Any time is the perfect time to kick your workout routines into high gear—and actually make some significant progress toward reaching your ultimate get-lean goals.
We know you want to get rid of that last bit of fat and finally uncover the cut body you’ve got hiding underneath. We know because we asked readers: If you could transform your body overnight, would you pump up your shoulders, get a huge chest, or a go for a serious six-pack?
The answer? None of the above: 43% of you said you’d want an “overall fat-free physique,” rather than a single bigger or better body part. So we want to help you achieve that.
We asked some of the most respected trainers and experts about the best ways to jumpstart fat loss and get lean via training, diet, and lifestyle tweaks. You’ll have to work hard for every ounce, of course, but we can promise you—the results will be worth it.
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“All exercise burns calories,” says Dr Jeff Volek an exercise and nutrition scientist at the University of Connecticut. “But it’s the combination of different types of exercise that will optimise your leanness.”
In one of Volek’s studies he put people on a reduced calorie plan, and divided them into three groups. One group didn’t exercise, another did aerobic exercise three days a week and a third did aerobic and weight training three days a week (like this programme).
The results: those who combined lifting with aerobic exercise, the way you will in this plan, shed nearly 3kg more fat.
How you’ll do better
So a blend of weights and cardio is the best way to lose fat, but it is possible to go not one, but two better. First, the cardio plans that follow are short enough to be done after your weights session. This is the perfect time because doing cardio after weights burns 27% more calories than cardio by itself, according to research from the University of Tokyo.
Secondly, you won’t be running, cycling or rowing at the same old steady state pace, you’ll do interval training – alternating between periods of hard work and recovery. Research at Laval University, Canada found this kind of training can burn up to three times more fat than exercising at the same pace. So you’ll be doing weights followed by optimum length cardio sessions.
The result: more muscle, less fat and a body that’ll make those old T-shirts at the back of your cupboard fit like a torso-shaped glove.
Your action plan
After your weights workout choose one of the following interval training regimes and aim to wrap up both your weights and cardio in an hour at most. Mix it up as much as possible and never repeat the same interval workout twice in a week.
You don’t have to do it in the gym either. After you’ve finished the weights hop on your bike or go outside for a run. Just follow the work-to-rest guidelines in the cardio workouts section. If you want to go for a long run at the weekend, do it in the morning. When you wake up, your core body temperature is at its lowest, allowing for improved endurance.
“In a recent study, people riding bikes could push themselves 5.3 minutes longer at 6:45am than at 6:45pm, because a cooler body delays overheating,” says study author Dr Ruth Hobson. Stick to the routine for four weeks and you’ll have more muscle, more leisure time and the very best results in the shortest time possible.
How To Get Lean
1. The stationary bike – 20 minutes
Step 1: Do a 4-minute warm-up ride on low resistance
Step 2: Ride as fast as you can for 40 seconds then pedal slowly for 20 seconds so you can recover. Repeat this 10 times.
Step 3: Ride as fast as you can for 20 seconds then rest for 10. Do this 6 times.
Step 4: Set the bike to a low resistance and ride for 3 minutes at a slow pace to cool down.
Why: “You’re seated and don’t have to propel your bodyweight forward, so you burn fewer calories than running,” says Christian Finn of the factsaboutfitness.com. “To get around this, the periods of hard work are much longer, making your body expend a huge number of calories while building a set of calves that’ll stand up against the chunkiest of trainers.”
2. The rowing machine – 20 minutes
Step 1: Do a 3-minute warm-up row on a resistance of about 5.
Step 2: Set the resistance to level 10 then row as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Keep the resistance set to level 10 but grab the handle with an underhand grip and row for 60 seconds at a pace slow enough to catchhttps://www.menshealth.com/uk/building-muscle/the-mh-ultimate-treadmill-challenge your breath. Repeat this 7 times.
Step 3: Alternate between rowing for 15 seconds at a fast pace and 15 seconds at a slow pace. Do this for 7 minutes.
Step 4: Cool down for 3 minutes by rowing at a slow pace.
Why: “The rower’s resistance can easily be adjusted making it ideal for these short intense intervals that harvest calories while building bigger arms and a wide back that’ll block anyone else’s chances of getting to the bar,” says Finn.
