Monday, January 1, 2018

Lose Weight, Build Muscle, Look Better Naked in 2018


As the end of the year winds down and the holidays with the best food are quickly approaching, many people are looking ahead to goals for the New Year. Improving body composition and physical fitness are the top resolutions that well-meaning people make year after year. By March, most have given up on their goals and return to their old behaviors. This year can be different. Follow these seven tips to lose fat, build muscle, or look better naked.

1. Plan to Achieve Success

The first thing you need to do is make a plan for success. If you don’t have a plan in place, how will you know what you want to achieve and the way you’ll achieve that goal? By making S.M.A.R.T. goals, you can ensure you reach your fitness goals in 2018. 

S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Make sure that you include the following in your S.M.A.R.T. goal plan:

  • How much weight you want to lose or how much muscle you want to gain
  • How you’ll measure your progress
  • Things you’ll do to attain this goal (e.g. – gym membership, hire a trainer, etc)
  • Ask yourself, “Is this goal realistic?” (e.g. - Gaining 30 pounds of muscle in a month isn’t realistic)
  • Give yourself a realistic and appropriate deadline.

As part of your plan, you should also arm yourself with an effective workout program and meal planner. Be sure to track both on an app like MyFitnessPal. Stick within your suggested caloric limits and make sure you engage in exercise and physical activity several times per week.

Other factors that you can plan ahead for are all of the suggestions below. Be sure to write down my recommendations into your fitness plan so that they will become habit.

2. Go Low-Carb or Ketogenic

Studies are showing that there are incredible benefits when you follow a low-carb diet or the Ketogenic diet, not the least of which is losing fat, building muscle, and looking great naked.

Low-Carb Diet

First, let’s talk about a diet low in carbohydrates with a moderate intake of fat and protein. Low carbohydrate diets have been proven to be more effective at promoting and maintaining weight loss than a low-fat diet. What’s more, low-carb diets have been suggested to help prevent cardiovascular issues such as heart disease.

The recommended macronutrient intake for a low-carb diet is as follows:
  • Carbohydrates: 20%
  • Fat: 45%
  • Protein: 35%

Ketogenic Diet

When it comes to the Ketogenic diet, the latest studies demonstrate some exciting benefits. Not only can the Ketogenic diet support weight loss and ensure you maintain your goal weight but the diet can also support brain health, cardiovascular health, and healthy hormone levels.

The recommended macronutrient intake for a ketogenic diet is as follows:
  • Carbohydrates: 10%
  • Fat: 65%
  • Protein: 25%

Both diets call for you to eliminate all forms of grains, legumes, and processed foods from your diet. Unlike the low-carb diet, the ketogenic diet focuses heavily on the consumption of healthy fats. This may take your body a week or two to fully adjust and this is why I highly recommend the proper ketogenic diet supplements.

3. Drink More Water

While some fitness enthusiasts have gone overboard with water consumption, that doesn’t change the fact that water is great for your body. The key is moderation.

Studies suggest drinking about half of your weight in ounces every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces or a little more than a half of a gallon in clean water (preferably mineral water).

Drinking a healthy amount of water each day has been shown to promote a number of benefits:

  • Body temperature regulation
  • Healthy kidney function
  • Higher metabolism (which helps you look better naked)
  • Physical / Athletic performance
  • Cognitive boosting / More focus
  • Better digestion
  • Alleviates inflammation

4. Walk Your Way to Weight Loss

Without a doubt, walking is one of the best ways to exercise and support your overall health. It’s easy, effective, and you can do it anywhere so long as it’s safe and the weather isn’t terrible. 

Studies on walking go so far as to say that taking a walk, regardless of the pace, will add years to your life! On the more conservative side of the benefits, walking can help burn excess body fat, support cardiovascular health, improve focus, and support healthy blood flow.

I recommend walking 5 miles each day. You don’t have to walk all 5 miles at once. You can split up the distance throughout the day. For example, here are a few ideas for how to get in 5 miles each day:

  • Walk before work
  • Park further away and taking the stairs once you arrive at work or school
  • Walking during your lunch break
  • Walking through campus
  • Taking an evening stroll

If you feel comfortable, I’d also recommend investing in a weighted vest and using it during your walks. You can even use the weighted vest during exercise but avoid jumping exercises when using the vest as you increase the risk of tearing a meniscus.

