I'm going to be honest today... I'M FED UP.
Because of all the BS the fitness industry tries to sell people. "Get Flat Abs in 5 Days!" "Lose 30 Pounds in 10 Days!" "Chop Off Your Left Arm and Lose 5 Pounds Instantly!" As I was waiting in line to check out at the grocery store, I couldn't help but notice these BOLD (-faced lies) headlines that plagued my site.
But you know what pisses me off the most about these headlines?
I USED TO BELIEVE THEM.
I used to try quick fixes. Fad diets. Juice cleanses, no carbs, Paleo, clean eating, IIFYM - you name it, I've probably tried it.
That's why today I want to tell it to you LIKE IT IS, because after all the BS I tried for way too long...
I've finally found a sustainable way of mixing healthy eating and training that:
- is actually enjoyable
- doesn't make you want to cut off/eat your arm or a piece of cardboard because you're so hungry
- makes you LOOK and FEEL amazing
We're going to cut right through all the crap the fitness industry tells you and get to the TRUTH about what it takes to get results.
There's SO much contradictory information out there (cardio, or no cardio? carbs, or no carbs?)
It's enough to make anyone's head spin, so, if you don't have it all figured out yet, don't stress.
Here's part of an email Mark and I created for our Monthly Challenge email list. We're running a new one in March if you're interested, here's the link! ENJOY :)
Here are the few things that we recommend you do (over a long period of time) to get the best results. For the sake of time, let's keep it super simple, shall we?
1. Nutrition: 90% of your food should come from whole, clean sources. This means one-ingredient foods like lean meats (turkey, chicken, fish, beef), vegetables (broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, etc.), fruits (apples, berries, bananas, etc.), and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, nuts, seeds).
It's really not complicated.
Remember this for each meal you create: PHFF - protein, healthy fats, fiber. If every meal you create follows this format, I guarantee you will not only start to LOOK the way you want, you'll have way more energy, too!
- Protein: start with 4 oz protein (women) or 6 oz (men) -- this can be any lean meat: fish, chicken, beef, turkey
- Healthy fats: include a healthy fat, such as 1/2 avocado, 1 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil as a dressing (or what you cook with - but be careful because fat calories can add up quickly), or a handful nuts/seeds
- Fiber: balancing out your meal with a healthy dose of carbs is crucial to your energy and the sustainability of this lifestyle. But notice I didn't say "carbs" here, I said fiber. That's because the healthier carbs (veggies, fruits, oatmeal, potatoes, brown rice, beans) all contain fiber, whereas the less-nutritional options (breads, pastas, etc.) aren't 'bad' for you in moderation, but they won't fill you up as much because they don't have fiber. Fiber = key to fullness and 'regularity,' if ya know what I'm sayin.
Initially, don't worry about meal timing. Don't worry about counting macros. Just follow this format, take the complication out of it... once you get to a certain level of leanness and want to get even leaner, you can start tracking and dialing it in. For a beginner/intermediate lifter/person who just wants to live an all-around healthy lifestyle and look/feel good, not necessary.
2. Training: a mixture of lifting heavy weights (relative to you, individually) and the right kind of cardio is the perfect recipe for achieving a lean, muscular or "toned" physique.
Start with working out 2-3 days per week if you're not used to training at all. Full body exercises are usually good for these 3 days. Then, start adding on once you've nailed down the 2/3 times per week.
Cardio is great for keeping your heart healthy and speeding up your fat loss progress. HIIT allows you to get the most bang for your buck (i.e. you can burn about the same amount of calories in 20 minutes of HIIT than 45ish doing steady-state cardio at a lower heart rate). Do sprint intervals on a bike, treadmill, stairs, etc. (30 sec. on, 45 sec.-1 min rest x 10-12 times is a good place to start) -- start doing this twice per week in addition to your lifts, all the way up to 4-5 times per week if you really want to speed things up. Don't overdo it! Nutrition is going to make the biggest difference in fat loss.
3. Recovery: Sleep and recovery (foam rolling, stretching, being active in your time outside of the gym) are essential to fat loss. The more you sleep and the lower your stress levels are, the better suited your hormones will be for fat loss. In other words, if you're lacking sleep or super stressed all the time - your body will actually hold onto fat, especially in stubborn areas. Don't underestimate the power of sleep and having a healthy mindset when it comes to fat loss!
4. Patience and consistency: No matter what some salesy headline says that promises to help you "Lose 30 pounds in 7 days!" ... or what juice cleanse sounds super tempting ... these are all BS claims. If they do produce results initially, it will be short-term and you will likely gain everything back immediately after returning to your normal way of eating.
It's a long, long road to get to your 'ideal' body -- but try to enjoy the journey! You experience so much growth, both in your mindset AND in the gym, that is super rewarding.
That's why it's so important to find a way of eating that you love (using the guidelines above) and a way of training that makes you excited to go to the gym. There will be days you don't feel motivated, but it's your drive to become a better person - coupled with commitment and discipline - that are going to help you get to the gym and keep prepping food, even when the results aren't coming as quickly as you'd like.
IF YOU DO ALL THESE THINGS OVER A FEW MONTH PERIOD, YOUR LIFE AND YOUR BODY WILL CHANGE.
Please stop looking for quick fixes.
Put in the work.
Get great, honest results.
We hope this helped :)
As always, I'd love to hear from you. If you have any questions about what we mentioned above, simply comment below or email us. We're happy to help guide you along the journey to your fittest, healthiest YOU!