Want to look better naked AND improve athletic performance? You’ve come to the right place!
In all seriousness, this can be achieved by using a few simple tricks to lean out and strengthen the body while holding on to those beloved carbs!
First, let’s talk about what we want to avoid – the simple, calorie restriction approach. On its own, in my opinion, this fails. Why? Because it can be difficult to measure calories, day after day, and the constant pressure of balancing the numbers can become overwhelming. It also fails to address the types of foods we put into our body and how these affect us.
I should add that weight loss through this method can be achieved, though the individual will likely put the weight back on later or the weight loss will be due to lost muscle, not fat, making the body look smaller, whilst remaining untoned. Scientifically, this method has also been shown to lower testosterone and possibly reduce bone density.
So, how do we think it should be done?
We’ve whittled it down (you’re welcome) to the top 3 considerations you should make to improve your fat loss and strength gains:
1. Sleep, sleep, sleep!This is of utmost importance to keep willpower high throughout the day and also to keep hormone levels optimized. With the high cortisol and low testosterone levels that come from a lack of good sleep, making positive changes to your weight or performance can be very difficult. It seems that 7-8 hours is the optimum for the most part, but there are lucky few (-1% of population) who can perform well on only 6 hours per night! This doesn’t include us, I can assure you…If you are interested in to learn more about sleep, we recommend to read the book “Why We Sleep” by Mathew Walker.
2. Restrict your eating times
Time restricted eating brings a whole host of health benefits, but let’s cut to the good stuff. Time restricted eating promotes fat loss through improved fat metabolism, and when combined with weight training, promotes strength performance. This comes from the extended periods without spiking the insulin level, allowing your body a large window of time each day time to target those fat cells and metabolize them for energy. The strength aspect comes from the testosterone boost it provides – this is why we love it so dearly at Escapist J, by the way. All these benefits, and with no reduction in overall calories consumed…who’d have thought?
We recommend eating within an 8-10 hour window each day for the most benefit, but up to 14 hours has proven to hold some results (that’s 14 hours eating, 10 hours fasting, daily).
3. Keep the carbs to one meal per day
This is where it gets tough….we all love our carbs, I know, but reducing the amount of carb-heavy meals you have per day will not only further improve your body’s ability to metabolize fat (think about the reduced insulin levels in the point above) but it will also help us adapt towards a life with less carbs. Yes, this is possible, and believe it or not,it even becomes normal (with time!). We recommend starting the day with a low carb breakfast and a low carb lunch and saving the carbohydrate heavy meal for pre or post workout (this can be adapted depending on your training schedule).
To quickly recap, we can see that sleep and nutrition are very important to both improving performance, becoming and/or staying lean and, of course, looking better naked 😉. In fact, these two factors probably influence results in these areas more than the workouts themselves, and some research suggests that up to 80% more weight-loss can be achieved by following a good nutrition program in combination with regular, intense exercise.
PS. For more information on any of the above, including meal suggestions, sleep aids and a whole host of other health-positive advice which we didn’t include above, stay tuned for more, or come see us at the box 😉
Link to “Why We Sleep”