Your diet is the most important element of gaining an impressive physique.
You may have heard many times before that getting in shape is ’70 percent diet and 30 percent training’. Assigning exact percentages to the relative contribution of diet and exercise is impossible but, suffice to say, 90% of people cannot out-train a poor diet and when you nail down your nutrition and your training your results will increase exponentially.
Let’s assume that your diet is already pretty good, maybe you subscribe regularly to a meal prep company, here are some things you can do to help speed up the fat-loss and muscle building process.
You know that you should drink more water but often you struggle to take in the necessary 2-3 litres of water each day as you run around from task to task during the day.
Consuming adequate water is important for a number of reasons:
- Cognitive function- your brain works better when hydrated.
- Enhanced detoxification– staying hydrated allows your liver and kidneys to function optimally.
- Joint health and disc hydration- are improved by maintaining adequate hydration levels through the day.
For optimal fat loss and muscle building, you should prioritize resistance training over cardiovascular training. If your goal is purely aesthetic then you would ideally spend twice as long lifting weights per week as you do on cardio. So 3 hours of weights would mean that you should keep cardio to approximately 90 minutes. Lifting weights will ensure that you build and retain lean body mass during your diet. Your body is an incredibly adaptive organism, we want to ensure that we are sending it the right combination of signals to help build and retain muscle during the diet.
Calorie deficit +Adequate Protein + Lifting weights + Moderate cardio = You’re moving closer to your ideal physique
Calorie deficit + Chronic cardio = Weight loss but no improvement in Body composition (there is less of you but you’ve lost equal parts fat and muscle)
In the hierarchy of importance supplementation trails way behind nutrition and training, and sits firmly at the top of the pyramid. If you haven’t got your diet in order then skip this section. No amount of fat burners will burn body fat if you aren’t in a calorie deficit.
So why supplement? If you’re on a calorie restricted diet then you might be deficient in certain nutrients- in which case a broad spectrum multivitamin is a good insurance. And just as you wouldn’t want dodgy insurance for your house we wouldn’t advise using any multivitamin- we would advise using a reputable brand such as Thorne, Jarrow, Life Extension or Designs for Health- all available on I-Herb.
Magnesium is a mineral that people are almost universally deficient in and it is definitely worth adding to your daily regimen.
Restoring sufficient levels of Magnesium:
- Helps moderate stress
- Lowers inflammation
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Protects against depression and ADHD
The modern diet is low in magnesium so we would advise supplementing with a reputable brand (Thorne, Jarrow, Life Extension or Designs for Health). Be aware that Magnesium can have sedative effect so try it pre-bed.
Fish Oil is the most widely used and researched supplement on the market, and with good reason.
- Improves both the number and function of insulin receptors ( meaning you handle carbohydrates better)
- Turns on fat-burning genes
- Turns off fat storing genes
- Increase feeling of satiety
- Promotes muscle building pathways
All of the above advice counts doubly so for fish oils as they can go rancid if stored improperly.
NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT is the energy (calories) we burn every day for everything that is outside of physical activity. We suggest trying to get your daily step count up to 10,000 steps per day which can result in expending an additional 500 calories per day (depending on body weight). To increase NEAT levels, look to:
- Walk to work
- Take the stairs
- Take a stroll during your lunch hour ( you’ll be increasing your vitamin D levels too!)
- Get out of the MTR a stop early and walk
- See if your work are open to the idea of standing desks
- Play with your kids
5.Sleep your way to optimal health
The most important factor that we neglect most consistently
Lack of sleep causes chaos within the body’s hormonal system:
Sleeping for 4-5hours versus 8-9 has been shown to have a whole host of negative consequences that will indirectly impact on body composition.
- Impaired glucose tolerance- you’ll handle carbohydrates less well if you haven’t slept well meaning your body will need to release more insulin after eating.
- Lowered Leptin levels, Increased Ghrelin levels- these hormones regulate hunger and if they’re out of sync you will be far hungrier than your well-rested colleagues.
- Increased BMI
These five pointers are additional things to consider including in your daily life to help you along the way towards reaching your goal. I will reiterate the importance of your diet and if this isn’t in line then these five points are flawed.
We have created diet plans to fit everyone’s goals, no matter what condition you are currently in. If you want extra information about what plan you should be on please don’t hesitate to contact us. Place your order for next week now in the tabs above.