Caffeine gets a bad wrap from people relying on it or chugging down energy drinks all day. Caffeine is found in lots of fat burner supplements as well as pre workouts. There is good reason for this.
Caffeine has been praised for its ability to enhance sports performance and improve body composition. (Acheson et al., 1980, Goldstein et al., 2010)
Start with around a 200mg dose to evaluate your sensitivity. Those that drink lots of coffee each day may use up to 400mg before a workout. This can be bought in a pill form from your chemist.
- Revaluate your plan:
Are you even following a plan or simply going to the gym and working out? If it’s the latter then it’s time to knuckle down and get yourself a proven plan that delivers.
If you are currently following a plan and it’s not working, perhaps it’s not the plan for you. Maybe it’s not intense enough…maybe it’s too intense. Is it geared towards building muscle or is it focusing on fat loss? I always train for muscle growth and performance and add cardio for fat loss.
- Eat more protein:
Chances are you are not eating enough protein. Protein is great for dieting because it’s very hard to gain fat from over eating it. Studies have shown that those that eat extra calories in the form of protein gain less, if any fat than those that eat extra calories from carbohydrates.
The reason for this, protein requires more energy to digest. This means that for every 100 calories you consume of protein, roughly 35 of that is used just to digest it!
- HIIT It:
Let’s face it, steady state cardio is dead. There is enough science that proves that you can get away with 10 minutes of HIIT versus 40 minutes of jogging/walking on the treadmill.
HIIT is hard though. It should not be fun to do. Use a spin bike if you have never done HIIT before and start with 30 seconds of absolute maximum effort. By the time you hit 20-25 seconds, your legs should be struggling to move the pedals and by the 30th second should bring you to a halt. Rest for 2 minutes and do it again!
- Ditch the processed foods:
Did you know that your body absorbs a higher percentage of calories from peanut butter than it does peanuts? If you were too consume 100 calories of peanut butter, you would absorb around 95 of those calories versus around 60-70 from eating raw nuts.
The more processed the food, the less work your body must do. This allows your body to digest it faster and absorb more.
- Eat some raw foods:
When food is cooked, more often than not, more calories are released. Eating raw foods means consuming less calories. Just choose your foods wisely. I can’t imagine a raw steak tasting very nice…
- Stand up:
You can hit the gym each day but if you are sedentary all day then it will be very hard to not store fat. Daily movements account for up to 40% of the calories we burn. Your gym session doesn’t even burn that much.
This can be as simple as adding a 30 minute walk to your lunch break, avoiding elevators, riding a bike to work, or getting a standing desk.
Dieting gets a quite a negative wrap. Mostly from people who don’t quite understand how to diet and why people diet.
Most people diet to lose weight. People also diet to gain weight. To diet is to eat or drink to achieve a certain physical outcome. It doesn’t sound that bad, nor should it.
It is just an action step to help you achieve your goals.
There are a few little mistakes people make when dieting. Here is how to combat them.
Mistake #1: Not having a clear end date.
This one is extremely important. So many people are always trying to lose weight or always trying to get bigger. These people often never reach their destination because they don’t even know where it is. I give myself from 3-6 weeks to diet most of the time depending how far I have let myself go. Each week looks different and will include different foods.
Fix it: Set yourself an amount of days. It can be 60 days or 30 days etc. This gives you an end date and a sense of urgency. Otherwise you will just diet forever and miss out on achieving the physique you desire.
Mistake #2: Not having a plan.
You wouldn’t build a house without a plan because it would most likely fall down. If you don’t plan your diet, then that too will collapse in a heap and you will be left in the same place as you started or worse! My SHRED21 program solves this by telling you exactly what foods to eat and what foods to avoid and when.
There is a lot of broscience out there and every expert will tell you to follow their plan.
Fix It: At the end of the day, the best way to get results is to actually follow a plan no matter who’s it is.
Mistake #3: Everything in moderation.
This one absolutely annoys me. Most of the time it just a way for the non-dedicated to create an excuse for their lack of will power.
Sure, you can enjoy certain foods from time to time. A can of coke however, does not fit into anyone’s diet.
Having a chocolate bar every second day and calling it moderation is just stupidity. Cut the excuses from your life and you will see dramatic changes.
I like chocolate and beer. Not often, but when I do, I have achieved results that I am happy with and it is only a small serve. If I am not achieving what I want, then I simply avoid these foods.
If I am craving certain foods, then I find ways to incorporate healthy versions into my diet. Instead of a Mars bar, I might create homemade dark chocolate snack with low calorie chocolate dips such as Walden Farms.
Fix It: Find low calorie options and incorporate them into your plan. Don’t make excuses because excuses don’t make results.
Bonus: Do this for one week.
Record everything you eat. Every mouthful. Every Dorito. Everything.
You will be surprised at what goes into your mouth. This alone will ring some alarm bells and even encourage fat loss just by being more aware.
Although fat has had a bad wrap, it can be our friend if we manage our consumption and eat the right types of fats.
There are 4 major kinds of fats.
First lets start with Polyunsaturated Fats. This fat can help preserve muscle size
while your are having a break and can help increase strength and size during a workout. 33% of your daily fat intake should come from polyunsaturated fats such as salmon, peanuts, hemp, sardines, trout, tuna, cereals, and flax seed.
Monounsaturated Fats are another very important fat. Monounsaturated fats are great at protecting the heart whilst cutting belly fat. Studies from the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that they increase good
cholesterol levels in the body by 12.5% and decrease bad cholesterol by 35%. This fat also should make up 33% of your daily intake. You can get your daily dosage from olive oil, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, and avocado.
Saturated Fats have been given a very hard time in the past. We do in fact need saturated fats in our diet, so avoiding them entirely is not the best thing to do. Saturated fats help your body produce hormones like testosterone. This hormone is your main muscle builder. Aim for around 33% of your daily fat intake. Great sources for this are dark chocolate, red meat, eggs, chicken, cheese, and sour cream.
Tran saturated Fat or trans fat, is the worst fat and should not be consumed. Trans fats lead to weight gain and poor health. According to the Journal of Nutrition, trans fats clog your arteries, have been linked to cancer, and can lead to diabetes. Avoid all foods that contain trans fat. Fried foods, pastries, and biscuits are big carriers of this fat.
If you are wondering how much fat to consume in a day then here is a quick guide. If you are aiming to be leaner then aim for around 1 gram of fat per pound of your target bodyweight. Protein should be around 1.5 grams per pound of your target body weight with carbohydrates at 1 gram. If gaining muscle is your goal then you should aim for 1 gram of fat per target bodyweight, 1.5 grams of protein, and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates.
An easy way of calculating your fat portions is with your thumb. The beauty of this method is that it is sustainable and accurate. I doubt you will carry scales with you at all times, but I bet you have your thumb!
Set your goal to include a thumb sized portion of fat with every meal except your post workout meal.
This is the exact method I use in my SHRED21 to help people drop fat for good. They drop it for good because they can always implement this method along with my other teachings. It’s easy. It’s portable. It’s accurate.
Don’t be scared of fat. It is our friend!