3. The treadmill – 20 minutes
Step 1: Do a 4-minute warm-up by running at a slow speed that’s just fast enough to make you jog.
Step 2: Sprint at a speed of about 15kph for 90 seconds then reduce the speed to about 7kph, so that you jog for 90 seconds to recover. Repeat this 3 times.
Step 3: Sprint at a speed of about 17kph (or faster if you can manage it) for 60 seconds then reduce the speed to about 7kph, so that you jog for 60 seconds to recover. Repeat this 3 times.
Step 4: Cool down for 1-2 minutes by walking at a slow pace.
Why: “Short, intense intervals (30 seconds on and off) aren’t suitable for treadmills – they take too long to speed up and slow down. So the work and rest periods last longer than on any of the other machines,” explains Finn. You’ll drip with sweat and feel the runner’s high. Your new lean physique will be pretty dizzying, too.
Have you made the decision to get in shape, lose weight, and reduce body fat all in the name of improving your overall health? If so, hats off to you. However, while getting fit and leaning out are great goals to have, implementing sustainable methods will be vital to your success.
Using your friend's fitness program or the latest trendy diet may sound like a good quick-fix, but what works for one person isn't always best for another.
Magazines and diet websites don’t always represent complete truths about fitness and nutrition. It's important to approach a fitness plan realistically while researching accurate information to reach your goals.
A key step to achieving your fitness goals is knowing how to do it the right way.
This will mean researching evidence-based nutrition proven to actually work, as well as consulting with your doctor to ensure you're approaching your health and fitness goals in a healthy manner.
Many do-it-yourself (DIY) nutrition and fitness programs are not recommended for newcomers, or even for active adults. It can be tempting to use the latest trending diet promising a fit body in a month, but empty promises often equal disappointing results.
When it comes to your health and fitness goals, it's essential to be prepared with the proper tools that can actually provide lasting results in a healthy way.
Why Restricting Calories Can Work Against You
Many people believe cutting back calories is the best way to lose weight and reduce body fat. But as with any lifestyle change, if you can’t maintain it in the long-term, the quick results you achieve won’t last long. While quick-fix diets offer quick weight loss, research indicates reducing calories may actually work against you.
Nothing exists in a very low-calorie diet, pill, or powder that creates a healthy body or way to live.
Getting lean and fit require healthy lifestyle changes. This includes consistent healthy eating and exercise to achieve your goals and maintain results.
According to the American Council on Exercise, calorie restriction can result in fat storage. When calories continue to be reduced, the body begins metabolizing lean tissue and muscle mass instead. Other adverse effects may include fatigue, dizziness, constipation, stomach upset, and even an increased overall cholesterol level.
In order to lean out the right way, eating the right diet for your body's needs (not necessarily eating less) is a better approach. Healthy foods, particularly plants, are lower in calories but higher in nutrients, which allow us to eat more of them in our daily diets.
When we eat healthy forms of all macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats), we are able to lean out without disrupting vital body functions. Appropriate caloric intake maintains our metabolism and allows us to lose fat and increase muscle mass accordingly.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, women should consume no less than 1,200 calories per day and men should consume no less than 1,800 calories. If an individual is participating in regular exercise, caloric values would increase to meet increased physical demands and refuel the body.
Stay away from very-low-calorie diets and eat for health, realistic goals, and athletic performance. This combination will promote getting fit and lean while being able to maintain good health.
It takes hard work to lose weight and get the type of lean body you see on the covers of fitness magazines — there's no way around it. That said, having the right plan can make it much easier — and faster — to accomplish. Adopting healthy eating habits and choosing the right exercise program are the keys to getting a lean, toned body. While you are anxious to rid yourself of excess fat, striving to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week is the safest pace, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Prepare Your Mind, Not Just Your Body
Getting a lean body isn't just a physical challenge, it's something you must prepare for mentally. It takes some major lifestyle changes in the form of dietary changes and setting aside adequate time to exercise most days of the week. Prepare by setting a realistic goal for yourself, such as to lose 5 pounds and/or 2 inches off your waistline by the end of the first month. Unrealistic goals, such as losing 20 pounds in four weeks, will only set you up for failure. Be realistic, write down your goals, and put your diet and exercise plan down on paper. Simply writing this stuff down will add some accountability to keep you motivated to succeed day after day.
