Kick it up a notch
The next time you run, swim, or even walk, ramp up the intensity for 30-second intervals, returning to your normal speed afterward. Using this strategy will help you consume more oxygen and make your cell powerhouses, the mitochondria, work harder to burn energy.
Get your omega-3's
Why does eating lots of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, and tuna) help amp up metabolism? Omega-3s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate metabolism. They may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which researchers have linked to how fast fat is burned.
Make some muscle
Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but it uses more energy, too. The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day.
Turn to (green) tea
Green tea has long been heralded for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin, may crank up metabolism. Researchers conducted a series of studies in dieters and found that those who replaced their English Tea for green lost more weight than those who didn't, suggesting that catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body's production of energy, or heat, from digestion.
Enjoy the afterburn
Exercise is a gift to yourself that keeps on giving. In a phenomenon known as excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), your body can take hours to recover from a robust workout (one intense enough that you can't hold a conversation) and return to its previous resting metabolic rate. The windfall: Your body is actually burning more calories than it normally would—even after you've finished exercising.
Get started in the a.m.
Make sure you eat breakfast. Eating a nutrient-rich morning meal (like oatmeal with almonds and berries, or a spinach-and-feta omelet with a slice of whole-grain toast) shortly after getting out of bed literally wakes up your metabolism. Eating breakfast gets the engine going and keeps it going!
Your body digests protein more slowly than fat or carbs, so you feel full longer (this is especially true when you have it for breakfast). Plus, it may also give your metabolism a bump. In a process called thermogenesis, your body uses about 10% of its calorie intake for digestion. So, because it takes longer to burn protein than carbs or fat, your body expends more energy absorbing the nutrients in a high-protein diet.
Trim the trans fat
You’ve heard they're bad for you. But trans fats also slow down your body's ability to burn fat. They have an altered shape and make your biochemistry run funny. Trans fat binds to fat and liver cells and slows metabolism. Eating trans fat can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which cripple metabolism and can cause weight gain.
If you want to feel healthy all year long, a high level of motivation is necessary. Not only will it help you get the most out of your workouts once you're at the gym, but it's what gets you there in the first place week after week.
Here are some tips to help you stay incredibly motivated to reach your fitness and sport performance goals, no matter what season it is.
Write down your goals.
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Get specific about what you want to accomplish, how much time each week you'll spend at the gym and your main motivators for staying committed to your personal fitness. Be as clear as possible with exactly what your goals are and why you want each of them.
For example, most people want to be "healthier," but go ahead and write down tangible ways you could measure that at the end of each week. Perhaps it's better sleep, more energy or improved muscle tone. Decide how many workouts each week would get you there (and keep it reasonable to avoid burnout). This will help you keep pushing even on a week when you feel particularly unmotivated.
Share your intentions and schedule with those who can hold you accountable.
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Go tell someone, or even a lot of people, what you want to accomplish. Research shows that the more you tell others about your plans to make a change, the more likely you will stick with it. Tell people what you want to happen, what you expect out of yourself and ask them to check up on you.
Spread the word easily through social media. If you can, form an online community, create a Facebook group or write a blog so that you have to check in with others on a regular basis.(And remember, hashtag #mw5fitness)!!
Commit to a specific workout program.
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Try a new plan, sign up for a trial membership or join a fitness club or sports team. Do whatever you have to in order to get on a set and scheduled plan. All of these options will help you feel like you have a greater purpose and more accountability in your workouts, which will help on the days you're tempted to skip out.
Plus, it will help you take the guesswork out of what you're going to do each day, which can drain your energy before you even start the workout.
Hire a coach.
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If you're completely new to working out, or you're a gym rat ready for more guidance, seek someone who can help you with a proper assessment, program, modifications and progressions. This person will also challenge and encourage you to stay on track with your specific goals.
Vary your training.
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Try new things, go to new classes and be open to different methods of working out. Get creative and mix it up so that you can continue to be challenged, which will keep your motivation high.
If you're big on cardio, try a month or two of weight-focused workouts. Or if you usually do HIIT workouts, make a switch to relaxing and calming yoga classes. Not only will these changes keep you interested, but you'll also keep your muscles guessing, which will encourage the adaptations you're after.
Change your language.
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You likely don't "have" to workout, but instead, you get to and are able to. Look at your workouts as a gift—an opportunity to take care of your body and push yourself so that you can be better in all areas of your life. Not everyone is as healthy or fortunate to be able to move their bodies when and however they want.
Keep your self-talk positive so that your inner dialogue is helping you instead of holding you back.
Surround yourself with amazing people.
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The people you workout with can have a huge influence on you. Make sure that they are encouraging, motivating, fun to be around and committed. Consider getting a regular workout buddy at your gym or in your workplace, who you can meet for a few runs or workout sessions each week.
Build in a rewards system.
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This is a great tool to have in your back pocket for days that feel particularly monotonous.
Figure out an enticing reward that will push you to the gym. It could be buying a new piece of clothing that shows off a muscle group you've been working on or a nice dress for the next special occasion.. Keep that image in your mind on your journey to the session.
Whether you're paleo, vegan, or count macros, everybody needs protein. Build muscle, control hunger, and banish taste bud boredom with the definitive list of high-protein foods for all diets.
Protein builds your body. It creates muscle. It controls hunger. Win-win. Eating enough is key, but so is variety, since each protein has its own combination of amino acids. Go beyond the chicken zone with these great protein picks.
1. Greek Yogurt
Protein Power: 23 g per 8 oz. serving
Greek has become such a popular yogurt choice because it has twice as much protein as other types of yogurt. It's also rich in calcium and probiotic bacteria, which is great for gut health. Look for plain Greek yogurt to keep sugar in check.
