Nutritional based articles straight from cutandjacked.com's specialist writers
You’re starting to wonder how in the world you can afford to eat healthy when it seems “healthy foods” are so much more expensive. You start to consider paying a lot of money for a source of lean protein or hitting up the cheap menu at Wendy’s instead. The truth of the matter is, you don’t have to spend a lot on healthy alternatives, you just have to be smart about what you are buying. The biggest factor in keeping money in your pocket is to STOP EATING OUT. Prepare all your own meals. This article will show you different ways to make your money work for you and keep you healthy and fit.
Where you shop really doesn’t matter as long as you have a grocery list of what you need and are sticking to what is on your list. Every food store has the usual name brand items as well as the generic brands. Obviously the generics are much better on your wallet and offer the same nutritional value (most of the time). I’ll touch more on the specifics of what to purchase a little later in this article. If you are planning on buying products in bulk, try and find locations that are wholesalers such as Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, etc. These places allow you to purchase a large quantity of an item and are able to discount it for the most part cheaper than you can buy at a normal grocery store. Stay clear of convenience stores as they are generally more expensive than grocery stores on just about everything you find in them.
We all know that in “inner” area of the grocery store is full of all the junk and stuff you should stay away from. Therefore make the outer perimeter your main focus when you arrive. This is where you will find your grains, lean protein sources, produce, and dairy. If you have items that are on your list that are on the inside aisles of the store look above and below the name brands and you will find the generic versions which are less expensive. Most of the time you will find the name brands eye-level to entice you into purchasing them.
Buy everything you can in bulk as long as you will be able to use it before it spoils or goes bad. If you are purchasing protein sources that can be frozen this makes it easy to keep food good for when you want to use it.
Look for sale items and take advantage of coupon savings. I understand that it might take a few minutes out of your day to look through ads and cut out coupons for items that you regularly use throughout the week. The time spent cutting out coupons will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Try and buy produce in season. When you start purchasing out of season produce is when things start to get pricey. You can always purchase the frozen version as that will obviously keep longer than the fresh version. If you decide to go with the frozen version just make sure that it doesn’t contain any other ingredients like sugar/syrup/creams/etc. Nutritionally, frozen/fresh produce is the same so pick whatever is the least expensive (you might have to go back and forth from the produce section to the frozen foods to check prices). The best choice when it comes to produce is organic. Yes, organic versions are normally more expensive but if you check the prices you might be surprised to see that some of the prices are not far off and you can go with the organic option and not break your bank.
Some of these options were mentioned above so let’s dig a little deeper into how you can get more bang out of your buck and make healthy food choices. First things first though… NEVER SHOP ON AN EMPTY STOMACH! It doesn’t matter what’s on your grocery list, if you are hungry, you will buy whatever looks good.
Written by: Matt Weik
Let’s take a look at transforming how your body looks. Many people simply need to stimulate muscle growth in order to attain the level of definition that they seek. Others have to lose body fat in order to see the muscle that they already have. Both problems can be remedied with the presence of muscle. Growing muscle and leaning out can seem to be totally impossible. Becoming muscular and defined can be achieved by incorporating both a bulking cycle and a cutting cycle. Skeletal muscle is nature's fat burner, the less muscle you have on your frame the softer you will be.
The key to growing muscle and seeing unparalleled definition in your body has to do with cycling. Cycling is lifting with a purpose. Cycling enables your body to reach a desired result in a specific time frame at which time you switch gears in both your nutrition as well as your training to attain another predetermined goal. This shocks the human body and also reaps new results by eliciting a new body response. I personally like to begin with longer cycles, the changes that you can make in this time frame are more visible. Cycles that are 8-12 weeks in duration are very good for the beginner. As you near your goal then you should make your cycles shorter in duration - 2 week bulking and cutting cycles make for a good maintenance routine. You would eat and train at an intensity that will elicit a certain response. Let’s say that you wanted to put on as much muscle as possible. To do this you will have to change the amount of food you consume as well as change the way that you lift. To lean out you will have to cut the calories and burn a heightened amount of calories through exercise.
