Posts Tagged ‘Hydration’

Nutrition is absurdly simple.

Hard, but simple.

By and large, though, we expend our time and resources looking at the wrong things ‚ÄĒ and the choices we ultimately make come down to which promises the fastest results.

Regrettably, there are no tricks or a “superfood” protocol that can shed body fat and get you from point A to point B lightning fast. But, there are some gold nuggets I’d like to share with you that can have a tremendous effect in terms of your health and body composition.

1. Don’t fear salt

 

We’ve¬†been indoctrinated into this mindset where salt is to be avoided at all cost. Despite the widespread belief salt is bad for you, I’m here to tell you it is in fact a major contributor for optimal health and performance.¬†I say this with a complete understanding¬†it will likely take a couple more years before we erode the vilification of salt.

It’s an essential mineral.

It aids in digestion and regulates your metabolism, increases blood flow and circulation, which then helps deliver nutrients to the body, and helps remove waste.

Conversely, salt restriction can have an adverse effect on your health. You’ll start to run into problems such as: low blood volume, electrolyte imbalance, chronic fatigue, and headaches. These symptoms become more pronounced if you exercise regularly.

Likewise, when you cut out salt from your diet, your body compensates ‚ÄĒ it pulls minerals from your bones. In turn, you start to run on fumes, which then elevates your heart rate and blood pressure.

So, if you think about it the very thing you’ve been told to restrict is actually causing the problem.

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2. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement

 

It’s been well documented low levels of vitamin D poses a real risk to your health. Granted, it may not be the only micronutrient we want to pay attention to, but it is a major player.

It largely affects your mood, energy, sleep, and can negatively impact your cognitive function and brain health. It‚Äôs also worth mentioning that it plays a significant role in your immune system, and is strongly associated with your body’s sensitivity to insulin. In other words, if you’re low in vitamin D chances are carbohydrates aren’t your friend.

Sadly, more than 40 percent of American adults are considered deficient. In addition to sunlight, fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, whole eggs, and dairy are among the best sources.  

For adults, a safe range to supplement is 2,000-4,000IU daily.

3. Everybody should be taking a magnesium supplement

 

Once you have the point above in check, it’s important to outline the inclusion of another micronutrient, magnesium. Sufficient levels of magnesium is required because they aid in the absorption and metabolism of vitamin D.

Recent research suggests that vitamin D alone could possibly be dangerous. Too much leads to a surplus of calcium in the blood, which can cause calcification of the arteries.

Without magnesium taking vitamin D alone is rendered useless.¬†What’s more, low magnesium has been shown to increase blood pressure, and has a negative effect on carbohydrate metabolism. There is also an increased risk of bone fractures, which could also be attributed to low vitamin D.

For males, shoot for 400-450 mg. For females, 300-350 mg. If you choose to go the au naturel route, nuts and leafy vegetables are among the best food sources of magnesium.

4. A brief period of eye-bulging discomfort is what you might need

 

Restrictive methods are completely unwarranted because at the end of the day if you can’t adhere to a plan long-term, then you’re bound to crash at some point.¬†Meanwhile, there are certain individuals who need a degree of restraint in order to get the ball rolling.

I’m all for kicking your feet up and enjoying a savory meal, but for the sake of your progress, a brief period of eye-bulging discomfort is what you might need.¬†Generally, those who are sedentary and have baggage need to consider eliminating, or at the very least, meticulously controlling their guilty pleasures.

Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh, but I’ll tell you what, it’s certainly the best approach to reduce your body fat and unsightly gut.

This strategy may not be sustainable, but for 30-60 days¬†you’d be surprised how far better off you’ll be when you put aside things that are counterproductive.¬†Effectively, you’ll improve your health markers which positively impacts body composition.¬†It’s not punishment. It’s a rite of passage.

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5. Pay close attention to your gut

 

For some odd reason, people perceive gas and bloating as healthy.  This is especially true for those who habitually go on detoxes. Frankly, I find it mildly entertaining.

I hate to break it to you, but the only reason a detox might work well in the beginning is because you’ve eliminated the crap you normally consume.

Gas and bloating is not by any stretch of the imagination, healthy. And, if you’re going straight to the toilet that should already give you an indication that it is anything but. Moreover, continuing to consume foods or stay on a diet that causes gut distress wreaks havoc on your health and performance ‚ÄĒ ¬†and it makes fat loss extremely difficult.

6. Hydrate first thing in the morning

 

This is one of those “Thank you, Captain Obvious” moments.

And, it’s certainly a drum I keep beating, for good reason. The vast majority are chronically dehydrated. Many disregard and fail to understand the importance of adequate hydration.

Instead of drinking a glass of cold water first thing in the morning, you’re reaching for a cup of coffee. I’m no purists, but the most important things we should give our attention to are often the simplest.

Along with sleep, drinking enough water is the easiest thing you can do to move forward.

It’s holiday season, so I thought it best to shed some light on strategies that many of us tend to overlook when it comes to effective fat loss.

Hint:¬†There’s no big secret. It all comes down to making an effort, and creating good habits.

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1. Improving Sleep Quality

 

In a hierarchy of importance, insulin sensitivity and thyroid function are at the top of list. Both of which are highly affected by the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting. ¬†If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re only getting 5-6 hours of sleep, good luck.

In short, lack of sleep makes you fatter.

If you’re¬†constantly looking around the market for the best fat burner and detox without addressing the quality of your sleep, you need a reality check.

Pro Tip: If you’re having a hard time sleeping, I recommend supplementing with magnesium and vitamin D.

2. Creating Structure

 

Attempting to execute on the fly rarely works in your favor, so develop a sound routine ‚ÄĒ one that allows you to remain consistent. For God’s sake, please don’t wing it.

Plan ahead.

Make it a priority.

Get it done.

‘Nuff said.

3. Drinking More Water

 

So simple, and so painfully obvious, yet it behooves me to continually advocate it.

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s still surprising how a lot of people overlook the importance of adequate hydration.

It’s not rocket science. Don’t make it super complicated.

Drink a 12-16oz glass of cold water first thing in the morning to kickstart your metabolism. Then, hydrate throughout the day.

Take Home Message

 

It all boils to down to keeping it ridiculously stupid simple. Yes¬†‚ÄĒ it’s not sexy or arousing information, but it works.

Glossing over the details or what’s currently trending rarely leads to “long-term” success.

Get really good at executing the basics, and you’ll reap the benefits.

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