Updated: May 1
"Make time for it. Just get it done. Nobody ever got strong or got in shape by thinking about it. They did it." – Jim Wendler
"Strength does not come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t." – Nikki Rogers
"Wisdom is doing now what you are going to be happy with later on." – Joyce Meyer
Have you allowed COVID-19 to interrupt you from reaching your fat loss goals? Have unexpected obstacles and inclement weather delayed your efforts to reduce the waistline? Have your fat-burning efforts reached a plateau?
The decision to get your body into excellent condition should not be hindered by restrictions and shutdowns! It is time to pull out some tricks that will help you get to where you want to go despite the lack of resources at your disposal.
1) Intermittent Fasting – Recent reviews in scientific literature display that intermittent fasting for one to six months can influence significant weight loss. According to the same research, individuals who participated in the study lost up to seven percent of their waist circumference within the course of the time that they fasted. Start with a twelve-hour fast and work up to sixteen hours of abstinence from any food or drink that contains a calorie (black coffee is acceptable).
2) Control Carbohydrate Intake – Eat carbs early and reduce the amount of starch that you consume. According to registered dietician Kate Patton (Med, RD, CSSD, LD) "Having your biggest portion of carbs later in the evening can cause a blood sugar spike. Your body then stores the extra glucose that you didn’t use for energy as body fat." The body is more efficient at burning carbs in the morning and fat in the evening, meaning that carbs should be consumed earlier in the day for optimal fat burning. Allow your body the chance to burn off starchy carbs early so that they don’t turn to fat by eating them before five o’clock pm. Reduce starch intake down to two-three servings a day (that’s about 20 – 40 grams a serving) and choose slow-digesting, unrefined sources, including but not limited to Natures Path Organic Steel Cut Oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa, Ezekiel Bread, Ezekiel Cereal, and whole-grain pasta.
3) Cardio on an Empty Stomach – Harvard Health Publishing, the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School, recently posted an article involving the benefits of exercise on an empty stomach. In this article, Medical Doctor William Kormos wrote, "Research using healthy young men has shown that doing aerobic exercise when fasting increases the use of stored fat as an energy supply." The best time to capitalize on exercise during fasting is in the morning as abstinence from food or drink is evident while the individual is asleep. Kormos then wrote, "Another study, also in healthy young men, found that the metabolic changes from exercising in a fasting state help the body use insulin more effectively, which also may delay or prevent diabetes."
4) Carb Cycling – Carb cycling is a dietary approach in which you alternate carbohydrate intake on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. A proper approach to carb cycling would aim to time carbohydrate intake to when it provides maximum benefit and omit carbs when they are not needed. Canadian nutritionist and founder of Precision Nutrition, Dr. John Berardi (CSCS) suggests a basic method of carb cycling which involves keeping carbohydrate intake low for five to six days out of the week and ramping it back up (as a refeed day) for one or two days out of the week.
For those on the mission to transform their body or to reach optimal health, the answer resides in the combination of movement and a natural, sound diet. In consideration of health, the application of one without the other is equivalent to sneakers without laces.
Time waits for nobody! It is time to toss the excuses! Get off on the right foot in 2021 by following these tried and tested steps to becoming a healthier you! Speak to your doctor or a noteworthy health professional before altering your dietary regiment as individuals with diabetes and other health issues may need to take precautions.