To force muscle to grow you have to create an anabolic environment in the body. You will have to create excess calories for your body to stimulate growth. You get to eat more calories to stimulate growth! One pound of muscle consumes 35-50 more calories per day than fat. Gaining 10lbs of muscle will burn 350-500 calories per week. A major thing to keep in mind is that you should consume slightly more carbohydrates and fats (good fats, flax seed, polyunsaturated fats, nuts, olive oil etc.). Carbohydrates will fuel the taxing workouts that you will have to perform in order to stimulate muscle growth. You will have to push hard during this “Bulking” cycle. For a beginner I will suggest that you start with a 6-8 rep range. Yes, even for you ladies, especially you ladies! Put down those sad 5-10lb weights that you have been lifting for years. You should use a weight that you can barely perform 8 repetitions with not 9 or 12 if $1,000,000 was at stake. Work with that weight for 3-5 sets. Breaks should be 90-120 seconds in duration between sets. A weight that you can only do 6-8 times is too heavy for you. Heavy weight training places a lot of stress on the body. To remain in an anabolic state you will need rest. Sleep is key to muscle growth, and stunts a lot of people’s growth. A high protein diet with slightly higher levels of fats and carbs will fuel the muscle growth needed to become CutAndJacked.
The actual structure of your workouts will vary from person to person. Some people’s bodies’ respond to dropsetting, pyramiding, supersetting, compound setting, straight sets, negatives etc. You will have to make that choice based on trying them all and maybe incorporating some combo of them all into your routine. They can be interchanged during your training cycle. The most important thing is that you train heavy, with good form and plenty of rest. Injury will put a terrible halt to your efforts. By the end of the 12th week of your bulking cycle you should be heavier than when you started. How lean you are would depend on your interpretation of when I said “you should consume slightly more carbohydrates and fats”. At this point you should switch gears.
Switching to the cutting phase will seem very restrictive at first. Keep in mind that this is all for the greater good. You will still need carbohydrates so do not cut them out completely. Your diet should switch from any simple carbs to complex carbs (pasta and rice to veggies and fruit) as well as a reduction in calories -500-700 cals. Now you should work with weight that you cannot do another rep at 10-12 as opposed to 6-8, also add more sets perform 6-8 sets. This will burn more calories and allow you to maintain the muscle that you created over the last 12 weeks. Cardio should be done most if not all days of the week. Two of those days should incorporate short bursts of high intensity cardio. Body fat will start to melt off as you train this way. High intensity interval training will also stimulate muscle growth as you burn massive amounts of calories in short periods of time. Drink about half your body weight in ounces each day in order to keep it all clicking. You may need to utilize glutamine or other amino acids to ensure that you are not moving into a level of muscle wasting. You will know that if despite your weight training efforts your muscles look flat and your strength starts to wain in the gym. The result of cycling growth and cutting phases for a man is a leaner and larger version of your self. The result for a woman is a toned and sculpted goddess.
There can be very good results gained using as little as 4-6 week cycles. The results will also keep the muscles of the body guessing, which is the key to change. As you get closer to the goals that you are working towards you can lessen the amount of time of each cycle. Utilize both bulking and cutting cycles to change your body. You will eventually be able to find the right cycle and rhythm that works for your body.
Written by Dre Farnell
In bowl, whisk together oil, lemon rind and juice, garlic, dill weed, salt and pepper. Add chicken, turning to coat; let stand for 10 minutes. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.) Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until no longer pink inside, about 12 minutes.
Top grilled chicken with lettuce and tomatoes, if desired.
* 1/2 cup ground flax seed
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/3 cup dry oats
* 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon
* 1/4 cup mixed nut meal (pistachio, almond, pecan, cashew ground up in a blender)
Mix dry ingredients together.