2. Cottage Cheese
Protein Power: 14g per 1/2 cup serving
Make cottage cheese your go-to protein for a late-night snack. It's high in casein, a dairy protein that digests more slowly than whey. This accomplishes two goals: It feeds your muscles all night so they don't catabolize, and it keeps you from waking up starving at 3 a.m.
3. Swiss Cheese
Protein Power: 8 g per 1 oz. serving
Ounce for ounce, Swiss cheese provides more protein than other commonly available varieties in the supermarket, making it a muscle-friendly option for your sandwiches and burgers. If you're concerned about the calorie density of full-fat Swiss, low-fat versions have a protein-to-fat ratio of around 8-to-1 while still providing good flavor.
Protein Power: 6 g per 1 large egg
These white orbs are a near-perfect muscle food: cheap, versatile, and packed with branched-chain amino acids. Look for eggs fortified with extra omega-3 fatty acids to make your morning scramble work even harder for you.
5. Whey Or Casein Protein Powder
Protein Power: 24 g per scoop, on average
Whey protein is one of the cleanest, fastest-digesting proteins on the market. It's also one of the most convenient—just mix it with water in a shaker bottle. Reach for whey whenever you need quick, no-prep protein: after a workout, for an on-the-go breakfast, or alongside a low-protein meal.
If you need something that'll help you hide from hunger a little longer, go for slow-digesting casein powder instead. It won't hit your muscles as fast, but it can keep you full for hours.
6. Steak (Top Or Bottom Round)
Protein Power: 23 g per 3 oz. serving
These leaner cuts of steak provide a fantastic 1 g of protein for every 7 calories; rib eye, on the other hand, delivers roughly 1 g of protein for every 11 calories. Plus, round steak is considered one of the more economical cuts. Leaner cuts of steak like round and loin will become drier than the Sahara with overcooking, so prepare them quickly over high heat to just medium-rare.
7. Ground Beef (90% Lean)
Protein Power: 18g per 3 oz. serving
Using 90 percent ground beef provides just the right amount of fat so your burgers and meatloaf won't taste like cardboard. Beyond a payload of protein, this red meat is also a good source of the almighty creatine.If you've got some extra cash in your wallet, opt for grass-fed beef, which is more nutrient-dense than its factory-farm counterparts.
8. Pork Chops (Boneless)
Protein Power: 26g per 3 oz. serving
The bounty of muscle-sculpting protein in easy-to-prepare pork chops gives you more than enough of an excuse to pig out on them.Pro tip: Soaking your chops in brine can yield more tender meat. Submerge the meat in a brine made with 1/4 cup salt for every 4 cups of water, and chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
9. Chicken Breast (Boneless And Skinless)
Protein Power: 24 g per 3 oz. serving
This bodybuilding staple delivers more protein than other poultry cuts, which is why it should remain a constant presence in your shopping cart. To keep more greenbacks in your wallet, get chummy with the meat guy at your supermarket, who can give you a heads-up when the poultry is likely to be marked down for quick sale.
10. Turkey Breast
Protein Power: 24 g per 3 oz. serving
As with chicken, this big bird can flood your muscles with a wallop of protein. Like pork chops and chicken breast, turkey breast can benefit from a pre-cook brining. If you're concerned about antibiotic use in large-scale poultry farming, you can look for turkey breast labelled "antibiotic-free."
11. Sockeye Salmon
Protein Power: 23 g per 3 oz. serving
Not only does wild salmon like sockeye taste better than its farmed cousin, it also supplies more protein. In addition, you'll reap the benefits of its plethora of fat-fighting long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Look for salmon with the skin still intact, as it provides added flavor during cooking.
Protein Power: 24 g per 3 oz. serving
Ounce for ounce, these tiny swimmers are the surprising winners when it comes to canned protein. Because of their size, they also don't accumulate toxins the same way that bigger species do. To reduce their saltiness, soak anchovies in water for 30 minutes; then drain and pat dry.
13. Corned Beef
Protein Power: 24 g per 3 oz. serving
The lofty protein levels in this salt-cured beef is sure to, well, beef up your muscles.Try sautéing corned beef with chopped vegetables and serve over rice, or pile it on rye with plenty of mustard.
14. Light Tuna
Protein Power: 22g per 3 oz. serving
Frugal shoppers rejoice: Less-pricey canned light tuna actually provides a little more protein than more expensive canned white tuna. To save yourself some calories sourced from lackluster vegetable oils, opt for water-packed tuna.
Protein Power: 21g per 3 oz. serving
Humble canned sardines are making a comeback! This oily little fish is full of protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D, and is relatively low in mercury since it's small and low on the food chain. Try stirring them into mashed potatoes or cauliflower to cut their strong taste.
16. Navy Beans
Protein Power: 20 g per 1 cup serving
Beans are a fantastically cheap source of protein, and of the most commonly available canned legumes, navy beans lead the way. Each cup also supplies an impressive 13 g of dietary fibre. Mash them with garlic and lemon as a hummus alternative.
17. Dried Lentils
Protein Power: 13 g per 1/4 cup serving
Inexpensive dry lentils are a sure-fire way to ramp up your intake of protein, fiber, and a range of vital minerals. Unlike other dried beans, lentils don't require an annoying presoak. Simply simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. For a nutritious lunch, toss cooked lentils with chopped chicken breast, diced vegetables, and a lemon vinaigrette.
18. Roast Beef
Protein Power: 18g per 3 oz. serving
Roast beef is leaner than you'd think, and higher in protein than other deli counter picks. As with steak, pasture-raised roast beef is more nutritious. Make a roast beef sandwich with spinach and red onions, or just snack on it as-is.