Diet Dos and Don’ts
To get lean, you have to eat right. It's much easier to cut 500 calories per day than it is to burn it on the treadmill. Eat small meals about five times per day – three meals and two snacks. Each meal should contain whole grains, veggies and lean protein. For snacks, eat a piece of fruit, granola bar, protein shake, or other low-calorie, nutritionally-dense food. If you can manage to eliminate 500 calories per day – about one large doughnut and 20-ounce soda per day – you'd be cutting the equivalent of 1 pound per week, says the CDC. Add regular cardio exercise to boost calorie burn and fat loss.
Six Days a Week for Success
The CDC says an exercise program that includes cardio and resistance training is the most effective and fastest way to improve body composition. It's like a double whammy against fat – cardio burns calories and fat, while resistance training gets your body lean and toned. Exercise six days per week for 30 minutes per session to start. Gradually increase the workout duration as it becomes easier in the coming weeks. Alternate cardio and resistance training days, such as doing cardio on Monday, resistance on Tuesday, cardio again on Wednesday, and so on.
Get Moving, Pushing and Pulling
Choose any cardio exercise you feel comfortable doing, such as jogging, cycling, elliptical training, treadmill exercise, swimming or walking at a brisk pace, to get lean fast. On resistance training days, hit the weights or do bodyweight resistance exercise. An effective bodyweight resistance session could include pushups, squats, pullups, reverse crunches, tricep dips, calf raises and supermans. Increase resistance levels with resistance bands or dumbbells. An effective weight training workout may include bench press, leg press, preacher curls, shoulder press, tricep pulldowns, weighted crunches, seated rows and back extensions. For the first two or three weeks, do just one set of 10 repetitions for each exercise and eventually work your way up to two to three sets.
Jack Up the Intensity
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, helps burn fat and promotes an anaerobic effect that helps build muscle strength in your body. It can help melt away stubborn fat before you know it. Include at least one HIIT workout day per week in your six-day-per-week workout regimen on a cardio day. You can use any aerobic exercise to do your HIIT workout. Start by doing a five-minute warm-up followed by a one minute interval at 70 percent maximum exertion or higher. Next, do a two-minute interval done at a moderate pace — about 50 percent max effort — to recover. Repeat this cycle a total of five times followed by a five-minute cooling down period at the end. It's a quick 25-minute workout that can really speed up your weight loss results.
Taking Care of Your Lean Machine
Get plenty of rest every night to ensure your body fully recovers – about eight hours is ideal. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, including during your workouts, to help keep your energy levels up and your body hydrated. If you miss a workout, or you overindulge at the all-you-can-eat buffet, don't get too down on yourself. You're bound to have small setbacks, but it doesn't have to lead to failure. Use these moments as motivation to get back at it. As you start seeing the new leaner you in the mirror two, three, or four weeks down the line, it will get easier to continue your new healthy lifestyle and keep reaping the benefits that go along with it.
If I had to pick a single move I’d probably go for walking lunges. Aim to do 10 on each leg or set a distance of about 20 metres. Repeat 3x. Add a good 5 seconds hold as you sink into the lunge before stepping into the next.
If you want to work harder, you can even add little pulses through your buttocks to that hold for another 5-10 seconds.
NB: your lunge technique should be perfect before executing a whole series of walking lunges, so:
- Stand with your legs hip width apart and take a big step forward with the right foot. The front (right) knee should be above, not in front of, your ankle.
- Make sure your knee points slightly outwards and press through the heel and outside of that foot.
- Bend the back (left) leg so the knee just hovers above the ground.
- Your hips should be square, slightly hinge forward from your hips to guarantee a straight back and more load through the glutes.
- Make sure your body weight sits just behind that front heel and you keep the shoulders retracted, chest proud and belly button drawn to your spine.
Hot tip: Take the stairs. Always. Everywhere. Anytime. No more elevators, no more escalators.
2. Why does it work?
A walking lunge works a whole lot of leg muscles at the same time. What’s more, maintaining balance and proper positioning through the exercise also activates the core and the stabilizer muscles. Thighs, calves, glutes, and hamstrings will be worked. A lunge sequence can be integrated in any cardio session (best in interval or fartlek style, as it burns more calories).