* 2 whole omega 3 eggs
* 4 oz egg whites
* 3 tbsp cottage cheese
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1/3 cup frozen mixed berries
Mix wet ingredients through.
Pour mixture into a personal sized pan and cook (covered) on medium for 4 minutes then flip, cook for another 4 and serve.
Water is the fluid of life. About 70% of the earth is covered in it. Water is needed for every metabolic process in the human body. While training for life and morphing into your ideal version of “YOU” keep everything lubricated with H2O. Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you drink.
Do not count coffee and soda when tallying up your daily water intake. In fact, they function as diuretics and strip the body of this much needed nutrient. When this occurs the body then fights to retain water levels causing bloating (see point#4). Conventional wisdom tells you 6-8 glasses of water is enough per day. If you're training for an unconventional physique, you need more. Aim for at least half your bodyweight in ounces a day. Adjust this amount dependant on your level of conditioning and intensity of training.
Water flushes out toxins and other metabolic waste products from the body. Water is especially important when following a "high protein" diet, as it helps remove excess nitrogen, urea (a toxic substance), and ketones (by products of protein synthesis). If weight training to increase definition (tone) you will need even more water to help your kidneys do their work.
Without enough water your kidneys will not function properly. When this happens, some of the filtering workload is transferred to the liver. The livers main function is to metabolize stored fat for energy. If the liver is doing both jobs, it will process less fat. Studies have shown that consuming 2 liters throughout the day leads to increased calorie burn on a daily basis. Water also mitigates feelings of hunger.
Contrary to popular belief, drinking water can actually help you shed excess water weight. When water is in short supply the body stores it in extra-cellular space. This storage can lead to bloating. If water retention is a chronic problem, it may be because there is too much salt in your diet. Read your food labels and try to consume less than 2400mg per day. The higher your sodium intake the harder the body will work to retain its’ precious resource (water).
Too little water, and your body pulls it from various organs including the colon. When this occurs it can lead to constipation and impeded digestion.
Keep water in mind as you work, live and play. Take small steps every day to reach the “Best” version of you!
Written By: Andre Farnell
Getting ripped six pack abs is the result of proper nutrition, effective training and living a lifestyle that places your fitness as a priority. I will focus on ab training for the purpose of this article.
Your abdominals or abs are stabilizing muscle that stretch over your midsection. Their main purpose is to work with your lower back to stabilize your upper body. Without you abs you would not be able to prevent yourself from falling backwards, or get up for that matter.
The Rectus Abdominis (extends from the top of the pelvis to the sternum and is composed of upper and lower abdominals)
To get ripped six pack abs focus on what will give you the most bang for your buck. Focus on your Rectus Abdominis with some oblique training. The Intercostal Muscles and Serratus Anterior will be worked during regular weight lifting sessions.
I am a very simple, straight to the point kind of guy. I hate it when someone bores me with details that I’m really not interested in and this mentality transfers to my training style. Do not over complicate your ab training. They are a muscle just like other muscle and do not need special treatment to pop out. You just have to diet consistently enough to see the fruits of your labor.
You do NOT have to train abs every day.
You do NOT have to do 100 of sit ups.
You do NOT have to train abs for hours at a time.
I train abs 2-3 times a week. I may take a day off just to train abs and do some cardio or I may train them after legs. I generally try to hit my upper and lower abs, as well as the oblique’s with each ab workout. I will try to stimulate the muscle by focusing on fully contracting the muscle with every rep. I also add resistance and slow down the movement to increase abdominal stimulation. I do not swing or rapidly pump out reps.
A great exercise that targets the lower abs is the leg raises. You can do them using back support or hanging. If you keep you legs straight you will get more resistance with this exercise. To start let your legs hang down and then raise your legs up until your abs are fully contracted. Slowly lower your legs back down and repeat until you have done 4 sets of 20. If twenty reps feels too easy, slow down the movement and hold each rep when your abs a fully contracted for a second before letting your legs back down.