Protein Power: 21 g per 3 oz. serving
This Spanish-style seasoned pork sausage can turn pasta dishes, scrambled eggs, soups, and salads into a protein- and flavor-packed meal. Spanish chorizo is cured, so it doesn't need to be cooked before eating, but Mexican chorizo does.
Protein Power: 18g per 3 oz. serving
The stellar amount of protein in pepperoni makes it a surprisingly healthy topping for pizza or salad. Sodium levels can vary widely, so compare brands and look for options with the lowest amount.
21. Roasted Turkey Breast
Protein Power: 18g per 3 oz. serving
Being nearly fat-free, slices of deli turkey are almost pure muscle-making protein, so pile it high. Steer clear of flavored turkey and other deli meats to avoid bringing home stuff you don't need, like salt, sugar, and lab-made flavorings.
22. Beef Jerky
Protein Power: 13 g per 1 oz. serving
Cleaning up your diet might mean saying goodbye to potato chips and microwave popcorn, but you can still enjoy jerky for a salty treat that doesn't derail your goals. Keep some in your desk at work or sneak it into the movies. Look for healthier brands that are free of MSG and nitrites.
23. Peanut Butter
Protein Power: 8 g per 2 tbsp serving
Though not as trendy as other nut butters like almond, ye olde peanut butter still leads the way in the protein department. Watch labels for sugar. Natural peanut butters made from just peanuts are best—some stores even let you grind your own.
24. Mixed Nuts
Protein Power: 6 g per 2 oz. serving
Nuts like peanuts, cashews, and almonds make for a crunchy way to add more protein and healthy unsaturated fats to your diet. Keep a can in your glove compartment for hunger emergencies. If you're watching your sodium intake, look for packages labelled "unsalted".
25. Bean Chips
Protein Power: 4 g per 1 oz. serving
If you're jonesin' for crunchy chips, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the ones made with protein-rich black beans. For bonus points, use them as a delivery vessel for a homemade Greek yogurt dip.
Protein Power: 16 g per 1 cup serving
Up your protein shake game by blending whey or casein powder into a smoothie with fruit and other goodies. You can also buy premade smoothie drinks, but make sure they have a substantial dose of protein (around 20 g for a 2-cup bottle) and not just fruit, which can send you into sugar overload.
Protein Power: 12 g per 3 oz. serving
If you're looking to embrace Meatless Mondays, slabs of tofu can make sure your protein intake doesn't suffer. Slices of firm tofu work well in stir-fry, or try slapping them on the grill to infuse them with some smoky flavor. A good marinade goes a long way.
Protein Power: 8 g per 1/2 cup serving
Another great vegetarian option, these green soybeans will give your diet a boost of plant protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.To upgrade your snack time, prepare shelled frozen edamame according to package directions, then season with fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, and a whisper of salt.
29. Green Peas
Protein Power: 7 g per 1 cup serving
While protein is not abundant in most vegetables, green peas contain enough that you'll want to keep a bag stashed in your freezer at all times. They're also a good source of fiber to help keep cravings for junk food at bay.
30. Frozen Greek Yogurt
Protein Power: 6 g per 1/2 cup serving
Frosty and creamy like ice cream, but with the benefit of containing about twice as much high-quality protein. Compare brands and look for those with the lowest sugar levels. Some brands actually list fruit before sugar in the ingredient list, which is a plus.
31. Wheat Germ
Protein Power: 6 g per 1 oz. serving
The wheat grain is made up of three components—endosperm, bran, and germ. The germ is the most nutrient-dense part and includes notable amounts of plant-based protein. You can use it to add a protein boost to your oatmeal, pancakes, and even shakes.
32. Soba Noodles
Protein Power: 12 g per 3 oz. serving
Consider using these buckwheat Japanese-style noodles for your pasta nights since they contain more protein than most wheat-based noodles. Even better, they cook in about half the time as whole-wheat pasta.To remove the excess starch that can make the noodles gummy, rinse cooked soba after draining.
Protein Power: 8 g per 1 cup serving
Among whole grains, South American quinoa (technically a seed) is a rarity in that it contains a full arsenal of essential amino acids, meaning that it's a complete protein with muscle-making potential. Toasting quinoa in a dry skillet or saucepan before simmering it in water can enhance its natural nutty flavor.
Learn the ten secrets to gaining lean muscle mass quick! Get your body in an anabolic state in a hurry. See what you've been doing wrong!
HIGH CALORIES = ANABOLIC STATE
One of the most overlooked factors in bodybuilding is consuming enough protein but not eating enough calories per day. You've always heard that your body needs protein to grow and this is true. However, adequate protein does not always entail growth. You need to consume adequate calories also.
The truth is, if you don't consume enough calories, then you're not growing. A good rule of thumb is to take your bodyweight and multiply this by 10 or 12 depending on how in shape you are. Then add on 1000-1500 calories per day.
I once read that Jay Cutler got big by eating small meals every hour and half. Although he was eating smaller meals, his total caloric intake was above his daily caloric expenditure putting his body in an anabolic state.
EAT PLENTY OF CARBOHYDRATES
Carbohydrates are needed to fuel exercise. The storage form of carbohydrates is glycogen. The idea here is to super saturate glycogen levels so that the body never has to dip into protein for energy production.
The higher the level of carbs in the body, the more likely you are going to remain in an anabolic environment. Carbs also play a role in the release of insulin. As you know, insulin is the body's most potent anabolic hormone.
It promotes gluconeogenesis, protein synthesis, and the formation of adipocytes. In short, the release of insulin is required to promote an anabolic environment and carbs help by releasing insulin.
