Five Simple Habits to Stay Lean
Who’s ready to say goodbye to the winter months and hello to the summer sun?! I sure am. With these hotter temperatures headed our way, I often get asked how to get lean and stay lean. The answer is simple: feed your body the right nutrients, rest, and exercise. Today, I’d like to share exactly what this might look like if staying lean is one of your goals for the summer.
#1 - Cycle your carbohydrate intake. Our bodies need carbs to thrive; they are one of the essential energy sources. When you cycle them throughout your diet each week, your body learns to tap into those fat stores and use them for energy during lower carb days. Thus, using fat means losing fat.
#2 - Get your protein in! Did you know that protein helps build muscle? The more muscle you have, the leaner you will be. This is because muscle burns more calories at rest. Protein also fills you up longer. When you eat a diet full of protein, your body will take longer to digest these sources and stay full for a longer period of time. This enables you to avoid the never-ending snacking cycle when you arrive home after a long day!
#3 - Plan your meals. I cannot stress this enough. Just like eating protein will keep you full throughout the day, having a plan will ensure you won’t go hungry in the mid-afternoon. For me, this is the time when my willpower is low and I just eat what is in sight to cure those hunger pains! This usually isn’t a handful of veggies, rather a quick cookie that definitely doesn’t fit my goals. Having a plan ensures that your diet will be in check day-to-day, helping you reach your goals of becoming leaner.
#4 - SLEEP! Your body needs rest. This is the time in which muscles are repaired, our immune systems get to work, and our bodies recover from the day. By getting enough sleep in each night, you are ensuring this happens. After a good night’s sleep, you might also notice that your appetite is better aligned to your hunger than if you only caught a few hours. When we’re low on sleep, those mid-day cravings become more common and we’re more likely to overindulge. This is definitely not the recipe we called for to get lean!
#5 - Exercise strategically. After you’ve employed each of the above tips, it is time to address your exercise regimen. Strength training paired with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the perfect combination for fat loss. Not only will you build muscle, strengthen your heart, and burn calories while you are exercising, these types of workouts have an “after-burn” effect that keeps your metabolism revved for hours after.
These five habits are a recipe to get you feeling lean and staying lean. If you need help getting started, head on over to the FASTer Way to Fat Loss® website and register for the upcoming round. With the FWTFL, you won’t be asked to try out some crazy diet - instead we focus upon the five habits I listed above in order to give you a true sustainable lifestyle to carry you day in and day out.