Do I need to do a killer ab exercises?
Do I need to do a lot of crunches?
Will special foods slim my stomach?
Do I need to do a lot of cardio?
Should I skip carbs or fats?
Should I get one of those special ab workout things from the commercials?
Right now, you have ab muscles. They've been there since birth and they'll be with you until death. To get them to show up, though, you need a combination of two things:
Of course, these two things take hard work, and hard work doesn't sell too well.
Do I need to eat breakfast?
Does it matter when I eat breakfast?
Does breakfast kickstart my metabolism?
Should I eat a few big meals or a lot of small meals?
When should I eat?
Should I keep dinner light or heavy?
Do I have to eat before I workout?
Should I eat protein, carbs or fats at different times during the day?
A Note on Eating
Your eating schedule is not nearly as important as how much you eat. Period. You want to lose weight? You need to make sure you eat fewer calories. You want to gain weight? You eat more calories. It's that simple. Does it matter when these calories enter your body? No. The only thing that matters is that by the time you go to bed, you've hit your goal.
Why, then, are there so many theories? Most follow studies that show certain habits can help people stick with their diets. It's not that the timed eating causes weight gain or loss at all. It's just that these tendencies may make it easier for you to stay on track. This article does a great job of summarizing the major issues surrounding studies on the topic. "Simply put, the question of whether there is a health benefit from the consumption of multiple small meals will ultimately depend on how much energy is consumed, as opposed to how often or how regularly one eats."
For the previous list, click here.
Jack in the Box
Steak 'n Shake
Do not eat here.
Choose A or B:
If your chose A:
A) Count your calories
B) Weigh yourself daily
C) To gain weight - increase calories
D) To lose weight - decrease calories
E) Eat healthier food
F) Achieve a weight you're happy with
If you chose B:
A) Choose an exercise
B) Take a before photo
C) Do the exercise consistently
D) Take an after photo
E) Do harder exercise
F) Take an after photo
G) Repeat E - F
Getting started is often the hardest step to take if only because where the hell do you even start? Once all of the bullshit is stripped away, getting going really isn't too bad. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your totally rad body. Give yourself time to adjust to the changes you're making and only allow yourself to slip up if you promise to get back on the horse Monday.
Skip FRIED, choose GRILLED.
Skip ALCOHOL, choose WATER.
Skip BREAD, choose CHEESE.
Skip SANDWICHES, choose SOUPS.
Skip PASTA, choose SALAD.
Skip BREADED, choose ROASTED.
Skip BEEF, choose CHICKEN.
Skip FRENCH FRIES, choose VEGETABLES.
Skip RICE, choose BEANS.
Skip PIE, choose FRUITS.
Skip PUDDING, choose COFFEE.
Skip ICE CREAM, choose TEA.
Sit down restaurants are a lot of fun and shouldn't be avoided just because you're eating better. Generally, you can stick to your diet no matter where you eat so long as you know the best things to choose. For a more in depth run down, see my previous article, "Healthy Eating Out".
Best Lean Protein
Protein is the lifeblood of your muscles. We eat other animals, breakdown their muscles and transform them into our own. While we sadly don't take on the qualities of the animals we ingest (otherwise I'd eat bear), we do take in any fat that is part of the meat. In order to make gains that are virtually all muscle mass, you'll want to stick with the leaner choices.
It's lunch time. Though you've been eating healthy, you forgot your lunch at home. Looking around, all you see are fast food joints. Don't panic. Here's what to order.
Don't think I CAN'T, think I CAN.
Don't think I WON'T, think I WILL.
Don't think GIVE UP, think DON'T STOP.
Don't think NEXT TIME, think THIS TIME.
Don't think WHAT IF, think WHY NOT.
Don't think I FAILED, think I WILL SUCCEED.
Don't think I DON'T CARE, think I CARE.
Don't think I GIVE UP, think I WILL GIVE MORE.
Don't think SURRENDER, think FIGHT.
Don't think TOMORROW, think TODAY.
"I can't never got anywhere" is a phrase my dad bore into my brain. While too young to understand its full meaning at age 5, it nevertheless filled me with the realization that your words have weight. If you think you can't do something, you stop yourself before you even try.
Next time you go at a workout or a diet, remember that your thoughts influence you more than you'll ever know. In order to succeed, you must first believe you can.
Eat This, Not That
Eat BUTTER, not MARGARINE
Eat DARK CHOCOLATE, not MILK CHOCOLATE
Eat RED PASTA SAUCE, not WHITE PASTA SAUCE
Eat REAL CHEESE, not FAKE CHEESE
Eat WHOLE GRAINS, not WHITE GRAINS
Eat OLIVE OIL, not VEGETABLE OIL
Eat PITA CHIPS, not POTATO CHIPS
Eat TURKEY BURGERS, not HAMBURGERS
Eat TURKEY DOGS, not HOT DOGS
Eat ROMAINE LETTUCE, not ICEBERG LETTUCE
Eat CHICKEN, not BEEF
Eat GREEK YOGURT, not REGULAR YOGURT
Eat VINAIGRETTES, not CREAMY SALAD DRESSINGS
Eat FRUIT, not CANDY
Eat SUGAR, not HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
When it comes to starting to change your diet, it's all about moving away from the highly processed foods that line the shelves of grocery stores nationwide. The first action isn't depriving yourself of the flavors you love, it's making a small shifts to healthier things.
This week, it's time to start changing for the better. Pick one thing or a few things to swap out on your weekly grocery run. Any step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.