Another great exercise for upper abdominals is the crunch. You can do them on a ball or on the floor. You can have your feet on the floor or have them in the air. Arch your back when you start so your abs are fully relaxed and stretched. Then crunch your abs as tight at you can without using your hips to lift your upper body off the ground. When you lift your upper body off the ground you take the focus off the abs and place them on your hip flexors. Focus on your abs. Again do 4 sets of 20 and slow down the movements if this seems too easy.
For the oblique’s I love to do oblique crunches or side crunches. Lay on your side with your knees bent and your feet slightly elevated off the ground. You can twist you upper body so that you’re facing the ceiling or you may remain facing the wall. Contract the oblique’s which will raise your upper body. Again, remember to slow down the movement to put more emphasis on the oblique’s. Repeat for the other side until you have complete 4 sets of 20 on each side.
These three exercises will help build the foundation for your six pack abs but you can alter the workouts at times. I will often substitute one or more of the following exercises into my ab routine.
Try replacing the leg raises for V – Ups. The V-up is preformed my balancing your body on your butt while you crunch. Sit on the floor with your legs out and try to make your knees touch your chest. This should fully contract your abs. Then relax while keeping your legs and upper body elevated and contract again. Repeat for 4 sets of 20 and slow down the movement when necessary.
You may also do cable crunches instead of regular crunches. Simply kneel in front of a cable machine with the set above you, grab the handle or rope and pull your elbows into your knees. This should contract your abdominal muscles. Feel free to add weight and slow down the movement to increase the emphasis on your abs.
Instead of doing oblique or side crunches, try doing alternate heel touches. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet planted about shoulder width apart. Alternate between touching your right heel with your right hand and your left heel with you left hand by bending sideways. Repeat until you have done 4 sets of 20. Do 20 reps on each side to complete a set.
Working out your abs will not get you six pack abs if you do not eat properly.
The factors that will determine how ripped your six pack will be:
Remember to eat clean, lift weights regularly, incorporate up to two 45 minute high intensity interval training cardio sessions 3-5 days a week, take quality supplements, and live a lifestyle that promotes health and fitness (limit alcohol consumptions and get adequate rest). Follow the training tips I outlined and you will be well on your way to be sporting a mean set of abs.
Getting six pack abs does not happen overnight. When most people ask how long it takes to get six pack abs, I tell them most bodybuilders give themselves 6 months to get in peak conditioning. Be patient, stay motivated and get them!
Written by Erick Ruiz Salgaldo
The latest division added a few years ago to NPC/IFBB has taken like wildfire. Ladies love the fact that they can come in looking fit and toned without the need for bulk. A good healthy lifestyle and attention to diet will help you get this look which can be easily attainable naturally and held most of the year realistically!
This division opens the door to a more mainstream physique with a lesser budget. The bikinis are much more ‘beach style’ and less extravagant and because there is no need for a routine all you need to master is a nice smooth walk in some sexy high heels. This division is very budget friendly and perfect for the ladies who do not want to get at muscular as fitness or figure women. With this type of body you can fit the training and proper meal regimen into your day because it is what most healthy lifestyles should look like in general.
Posing is not standard so you get some flexibility in the poses you choose for front and back stance. Smooth transitions are crucial when walking, standing, posing and shifting into the next pose.
The key is fluid movement which comes with practice in front of the mirror in the heels and bikini. The one thing you want to work on is a signature stand facing the judges and then a back view stance which is slightly different. Learn to step and turn smoothly to eliminate extra stepping, practice the step turn.
You will want to work toward a long lean muscle type so the type of workouts you do will depend on what cycle of training you are in relative to contest day and your fitness level at that time. I have found that in general crossfit type circuit work is excellent to help with fat loss, tone and conditioning toward the longer lean muscle bellies. Keep flexible so that length shows and train through full range of motion.
I like to use combo exercises so that you get in multiple muscle groups and tweak out the fat burning because you use compound muscle combinations. Do not fear muscle gains, it is very difficult to build so you will not get huge!