5. Use These 6 Exercises – No Gym Required

The benefits of exercise have been proven time and time again throughout the last 50 years. Taking part in a consistent and appropriately demanding exercise program can have a dramatically positive impact on your health in a number of ways:

  • Supports weight management
  • Helps you achieve your ideal physique and look better naked
  • Strengthens relationships between working muscle groups
  • Triggers the release of feel good chemicals to improve your mood
  • Increases power and strength
  • Decreases the risk of age and sedentary-related injuries
  • Promotes cardiovascular health

If you want to develop a strong and lean physique without going to the gym, try this bodyweight workout:
  • Plank: Hold for one minute

Take a break of no more than 90 seconds between sets. Repeat this workout four times every day for a total of five sets. 

6. Focus on Recovery for Results

In the same way that you are planning to eat well and exercise, you also need to plan ahead for recovery. It is during your resting time that the body has a chance to repair muscle tissue, flush waste by-products, improve cell health, and boost immunity. If you’re eating a poor diet, over-training, or not sleeping enough, then your body can’t recover as effectively as it should.

Eat healthy options each day, sleep between seven to nine hours each night, and avoid over working yourself. 

I would also highly recommend scheduling time to treat your body well with soaks and massages. Try the following body care techniques:

  • Soak in Epsom salts
  • Get a massage from a trained professional who specializes in Graston Technique or the Active Release technique
  • Chinese cupping
  • 15 minutes in a sauna
  • Daily meditation

7. Do Something Active & Fun

Striving to achieve ideal health doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Studies show that getting out and improving your social relationships has a significantly positive impact on the mind and body. If you’re going to go out and about, I’d recommend avoiding the typical bar scene. Try something new and active like rock climbing or bike riding tours.

If you’re in need of some time away from people after a busy week, go for a hike or simply get outside and surround yourself with nature. The Japanese art of tree bathing, or simply going for a walk in an area surrounded by trees, has been shown to improve health.

The idea is to spend positive time doing things you love and allowing yourself to forget about the daily demands of work, home, and society. Here are some more ideas you can try to have fun and keep active:

  • Sign up for a fitness class
  • Try learning to dance
  • Play mini-golf or laser tag
  • Sign up for a 5k
  • Have a board game night with friends

Conclusion

What fitness goals do you have for 2018? Do you want to build more muscle? Lose weight? Or simply look better naked? Tell me about your physique goals in the comments below!

References

1. Hussein M Dashti, MD PhD FICS FACS, Thazhumpal C Mathew, MSc PhD FRCPath, Talib Hussein, MB ChB, Sami K Asfar, MB ChB MD FRCSEd FACS, Abdulla Behbahani, MB ChB FRCS FACSI PhD FICS FACS, Mousa A Khoursheed, MB ChB FRCS FICS, Hilal M Al-Sayer, MD PhD FICS FACS, Yousef Y Bo-Abbas, MD FRCPC, and Naji S Al-Zaid, BSc PhD. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004 Fall; 9(3): 200–205. PMCID: PMC2716748.

2. Adams, J. H., Koeslag, J. H., (1989), Glycogen Metabolism And Post-Exercise Ketosis In Carbohydrate-Restricted Trained And Untrained Rats. Experimental Physiology, 74 doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.1989.sp003236.

3. Antonio Paoli. Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Feb; 11(2): 2092–2107. PMCID: PMC3945587

4. Noh HS, Lee HP, Kim DW, Kang SS, Cho GJ, Rho JM, Choi WS. A cDNA microarray analysis of gene expression profiles in rat hippocampus following a ketogenic diet. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2004 Oct 22;129(1-2):80-7.

5. Lee J, Bruce-Keller AJ, Kruman Y, Chan SL, Mattson MP. 2-Deoxy-D-glucose protects hippocampal neurons against excitotoxic and oxidative injury: evidence for the involvement of stress proteins. J Neurosci Res. 1999 Jul 1;57(1):48-61.

6. Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, McGuckin BG, Brill C, Mohammed BS, Szapary PO, Rader DJ, Edman JS, Klein S. A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. N Engl J Med. 2003 May 22;348(21):2082-90.

7. Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition reviews. 2010;68(8):439-458. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x.

8. Beddhu S, Wei G, Marcus RL, Chonchol M, Greene T. Light-intensity physical activities and mortality in the United States general population and CKD subpopulation. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015 Jul 7;10(7):1145-53. doi: 10.2215/CJN.08410814. Epub 2015 Apr 30.