1. Eat for health and consume lots of green fibrous vegetables – foods such as broccoli are full of nutrients, high in fibre which helps you feel full and also very low in calories. Having lean meat / fish with plenty of green vegetables and some healthy fat such as olive oil is a near dam it perfect meal.
2. drink plenty of water, your body functions more efficiently when you take in plenty of water and it also keeps hunger pangs at bay. You do not need to go overboard with it – the simplest guide is the colour of your urine, drink enough to ensure it is clear.
3. Make sure that you are lifting weights 2-4 times per week, there is no better way to torch body fat and jack up your metabolism than hitting a good weights session. Also make sure that you are still aiming to shift some heavy iron, many people want to get lean and suddenly think lifting light weights for more reps is the best way to go about it. A much better approach is to keep in at least one strength exercises per session and then after that you can move at a faster pace with slightly lighter weights.
4. Whether we want to get stronger, put weight on or decrease body fat the single best way to do all of these is to constantly measure, assess and then change if need be. Keeping accurate records of how much you eat and keeping records of bodyweight, body measurements etc… is the easiest way to do this. It might seem like hard work to count calories and write everything down but this makes it far easier to get results and take out all the guess work.
5. Do not go cardio crazy, To get lean it is simple you just need to take in fewer calories than your body currently needs. You do not need to hammer yourself into submission with ridiculous amounts of cardio that wipe you out and rob you of strength and muscle. A better approach is to add in a session or 2 of conditioning in between weight training sessions or add little 5-10 minute finishers at the end of weight training sessions. These finishers will hike up your metabolism and switch your body into a fat burning machine without eating too much into your recovery / lean muscle mass.
6. In general be more active - It might seem like nothing but if you walked your dog every day for 30 minutes you would be surprised at the difference this would make. I have experienced this when I have gone from working from a desk based job to a more manual type job. Suddenly you start to lose body fat without even thinking about it. There is a lot to be said for being more active throughout the day …..please note I am not talking about suddenly adding in cardio sessions like long runs but just little things like walking more or kicking a ball around with your kids on the weekends.
7. Have a goal in mind when you start as this always helps – It could be to get down to a certain weight or to look good for an upcoming holiday. Either way these goals help us to stay on track. Just make sure once you hit the goal that you do not then relax and go backwards.
8. Do not see carbs as the enemy instead utilise them more efficiently so take in carbs when your body really needs them such as before you exercise and straight afterwards. Other times of day you can get by on protein and healthy fats. Treat your body like a car, put in fuel when you have to move !!!
9. For people who want to get lean what you eat is the single most important thing that you can do. This comes way above what you do in the gym. I am yet to see a person out train a bad diet. If you had 2 people ….one who trained twice a week with a good diet and the other who trained every day with a bad diet then I would put money on the person who trained just twice being in better shape.
10. To keep yourself motivated take before pictures and also monthly pictures to help track your progress and further enhance your motivation. It is always great to look back at where you came from so that you have a visual reminder of how far you have progressed.
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