Four Rules To Drive Fat Loss And Muscle Health

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We modern day humans have become disconnected with our bodies and minds more than ever in the history of mankind. We run around chasing the dollar, working hard and sleeping late, while we completely neglect and forget the most important thing we own and can actually control; being our own self.

The need for quick-fix solutions, a one-pill-fixes all remedy, seems to be the expectation these days. Whereas in reality, there simply is no quick-fix to our health issues.

The only real fix we have is to learn more about ourselves, understand how our bodies work, become educated on what different foods do to our bodies, and slowly build that wisdom whilst putting in some work.

That being said, over eight years of education and practice, there are some basic rules we can use which will cover 80% of your needs. By implementing these rules into your daily life, you will see fat loss, muscle gain, and an overall positive feeling of well being.

1./ Recovery: Sleep Early

If you do not get enough sleep, you immediately make health management more difficult. You must have noticed how different you feel after a good night’s sleep compared to a bad one. If you get good sleep, you feel energised the next day. Every problem seems easier to manage, every email feels less of a burden, and every phone call has more energy to it.

Your body repairs and recovers itself only when you sleep. Cells are regenerated, and muscle tissue is repaired. By sleeping late and not allowing your body enough time to rest, you also ensure your body does not have the time it needs to recover and regenerate. 

Over time this builds up and increases oxidative stress within your body. This slowly and silently leads you towards the likelihood of contracting one of the deadly non-communicable diseases prevalent in the world today.

A lack of sleep elevates cortisol which also adds to the build up of oxidative stress. If cortisol is elevated, this can contribute to your body becoming insulin resistant which could lead to diabetes or worse.

When you are 80, you will not be wishing you had watched more Netflix shows after midnight. You will be wishing you got the necessary sleep into your body when you had the chance.

2./ Nutrition: Eat Whole Foods

This is a surprisingly simple rule to use which will ensure you feel more energised throughout your day. By eating only whole foods, you will also avoid energy crashes often associated with after-meal lethargy.

Another way to use this rule is to say; do not eat any processed foods. Processed foods are manufactured to make you want more. They have been designed for a long shelf life, therefore often using preservatives and stabilisers. They are made with high amounts of sugar and fat for maximum mouth feel and palatability. Processed foods are literally designed to hijack your taste buds and satiety signals.

Whereas whole foods have no such laboratory design to them. They are nature’s way of providing us with the necessary nutrients ensuring we feel satiated and satisfied.

As an example, a bag of Lays Crisps is made from a potato. The difference is the crisps have been processed to be crunchy and salty. They are fried in processed seed oils to add more calories and stress to the bag. Whereas a potato has been pulled out of the ground and boiled or baked without any processing.

Eat some potatoes to see how quickly you become satiated compared to a bag of crisps. You will quickly become full eating whole potatoes. Whereas you could continue to munch on bags of crisps without ever feeling full.

3./ Nutrition: Hit Your Protein Requirements

Protein is the most nutrient dense and therefore most valuable food source available. It helps your body recover from the daily stresses of life, as the amino acids within the protein are used to repair damaged muscles.

Get your logical brain on and think: If much of our body is made up of muscle and connective tissue, which is made up of protein and amino acids. Then it logically makes sense that eating protein is going to put those amino acids back into your muscles helping you stay stronger.

Furthermore, protein is the most satiating of the three macronutrients, and you therefore become full faster.

Prioritise protein in all of your meals. Most people eat three meals per day. So if you take the much agreed assumption that you need 1gm of protein per 1lb of bodyweight (or lean body mass), this is going to mean the average person needs to hit around 50 gms of protein per meal.

If you bear in mind there are approximately 6 grams of protein in an egg, you can begin to see where holes would appear in your protein goals.

But this is easily overcome by being conscious of your goals and following the rule. Here is a blog with some tips to help with your breakfast, which will set you up perfectly for feeling energised and ready for the day ahead.

4./ Movement: Resistance Train to Use Your Whole Body and Muscles

Your body is designed to move. If you don’t move it, and if you don’t use your body how it was created, you will lose the ability to move and be strong in different ways.

This is why resistance training in its various formats is being recommended by doctors to counteract many of the modern day non-communicable diseases. 

Your muscles are approximately 50% of your entire body. So once again, switch on your logical brain and recognise the importance of using your muscles in as many different ways possible.

Resistance training can come in many forms. I did previously think that it was only lifting weights that was classified as resistance training. But actually it is anything that puts a resistance against your muscles, and therefore also includes bodyweight training, yoga, pilates, and anything which activates your muscles.

Resources

In Mindpump podcasts 2216 and 2219, Sal and the boys dish out some great tips on how to follow these basic rules.

Books: The Resistance Training Revolution. Bigger Leaner Stronger. Muscle For Life.

My blog about building muscle being more important than losing fat has some fantastic resources, particularly from Dr. Gabrielle Lyons who is spearheading the movement to get this important message through to the mainstream.

Sleep early. Eat whole food with a focus on protein. Move your body, to live longer and live stronger.

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