EAT PLENTY OF PROTEIN
Let's face it, muscle is protein and protein is composed of amino acids. You can't build big muscles without an adequate supply of protein. Think of building muscle as building a castle with lego blocks. If you don't have the pieces to start with then you cannot build the castle.
Eating enough protein should be a no-brainer but for those who don't know, one should consume anywhere between one to two grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So a bodybuilder who weighed 200 lbs would need about 200 grams of protein per day.
The best way to do this is to break the supply of protein into smaller servings throughout the day for better absorption and assimilation. In short, eat your protein and eat good kinds such as beef, chicken, fish, whey, and egg whites.
EAT MULTIPLE MEALS
Since you're now eating 4000 calories per day, your next best bet would be to eat 6 meals a day. Although this may seem like a lot, it really isn't. Do the math. If you divide 4000 calories into 6 smaller meals a day, then each meal will consist of approximately 660 calories.
Trust me when I say that 660 calories isn't a lot. Although it takes a lot of discipline, eating smaller and more frequent meals will pay off in the end. Another reason to eat smaller meals is for the release of insulin. When you consume food, your blood glucose levels will rise.
To counteract this, your body will release insulin to lower blood glucose levels to help keep the body in a state of homeostasis. As you now know, insulin is the body's most anabolic hormone. The more, the better. So basically, you want as much insulin secretion by the pancreas as possible. After all, you want to be big, right?
EAT ENOUGH GOOD FATS
One mistake wannabe lifters make is to not eat enough good fats. Fats are actually important in growth. One good thing to know about good fats is that there is a direct relationship between fat and testosterone levels.
A perfect example of this is when bodybuilders diet down for a show, so to speak. They are limiting their caloric and fat intake to achieve that stage condition. However, when they are on this restrictive diet, it is impossible for them to grow.
EAT A GOOD PREWORKOUT MEAL
The best thing to consume before a workout is a meal consisting of slow burning carbs such as pasta and rice. The reason is that slow burning carbs take longer to convert into glucose thus keeping blood sugar levels relatively consistent.
This keeps your body from having an energy crashing allowing you to train longer and harder. Be sure to combine this meal with a healthy serving of good protein as well to maximize gains.
CONSUME A HIGH QUALITY POSTWORKOUT MEAL
The meal right after you train should be high in fast burning carbs and protein. The ideal candidate for this would be a protein shake coupled with some form of sugar. When you train, you put your body in a catabolic state.
You destroy it so that it can build itself back bigger and stronger. However, if you don't supply the raw building blocks, then how can your body efficiently repair itself?
For the average person, a 40 g protein shake and 75 g of carbs is plenty. Just make sure you don't waste any time and slam the drinks down as soon as you finish training. Leave the chatting for after you consume those drinks.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
One of the most overlooked factors in exercise is adequate water consumption. This should be a no-brainer since water comprises up to 70% of the body and if you're dehydrated your muscle size suffers as well. I believe that one pound of muscle can hold up to three pounds of water. Now if you add it all up, that's a lot of size.
If you can afford to use supplements, then by all means do so. Why? Because they work! However, I would stuck with the basics such as protein powders, creatine, glutamine, joint formulas and multi-vitamins. The bottom line concerning these supplements is that they work provided that you work.
The number one overlooked factor in building a better body is rest. If you don't rest, then how can your muscles grow? Our bodies need the stimulus to grow such as intense training. Once this happens, our bodies are essentially "broken down."
Afterwards, it needs the proper nutrients and recovery time to grow bigger and stronger so that it can be broken down again. So if you're not resting any, then I would suggest you set aside a day or two of rest each week. And remember, rest days are rest days. Nothing more, nothing less.
Everyday is a struggle. A struggle to train, a struggle to eat well, a struggle to avoid the sweeter things in life, a struggle to be sensible on weekends and the king of all struggles- to combine the lot on a daily basis and still have a life worth living!
Well for some this will feel impossible. But the health journey is all about prioritising correctly and understanding how you to utilise your time. Now anyone can relax the whole Sunday evening, feet up and happily waste their day away, but an hour or so in the kitchen preparing for the next 3-4 days will save you far more time throughout the rest of the week to spend scrolling through Instagram!
Now imagine walking into a gym, with no plan, no idea of what what you wanted to do, no idea about form or technique! You may break a sweat or even get a good pump on but eventually your progress over time would become limited. Which is why having some direction or basic understanding of your training helps. It eliminates 99% of the decisions that can derail us on our progress: “Should I do 3 sets of 5 or 5 sets of 5 blah blah blah!
So, we know following a workout plan would improve our chances of reaching our targets so why don’t we think of food in the same way. Particularly when food controls a hugely significant amount of our progress. Studies would suggest over 75% of our progress happens in the kitchen!
I want to try to convince you that you should
Now with all the effort gone into committing yourself to your new fitness regime, staying in on weekends and avoiding the good friend that loves a glass of red during the lunch hour! The last thing you’d want to do is throw away all that hard work by diving straight into the nearest croissant basket or fast food restaurant the moment hunger strikes- simply because there was nothing prepared!!
Now with a little food prep you can can eliminate hours of work (or dozens of bad decisions) especially later on in the week. This could potentially be the difference between success and failure whether you are trying to gain weight, lose weight build muscle or improve your fitness performance!
We have a tendency to think we “know” about food so planning is unnecessary;
“Oh, I don’t know about squats, but I’ve been eating food since I was born! I know, sugar is bad, eat less processed food and more real stuff. I don’t have time to plan, so I’ll just make healthy choices as I go.”