These exercises (video examples below) help peak your frame so that your shoulders and legs accent a smaller waist.
Work for higher reps or timed reps, muscular endurance is typical of the bikini body.
I would look for a show that is 6-12 months away depending on your conditioning at the moment, then plan toward that show giving you time to look into it more, attend one maybe. You can get familiar with the division, the photos of contests showing the body types placing top 10. This also gives you time to fully budget things out, food, tan, entry, suits, you name it.
For bikini the beauty aspect is looked at so you want to have fabulous hair which you can do yourself back stage or come ready done, shows can start very early so unless you have a hair person who can come very early, be ready to be self sufficient. Nails, tan and details need attention.
Balance your meals keep carbs clean, proteins lean. Do not fear protein drinks they can add to your nutrients without making you feel too full. Greek no fat yogurt is also a great alternative for those who do not like protein drinks. Check out my tuna stuffed avocado for a great meal idea.
Water is a key factor for your lean appearance and amazing skin, 2 liters per day at minimum up to 2 gallons. Do not cut out fats; eat the right ones, nuts, avocado, fish, olives and olive oil as well as flax, hemp and blends of these.
For bikinis I like to refer my clients to posingwear.com, Amy can make up great bikini division suits for an affordable cost. If you like an edgy suit you can also check out some of the sinful brand suits from affliction which are stunning.
Written By Linda Cusmano
Everyone wants to lose fat, but most people mistakenly indicate “weight loss” as their goal. As I will explain, this is not necessarily the same thing. Reducing body fat and improving one’s body composition is a common goal for both serious athletes and the general fitness enthusiasts. With such a strong interest in “battling the bulge”, fat loss has become a huge industry, with new fad diets, weight loss plans, abdominal toning products, and fat burning supplements popping up on the market every day!
Unfortunately, despite all of the attention directed at this subject, obesity is still on the rise. The purpose of this article is to outline some basic and effective principles for attaining permanent “fat loss” and a transformation of your physical appearance.
We are inundated with so many different diet and exercise programs and there are so many weight loss myths floating around that it becomes difficult to know what to believe. Let me assure you that proper nutrition and exercise (along with certain lifestyle changes) are STILL the solution to losing fat permanently and getting that lean, cut-looking physique. The following 3 Fat Loss Tips will help you achieve your “Fat Loss” goals.
Cutting too many calories, pushes the body to conserve calories rather than burn them. It also forces your body to break down muscle tissue to fuel its vital operations. But muscle tissue is the key to your metabolism (the speed at which you burn calories).
When you go on an extremely low calorie diet, your body goes into starvation mode. This leads to several negatives consequences, including fewer fat-burning enzymes in your body, lower levels of fat burning hormones, muscle wasting, greater appetite, and low energy. The bottom line is that it’s physiologically impossible to achieve permanent fat loss on a “starvation” type diet.
In the short term very low calorie programs may get you some results, but in the long run they can actually make you fatter. You will almost certainly regain additional body fat once your diet ends! Don’t trust a diet plan that recommends the same calories for everyone. If you are more active you will need more energy.
This ties in nicely with the first principle. The key to long term fat loss is to focus on burning the fat, not starving the fat. To metabolize more body fat while only cutting calories slightly below maintenance, you will need to burn more calories by increasing your activity level. I know it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people look for ways around this, and search for quick fixes in order to avoid putting the extra effort into getting results!
Your physical activity plan for fat loss should focus primarily on resistance training with weights. Whereas you will burn fat as a fuel source during cardiovascular, resistance training will not only metabolize body fat during your workout, but it will stimulate your body to continue eating up your fat stores after exercise as well. This is sometimes referred to as the double-reducing effect, or “after-burn”. This effect is caused by raising your basal metabolic rate: essentially, weight training boosts your metabolism!
