Some people are born with it, while others don’t believe in the possibility, but there is a way for everyone to get lean and fit and live healthy with a body that they feel comfortable in. You may already be comfortable with how you look, and if so, amazing, keep doing what you’re doing, but many of us have these little stigmas about ourselves for a number of reasons, and sometimes just getting that extra push towards getting healthier is all we really need.
Expert tips to help you get in shape
We’re not ones to promote washboard abs and big, bulky muscles, but rather we want you to have a positive body image that reflects in your own self confidence and allows you to wake up every day with one less nagging complaint in your head. The way we see is that if it’s possible to change, and will make you happier, then why not!
Adjust the way you eat
First thing, and probably most important thing, first. If you want to get lean and get into shape it means shedding all that excess body fat. Now, you may think that exercise plays a big role in your transformation but apart from building muscle, it wouldn’t be anything without diet.
You first need to revolutionize the way that you eat if you want to get serious about your goals and see results. Nearly 80% of losing weight and building muscle comes down to how you eat and what you eat, and once you’ve got that down then the work you’re putting in in the gym will pay dividends.
How to adjust the way you eat
- If your goal in the beginning is to lose weight then you need to burn more calories than you eat, once you’re happy you,
- Up your calorie intake – that doesn’t mean overeat, but it does mean that getting lean relies on you eating enough to replace what’s being lost when you train. By focusing on healthy food you won’t gain unhealthy weight, rather you’ll be sculpting your toned physique, but how?
- Eat more protein and fats – protein is your friend when it comes to building muscle and you need to ensure you’re eating lean meats, fish, and chickpeas and quinoa for the vegetarians, but,
- Eat less carbs – by this we mean refined carbs such as white breads and pastas and sugary treats while upping your healthy carb intake, these are your vegetables and wholegrains!
- And always remember to drink less alcohol and fizzy drinks if you really want to get into shape and have that body you desire!
Add more cardio sessions to your training plan to lose fat
Including cardio into your workout two to three times a week is one of the ways that you’ll be able to drop the pounds. It won’t necessarily, especially if done at a steady level, build muscle, but it will help you to slim down.
If you want to improve your cardio significantly and have it start to build up your muscle, then it means increasing the intensity. High intensity interval training is a form of training where you train all out for a set period of time, and then rest for a slight amount of time, before going again. You can do this while running or cycling, a simple method of doing this is:
- Running at full intensity for 2 minutes
- Rest for 30 seconds
- And repeat
If this is too difficult for you then you can adjust the amount of time between splits to comfortable level and start building up from there.
Weight lifting to burn fat and build lean muscle
Weight lifting can help you burn more calories (reducing fat) at the same time as toning your body and building lean muscle.
Most of us have heard that we need to lift heavy weights to build muscle, but is this true? The fact is that everyone is unique and their response to exercise might not be the same as another person’s.
DNAfit’s genetic test reveals you well you respond to both “power” and “endurance” based exercises and from there gives you recommendations on how you should train for the best results. Power responders normally react better to high intensity training, heavier weights, and lower reps, while endurance responders will see more benefit in doing more reps with lower weights. Whichever way you chose to train, you need to remember that if you are pushing yourself hard enough, you will see results.
Always stretch before and after training sessions
Stretching is an essential part of training because it is not only meant to be done before and after a workout but has a number of benefits such as reducing your risk of injury.
You might have seen stretching as a simple warm up, but by doing dynamic stretches before you work out, you’re actually preparing your body for the movements to come as you limber up and get flexible. After you exercise, doing static stretches will help you to recover and reduce muscle soreness.
Allow your body to recover properly after each workout
Once again, stretching forms an important aspect of recovery but it still doesn’t constitute for the whole process. Recovery is complex because our bodies are all different and recover in different ways, which a genetic test can help show.
Knowing how you can recover can instill you to make the relevant interventions before and after you work out.
Download our Honest Guide to Weight Management so you can drop some kilos while you get leaner.
Recovery can be done in a number of ways:
- Make sure you get enough rest and sleep
- Maintain a balanced, healthy diet and replenish lost fluids after exercise
- Perform static stretches
- Engage in thermotherapy in the steam room or sauna
Find a sport you enjoy to mix up your workouts
Sports not only offer a social dimension to your workout, but also target a whole range of muscles that you may not have been previously engaging when simply going for a run or doing weights at the gym.
Whether you choose to play football, rugby, swimming or tennis, you’ll find that you will still need to adapt to the speed of the game and get “match fit” but once you do it makes getting fit fun, rather than a chore, with a sense of achievement when you start winning matches and becoming an integral part of your team.
Track your progress towards your fitness goals
Keeping up to date with how you are doing is a sure-fire way to not only keep you motivated but help you to excel to reach your goals faster and then move on to bigger and better achievements.
There are so many ways to do it: take before and after photos of yourself monthly, use a fitness app where you “beat” last week’s goals or even continue to increase your weights every two weeks to see how your body is adapting. One thing is for sure, even incremental improvements will help you to see how well you’re doing and how you’re slowly making what first looked impossible, possible.
To help you track your progress get Body Fit, our easy to follow plan for those trying to improve their fitness.
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