Now as the saying goes “there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” Whether you’re trying to build guns like Arnie or you're simply trying to stop yourself from eating like a hungry wolf, I think most of us know how difficult doing it can be. It’s always gonna be easier said than done.
Often our choices are based on either emotion, convenience or the the people around us ie work colleagues, friends & family. And if your days not going great or your support network is dead on the ground then these daily choices often result in having a negative impact on our progress. It’s just was too easy to say f*#k it and sink into those sweet juicy snacks. Your brain is constantly playing the devil and short term solutions are all about gimme, gimme gimme, now now now!!!
I don’t know a single person that hasn’t experienced a rough miserable day, skipped lunch, had a shed load of errands to run and still dinner isn’t paid for, let alone prepared...Yep, you know it, brutal! Our will power can run thin, decision fatigue sets in and you hear those famous words again...f*#k it!!!
But every day you wake up with good intentions, you meant well, you even had the ingredients in your fridge. But guess what- You had a hard day. You “earned it,” right?
Remember, lifes hard! Things get messy and shit happens. We already know this right! Which means there’s even more reason to try harder to set ourselves up for success. With just a little organisation, an hour or so behind the hob, slam on some good music, throw in a few herbs, experiment a little, breath, relax, feel good and enjoy the journey.
Reasons to prepare your meals
1. Saves Time
Endless shopping trips and you’ll also avoid the sweets far more by the cashier desk!
2. Saves Money
The initial investment might feel like a sting but do the maths once meals are made and you’ll notice see difference
3. Build knowledge
Allows you to know exactly what you're eating ie Weight, ingredients etc.
4. Portion Control
They’ll be no excess eating. You’ll prepare a sensible size meal and once it’s gone it’s gone!
5. Applies accountability
No one wants to throw away food they’ve prepared! So you're far more likely to eat well during the short time it’s all still fresh.
Note: Meal planning DOES NOT consist of making 21 different recipes for 21 different meals each week. Even those of us who have been doing this for years aren’t that crazy… that just sounds exhausting!
Instead, try be picking ONE meal per day (lunch? dinner?), perhaps the one you struggle the most with. Then try prepare those 5 meals for your workweek.
It's not easy getting lean, which is why fast fat loss is always a hot topic. So to get you on the rocket ship to ripped I've set out 5 fat- blast-off tips - from diet to training.
Most of you reading this probably want to uncover your abs sooner rather than later but there are a few basics you need to get right before anything else; Eat well, drink well, train well & sleep well. Be consistent with the basics, have some discipline, take control and over time you'll start to recognise progress.
Top 5 Fat Loss Tips
1. Eliminate Junk Food Most Of The Time:
This is an obvious no-brainer, but you'll be surprised at how those few chips, sweets & biscuits start to add up (a small cookie packs around 50 calories! Eat 8 and that's almost HALF your daily calorie intake, if your target is a 1,000 calories).
Notice I said to eliminate junk "most of the time." That's because a cheeky 'cheat' day will prevent over-the-top binges and allow you to get rid of a few demons! A controlled higher-calorie jolt can also prevent your metabolism from slowing down, so it's a good thing.
A common mistake is to make a gigantic calorie cut all at once. Many people get so motivated to lose fat that they starve themselves right off the bat. That causes your metabolism to slow to a crawl, and your body thinks it's starving, it hordes fat and burns your hard-earned muscle. That's when you get so frustrated that you give up.
The lesson is to reduce calories gradually, and the first action is to generally eliminate junk food.
2. Tone Down Alcohol Consumption:
A few beers or libations every so often won't hurt, but if you do it regularly, you turn off fat burning. The reason is that your body burns off alcohol first, it becomes your primary energy substrate.
So as you're burning off the alcohol, what happens to the food you eat? It's merely surplus calories going directly to fat cells. Not good. That means when you do choose to drink, don't eat a lot while you indulge.
3. Read the Label
People who understand food labelling weigh 4.5kg less than people who don’t, according to research published in Agricultural Economics. Check the ingredient order – manufacturers are legally bound to put the biggest one first. If your protein bar’s first, second and third ingredients are varieties of sugar (sucrose, fructose and saccharin, say), it’s basically a sugar bar.
There's no need to get obsessed but it's really useful to take 1-2 minutes before each meal to take a look at the information and start to develop a better understanding of the food your consuming. Spend at least a week or two developing this habit and hopefully gain a little knowledge.
As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise!! So don't lose all that hard work by slacking on your food planning.
4. Eat a good breakfast
Start your day with a good healthy breakfast. Egg's are fantastic option. You can boil 4-5 and keep them in the fridge for a couple of days. Grab a couple when rushing late or slap on some avocado or spinach for the perfect protein hit first thing in the morning.
Porridge is also a favourite of mine. Throw on some fruit to add some flavor and It'll keep you full until lunch, stopping you snacking soon after arriving at work!
5. Train everyday
Yes you heard it...Every damn day!!! Small sessions each day will have a huge impact psychologically. The physical aspect of getting something done will naturally encourage you to go for a healthier option when deciding what to eat. Training well and eating well go hand in hand and even the smallest of sessions will influence your decision making for the rest of the day.
Training before breakfast can encourage a greater weight loss. When your wake up on an empty stomach your body then relies on it's fat stores as it's primary energy source.
Not all sessions need to be done in 'beastmode'. A light run at 70% of your max heart rate(220 minus your age) is a great fat burning option. Otherwise a bodyweight HIIT circuit is another no brainer. Take 15 minutes, pick 3 exercises, whack on some tunes, start the clock, and away you go!!
Don't Get Greedy
Don't get greedy; lose fat gradually and have patience. Enjoy the journey and the destination will be far more satisfying. If you drop more than 3 pounds a week it could potentially be a lot of water and muscle.
