become the best your can be!
Find Your Plan
Some people go to the gym all the time without any plan. Walk in not knowing what to do, how to do it, or even what their goals are! You need to know what you are working for in order to achieve it! So finding the right plan for you based on your goals will help you progress much faster than trying some random exercises and hoping it works for you. Once you have a definite goal in mind, you can now work towards that goal by performing the best exercise program for yourself. By doing so, each workout will be done with a purpose rather than wasting time or doing more harm than good! So make each gym session count!
Pre Workout Meal
In order to make each workout the best it can be, you need the right nutrients before hitting the gym! Consuming the right pre workout meal about an hour before your workout, you can increase your energy levels, supply your muscle with more nutrients, and be even more productive in a shorter time. You want to mainly focus on getting about 50 – 80 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein before any workout to support protein synthesis, and fuel your muscles for the upcoming training session. This can come from oatmeal, rice, pasta, a beagle, chicken, eggs, beef, and many more options. These amounts should keep you feeling satisfied but not to full throughout your time in the gym. If you plan on taking a pre workout supplement, try having your pre workout meal about 1.5 – 2 hours before your workout. I always feel a pre workout supplement works better when I haven’t eaten for over an hour. Lastly, be sure to drink plenty of water before and during your workout to stay hydrated and focused!
Get Enough Rest
Getting a good workout session is great, and obviously is a big part of your progress! But it is not all that counts. Actually what is most important is how you let your body recover. When you go to the gym, you tear up your muscle fibers which need to heal and become stronger. This does not occur at during your workout. It happens after you leave, and over the next 24 – 48 hours. So make sure you get 7 – 8 hours of sleep if possible to help your body rebuild and re-energize to optimize your next workout. If you haven’t done it yet, it sucks to workout when you’re tired and haven’t allowed your body to recover. And worst of all, you’re not making near as much progress if you don’t get enough sleep. Also, allow about 48 hours for each muscle group you worked to recover, and take 1 – 2 days active rest per week. It help your body catch up and prepare for the coming workouts over the next couple days. A good workout split would look something like this
Monday: Chest and Shoulders
Tuesday: Back and Arms
Thursday: Active Rest – Cardio and some Abs
Friday: Chest and Back
Sunday: Active Rest – Light Cardio and some Abs
Thank you for reading and I hope it helps you optimize your workouts to make yourself even more productive in and out of the gym! For your own result driven science backed workout programs and nutrition guides, feel free to visit my Membership Page for access to my fitness app!
When trying to lose fat, it is important to get a good nutritious meal after a solid workout session. Within in your first hour after your workout is your body’s most efficient window for absorbing and utilizing nutrients for rebuilding muscle tissue and repairing your body. So even when trying to lose weight, you need calories and the best time to get about 300 – 500 in is within one hour post workout! But some things will help more than others!
First off, you want to get a good serving (25 – 30 grams) of protein after any workout session from natural whole foods such as chicken, eggs, turkey, fish, lean beef, or protein powder. This will help build and repair lean muscle tissue while supporting your metabolism so your body can continue to burn calories.
Carbohydrates are something else that are great to get after a workout. Even if you are trying to cut weight, you should not completely cut out carbs! Like protein, the best time to get a good amount of your daily carbs is within an hour after your workout so that your muscle quickly absorbs them and most efficiently ‘utilizes the nutrients. Glucose/Carbs are also going to be a good source of energy so you don’t feel sluggish and tired. Try to get about 30 – 50 grams of carbohydrates post workout to support lean muscle tissue, continue burning calories, and keep your metabolism up with glycolysis (the breakdown of carbohydrates).
Fats are an important part of any healthy weight loss diet. However, you want to hold off on foods that are high in fatty acids for ‘about an hour after your workout. They slow down the breakdown of other nutrients that should be used for quick recovery. But one hour after your post workout, it is good to have a full meal consisting of protein, carbs, and fats. This will continue the muscle healing process, and help keep your metabolism high to continue burning calories. Including the fatty acids will support fat metabolism and help keep you feeling full and energized for a longer period of time!
To help support recovery after a workout, a protein shake and/or amino acids or BCAAs can help with lean muscle support and help re-energize you for a short time after your gym session! Other than that, there are not a lot of post workout supplements you need for losing weight. Most nutrients should come from whole natural foods for best results.
So by getting a nutrient dense meal about an hour after your workout that consists of quality protein, carbohydrates, an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, and plenty of water will help with a quick recovery, along with aiding in a higher metabolism and more calories burned.
Example post workout meal for burning fat:
4 oz Fish with 1/2 cup Rice and 1 cup of Vegetables
Or if your on the go
A Protein Isolate Shake and 1 Apple
Thank you for reading, and I hope it help get you closer to smashing your health, weight, and body goals! For more information, please feel free to visit my Custom Meal Plans Page and get on the right track now!