If you know me by now, you can probably guess that the first thing I’m going to say is that anything that promises quick weight loss can quickly be tossed out the window. However, there are a few things that I would recommend if you want to drop a few pounds of body fat the right way… and possibly quickly. So, here is the list of my Top 10 Beach Body Secrets:
#1 – Get Your Mind RightFocus and commitment are the number 1 prerequisite if you would like to change your body. Ask yourself, If you could achieve anything with your body and you got everything you wanted physically, what would be different?
Honestly folks, what would that look like? How would it feel? If this is truly what you want for yourself physically, then what is stopping you from wholeheartedly committing to yourself? I suggest that you write it down. Put it on paper. Let’s stop dreaming and start achieving!
#2 – Remind Yourself Daily
You know as well as I do that we all have moments of weakness. We are human after all! Committing to a goal one day will not feel or look the same the next day. If you want to lose body fat, remind yourself daily about your goal. If you are a visual person, take a picture of yourself and hang it where you will see it every day. Or maybe a picture of what you want to look like will be better for you. Either way, at the beginning of the day, tell yourself exactly how the day will unfold in terms of physical activity and your eating. Otherwise, the day will get away from you and decisions will be made on the fly… and very often, those type of decisions are not the best.
#3 – Drink Water
Fat “burning” is affected by how well you are hydrated. Water is the single most important thing that you need to ingest. Every moment, a countless number of chemical reactions are taking place in your body. For each one, water is needed. Without the proper amounts of water, these reactions become inefficient. This can drain you of energy, cause your body to function poorly, lead to sickness, and your body may go into a water retention mode. Plus, dehydration can slow your metabolism (your body’s calorie burning processes) by nearly half of what it would be otherwise. A good, quick calculation would be to multiply your bodyweight (lbs.) by 0.5. This number would be the minimum amount of ounces of water per day that you should intake.
#4 – Exercise Vigorously
I should probably clarify this a little bit. What is vigorous for me may not be the same for you and vice-versa. You should exercise as vigorously as you can more days per week than you are not. Some days, this could be a longer duration workout. Other days, it may only be a 15 minute mini-workout. Either way, when you choose to do it, challenge yourself. There are people that I know who will be greatly challenged by standing up and down out of a chair 10 times and then walking a lap around the room. If that is you, so be it…but do it daily until it becomes easier. Then, increase the challenge. Others that I know can exercise much harder than that for 15 minutes and find a quick, beneficial workout that will burn a bunch of calories. Either way, challenge yourself to improve. If you want your body to change, you have to make it change! There are very few excuses for not being able to find time for a workout.
Which brings me to:
#5 – Be Consistent!
This could quite possibly be the most important bit of fitness advice that you will ever hear. Those who are the most consistent are the most successful. Exercise is not an “only when it is convenient” thing. The same applies when it comes to making good eating choices. Exercise and eating properly are not something that can be effective when approached with an “all-or-nothing sprint to the goal” mentality. Be the tortoise and not the hare. Your beach body can come faster than you think when you adopt this approach. However, progress is progress no matter how fast it comes. When using the correct methods, the only thing that will stop you from reaching your goal is quitting! The philosopher Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” I agree.
#6 – Eat Food, Not Products
Our bodies were designed to eat, digest, absorb, and utilize food. The problem lies in the fact that most of us are completely confused on what food actually is. What is food? Is corn food? What about corn chips? Is a pork chop food? What about a hotdog that contains pork? Food that will give your body the nutrients it needs as well as allow you body to digest and absorb properly is very hard to find in a box or a can. If you want to get your body functioning well and are looking for that beach body, then eat foods that are as close to their natural source as possible! When trying to choose what to eat, the question to ask is “where did it come from?” The best choices are the ones that have an easy answer to that question. “It came from the ground!” “It came from a tree!” “It’s a fish from a river!” The worst answers would be something along the lines of, “well, this ingredient came from a food processing plant, this one came from a chemical plant, this one…well I’m not really sure what this one is, but this one is a berry extract!” So often today, we are given products to eat and are told that they are food. Don’t believe it. Not only are they stripped of nutrients, but your body usually doesn’t have to work very hard to digest it. Then, you are missing out on a significant amount of calorie burning that would come from digesting real food. Processed, refined food is basically pre-digested; which means that it can absorb very quickly which can quickly cause body fat storage.
#7 – Eat Lean Protein At Each Meal
Your body utilizes protein for countless purposes in the body. Plus, protein is used to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. Muscle is the active tissue in your body. It is what “burns” body fat. The only location in your body where body fat is broken down and converted into energy is inside of each muscle cell. Thus, to lose body fat, you must optimize the muscle tissue on your body. In order to do this, you need protein. Also, the act of digesting protein plays a large role in your daily caloric burn rate. Your body has to work hard to digest protein. Foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, buffalo, ostrich, salmon, shrimp, and lean beef are an important part of improving your metabolism. Try to avoid commercially raised livestock as much as possible. Free range meat and wild caught fish are much better choices.
#8 – Eat Every 3 Hours
If you are eating lean protein and good, quality carbs about every 3 hours throughout the day, then your body will incinerate body fat at a high level. I know that this sounds contradictory to almost every diet and weight loss center claim. However, if diets and caloric deprivation worked, then there would be no such thing as an obesity epidemic. Diets don’t work. Proper exercise and feeding the body what it needs DOES. Think of your metabolism as a fire burning inside of you. You need to feed the fire to get it to burn hot! If you want to know the real effects that caloric deprivation has on the body, then stay tuned for my article in the August newsletter.
I suggest that, regardless of time of day, you should seek out and be prepared for a meal every 3 hours that consists of visually-equal serving sizes of lean protein, a starchy carb, and a fibrous carb.
#9 – Exercise With Resistance
There are many ways to exercise and challenge the body. Most of them are great. There is no one video, exercise machine, or program that is the universal answer for everybody. However, in order to lose body fat, resistance exercise must be included at some level. The resistance can come from weights, rubber bands, machines, a wheelbarrow full of rocks, or in some cases even your own bodyweight. Whatever the source, you need to challenge your muscles. This is key. The fear of “bulking-up” has prevented many people from realizing their beach body dreams because they have avoided strength training. I suggest weights first, cardio immediately after. Modern technology and conveniences have caused our population to challenge their bodies much less than ever before. We simply pick-up, carry, and lift much less than we ever did before. As a result, many of us are simply not used to challenging the body. The resulting weakness and less muscle development leads to lower metabolism, higher fat accumulation, and low energy levels. If you want to lose fat, then lift weights (just do it properly…hint we would be happy to show you how.)
#10 – The Magic Bullet Only Shoots You In The Foot
Bottom line, there is no magic bullet. If there was, believe me, I would tell you! Starving yourself, wrapping yourself in a thermal body wrap, taking a pill, getting an injection, drinking a shake, electrocuting yourself, rubbing a cream on your skin, cleansing yourself, baking yourself in a sauna, and vibrating belts are examples of “Magic Bullets.” They DO NOT WORK. So stop wasting your time and money on them. Stop falling for them. Ignore them. Don’t give them the time of day. Stop grasping at straws and start exercising, feeding yourself properly, and stick to it!! Don’t stop!!