Not only will strength training get you “Jacked”, but the more lean tissue you have on your body, and the more active your muscle tissue becomes, the higher your metabolism is. This is why I say it’s a mistake to focus on losing weight, rather than reducing body fat. Muscle weighs much more than fat, but because it is also much denser it takes up less space on your body. So think about “reshaping” your body, rather than shrinking it. This will leave you cut AND jacked, rather than just skinny and soft.
Circuit training involves a single set of each exercise one after another, with minimal rest between sets. An effective way to increase your metabolism in a circuit training workout is to perform a series of exercises alternating between lower body, upper body, and core movements. This can be accomplished using minimal equipment, or by performing bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, dips, and abdominal exercise variations.
Interval training involves alternating periods of low intensity cardiovascular activity with higher intensity sprint intervals. This not only burns more calories in a shorter amount of time, but it will help to stimulate and preserve your hard-earned lean muscle tissue. An example of an interval training workout could be alternating periods of jogging for 4 minutes and running hard for 1 minute, repeating these intervals for a 20 minute workout.
Exercise alone won't make you leaner. You can still gain fat due to poor eating habits. Here are some important nutritional habits you can adopt to help you lose body fat while maintaining your lean muscle tissue:
This may sound contrary to your objective, but by eating more frequently your metabolism is increased and your portion sizes will be smaller. Controlling portion size is absolutely essential to reducing your body fat. View it as throwing wood chips on the fire (your metabolism) all day long to keep the flames high, rather than smothering it with a log once a day. Try to eat 5 to 6 smaller healthy meals or snacks throughout the day. Eating every 3 hours will help regulate your blood sugar levels and keep your metabolism roaring.
Fat is a misunderstood nutrient. Many people still believe that all fats are “bad”, and think that eating fat makes you fat. However, not all fats are created equal and consuming the right type of fat is not only essential for good health, but it will aid in the metabolism of even more body fat. The good fats are called essential fatty acids (EFA’s) and include the Omega 3, 6, and 9 oils. Foods containing these healthy fats include fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil, among others. Flaxseed oil and fish oil are common sources and are popular in supplement form as well.
Water is the most important nutrient, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. You need it to flush the waste products your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy, or when it processes protein. To stay well hydrated, let water and green tea be your main beverages. Fruit juices, sodas and other beverages contain calories and often have added sugar. Therefore, avoid juice, pop, and sports drinks and focus on drinking plain water and green tea instead. A good guideline for water intake is to drink one liter for every fifty pounds of your bodyweight per day.
Sugar is the enemy if your goal is to lose fat! Sugar contains empty calories (minimal nutrient value), which provide a quick release of energy without actually feeding your body, and then a rapid energy slump soon afterwards. Sugar also interferes with fat loss, because your body will prefer to metabolize the sugar before getting into using fat stores. By including foods high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats you can control this rapid fluctuation in blood sugar. Foods rich in fiber help control blood glucose and insulin levels. Reduce consumption of most processed, low-fiber breads, cereals, breakfast bars, potatoes, and pasta.
Following these basic suggestions will help you lose body fat, increase your metabolism, and improve your health! ....Stay CutAndJacked!!
Written by CutAndJacked Specialist contributing author Josh Hewett
Edited by CutAndJacked.com Owner "Rolsey"
In my years of training, I've learned that there are factors that are absolutely critical when it comes to fat loss. And I've also learned there are many factors that would SEEM to be critical but actually AREN'T!
The critical factors for fat loss are actually pretty simple - you probably know them already. It's the things that WON'T break your fat loss routine that can throw people off!
In this article, I’m going to give a quick rundown on BOTH.
Many of these things I talked about are pretty straightforward, especially what’ll make or break your fat loss. I hope it opened up your eyes about what WON’T make or break you, though! As long as you’re doing the big things right, the small things like training on an empty stomach first thing in the morning won’t be a big deal.
Written by Nick Nilsson
The truth is you don’t need surgery to get the body of your dreams. You are the only one responsible for your success. If you want abs, 80% of your results will rely on your diet. YOU are the only person who controls what you put in your body. If your friends or family are not supporting you in your efforts to get lean, let them know you are serious about reaching this goal and that your eating habits are going to change. Sure you may get a few odd looks and some people may feel uncomfortable around you because you are making them feel guilty about what they eat, but just stay focused. The results will be amazing!