Climbing stairs works the same muscles used in lunges. (Good news also for us women, it automatically trains the pelvic floor, too). However, it still needs good technique to be properly effective – make sure you place your feet fully and flat onto each stair instead of tip-toeing up or down, and don’t let your knees fall inwards.
Hot tip: Approach your goals in a holistic way – so rather than focus on a single ‘magic’ exercise, think about everything that’s involved to reach a target and bear in mind that once attained, maintaining it will require a change of habits, if not lifestyle.
3. How do we get leaner legs?
Number 1 – eat well.
You can’t get slimmer legs without reducing all-over body fat – and that means cutting out the bad calories from your daily diet.
Let’s face it, for most people, the problem is not that we don’t know how to eat healthy and lean. It’s that we cheat, or find excuses about not having the time or lifestyle to stick to our nutrition plan. Without writing another “how-to-eat-well” guide I’m going to mention just a few well-known do’s and don’ts. So for best results:
- Eat wholesome and balanced, complex carbs only, no sugar, no juice, no sodas, no alcohol, loads of greens and other vegetables, drink sufficient amount of still, filtered water.
- Stick to as much unprocessed and fresh food as possible.
- Don’t overeat, but have 3 main meals a day and healthy snacks in between to keep your blood sugar level constant (eat every 3-4 hrs).
- Cut out vegetable oil and any deep fried food, and as much dairy and soy as possible. Stick to good fats like extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil etc.
- Cut out products labelled ‘low fat’.
- Always read food labels and avoid products which contain chemicals i.e. preservatives, colour, flavour, any E…’s, etc.
Hot tip: Boil water (1-2 litres) in the morning and drink it hot (but drinkable) from a thermos throughout the day. This is a simple Ayurvedic remedy to detox, reduce hunger attacks and stimulate the peristaltic motion.
Number 2 – exercise.
The more you ‘surprise’ your muscles, they better they’ll respond – so blend/do many different workouts and/or sports.
Don’t only focus on your legs – we need to lose overall body fat to get to those leaner pins. Running, swimming, (indoor) rock climbing, cycling, dancing, rollerblading, Barre, Pilates, fast-paced team sports i.e. basketball or touch rugby are great in addition to strength training.
Start with functional training and light weights to strengthen your stabiliser muscles and ligaments before you go over to heavier resistances. Use TRX, free weights and bodyweight exercises instead of machines.
Train your bottom as much if not more than your legs. A lifted and toned bum automatically makes your legs look leaner and longer. Do squats of all varieties, lunges of all kinds, side-lying glute work i.e. leg circles, clamshells, side-lying leg press (at TenPilates we’re famous for the effectives of our rear work), and some inner thigh work.
Number 3 – hormonal balance.
If you talk to nutritionists, endocrinologists or BioSignature practitioners, you might find it interesting to hear that your hormonal profile is responsible for where your body stores fat and that hormonal imbalance can cause weight gain (or loss).
US Nutritionist and BioSignature practitioner Paula Owens has written an overview about this subject on her blog (thepowerof4-paula.blogspot.co.uk). Check out her views on hormones and weight gain, and how oestrogen dominance/low progesterone is partly the reason why females store fat around the waist, thighs and hamstrings.
Number 4 – go with your genetics.
Last, but not least, everybody is different in figure. Short, tall, straight athletic type, or apple, pear, hourglass type… once you’ve dealt with all variables (the factors we can change) like maintaining a normal weight and good level of fitness, as well as having had a look into your hormonal profile, we should learn to love our genetics as they are.
Plastic surgery is of course an option. Though a better – and, frankly, healthier – option is to embrace the ‘fit not thin’ ethos, enjoy the fact that we actually have two healthy, functional legs, and focus on loving them and keeping them strong and toned.
by Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram
Image source: beachbodyimages.com
Who doesn’t want a body like Ranveer Singh’s? If you’re ready to get ripped, stop focusing on killer diets or rigorous workouts. Learn how to get lean with these tips:
- Start off with cardio: Cardio is any form of exercise that gets your heart rate up and amps up blood circulation. The benefits are many: increased metabolism, improved hormonal profile and recovery ability and stronger heart health. One must aim for a minimum of 20 minutes for three days a week.
