I think I was in the best shape of my life when I was playing lots of pickup basketball. I used to hoop 4-5 days of the week. Must do more of that! 6 years ago
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Snacking on junk food a problem for you?
Here’s an idea. Keep a supply of fresh fruit handy. When you feel the urge for that candy, chocolate, or those potato chips then go ahead and have some-give in to the temptation-but first eat 1 small piece of fruit and drink half a glass of water….
You’ll definitely eat a lot less of the junk before you’re sated – and you may decide you don’t want the junk food at all!
TRY IT – I dare you. 6 years ago
Key 4: recovery time, sleep, rest days
Key 3: walking/cardio, resistance training, ease into it
Key 2: eat quality, eat more often, eat cheat meals
Key 1: synergy, 2 & 3 & 4 together = big results 7 years ago
Once you’re eating well and have some cardio and resistance training in your exercise routine you need to make sure you’re getting enough rest. Some things to consider.
High intensity exercise stresses and damages your body which then uses rest and recovery periods to adapt for future stress. In other words to grow muscle, improve your cardiovascular systems etc. If you don’t rest after exercise, you won’t get the full benefit.
Power tip 1: Muscles need more than 1 day’s rest to gain the benefits from exercise.
So as an example if you’re doing biceps curls with weights… doing them every second day is far preferable to doing them every day. Every third day might be better still. The same advice applies to press-ups, ab crunches, etc.
Power tip 2: Sleep. If you’re sleep deprived you will have elevated levels of stress related hormones such as cortisol. This is muscle destroying and fat gathering. Exactly what you don’t want. So give up the late nights on 43 Things and get some sleep!
Power tip 3: Rest days/weeks. You need these in your program to prevent injury and allow your immune system to recover. Intense exercise depresses your immune system. That is why runners and sports people are often hit by colds and flu viruses. Exercising 7 days per week x 7 weeks in a row is a recipe for disaster. Plan to take time out to avoid illness and injury.
Okay. I’m off for a nap! 7 years ago
I’m not feeling verbose at present, so here’s the short version.
Firstly, burn calories and rev your metabolism by jogging or walking for 20-30 min approximately 2 days out of every 3. I strongly suggest walking to start with. It’s low impact, and requires almost no equipment or training. Just park the car 10 minutes away from work… 10 min to, 10 min from. Done!
Once you get into it, (after a couple of weeks) walk for longer times, and push the pace, walk briskly and get a sweat up. Some people walk marathons at a faster average pace than I can manage running 5 km. You can walk in the mornings (uggh!) or in the evenings after work. Walk the dog. Walk to the store. Walk. Walk. Walk.
Power tip 1: It shouldn’t be a terrible experience. So many people get into exercise and try to go hard from day one. Feel terrible. Hate it. Then quit a month later. It can be pleasant. Walk regularly and walk fast before you try to jog. Walk 90% and jog the last 10%. Ease into it.
Power tip 2: Team sport. If you used to play basketball, soccer, or something else where you need to move. Get back into a social league.
Secondly, also do some weight training 2 or 3 times a week. If you’re losing fat you want to convince your body to add some muscle, or at least not strip what you have. This means lifting some weights. I can look after my upper body with a simple set of dumbells (hand weights), but I know what I’m doing. If you have never been shown how to lift weights before, you need a trainer or instructor to teach you the right way. Join a gym or get a trainer. You don’t want to injure yourself.
With weights I favour multi-joint free-weight lifts like squats, clean and press, rows etc. If you don’t know what I mean by this, get a trainer or instructor.
I hate gyms by the way. All those posers. But you might love the gym. Give it a go.
To summarise, combine some cardio/aerobic exercise like walking, jogging or skipping, with a little resistance training… and your body will thank you for it. 7 years ago
If you change your diet around to be more healthy or lose weight, chances are you’ll crave the foods you’re used to eating.
Also, if you’re restricting calories to lose weight, your body is going to slow your metabolism and go into “starvation” mode. It’s going to hoard extra calories as fat, and tell you that you need to eat a lot. Now!