I am not going to lie to you and tell you that eating for six pack abs is easy. Getting proper nutrition is an ongoing effort. If you break your diet, DO NOT GIVE UP! If you give into temptation, admit you made a mistake, and try even harder to eat clean. Depending on your current eating habits you may find this step easier than others. Even if you have the worst eating habits, you can still get six pack abs, but it will require time to develop clean eating habits. You are capable of achieving great abs. Here is what you need to know to eat for better abdominals.
Is a calorie just a calorie, or does the quality of that calorie matter? Many people cautiously check the nutrition statements on their food, but do they know the difference between quality ingredients? You can count calories all you want, but if you are eating poor quality calories, your results will be limited at best.
Imagine you have a clone, and that clone eats the same amount of calories but from chocolate bars. Now imagine you get all your calories from whole food. Who will look (and feel) better? You would look and feel better than your clone of course! This is an extreme example, but it doesn’t have to be that extreme.
Let’s say you and your clone are both trying to “Get In Shape.” Your clone eats heavily processed, so called “Healthy Foods and Meals,” while you cook and eat fresh veggies and meats. Again, who is going to look and feel better? That’s right, you win again.
Many of these 'get fit quick' meal programs solely focus on restricting the quantity of calories in your diet, and completely ignore the quality of those calories. As a matter of fact, most of those 'get fit quick' meal programs use extremely low quality foods and ingredients in them. Why? Because, high quality food is not cheap and if they used high quality food they would not be able to make a profit. Remember, you get what you pay for. To get abs, feed your body with only high quality foods. That means eat whole
foods, not highly processed foods.
In general, processed foods digest quickly causing sharp changes in your body chemistry and can easily lead to fat storage. This happens for a few reasons:
“Fast foods and processed products are packed with trans fats, empty carbohydrates and calories,” stated Dr. Saman Bakhtiar in his article The Only Diet That Works.
Now, I want you to change the way you think about food. Most people see food as a pleasure. “They enjoy food.” Really? It takes you a few minutes to eat a tasty meal but are you willing to sabotage your body because you enjoyed that food? Well, I enjoy food also. I enjoy how I can control my body because of the food I choose to eat.
Think of your food a tool. Much like a good set of tools can make a home improvement project easier, quality whole foods make getting in shape easier as well. Whole foods are great tools that can help you get six pack abs. Most processed foods are convenient but will do little to help you reach your ultimate potential.
“But, I don’t have time to cook.”
Try cooking your food in bulk on the weekends. Stay away from the microwavable meals! Instead cook your meals and refrigerate or freeze them, so you can enjoy them throughout the week. This will ensure that you are actually getting meat, veggies and fruit in your meal and not some chemically enhanced
, salty, food substitute.
“Eating whole foods sound like a lot of work.”
Your diet is crucial to your success and, it will take some work. Sure it would be easier to buy a bunch of premade meals and just pop them in the microwave, but if it was that easy, don’t you think more people would have six pack abs? Getting in great shape is a lifestyle adjustment and it does take some hard work but it is well worth it. Your body will react best to foods that are less processed. So, do yourself a favor, go to Costco and load up on wholesome foods. On the weekend cook your meal for the rest of the week and feel confident about feeding your body quality calories.
You may be shocked to hear that many people gain weight due to under eating. That’s right! The body is great at surviving, and if we under eat or starve ourselves, the body reacts by slowing down our metabolic rate. This means your body will try to store as much fat as possible on your body when you put it in starvation mode.
I have seen the unfortunate consequences of under eating with many clients who come to me thinking they have to starve themselves. After reviewing their diet I come to find out that they are already starving their bodies and begin to have them eat more frequently. As they begin to eat more frequently and workout, their appetite increases as well but I have them eat frequent meals with no limitation on calories, they just have to eat whole foods. Every client is amazed at how well my simple diet programs work for them and tell me they never thought they would lose fat by eating more.