- Focus on strength training: For a lean body, one must focus on doing two sessions of strength exercises for each body part in a week. The ideal number of sets per body part can be: 9-12 sets for major muscles and 6-8 sets for minor muscles. The number of reps per set should be between 6 and 12.
- Adjust your protein intake: A lean muscular body necessitates the requisite amount of protein. Try and consume 1.6-2.2 gms of protein per kg of body weight. But although protein is an extremely important part of your diet, make sure you ingest enough complex carbohydrates and natural fats as well.
- Up yourfibre intake: What makes fibre so desirable? It’s a kind of carbohydrate the body can’t break down into glucose to use for energy. Soluble fibre attracts water and slows down digestion, keeping you satiated longer. Insoluble fibre promotes regular bowel movements and aids healthy digestive function. Fibre also slows the release of carbohydrates. Make high-fibre foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy veggies, hummus and beans a part of your diet.
- Opt for HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training – short intense bouts of exercise interspersed with gentler paced ones – is extremely recommended. Not only does the body burn more calories during HIIT workouts but you also continue to burn more calories and fat in the 24 hours after an HIIT workout. Try Tabata to stimulate muscle-building hormones, which helps in building lean mass, and strengthens the cardiovascular system.
- Don’t overdo things: Don’t diet yourself to death. Eating healthy is the best way to get that dream body. Don’t go beyond your body needs when it comes to cardiovascular exercise. Overtraining may make your body adapt to cardio – meaning it will learn to burn the fewest amount of calories possible in an attempt to run farther and longer using less energy.
Lean is better than bulk. Bulking up needs you to consume a lot of calories, which lead to unnecessary fat storage around the muscles. The result is a bloated-up appearance with no muscle definitions.
So make sure you get shredded in super-quick time and are the fittest you can be.
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Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram
Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for bodybuilding. Combining his love for fitness with his career, Sharu did his certification in Sports Nutrition, and Rehabilitation and Healing Nutrition. Currently a Master Trainer with HealthifyMe, he specializes in Weight Management, Marathon Training, and Physical Rehabilitation. In his 20+ years of experience, Sharu has always maintained that one’s mind must have control over their body in order to lead a healthy life. At HealthifyMe, he continues to follow his passion while helping those around him realise their fitness goals.
Reasons for fat loss come on a spectrum. Some people just want to carve off a bit of timber, while for others “six-pack abs” is a permanent fixture on their bucket list. But how much do you actually need to lose, and what do you need to do to achieve it?
For men, 25% body fat or more is considered unhealthy: you can expect lower energy levels, a drop in life expectancy and heightened risk of metabolic disease. Between 15 and 20% is the sweet spot – easy to maintain, linked to a host of health improvements and respectable shirt-off territory.
From there on down, it gets tougher – 13-15% means making sacrifices, while 10-12% is elite athlete territory, where you’ll start to see your abs definition in exchange for a diet that’s almost always on point and several training sessions a week. Sub-10% is rare air indeed, and tough to maintain without constant commitment.
It’s key to remember that a lot of fat loss comes down to diet: you’ll need to eat more protein and vegetables, cut down on processed food, sugar and booze, and hydrate properly. But training will give you a nudge. Here’s how to set up a plan that it complements and supports your diet.
Use A Two-Way Split
“Although energy balance is key for fat loss and a full-body workout may seem like the way to go to burn maximum calories, an alternating upper/lower body split can actually be more beneficial,” says body composition specialist Andrew Tracey. “It allows more intensity – so rather than being blown out towards your final few exercises and going in half-hearted, your workout can stay ferocious to the end.”
Train On The Minute
For fat loss, short rests are key: instead of letting your water fountain breaks gradually get longer, start a timer and do each set at the start of the minute. “By working with an EMOM structure – every minute on the minute – you can put the kibosh on any thoughts of taking longer rest periods,” says Tracey. “This will result in a compounding effect as the reps gradually get more and more difficult, rest time gets shorter and lactic acid builds up, causing your body to release a cascade of vital fat-burning hormones.”
“Finish with eight to 16 minutes of conditioning work,” says Tracey. “High-rep bodyweight or lightweight circuit movements combined with intense cardio works best. These finishers work to not only ramp up the calorie burn of your workout, but can aid in increasing your overall daily energy expenditure even after your workout, via a process known as excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption. Though it’s still not fully clear just how effective this afterburn effect is, the time saved by performing these protocols versus traditional cardio techniques makes them the superior option.”
