1. Eat real food
It goes without saying that what you eat, and how much you eat is going to largely determine your form. Put another way — you are what you eat. If your diet consists of minimally processed foods, you’re body will pay you back. If you eat crap… well, you get my point.
2. Supplements WILL NOT get you shredded
Supplements can be very useful in aiding you to your goals, but don’t think for one second that it’s the missing link. Truth is they play a very small role. Rather than worry about what supplements to take, adherence to proper (not restrictive) nutrition must first be met. No pill or protein powder is going to offset poor eating habits.
3. Move more first
Fat loss is simple by design — move more, eat less.
Any time you want to lose weight, you simply create a calorie deficit. Most beginners, however, share a common theme. They create too much of a deficit and they end up restricting too many food groups. We can certainly argue that some foods are better than others, but the most important factor that drives fat loss (from my perspective) is movement.
I’m not implying that you shouldn’t be diligent with your nutrition. What I’m trying to convey is before you think about going on a “diet”, how about moving more first. There’s plenty of time to make the necessary adjustments.
4. Mitigate alcohol consumption
Without spitting too much facts — alcohol diminishes your gains because it slows the rate of protein synthesis, and ultimately affects how your body is going to utilize energy (release it or store it). Don’t get me wrong, I do like to kick my feet up and enjoy the occasional cold one. In fact, moderate alcohol consumption is actually healthy. Where it becomes a detriment is when you go overboard.
5. Drop The Soda. Drink Water
If you’re not properly hydrated, you’re just putting yourself in a position where you’re not facilitating a positive outcome. Simply drinking more water daily can trigger a response leading to positive changes in performance and body composition.
Stay hydrated, my friends.
6. Consume more protein
Muscle is your body’s best tool for burning fat, and you can’t build muscle without a sufficient amount of quality protein. Not only does it help support lean body mass, but it keeps your metabolism elevated due to its high thermic value — it takes a lot of energy to digest.
Get that protein.
7. Do not cut sodium
One of the most misunderstood essential nutrient is sodium. The very thing that most doctors tell you to cut out of your diet, is the very thing that is hurting you. In addition to improved performance and joint integrity, optimal sodium intake increases blood volume, which then helps deliver nutrients to the body and helps remove waste.
Don’t be alarmed by the weight gain when you increase your sodium intake. That’s due to water retention. Once your body adapts, it will normalize and you’ll start to see just how beneficial it is for overall health.
It’s also worthwhile to note that there’s been studies suggesting that people who suffer from hypothyroidism can benefit from increasing their sodium intake.
8. Shrink the change
As human beings, we have a propensity to make things more complicated than it has to be, and as a result, it overwhelms us. There’s no need to make drastic changes. Focus on making small improvements everyday. Start small and work your way up. To paraphrase Chip and Dan Heath, “Small targets lead to small victories, and small victories can often trigger a positive spiral of behavior. Big changes come from a succession of small changes.”