You'll also feel like crap and look worse than you feel. We're all impatient when it comes to changing out bodies, but the best strategy is gradual and steady.
Have a goal of losing about 4-8 pounds of fat in a month as you keep training hard to notice them gains. But remember, if you do it right you'll be adding muscle(this doesn't mean getting bulky!) so the scale isn't something you should pay attention to very closely.
In other words, if you lose 10 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will look completely different (so much better), but the scale will read exactly the same. It's the fat-to-muscle reshuffle.
A better strategy to gauge your progress is to take photos every few weeks. They're real eye-openers. You can take relaxed front, side and back views. Be sure to keep a list of the shots you take-the poses you hit-and the camera settings you use. A few weeks later, take photos again and use the same poses and camera settings.
Also, and this is important, if possible be sure the lighting is the same. Take the pictures in a room with a fairly bright overhead light and don't use the flash on your camera.
Try all of the above for 30 days and prepare to be amazed! Do your best and if you slip up then dust yourself off and go again, remember It happens to the best of us. Share your targets/goals online to add healthy pressure and be sure to kick ass at bootcamp. Good luck
Running doesn't get no better than this! The 10K is a classic distance that covers all the bases - a great distance that's achievable for beginners yet respectable to the typically advanced! The pro's can target rapid PB's whilst the newbies can complete competently without shattering their bodies in a way that longer events can..
If you find the right course, it's a challenge that requires fitness, preparation and tactical thinking. It combines a mix of speed and endurance, and boy does it feel good when you reach the finish line with enough left in the tank to sprint for the crowds.
You can do it, even if you're new to running by following a few basic set of rules.
There's nothing like having the goal of competing in a race to focus the mind. It gives you a target and doing three sessions a week is enough to really allow you to notice significant improvements! With steady, consistent appearances out on the road and progressive training sessions you'll rapidly progress. That's the beauty of running. Get yourself out there and you can guarantee, gradually becoming better, faster and stronger!!
Training for a race has many benefits, so you should enjoy training while gaining satisfaction from an end result. Running is one of the best the best forms of exercise particularly for weight loss. It'll help you shift pounds as well as get fit, and the 10K is a great mix of speed and endurance to help you achieve both of those goals.
It also releases feel-good endorphins into the brain - so it's not all pain. A race should be tough but training can be fun, It can also help lift self-esteem and fight depression.
The immovable goal of a race date will also make you concentrate on healthy eating. Running will help you eat well and snack sensibly. The combination of eating healthily and running 10K can help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, and strengthen your bones.
Training for a 10K doesn't have to take over your life in the way preparing for a marathon can. However it can help you be more organised. The 10K allows you to set goals and train hard, but also enjoy the scenery and still have time to see friends.
One of the best exercises for you, whether you’re trying to build muscle or lose weight (or both) HAS to be the squat.
However, it’s also one of the most difficult exercises to do properly unless you actually know what you’re doing. Let’s take a look at why this exercise is so great, and then how to perform it properly for maximum results and minimal chance of injury.
Squats include various muscles around the body but most importantly they target the legs and butt(Hamstring, Quadriceps & Glutes)! These are the most important muscle groups If you’re looking to burn fat. To do this you want exercises that trigger as much of your body as possible so it’s all about the squat On the other side of the coin, if you’re looking to build muscle, your legs and back can put on the most muscle in the shortest amount of time. So it's a win win move!
If you are serious about getting in shape and losing weight, or if you’re a beanpole and looking to gain muscle, you absolutely need to include squats in your routine.
Squats for Newbies
Before we start loading you up with tons of weight, make sure you can do regular body weight squats. Here is a video that looks like it was made in 1984, but does a great job explaining good form on a body weight squat:
A few tips to remember:
Squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. If you don’t go down that far, you’re cheating yourself and doing a fake squat. Go way down, and you’ll feel it in every muscle in your leg. This will give you a really strong core along with strong legs and a strong back.
Try not to extend your knees past your toes. If you’re doing the squats right, you should be sitting back with your ass out and back straight.
Don’t arch your back. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to keep your head up when you squat, and KEEP YOUR ABS tight throughout the whole exercise (that’s right, squats will even work your abs).
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and point your toes slightly outward.
Want to see a good test if you’re doing a good squat? Stand up in front of your desk chair, and ‘squat’ down into the chair. Are you sitting? Good. Now stand up without leaning forward at all. if you’re squatting properly, your ass will be sticking out, your back will be straight, and you’ll be able to stand right back up without having to lean forward to get momentum to stand back up.
How to squat in a squat rack:
So you’ve done the chair test, and you can sit and stand without having to lean forward. You can do 3 sets 12 reps of body weight squats and that’s no longer a challenge. Let’s try adding some weight. Get into the squat rack, set the bar at just below your shoulder level, and set the safety bars low enough that you’ll be able to squat low with the bar on your shoulders. Duck under the bar, grab the bar with your hands in a wide grip (palms facing forward), and rest the weight across the upper part of your back (not your neck!). If the weight bothers you across your back, see if there’s a bar pad that you can put on there. They’re usually lying around by the squat racks, smith machines, etc.
The position you want:
Chest up and out
No Squat Rack?
No problem, grab some dumbbells, and hold them in front of you like you’re getting ready to press them up to work your shoulders. Keep them here as you squat up and down, maintaining the same good form as described above. Want to get a full body workout? Every time you stand up for your squat, press the weights up above you. You’ll be working your legs, abs, back, shoulders, chest, and triceps with one exercise. Just practice good form on both and you’ll be all set.
