First, download a calorie counting app and start logging your calories consumed and burned. My favorite app is MyFitnessPal (also online at MyFitnessPal.com). You’ll have to put yourself in calorie deficit in order to lose weight. There’s no way to get around the laws of the physics, so you’re going to have to eat less than you burn. Equally important is changing your body composition which means replacing fat with lean muscle. Muscle is our metabolic engine that burns fat. Lean muscle development will expedite your body transformation. In order to optimize this you’ll want to be on a high protein, low carbohydrate nutrition plan. The source of these calories should be whole intact foods. Stay away from processed foods, especially refined carbohydrates like sugar and flour.
Get off the refined carbohydrate train and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy nutrition plan. Read labels and accept no “food” with added sugar or refined grains like enriched flour. If it’s not 100% whole grain then it’s not for you. White sugar and white flour spike your blood glucose which in turn wreaks havoc on your insulin release system. The hormone insulin signals your body to store as much blood sugar, as fat, as possible. Why thwart all your hard work in the gym? You can’t out train a bad diet. Good nutrition is 80% of your body transformation. My entire program is laid out in my recently published book; Get Fit, lean and Keep Your Day Job.
Cardio exercise is also important. The bottom line of the cardio component of my program is this; move your body, get your heart rate, sweat, and burn some calories. Shoot for 30 to 45 minutes of cardio exercise a day or a calorie burn goal of 300 to 600 calories. If you’re up to doing high intensity training (HIT) like sprint intervals, then you can achieve your calorie burn in 12 to 15 minutes. Check with your doctor and make sure the ‘ol ticker is up for the task before trying any type of HIT.
Resistance training is not just for bodybuilders. Everybody should lift weights. Remember, muscle is your biological furnace that burns calories. In addition, lean muscle doesn’t jiggle - it’s firm to the touch, and it has great shape. Whether muscle takes the form of a man’s chest, shoulders or arms or a woman’s legs, bottom or tummy, muscle wins over fat every time. What would you rather carry around at the beach this summer, fat or muscle? The stress of putting a load on your muscles greater than you’re able to do triggers two adaptive biological responses. First, resistance training stimulates muscle development. Second, weight training slows the loss of bone density as we grow older. We can’t stop the aging process but we can slow it down significantly. Strength training is especially beneficial to women as they are at risk of osteoporosis as they age. Both men and women should lift weights.
Mark March 1st as the start date of your 12-week body transformation and you’ll be looking great on June 1st. Here are some tips within the three components of my Get Fit, Lean program:
· Nutrition Plan
o Put yourself in calorie deficit
o Pass on the refined carbohydrates
o Do eat whole intact foods
· Cardio Exercise
o Pick exercises that you enjoy
o Do some form of cardio daily
o Get your heart rate up and sweat
· Resistance training
o Trigger your adaptive response to exercise
o Isolate each muscle group once a week
o Get adequate rest and recovery
No matter what your age, gender or starting point you can completely change your body composition, improve our health, build your self-esteem, and achieve your fitness goals. I’ll see you at the beach this summer.
Yours in fitness,
J. D. Griffin