Getting shredded isn’t easy. Staying shredded is even harder. It’s not just working out hard, it takes a lot thought and planning in regards to nutrition and lifestyle. The following tips, if adapted into your day-to-day life, will help you achieve and maintain the body you want. Once you start doing these for a few weeks they will become habit and you will not even have to think about it.
SLEEP 7-8 HOURS
Your body repairs itself while you are sleeping. If you aren’t sleeping enough, you aren’t recovering enough. That means less muscle and a slower less efficient metabolism. If you have to get up at 6am try to be in bed by 10pm. Lights out. If you are having trouble getting to sleep on time try turning off the TV, iPad, iPhone, and any blue light emitting devices. They stunt melatonin production and makes your body think its still daytime.
GOOD MORNING SWEAT
Breaking a sweat first thing in the morning is a great way to get your metabolism fired up for the day and make you alert and awake. You don’t need to do an all out workout, but just 5-10 minutes of bodyweight exercises will do the trick.
BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME
This one is pretty simple and the fact you have to burn more than you consume to lose weight isn’t the problem. The problem is people have no idea how much they are eating and how many they are burning. It’s hard to know if you are in a caloric surplus or deficit if you have no idea what your numbers are. Here is an online Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator to give you an estimate of how many calories you burn. If you have the option to get your metabolism tested at a higher end fitness facility like Life Time Fitness I highly recommend that. This calculator doesn’t take muscle mass and came out about 500 calories lower than my true BMR as tested by professionals. So if you have very low body fat odds are you can eat a few more calories than this says. Take this number then add the calories you burned while working out and that is your total calorie burn for the day. Stay under that if you want to lose weight.
CUP O’ JOE
Go ahead and enjoy a nice cup or 2 of coffee first thing in the morning. Caffeine is a very common ingredient in fat burning products because it helps burn fat and inhibits body fat storage. Stick with black coffee though as cream and sugar add calories which hinders your fat burning. You can also opt for 200-300mg of a caffeine supplement.
MEAT AND NUTS BREAKFAST
For optimal fat burning we want to eat a breakfast high in protein and fat. When we wake up from fasting overnight our blood glucose is low. This is a good thing for fat burning and we want to keep it that way by eating protein and fat. The protein and fat also has a high satiety and will fill you up more than carbs. The traditional American breakfast of a big glass of OJ (sugar water) and a bowl of (high sugar highly refined) cereal puts your body into insulin overdrive and will leave you hungry again in an hour or 2.
EAT ½ GRAPEFRUIT WITH BREAKFAST
Grapefruit has compounds that elevate your body’s ability to burn fat. It has been shown to reduce insulin levels and aided weight loss in numerous studies.
DRINK A GALLON OF WATER
Being dehydrated sucks. You feel crappy, perform poorly, and your metabolism slows down. Not exactly what we are looking for when trying to get shredded. Drinking a glass or 2 of water before you eat will also help you to overeat since you will feel fuller.
HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, is an extremely effective way to burn fat while retaining muscle mass. Basically, you perform an exercise for a set period of time at high intensity then rest for a prescribed time period. In this example we will use treadmill sprints. I like to use a 2:1 work to rest ratio meaning that I would run, as hard as physically possible for 2 minutes then walk for 1 minute. It takes time to work up to that so I would start with 1:2 work to rest and would go hard for 30 seconds and walk for 60 seconds. Then move up to 1/1 and then 2/1.
SHORT REST PERIODS
Short rest periods while working out burn more calories. If you’re the type of person who does one set, walks a lap around the gym, goes to the water fountain, and updates their Facebook status between sets you’re not getting the job done in the fat burning department. You may have some jacked thumbs, but you certainly won’t have a 6 pack. You need to keep your heart rate elevated to stay burning a lot of calories and fat while you train. Try doing 2 or 3 exercises in a row then take a 30 second break.
GREENS BEFORE DINNER
In addition to drinking a glass or 2 of water to help fill you up before dinner, try having a salad first. A mixed plate of a handful of arugula, spinach, and chopped romaine lettuce with some tomatoes and carrots makes a great healthy starter and will help fill you up with fiber before overindulging on the main course. Be aware of the dressing though. Adding the wrong dressing could result in your healthy salad having more calories than the meal itself. Stay away from fatty dressings like ranch and blue cheese and keep an eye on how much sugar is in it. A good tip that I use is to lightly dip my fork into the dressing then stab some salad. It gives me a taste of dressing on each bite and prevents me from using a lot.
NO NIGHTTIME CARBS
Carbs eaten at night, unless you train at night, will have a higher tendency to store as body fat since the sugars won’t be burned off. There are some advantages to eating carbs before bed, but for fat loss stay away.
CASEIN SHAKE BEFORE BED
Casein protein molecules are bigger and take longer to break down into their amino acids than whey protein. This makes casein the prime pick for a pre bedtime shake because you will be going (hopefully) 7-8 hours without waking up to eat. This provides a steady stream of protein to your muscles as your body repairs itself while you sleep.
Like I said above, getting shredded isn’t hard. It’s not easy. It’s a process. Follow these tips and you’ll be leaner in less than a month. If you are looking for a complete blueprint to get shredded check out my 100% Guaranteed 28 Day Get Shredded Program – Project Shredded! Learn the ways that natural physique professionals use to get and stay shredded all year long!
Mike Kneuer, CPT, CES, FAS, FNS is a Natural Professional Physique Athlete, Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist, and Functional Aging Specialist. He has a decade of experience helping people from all walks of life live healthier and better lives. His #1 selling online program ProjectShredded.com has changed the bodies of hundreds of guys seeking a shredded physique. Check out Mike’s blog at MikeKneuer.com.