Compound lifts are key here: biceps curls and leg extensions won’t do much to kick your metabolism into high gear. “Have a couple of regular finishers that you can track,” says Tracey. “Make a note not only of the weights you used for each exercise, but also record your reps or time, so you always know how many you need to perform to ensure you’re progressing. When you beat your original ‘score’ by 20%, add weight.”
Start with a 10-1 burpee and thruster ladder: perform ten burpees, then ten dumbbell front squat push presses (also known as thrusters), and then go immediately into nine burpees and nine thrusters, and continue down the “ladder” until you reach one. Go faster each time.
In This Series :
This lower-body emphasis session pairs two sets of moves in an EMOM format – alternate which you do until time’s up
Reps 5 Time 15min (start of every odd minute)
Do this at the start of minute 1, 3, 5 and so on up to 15. Pick a weight that will let you hit five reps each round, with some time to rest.
Stand with the bar on the floor close to your shins. Lean down and grasp the bar using an overhand grip with your hands just outside of your legs. Keeping a neutral back, lift the bar by driving your heels into the floor and your hips forwards to come up to standing. Lower the bar slowly.
1B Barbell lunge
Reps 5 each side Time 15min (start of every even minute)
Do this on minute 2, 4, 6 and so on up to 14. Do five reps on each leg, alternating legs with each rep, then rest for the remainder of the minute.
Stand with the bar resting on your shoulders behind your neck. Take a big step forwards and lower until both knees are bent at a 90° angle. Push back up and return to the starting position.
2A Front squat
Reps 5 Time 15min (start of every odd minute)
Repeat the pattern above, alternating with 2B for 15 minutes. Do five reps then rest for the remainder of the minute.
Hold a barbell in front of your shoulders with your elbows pointing forwards. Keep your elbows as high as possible throughout the movement. Lower into a squat, keeping your weight on your heels, then drive back up to standing.
2B Romanian deadlift
Reps 8-10 Time 15min (start of every even minute)
From standing, hinge forwards at the hips to lower the bar, keeping it close to your shins until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Straighten back up to standing.
Finisher: Rowing / Burpee
On a rowing machine, try to burn 200 calories as fast as possible. Each minute on the minute, stop and perform five burpees.
To perform a burpee, begin by dropping and placing your hands next to your feet from standing, then jump your feet backwards to land in a press-up position. Jump your feet forwards again to your hands and jump straight up. For a harder burpee variation, lower your chest to the floor once you’re in the press-up position.
From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men’s Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.
I have been researching methods to lose weight in a healthy manner and called in the “big guns.” No, actually, I called the BIG GUNS. The nutritionist who helped me with this diet is also a body builder who knows how to trim the fat off every area of your body, especially the torso. If you want six-pack abs, combine this diet plan with cardio activity and abdominal exercises as listed in the “Achieving Washboard Abs” and “Lose the Love Handles” articles.
For this diet, the goal will be 5-6 meals a day, spaced out every three hours. The stomach takes about three hours to empty, so try to keep it full but never stuffed. The small meals are just enough to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Remember that when you skip meals, your metabolism slows down and you will not burn calories as well. Eating and exercise boost your metabolism. The base of the diet will be high protein, enough complex carbohydrates for the workouts and low fat.
Here are the diet recommendations:
6 a.m.: Meal 1
This meal can have more fat because you have all day to burn it off.
5 egg-white omelet: You can throw one whole egg in for flavor. (Use a little cheese and pepper for taste.) if you want to add some ground turkey breast or vegetables, go ahead.
2 slices of wheat toast or small multi-grain bagel; I put low-fat peanut butter and sugar-free jelly. The more grains in your bread the better; nine-grain bread is a great toast in this case. Avoid all white breads, pasta, flour, etc.
Work out. Do cardio in the morning.
9 a.m.: Meal 2 (Post-Workout)
Eat carbs now after the workout; it helps with insulin transport and recovery.
Skim milk with banana or oatmeal with raisins in it (you could even go with small portions of both if you want).
