Looking to tone up, trim down? The secret’s in the recipe…
Summer may be on the horizon but the desire for ripped abs and a toned aesthetic remains top of mind throughout the seasons.
Regardless of where you are with your nutrition (forget the word diet) and workout routines, going from average to ripped begins with a choice to step back from the excuses and embrace change.
Studies show that focused nutrition and targeted “Afterburn” workouts produce results that show. Begin by doing an elimination detox/cleanse that will help you identify food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances. Metagenics offers a 10 Day Detox Kit that is highly recommended.
Next, address your nutrition. Although personalized nutrition plans that take into consideration your specific body type, dietary needs, physical activity, and fitness goals are best, here is an outline that can help you get on track.
- Meal 1 – 2 eggs + lean meat + starchy carb + fruit
- Meal 2 – protein shake with protein + fruit + leafy green vegetable + healthy fat
- Meal 3 – lean meat + veggie or legume + veggie
- Meal 4 – lean meat + veggie or legume + veggie
- Meal 5 – protein + healthy fat
A typical day might look like:
- Meal 1 (7am) – 2 egg omelet with seasoned ground turkey, bell peppers, 1/2 sweet potato, and apple slices
- Meal 2 (12pm, post-workout) — Metabolic Nutrition protein shake with 1 cup of Egg whites and Cinnamon.
- Meal 3 (2pm) – grilled chicken breast with alfalfa sprouts, bell pepper slices, avocado, tomato, and onion wrapped in 2 collard green leaves
- Meal 4 (6pm) – salad w/ field greens, smoked salmon, red and green onion, red and green bell peppers, walnuts, cucumber, celery, balsamic vinegar/olive oil for dressing
- Meal 5 (9pm) –Mixed nuts or Celery with Almond Butter
Here are some helpful guidelines:
- Limit alcohol to social engagements. Choose red wine or clear liquor/soda as your drink of choice.
- Consume all fruits and carbohydrates before 3pm.
- Stay hydrated! Drink .5-3 liters of water every day. It’s easy to confuse dehydration with hunger. If you are properly hydrated you can more accurately gauge your hunger.
- Choose organic and grass-fed foods whenever possible.
- Cheat meals are okay- cheat days or weeks can be tough to recover from.
- Avoid pasta, bread, grains, and cheese.
- Steer clear of artificial sweeteners and sugar. Choose raw brown sugar or honey as a sweetener when needed.
Accountability is key with nutrition. Consider logging your food intake with a service like MyFitnessPal. This will help keep track of calories, macronutrients and portions.
Now, addressing your workouts is the next important step. Combining weight training with dynamic cardio can be achieved with workouts such as “Afterburn” classes that combine both effective elements in circuit style training.
Consider a weekly routine such as this:
- “Afterburn” Training combining weight training and cardio, 3-5 days a week.
- Choose an “active rest day” where you take a yoga classes, or brisk walk/hike.
- Add in an outdoor workout day where you play basketball, run on the beach, or bike ride for variety.
Remember that consistency is important. Develop a routine that works for you and stick with it. Have a day where you fall off? Life gets in the way? That’s okay- just keep in mind each day is another chance to begin again. Also remember that body fat measurement is the most effective way to gauge your health. Forget the scale- that can be misleading as it merely reflects your weight versus your true body composition.