If you’re afraid of squats, now is the time to add them into your routine. Start with very light weight (or just your body weight), practice absolute perfect form, and then in a matter of weeks you’ll be packing on the plates and dropping body fat while building muscle
Everyone knows that running is a great way to get into shape, but did you know that it can benefit almost every part of your body, as well as lift your mood? Running is incredibly effective at making you healthier in a number of ways. While it may not be everybody's favorite form of exercise, knowing what it can do for your life just may make you look at running in an entirely new light.
Improve Your Health
Believe it or not, running is actually a great way to increase your overall level of health. Research shows that running can raise your levels of good cholesterol while also helping you increase lung function and use. In addition, running can also boost your immune system and lower your risk of developing blood clots.
For women, running can actually help to lower your risk of breast cancer. It can also help reduce the risk of having a stroke. Many doctors today recommend running for people who are in the early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis, and it is proven to help reduce the risk of having a heart attack. By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering a heart attack can be significantly reduced.
Running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing or maintaining a consistent weight. You will find that it is a leading way to burn off extra calories and that it is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute, following only after cross country skiing.
Boost Your Confidence
Not all of the benefits of running are physical. Running can provide an noticeable boost to your confidence and self-esteem. By setting and achieving goals, you can help give yourself a greater sense of empowerment that will leave you feeling much happier.
Stress can actually cause a number of health and mood problems. It can also diminish appetite and sleep quality. When you run, you force your body to exert excess energy and hormones. Running also helps to reduce your chances of developing tension headaches.
When you are depressed, the last thing you likely want to do is to get up and go for a run. Yet you will find that after only a few minutes of running, your brain will start to secrete hormones that naturally improve your mood. In fact, there are few things in the world that can better or more rapidly treat depression than exercise such as running.
It may seem surprising to learn all of the different ways that running can improve your health, but the truth of the matter is that these are only a few of the many benefits that it can offer to your body. Running really is incredibly beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit, and you will find that even short runs can leave you feeling more energized, more focused, and better able to enjoy all that life has to offer.
Tyre flips are tough and look awesome, the real big one's demand every ounce of strength you can muster and they never, ever get easy! However, they're not for the faint hearted... But, if you build your fitness before-hand and approach the exercise with correct form, be steady in your progress and strong in the lifting then eventually you'll be rewarded with a new level of power and athleticism!
The strength and aerobic benefits of tyre training are endless. It'll enhance your performance in all areas of fitness and it's one of the best strength & conditioning workouts you can do. It takes your whole body to flip a decent tyre and by varying the distance/time you can get in a great aerobic workout.
HOW DO YOU FLIP THE TIRE?
When you flip it's best to start with the tyre flat on the ground. Place your fingers and hands as far under the tyre as you can in this position and keep your hands about shoulder width apart. Squat down and then while pulling the tire up with your arms and back explode out of the bottom position. As the tire comes up you should have enough momentum that you can change your hands from a pulling to a pushing position and push the tire all the way over. Immediately after the tyre is pushed over and flat start the process again.
In the beginning you may have to use your knee to pop the tire up high enough so that you can change hand positions to a pushing motion. Try to get away from using your knee as soon as possible to avoid possible leg injury when you have one leg planted on the ground and one in the air. Don't go too heavy too soon and for goodness sake remeber to breath!
WHERE/WHEN CAN YOU FLIP TYRES?
Kings Cross, Lewis-Cubitt Square
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
High Intensity Interval Training involves alternating between very intense bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise. For example, sprinting for 30 seconds, then walking for 60 seconds is high intensity interval training. HIIT can be used both anaerobically (in the gym with weights) and aerobically with cardio
TOP 6 BENEFITS OF INTERVAL TRAINING
1. Extra Free Time
Interval training is the most efficient form of cardio, and can deliver benefits much more quickly than typical cardio workouts. In fact, research shows that 27 minutes of HIIT performed three times per week delivers the same aerobic and anaerobic results as 60 minutes of regular cardio performed five times per week. Interval training can also get you in shape more quickly – according to a studies a mere two weeks of high-intensity intervals can improve your aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training.
2. More Calories Burned
In terms of weight loss, intervals are more effective than long, slow endurance exercise. The intense effort you put in means that your body must work harder to recover, so you’ll burn more calories in the 24 hours after an interval workout than you would after a slow, steady run. During those 24 hours after high intensity interval training, your body can also produce up to 450 percent more human growth hormone, which increases caloric burn and even slows down the aging process.
3. A Big Smile
Interval training creates a surge of endorphins, the natural opiates your brain produces as a result of difficult exercise. Because of its short bursts of strenuous activity, interval training drastically boosts endorphin production, so you’ll experience a true “runner's high” and will feel happy and energized after your workout.
4. Increased Speed and Endurance
Interval training stimulates several physiological changes that can lead to greater speed, and stamina. For example, HIIT helps your body learn to burn lactic acid more efficiently – allowing you to exercise for a longer period of time before fatigue sets in. Interval training makes it easier to go farther and faster with more energy, and will also help with your other cardio activities, including hiking, biking, swimming and skiing.
5. A Healthier Heart
Although high intensity intervals accelerate your heart rate, HIIT can actually decrease strain on your heart. Over time, cardiovascular exercise can increase your heart stroke volume, or the amount of blood that your heart pumps per beat. Interval training maximizes cardiovascular benefits, so it can quickly increase stroke volume, making your heart stronger and more efficient. HIIT also maximizes the other benefits of cardiovascular exercise, including decreasing your risk of both heart disease and high blood pressure.
6. Fewer Sick Days
Interval training also amplifies cardio’s other health benefits, including reducing cholesterol, which in turn lowers the risk of arthritis and other inflammatory problems. Additionally, challenging exercise strengthens the immune system, so regular interval work can boost your immunity and help prevent colds and the flu.
