During my journey in fitness, I’ve gone from being a cardio bunny to an athlete in physique competitions. This was the best way for me to learn all about training effectively to build muscle and losing a great deal of body fat for my muscles to have the most definition as possible on stage. Because this is extreme, I’ve developed a strategy that is easy and can apply to anyone wanting to decrease weight and put on muscle mass.
I will start from the most effective, to the one that has minimal impact, but is necessary.
7 steps to weight loss that last for life
- Eat more protein. I cannot stress this critical fact more than any other one on my list. It would help if you ate more protein daily to gain muscle mass and prevent muscle from being used as energy by your body. When we diet, our energy reserves are low, and our body goes into chaos, trying to find a source of sustenance for all of this abundant activity and lack of food. Do yourself a favour, and eat more protein. Not an excessive amount, but split the quantity over 5–6 meals a day. Give your body a chance to get that fuel and shuttle it to your muscles for growth and repair, not to catabolise while you are working out. If you continue to deprive yourself or protein, your weight training and fat burning results will be an endless cycle of loss and gain. Don’t waste your time on that one.
- Weight training. I say this over and over again, and people still don’t believe me (LOL) They ULTIMATE KEY to substantial weight loss and increased metabolism is strength training! Yes, it’s that simple, yet it’s not applied! As I have explained in previous posts, I was a cardio bunny when I didn’t know what I was doing. I was flat and flabby. I didn’t know why my body shape never changed. Then I started to lift weights 3–4 times a week, and EVERYTHING changed! I’m telling you, it works wonders. You not only change your body shape, but you feel unbelievable! Healthy, happy and full of energy. Excessive cardio drains the life and breath out of you. Weight training keeps making you look and feel more and more fabulous!
- Eat low-calorie protein regularly. Your most prominent proteins should be low fat. The following are my staples daily: Chicken breast, tuna fish, eggs & white fish. This can get boring 5–6 times a day so that I will throw in the mix the following high-fat proteins: Chicken with skin, salmon, pork and bacon. I do not eat red meat because it affects my allergies. Therefore I stick with what works for my body and immune sensitivities—jazz up your food with herbs, olive oil mustard and coconut aminos. Eating less gives us a lot more energy and focus in our daily lives.
- Eat lots of green veggies and cabbage. Veggies are so important in your diet. They provide many benefits as well as adding flavour to your foods. I regularly make up my salads to eat at work and include herbs in the mix. These are dill, mint and parsley. Spices are perfect for digestion. Mix and match your favourite veggies to suit your taste buds. I try to eat raw more than cooking for the added vitamins and minerals. Add your avocado, olive oil and some apple cider vinegar. Meals made on the don’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t take long to boil an egg if you need some added protein. Get creative and think outside the box.
- Drink lots and lots of water! I drink on average, 4.2 litres of water a day! This is in winter, summer it’s a heck of a lot more. When you sweat a lot, you need to drink even more than the recommended range. It’s essential to stay well hydrated at all times, as it will enhance your training efforts, and also help you to burn more body fat. Studies show that cold water has a thermal effect. I think water, in general, is thermogenic, and it eliminates waste, toxins and diminishes cellulite. Try to drink purified and spring water. Tap water these days contains too many toxins.
- Get as much sleep as you can, but don’t stress too much about it. This is low on my priority list because I don’t sleep enough as I should. Yes, I could get better results sleeping more, but that would mean never having the time to dedicate to my continuous weight training and physique goals. Sometimes we have to do what we need to do to get the job done. For me, that means getting up super early to train as I want and have time to get ready and go to work. This is how it’s always been, and I would not have it any other way. I’m here to make progress as best as I can, and this is the time in which I can do it. So I say, sleep as much as you can, but it’s an overrated term. Don’t give up training because you need more sleep! Sleep in on the weekends, and you have plenty of time then.
- It takes time.. embrace it. Weight loss takes time guys. I get agitated when the 20th person asks how they can lose 10kg in a week! Come on; it takes MONTHS to lose this weight! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you didn’t get huge overnight. You will lose the weight you want step by step and day by day when you do what’s necessary and stick to the plan. Being consistent with training and eating is essential. There is no overnight magic formula (not that I know of anyway!). Take a deep breath and commit yourself to make positive changes over the long haul. You will be amazed at what you can do and how your body changes. Remember to weight train first, then cardio on other days.
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