Fellas, are you ready to switch to beast mode in 2015? Then check out these training, nutrition and lifestyle knowledge bombs, all designed to help you lose body fat, build muscle and feel awesome. There is so much information out there these days that it can be a struggle knowing where to begin. Here are my top 5 tips for blokes that you can implement from TODAY to start getting the right results.
Seems like everyone is doing this same thing this week – tidying up their nutrition, hitting the gym and ditching the booze, caffeine and sugar. Before you launch into your New Year overhaul make sure you’ve got the essentials covered. The following may not be new to you but in my experience they are often overlooked in favour of the latest supplement, training fad or six pack secret. Most of these cost little to nothing and yet they make a massive difference to your body composition and health. Oh and they’re sustainable too, unlike most of what the industry is touting this week!
1) Reduce Stress In Your life
I will be blunt here; chronic stress destroys lean muscle, erections and energy. Whilst occasional acute stress is a good thing (including hitting the gym or charging towards a deadline at work) chronically elevated stress levels are a sure fire way to zap testosterone and growth hormone levels, both of which are essential for a lean body and burning fat. Being acutely stressed will do you no favours at all, either in or out of the gym. A key tool here is the ability to disconnect from the world at some point during your day to take a deep breath and enjoy some fresh air. Did you know that there are increasing studies suggesting that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from laptops, tablets and phones are significantly decreasing sperm counts in men? It seems reducing your screen time (and certainly keeping devices away from your crown jewels) is a smart move for health, fat loss and virility. So in 2015 make it your mission not to sweat the small stuff and make a point of gaining control of stress in your life.
A few great ways to chill out are:
- Getting outdoors for a walk.
- Removing evening stress by switching emails/phone/laptop off by a certain time
- Listening to music/podcasts
- Losing yourself in a good box set
Probably the most effective exercise for building strength and size that most men don’t do. Before you start with the excuses, I have heard them all. The fact is most guys don’t have a good enough reason not to squat. I avoided squats for a long while myself, mainly because they were bloody hard work and I knew my technique could be better so I just skipped them a little too often. However, it’s no coincidence that since I started squatting at least 2-3 times a week my strength has gone through the roof. True story – I’m sprinting faster and my joints feel awesome. As a rugby player this is great news. So whether your goal is to get faster, increase strength, pack on muscle or to improve your chosen sport, the squat should always have a place. Aim for at least 2 squat based sessions a week this year.
3) Sort Out Your Gut
Us blokes are terrible for neglecting gut health or even worse, convincing ourselves that all the farting and belching is normal. The fact is most of us eat too much, too quickly and overload our digestive system. We often wreck our guts with too much beer, excess protein shakes, too much coffee and increasingly I’m seeing a lot of guys hooked on sugar and sweets. The issue here is that it has been well established that good gut health is a vital aspect of our metabolism and will therefore dictate our ability to increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. Food intolerances are also an issue for a lot of guys, if your six pack appears to have gone awol but your arms and legs are lean it’s likely the gluten and dairy need to go. Personally, I’ve found following a Fitter Food/Paleo-ish foundation works best for me; no bloating, better energy and an all round better physique. It’s sustainable too, especially with Thai Curry and Mexican Scotch Eggs on the menu.
The following are my essential 5 for digestive wellbeing:
- Chew your food, aim to allow 30 minutes to eat a meal.
- Supplement with hydrochloric acid (I use Metagest by Nutri Advanced) or apple cider vinegar at meals to support protein digestion.
- Take a good probiotic, I currently use Prescript Assist.
- Supplement with glutamine and collagen – both support gut health and increase muscle mass.
- Eat organ meats and fermented foods weekly.
4) Prioritise Sleep
I say this time and time again: sleep is the mac daddy of health and fat loss and for us blokes it’s essential for increasing testosterone and growth hormones essential for reducing body fat. The thing is, most people don’t get enough good quality sleep – it’s often over looked in favour of just nutrition changes or training schedules which take priority. Of course these are both important too, but if you ignore a good quality nights sleep then you are seriously missing out on making some epic progress. Get 7-9 hours a night as a minimum but we need more in winter (so shoot for 9hrs) as we have less energy from sunlight, in the summer you might get away with less but a few afternoon naps wouldn’t hurt either.
5) Kick Start Your Day With Protein & Fat
Whilst this is not set in stone in my experience, when working with guys, they respond well to having a protein and fat based breakfast. Since implementing this myself I experienced sustained energy and no mid morning crashes, cravings or hunger. Protein only causes a small increase in blood sugar compared to carbohydrates, plus the fats are incredibly satiating. In fact this simple change alone has made a huge difference to many of my clients body composition results and they comment about feeling more balanced throughout the day making it easier to make the right choices.
My favourites breakfasts include:
- Smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, kale and avocado.
- Steak and eggs.
- A protein smoothie with whey protein, nut butter and MCT oils.
- Eggs, bacon, spinach and tomatoes.
So there you are guys, my 5 top tips for fat loss! Got a question? You can contact me here!