1. Eat Breakfast: The Single Best Tip For Looking Hot This Summer
There is significant evidence that people who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight. When diet composition is analyzed through the use of food diaries, researchers find that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories over the whole day and get a better macronutrient profile, including more protein and fiber (major contributors to a lean body composition). Breakfast skippers are not only more likely to have more fat than those who eat it, but they are more likely to get even fatter due to susceptibility to overeating later in the day.
Take note that it is imperative that you eat the right breakfast: Consider trying the meat and nut breakfast
, but at least be sure that you are getting a good portion of protein and healthy fat, and that your overall breakfast has a low glycemic index. Cereal doesn’t cut it—oatmeal or quinoa is your best bet if you must eat a cereal-type breakfast. Also take 3 grams of fish oil to lessen the insulin response.
2. Try Circuit Training: Burn More Fat while Gaining Strength
Multiple studies show that circuit training with interspersed upper and lower body exercises is effective at increasing power, strength, cardiovascular function, and endurance. General recommendations based on results from two studies suggest using at least a 75 percent load of 1RM with three sets of ten reps. Circuit training results in a higher average training heart rate, indicating a more intense workout. A higher workout intensity results in a greater relative calorie-burn and an increase in growth hormone secretion—a hormone that promotes fat burning (see #5 to learn more about GH).
To try circuit training, pick three or four lower and upper body exercises each, and alternate body parts for three sets of ten. Remember to go pretty heavy (75-85 of 1RM). For example try front squats, bench press, step ups, dips, leg extension, cable pull down, leg flexion, overhead press.
3. Get Enough Vitamin D: 5,000 IUs/Day or 35,000-50,000 IU/Twice per Week
Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of muscle, lean body mass, and for avoiding the development of fat in muscle. Optimal vitamin D levels are crucial in optimal glucose and insulin management. A vitamin D deficiency can cause both muscle weakness and an increase in fat mass. Optimal vitamin D concentrations promote metabolic pathways that favor weight loss.
4. Limit Fructose Intake: Get a More Favorable Metabolic Response
Avoid fructose that is added to nutrition supplements and limit your overall intake. Research shows that consuming a post-exercise meal with glucose as the carbohydrate source results in greater fat oxidation and a more favorable metabolic response than if fructose is used.
Fructose is a major contributing factor to obesity and insulin resistance, it raises the lipids that cause heart disease, and can slow down thyroid function. It’s also been found to cause chronic negative changes in the production of an enzyme that regulates glucocorticoid levels—hormones that affect your metabolism, immune system, and brain function.
Fructose is the sugar found naturally in fruit and it’s fine when you get it from whole foods like apples, which are about seven percent fructose and include a healthy variety of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. But when it's commercially extracted from fruit, concentrated and made into a sweetener, it exacts a considerable metabolic price.
Stay away from the processed version of fructose and limit your intake if you want to be lean, mean, and healthy. Consume five to ten grams per day if you perform normal activity, while 30 grams is the limit if you’re very active.
5. Increase Growth Hormone Levels: Short Rest Periods and Nutrition Do the Trick
Growth hormone increases fat breakdown and the metabolism of glucose and amino acids, meaning that it triggers protein or muscle synthesis. GH occurs naturally in the body and there are a variety of things that trigger and boost levels, including supplementing with the amino acids arginine and ornithine, and training with short rest periods.
Research shows that taking a combination of arginine and ornithine results in a significant elevation in GH and insulin-like growth factor-1 (another hormone that triggers protein synthesis). Arginine and ornithine also help with recovery after training and activate connective tissue building, allowing you to train harder and avoid injury.
It’s also necessary to get the right ratio of carbs to protein before and after workouts. Try a 1:1 ratio to get lean, and be sure to avoid alcohol. My general rule for carb intake following a workout is:
* 12-72 reps per workout: 0.6 g/kg/lean body mass (lbm)
* 73-200 reps per workout: 0.8 g/kg/lbm
* 200-360 reps per workout: 1.0 g/kg/lbm
* 360-450 reps per workout: 1.2 g/kg/lbm
Take note that these recommendations are based on lean body mass not your weight. To calculate lean body mass you need to know your lean mass percentage (or body fat percentage and subtract that number from 100). Then multiply this percent by your body mass and you’ll get your lean body mass.
Extensive research shows that rest periods of 60 seconds or shorter lead to a significant increase in GH levels. To maximize muscle building while slimming up, use supersets with a 10 second rest when switching from the agonist to the antagonist exercise, with 60 seconds rest between sets. Heavy weights—85 percent of the 1RM and a high volume of training—a large total number of reps—also trigger GH secretion.
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