For the average person, ‘Janworry’ has our wallets and credit cards on a mandatory diet. The only people that really benefit are gyms and diet-product sales teams. Still, our fascination with tricking the bathroom scale is perpetual. We have reality shows like Biggest Loser and Revenge body, all driven by fast weight loss.
But none of them focuses on the mundane task of retaining your hot new body. Not even diet books do that. They’ll show you how to shed the excess kilos, but not how to maintain your upgraded physique. This is important, because many diets have a yoyo effect, where you end up gaining more weight than you lost. And even the winners of some of these shows end up getting big again, because their exercise and diet regimes lowered their metabolism rate.
Scientifically (and studies have proven this), when your metabolism slows, you can continue to exercise and monitor your portions, but your weight loss will stall. Why? Because your system has adjusted to your modified lifestyle. So it will take fewer calories and more work-outs to maintain this slimmed down look. Meaning you’ll have to work harder to achieve the same results. Fortunately, it’s not an impossible feat – it just needs you to work out smarter.
Work with supplements
To maximise your time at the gym (or your chosen sport), give your diet and exercise some support. Protein supplements help you repair your body, grow your muscles, and recover from work-outs faster. They also help you reach your protein targets without having to eat ridiculous amounts of food. If you had to physically consume the grams of protein your body requires, you’d soon get sick and tired of eating.
As an example, one scoop of Cellucor Whey has about 25g of protein, which is the same amount in two cups of cooked black beans, or 100g of cooked lean beef (mince or chunks). Of course the advantage of plate-able food over protein powder is bulk. Those two cups of beans – if you can get through them – have 30g of fibre. And fibre is good, because you stay fuller for longer and are therefore likely to consume fewer calories. It’s helpful to your digestive system too.
On the other side of the equation, 2 cups of black beans – aside from all that good stuff (like protein and fibre) – carries nearly 500 calories. The meat – in comparison – has 250 calories and 15g of fat for every 100g serving. A scoop of whey has 130 calories and 1.5g fat for every 25g of protein. So be sure to carefully incorporate supplements in your weight maintenance plan. And for the work-out portion, use a fat-smashing product like OptiBurn.
Burn up that fat
Have a single scoop every morning, half an hour before breakfast. (It’s not advisable to have it during meals.) It works by raising your body temperature, which increases your metabolism (thermogenesis). It also curbs hunger pangs, uses natural diuretics to shed excess water weight, enhances your mood, boosts your energy levels, and limits your body’s ability to transport and store excess fats. It contains caffeine, so don’t take it if you plan to sleep in the next 6 hours.
Outside of working (out) hard and eating right, your lifestyle needs to change as well. You have to become a whole new person to keep your lithe body. And the difference needs to be far deeper than your skin. Eat healthy, anti-inflammatory foods to maximise the effects of your supplements. They’re good for lowering belly fat. Eat those foods whole and unprocessed, and add fish, poultry, grains, veggies, and fruits … plus limited amounts of low fat dairy.
Why limited? Because lots of adults have some level of lactose intolerance, so excess dairy can leave you bloated, gassy, and nauseated, while extreme cases can even lead to hospitalisation, it all depends on your intolerance levels. Also, once we see a low-fat label on anything, we end up over-eating, which cancels out any caloric benefit. Whole food trumps processed food because it takes longer to digest, and since you need energy for digestion, you’re literally burning more fat.
Timing is everything
Work out as soon as you wake up, before your busy day gives you legitimate reasons to procrastinate and inevitably skip your exercise sessions. Spread your protein portions throughout the day, drink lots of water (about 2 litres total), and if you must keep a food diary, focus on fibre instead of calories. Fibre is bulky, so you eat slowly, digest slowly, and stay full longer. Indirectly, this makes you eat less, and you don’t feel as much psychological deprivation. So, in essence, early work-outs, smaller dinners, lots of fibre, and stay hydrated. Don’t forget, lifting weights helps you shed weight, so slip some resistance work into your cardio.