A SAMPLE HIIT WORKOUT
1. SQUAT JUMPS
2. PUSH UPS
3. JUMPING JACKS
BEGINNER- 20 SECONDS ON, 40 SECONDS REST 3-5 ROUNDS
ADVANCED- 30 SECONDS ON, 30 SECONDS REST 6-8 ROUNDS
EXTREME 'MIGHTY MOE' EXPERT- 40 SECONDS ON, 20 SECONDS REST, 8-10 ROUNDS (GOOD LUCK;)
What’s your favorite interval workout? Post your HIIT successes and tips to Twitter; @mw5fitness Instagram; @mw5_fitness
Every Sunday morning, myself and a small group of friends hit the mud track for a leisurely(depending on your fitness) 5k run through Hampstead Heath. The hills are steep, long & tough and the muddy uneven terrain combine together to create an adventurous, challenging little session!
We start and finish the route down by the Lido. And for some people that's plenty...Enough even to put your feet up and enjoy the rest of the weekend! A 'great workout' you might say. But for the few that remain, regardless of the weather, we hit the water. Now the Lido is a freezing cold pool situated at the bottom of Parliment Hill Fields and there's always one man who's always committed, 100% involved!
Meet Charlie Watts ex MMA Fighter and Founder of WorkIt.London He has amazing positive energy that's inspiring and infectious and it's all his crazy idea. Charlie is a huge advocate for organic living. Eating and training in a way that our bodies are supposed to, and he know's all about the benefits gained from an ice cold swim. Well somehow I got dragged into this and since the first dive I haven't looked back. I wasn't sure about the whole thing at first. The fact I hate cold water was a bad start! And hopping into a freezing pool for no real apparent reason just seemed insane.... My worst nightmare!
But It's only when you put yourself out there to truly test yourself your bodies full capabilities, only then can you appreciate the value it has on your body & mind. I mean how often do we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone? In a day of iphones & computers, it's easy to get lazy and comfortable in our skin... Become creatures of habit and stick to what we're used to, or what we're good at. This is a shame especially when you realise the incredible potential our bodies have; To adapt, survive and grow stronger. Situations that are tough and challenging will improve you no end- physically and psychologically.
After each swim I feel positive and I'm buzzing off endorphins, not just the same day but for the whole of the following week! I sleep far better too. So for me, I couldn't think of anything worse than a cold swim which is a weird concept because at the same time, I could'nt think of anything better! Understanding and believing the rewards & bi-products has significant bearing in my decision no doubt to participate. So, even it it's your worst nightmare, just as it was for me, give it a go, it'll be worth it...
Health Benefits of a regular cold swim
Improve blood circulation
Help build and maintain a strong immune system
Improve skin tone and skin health
Improve libido and fertility 6
Release endorphins to improve feeling of wellness and vigor
Encourages good sleep.
Heavy weight's, fast runs, hard circuits, big lifts and a whole host of other workouts throughout 2016 mean I should be feeling in great condition leading up to the Summer, right? Not quite! All that training means very little without one very important component-Rest! So instead of peaking just at the right time I found myself sleeping on the floor(apparently this helps!) and booking a trip to the local Osteopath.
Stiff knees, a sore hip and an unstable shoulder are injuries generally carried by your typical retired broken old man, but instead those symptoms have been adopted by yours truly! For all the advice I give I should've known better! All my energy was focused on getting faster, fitter and stronger and it seems there was a major oversight, I was in fact making myself weaker! Lucky for me the problems are relatively minor and treatable. With the correct treatment and a little tender loving care I'll be back to my best in no time. And lucky for you because this means you get to learn from my experience.
The Therapist who treated me- Gio, and I had had a conversation regarding my health and it turned out we share similar opinions with regards to training methods, the intensity, it's rewards and repercussions. It was refreshing and inspiring to hear his views and this reminded me to seriously consider the same advice I'd generally share with everyone else; Rest, rest and more rest. Take things easy, sleep well, eat well, stay hydrated, train smart and recover fast! Respect your body, listen to it and be aware of the signs. Your body is way more sophisticated then you'll ever know so whether you feel tired, anxious, weak, sick or sore it's important you take action and respond in away that's beneficial for the long term...
Lifting weights is an amazing way to get fit. But lifting too heavy for too long and you might just be asking for trouble.. Injuries may not occur straight away but possibly in the future- 1, 2, 5 or even 10 years time. The same goes for every type of discipline; Running, Combat Sports, HIIT Training, Yoga etc etc. The point remains the same. Overuse at extreme intensity without correct application, nutrition, sleep and rest and you could potentially be doing more damage than good. The 'go hard or go home' attitude could put your body in a very dangerous position.
A Tough, insanely difficult training regime made sense to Spartacus, I mean he was prepared to die for his cause. Training every session as if it were his last! But for everyone else, we've got to go work the next day! Now no one needs a situation where getting your socks on requires an assistant, or the toilet- don't get me started on that one... Damn that ache, we've all had it! Now I'm not saying don't go hard, we all love a bit of 'beast mode' now and again but just remember to focus and be sensible. Train smart! Too much of the same thing can have an adverse effect on your body. Have a healthy balance. Remember to keep it fresh, keep it fun and keep it functional. After all, affectionate attention is a blessing and when all's said and done the aim of the game is to be healthy, for as long as possible. Peace out!
8 ways to avoid Injury
- Apply correct technique
- Don't Lift too heavy
- Warm up/Cool down
- Stretch often
- Avoid over-training
- Follow a healthy nutrition plan
- Sleep well
- Stay Hydrated