Eventually, you give in to cravings, gorge, feel bad… give up altogether. 3 months later you’re back to eating rubbish again and as out of shape as you’ve ever been.
But. A couple of planned cheat meals per week can help you keep up a healthy eating programme over an extended period of time.
Think of it this way. 3 main meals per day X 7 days = 21 meals per week. Eat healthily for 19-20 of them. And allow yourself to eat anything you want for 1 or 2!
They are your “cheat” meals.
So you can go out to dinner with friends on the weekend and have 3 glasses of wine with nibbles, and desert! It’s your cheat meal… no big deal. The rest of the week you’ll be eating healthy. You haven’t broken your diet or fallen off the wagon. No need to feel guilty. Wednesday night you can enjoy that chocolate icecream, or beer and pizza over the game. That’s your second cheat meal.
Another bonus is the extra calories give your metabolism a rev, so your body doesn’t get into starvation mode.
Think of it as 19 steps forward 2 steps back.
That’s 17 steps forward each week.
As opposed to eating junk food every day, maybe 2 out of 3 meals… which would be 7 steps forward and 14 back. That’s 7 steps back each week.
Put 1 or 2 planned cheat meals into your eating program, and you’ll be amazed at how well you can eat over an extended period of time. 7 years ago
Your body wants protein to build & maintain muscle, carbohydrate for fuel, fibre, and good fats and vitamins for deep magic. But, you want chips, candy, chocolate and beer. Probably not all at the same time.Here are two major tips to help turn your diet around
- eat quality more often
- allow cheat meals
What you want to be doing is putting quality food into your mouth on a regular basis between meals, even when you’re not hungry. Especially when you’re not hungry.
When you eat more quality, more often, your body gets more quality food, your metabolism gets “reved” for fat-burning, AND you’re rarely hungry so you can make good main-meal decisions in terms of portion size and food choices.
For the record, I’ll define quality as some combination of low sugar or low GI, high protein, high fibre, low cholesterol, and micronutrient rich.
Here’s how I’m currently doing it…
Breakfast – oatmeal or muesli with honey, nuts, and raisins
Lunch – sandwich, maybe with chicken, egg, salad.
Dinner – meat & vegetables. No desert. Glass of red wine.
- 100% whey protein. 2 shakes per day.
- Fresh fruit. 3 pieces per day.
- Salmon oil capsules. 2 with brekkie, 2 with dinner.
- Multivitamin. 1 tablet every 2nd day.
So I’ll be eating breakfast, fruit, lunch, fruit, shake, dinner, fruit, shake, or some similar combo, which means eight times per day.
Try it. It’s amazing. The hardest thing is making time to eat, throwing 3 pieces of fruit in a bag for the day, and maybe cleaning out the blender when you make your shake. You won’t need to gorge at main meals. You won’t feel hungry.
I’ll post a second entry about cheating. 7 years ago
Synergy is when a bunch of small things work together to create a big effect. A friend of mine recently fed me flour, milk, and cheese (Thanks, Doug!) Very nice in the right combination-cheese scones. Yum! But he wouldn’t have got far if he had missed any of the 3 ingredients. Getting in shape is like baking scones-you need to combine all the key ingredients in the right amounts, or you won’t get far.
The 3 things you must combine correctly to get into shape are:
Eating & Exercise & Rest
This is vital. If you eat well AND Workout intelligently AND allow your body to rest and recover the Magic WILL happen. If you only diet, or only increase your exercise, or flog yourself mercilessly with no recovery periods, then you’ll see changes yes, but only minor ones. It took me a while to understand this. I learnt the hard way. 7 years ago
Getting into shape is reasonably easy if you approach it the right way. Over the last 5 years I’ve been at times in great shape, at others in awful shape. I’ve experimented with various diets, including high carb, low carb, low GI, high protein, and training supplements. More recently I’ve been on the junk food diet!
I’ve been a rabid runner, skipper, weight trainer, martial arts and sports nut. And also a couch potato.
I now have what I consider to be 4 key ideas for getting lean and healthy. Using them I’ve made good progress over the last month, my clothes are already feeling looser. I plan to share the 4 key ideas. One per day. The first idea is “synergy”. 7 years ago