Losing fat while eating more, sounds
too good to be true, doesn’t it? But it is not and there is a logical explanation.
Let me elaborate on why our body reacts this way. Way back when humans hunted and gathered food, we would experience periods with little to no food. Animals would be scarce or a drought would kill off vegetation. In times like these, our bodies would have to adapt to survive. The body would eat away at our muscle mass (Muscle requires large amount of energy to maintain) thus slowing down its metabolism, and store as much fat as possible. This adaptation is great for survival but horrible for getting six pack abs.
To prevent your body from going into a starvation state, I recommend eating six small meals throughout the day. This will ensure that your body has the proper nutrients it needs, thus prevent the body from attempting to store fat. If the body knows that food is not far away, it will not store large amount of fat around your mid section.
Now, this does not mean you can over eat or eat whatever you want. You will still need to eat a diet that is clean and has the proper macro nutrition ratios to get six pack abs, but eating every 2-3 hour will help. If you eat lean protein and complex carbohydrates in your diet you will be well on your way to getting six pack abs.
Eating frequently will prevent you from becoming hungry and craving fatty and/or sugary foods. We crave sugary or fatty food most when our blood sugars are low and our body is desperate for energy. Frequent meals will help stabilize blood sugars and prevent many of these strong cravings.
Frequent meals also help preserve muscles, thus increasing your metabolism. I mentioned this earlier but I want to stress how important this is. When the body needs protein and it is not readily available, your body will take protein from your muscles. This is a survival reaction in which the body eats itself in order to survive. Because muscle burns calories, this process also slows down your metabolism. Frequent meals help prevent this by ensuring your body always has some readily available protein.
Let review why eating frequent meals is so important:
It has been said that water is the essence of life. And it is true. If water did not exist on earth; life would not have been able to flourish. We are truly fortunate to have an abundance of this amazing elixir on our planet and yet people still do not utilize it properly.
Water is vital to every bodily process! While we may be able to survive for weeks without food, we would only survive a few days without water. Water is so important to our bodies that our bodies are composed of ~70% water. If water was not key to our survival 70% of our body would be composed of something other than water.
As a matter of fact, the aging process is due mostly to our body’s inability to effectively utilize water. We literally shrivel up as we age as out body’s water composition drops.
Water can do much more than just keep you healthy. It can keep your metabolism kicking and help you curb your cravings. Let’s start with the fat burning effects of water.
Without going into technical detail, all you need to know if that water is essential for bodily functions. Building lean muscle tone and burning fat is no exception. Water is needed for exercise because it helps rush oxygen and nutrition to your muscle by keeping your blood fluid. Drink too little water and your blood will become thick make it very difficult for your body to pump blood into your muscles. The same is true for fat metabolism. Water is needed to metabolize fat, but if you do not drink enough water, you can expect to have a hard time getting those abs to show.
Drinking water also helps you feel full. Water has zero calories and when ingested can help you feel fuller longer. This is the reason why vegetables are great fat loss foods. They tend to be high in fiber and water, both of which have zero calories!
I like to drink about a gallon of water a day throughout the day. I drink a majority of my water in the morning to help me hydrate for the rest of the day but I never drink large quantities of water at once. Drinking too much water at once can thin your blood and lead to medical complications. Spread out your water consumption throughout the day and remember, water will not only help you get six pack abs it will help you stay younger, healthier and feel better also.
I hope you found this information useful. If you are serious about getting six pack abs. These three nutrition tips are crucial. Eat frequent meals composed of whole foods accompanied with plenty of water. That’s all you have to do. It seems so simples and yet a majority of people in the world neglect their health by ignoring these tips. Follow them and you will soon look in the mirror to find your ripped pair of six pack abs looking back at you!
Written By Erick Ruiz Salgaldo