No fat yogurt. (You can also have a piece of fruit if you have oatmeal.)
Noon: Meal 3
Ground turkey breast with a little cheese (no mayonnaise — you can have mustard, A1 sauce, low-fast salad dressing) in a whole-wheat wrap. I often have two of these. (If you like peppers or similar vegetables, you can throw them in since they add no fat.)
- Baked chips (regular)
- Broccoli (light butter; you can use the spray if you truly want to avoid all fat)
- Piece of fruit
3 p.m.: Meal 4
1 can of tuna fish or egg whites here again with a multi-grain, whole-wheat bagel or bread. However, since most people are at work and have to have food that is easy, you can settle for another wrap, yogurt and cold carrots.
5 p.m. workout: Lift or calisthenics in the early evening
Post-Workout Meal 5
I recommend a protein shake right after a workout. If you don’t want a supplement drinks, have a can of tuna with little to no mayo or a piece of chicken on top of a salad and a few wheat crackers and pickles mixed in.
Dinner. Again, you can have good carbs here to give you energy back, but avoid fat since you will go to bed in the next few hours. The last thing you want is fat before you go to bed, because then it is simply going to be stored.
Try the Barilla multigrain pasta. It has 10 grams of protein in a serving and almost no fat. I would have this with turkey breast in it or lean steak, fish or a chicken breast with a sauce of your choice; just avoid fat sauces. This way, you are getting good post-workout carbs and protein. Choose wheat bread and use garlic on it so you have healthy garlic bread.
Now your day is done — good eating mixed with 1-2 workouts. The workouts can be as simple as walking 20-30 minutes or as tough as triathlon training. It is up to you and your fitness level and goals. The diet is great for any person trying to lose body fat.
Do not forget to drink water. See the “Weight Loss Myths” article to read about the importance of water with workouts. Water is the key. Drink it before you eat — it fills you up. I always tell myself to eat when the clock says to eat, not when my body says to eat. This way, I am never full and never hungry. This is a rough idea of how I eat.
Here are some other meals I would try:
- Salad-chicken — no fat dressing
- Chicken broccoli
- Multi-grain pasta, turkey sausage, peppers (red yellow & orange), fat free Italian dressing (a cold dish)
- Turkey breast burger on wheat bread
- Egg whites are always a good meal. (Egg whites are just so healthy)
- Subway roasted chicken breast. Avoid mayo; use the honey mustard or nothing.
- No-fat yogurt
Check food labels and keep the fat down; I would say below 50 grams or so. The goal is to eat fruits and vegetables, multi-grain pasta and breads with chicken, lean meats or fish. Avoid processed foods as much as you can.
If you are diabetic or have other medical issues, contact a doctor or registered dietician before changing your eating habits.
If you workout, then we know you want to get SHREDDED; aka Lean, Cut, Aesthetic, Defined and Muscular. I mean, who doesn’t want to have 6-pack abs to show off? The thing is, as with everything in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. This article will go over the best way of how to get lean while maintaining your hard-earned muscle mass. So, then you can look like Bruce Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or the new Bodybuilding Mr. Olympia sooner than you think!
Absolutely! Many start a diet with the hopes of looking a certain way but don’t realize that weight loss alone just means you will be a smaller version of yourself. If you really want definition, you’ve got to build the muscle underneath first.
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Strength Coach, Powerlifter, Martial Artist, Author of numerous strength, health and fitness books and creator of the Mathias Method Strength System !
The information presented is meant to help guide participants through practices that can help individuals become stronger and healthier through proper use. This information, however, does not promise any benefits when misused or misinterpreted. Please follow the guidelines as directed.
When participating in any exercise or training program there is a possibility of physical injury. If you engage in any movements, exercises or training programs, you agree to do so at your own risk. By voluntarily participating in these activities, you assume all risk of injury to yourself and agree to release and discharge Mathias Method, Ryan J. Mathias and all other affiliates of any responsibility if an injury occurs.
In addition, by following any of the suggested guidelines, protocols, templates, activities or any other information or advice given, you do so at your own risk. Do not begin any nutrition, health, exercise or training program without consulting with a Board Certified Medical Doctor and/or Registered Dietician first.
Always use spotters and any necessary safety equipment when training. It is your duty to inspect all training and safety equipment prior to each use.