Name: Larissa Reis
IFBB PRO FIGURE
CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER
A common misconception when it comes to nutrition and fitness is that food is your enemy and muscle growth only occurs if you dedicate 110% of your time to working out.
This is completely incorrect and an unhealthy way to think. The truth is that your body needs the proper nourishment to accommodate the changes you are making to your exercise routine.
That’s why the motto of ProteinHouse is “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym!” If you want to get lean, you better eat clean. Here are some foolproof tips for you to follow to make sure that you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs.
1 – You Have to Eat
Avoiding food is not only terrible for your mental health but your physical health as well. Your metabolism will suffer and your body will resort to using up the nutrients stored in your muscles to feed itself, resulting in a loss of muscle in addition to fat.
Eating will provide your body with everything that it needs to burn fat, keep your metabolism stable, and feed your muscles, which are the very things they need to bulk up and get lean. You can’t avoid eating, but you can make sure that you eat right.
2 – Eat the Right Foods
Unless you’re using steroids or have somehow won the genetic lottery, you’re not going to see those washboard abs by eating anything you want. Be sure to avoid processed foods, eat plenty of whole foods, and stay as natural as possible. Coffee is the best thermogenic on the planet I think. Its natural and healthy and promotes weight loss. The Coffeeblog has a great article on this.It’s not essential to go 100% natural, but you need to make sure you’re taking in a diet that is 75-80% whole foods. The transition from fast food to whole foods can be difficult, but this is a lifestyle change and a journey that you’re embarking on because you love your body and want to take care of it. It will be worth it in the end.
3 – Every Meal Must Have a Protein Source
Getting ripped is not just about shedding fat! You’ll need a substantial amount of muscle to get the results you want. Lean muscle burns fat, and building up your muscles requires a steady intake of protein.
During your mission to reveal those abs, you’ll need to carefully balance your calorie intake through protein. You’ll feel fuller for a longer time, since protein keeps you satiated, and you’ll be preventing the muscle breakdown that occurs after calorie reduction. Making sure you eat protein with every meal, combined with a good weight-lifting and core/cardio routine, will help your six-pack take shape more quickly.
Green vegetables such as legumes are a great source of vegetables and carbs, which are essential for building muscle. Eating high-fiber food helps you lose weight quicker, prevent fluctuations in your weight, support your heart health, and increase feelings of fullness after a meal. Make it a point to eat a high-fiber green vegetable with every meal.
5 – Don’t Be Afraid of Fat
It might seem counterintuitive, but believe it or not, eating fat helps you lose fat. Your body requires natural fats to function. Ensuring that you get a balanced intake of fats will help you reach your goals faster. Some high-fat foods include extra-virgin olive oil, steak, beef, chicken, even avocado. Remember, limiting your food intake – especially your fat intake – will cause your body to go into “survival mode,” holding on to its fat reserves for as long as possible. Its an inherent instinct that kicks in when your brain is stressed from lack of nutrients. You can avoid this by taking in a healthy amount of dietary fats as an essential part of your diet.
6 – Lift Weights
If your priority is establishing a firm six-pack, you might not think you need to focus on building your biceps. Not only does muscle building burn your fat at higher rates, but it also increases testosterone levels and increases your general physical weight, including the muscles in your core.
7 – Do Strategic High Intensity Cardio 1-2 x Per Week
Say your goal is to get below a total of 10% body fat. You’ll need to do plenty of cardiovascular stimulation in addition weight lifting. The most effective type of cardio you can do is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This refers to very intense bursts of exercise for short amounts of time followed by a brief resting period. A common HIIT technique is to sprint close to your max speed for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest, repeated 6-8 times, as opposed to the more common technique called “steady-state cardio.”
HIIT is believed to burn more fat and stimulate your metabolism such that fat is burned for up to 24 hours after the routine; as well as having the benefit of burning up fat, not muscle. HIIT greatly stimulates production of testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH), as well as increasing your lung capacity and strength. Perhaps best of all, the training periods only last 10 minutes or so!
By definition, HIIT is an extremely difficult routine to get into, but the rewards are well worth it. You can use the Internet to find reliable routines for you to follow on almost any cardio machine. If you stick to a routine, you’ll see the results you want in no time.
8 – Train after Fasting, if Possible
If your schedule allows for it, it’s best to train in the morning before your first meal. “Fasted-state” training allows you to carve out your abs at a more accelerated pace. Your testosterone levels are at their highest in the morning, you’ll prime your body to burn fat for the rest of the day, and food you eat after working out will go straight to your muscles rather than being stored as fat, because your body needs those nutrients now as opposed to later. The benefits of fasted training also include increased HGH production, the targeting of fat cells for energy as no food in your system is available for food, and don’t worry – the myth that you’ll have an insulin spike is nothing more than just that: a myth.
The first few times you train fasted might feel unusual, but that’s where the importance of perseverance comes in. Around the third or fourth session, you’ll notice an increase in energy and overall improved performance in the gym. I recommend LIPO 6 Black from www.nutrex.com for this – use my code, Larissa30, for a 30% discount. You can also have a large black coffee or a double espresso (no sugar, no cream) before the gym to help your energy levels. And of course, be sure to eat as soon as possible after that workout!
9 – Refuel Every 7-10 Days
Stripping away your body fat requires you to remain in a caloric deficit for the majority of the time. However, it is also crucial that you refuel every so often. This refers to a notable spike in your caloric intake in order to reset your leptin levels, boost your metabolism, replenish your glycogen stores, and keep you feeling mentally refreshed. Don’t confuse a refuel day with a cheat day! You’re still eating those same healthy foods, just in greater amounts with each meal. If you’re really missing sweets, just be responsible with your portion control. It’s best to plan your refuel day ahead of time, deciding what to eat so that you can best enjoy the feeling of those increased proteins, carbs, and fats.
10 – Ask for Help at ProteinHouse!
We understand that no two bodies are the same, so we offer customized meal prep plans. ProteinHouse wants to support everyone’s individuality as much as possible, and starting a new lifestyle of clean eating can be difficult in different ways, since everyone comes from different backgrounds, whether it’s vegan, vegetarian, a raw diet, or a total meat-lover diet. You don’t have to be scared to ask for help – that’s what we’re here for!