When Will You Decide to Become Health Focused?

When Will You Decide to Become Health Focused?

When will you decide to become health focused?

Its a bit of an interesting question, and one I have found myself thinking about quite a lot of late. Which funnily enough, all started with a podcast.

I was always somewhat resistant to the rising popularity of podcasts. But over time I have found them to be pretty interesting. A good way to find out about topics that I wouldn’t normally explore without the input of someone else.

A good way to learn about different ways of thinking, and different areas of health.

Ultimately a different way to learn, I guess.

Anyway, to get back on track, I was listening to a podcast that featured a health professional by the name of Paul Chek.

While a number of Paul Chek’s methods are somewhat controversial, during this podcast he made a statement that really resonated with me.

At some point in your life, your health will become your highest priority – its just a matter of when

 

Its Just A Matter of When

I realized that this was entirely true.

There will undoubtedly reach a time in your life when your own health will rise to the top of your list of priorities.

No questions asked.

For me, it was when I decided I no longer wanted to be a skinny teenager. I wanted to build muscle, and to put it somewhat bluntly, look good naked.

A little bit vain? Maybe? But that was what prompted me to pay attention to what I put in my mouth and to start exercising regularly.

Its really what led me to where I am today.

I know many other people who have had a similar singular moment, albeit under slightly different circumstances.

I know people who have suddenly found themselves 10kgs heavier than they were on their wedding day. They might have realized that they have let themselves go. That they need to make a change before things get ‘too bad’ (so to speak).

I know people who have repeatedly gotten injured throughout their sporting careers.

They never managed to string more than a few games together before being forced into another extended layoff. These people started to take the health of their body seriously to ensure that they could keep playing sport pain free for as long as they could.

And I also know people who waited until it was almost too late.

People who got some nasty news from the doctor. They might have found out that they have been diagnosed with diabetes, or maybe cardiovascular disease. Maye they tried to get out of bed one morning and realized that they literally cannot stand up unassisted. Or that they can no longer climb the stairs without hanging off the hand rail.

Or maybe they just had their first grandchild?

And they have come to the stark realization that they want to be there for them for as a long as they can…

Somewhat depressing to think about, I agree.

But it does happen, and all too often at that.

Become Health Focused

Something that really stands out to me in regards to the above scenarios is that the earlier you decide to become health focused, the greater the impact it will have on your life.

If you start eating well and strength training as a skinny teen, you will build healthy habits that will last you a lifetime. You will maintain function indefinitely. Your risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes will be significantly reduced.

Obesity? Not a problem.

In short, you will live a long and happy life.

But what if you start much, much, later in life? If you are already riddled with disease.

The realization that if you don’t do something soon things will go downhill fast, has already hit home?

While I would be the first to say that it is undoubtedly better to start late than never, I would also be inclined to suggest that the benefits you see will be markedly less the later you start.

Most of your time will be spent reversing the damage that a life of sedentary activity has done to your body. The damage that a life of poor eating, weight gain, and lack of use, has done to your body.

Rather than improving function and maximizing health.

Again, this doesn’t mean that it is by any means a waste of time.

Hell, it will probably get you as few extra years on this amazing planet we call home.

But when I think about how I want to end my life on this planet, I certainly don’t want to be bedridden and incapacitated. I don’t want to be struggling to keep going on a daily basis. I want to be walking, running, and lifting, every single day. I want to end it on my terms, with thousands of independent and activity filled days behind me.

And I honestly believe I will, because I have made my health a priority before it was too late.

I implore you to do the same.

About the Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train Smarter Not Harder: Evidence to Support the iNform Way

Train Smarter Not Harder: Evidence to Support the iNform Way

I can certainly appreciate that the words ‘train smarter not harder’ do indeed come across a little gimmicky – but that certainly doesn’t make them any less appropriate.

For those of you who are aware of the iNform way, you would understand the premium we place on quality movement.

Our process always starts with the identification of movement dysfunction and muscular imbalances. We can then prioritize your training to improve upon these identified issues, therefore causing lasting improvements in how well you move. This process essentially acts as the foundation from which you can commence your performance journey – ultimately setting you up for future training success, exponentially increasing your physical capabilities, all while simultaneously reducing your risk of injury.

Pretty cool, right?

There is (or as of now, was) however, a little bit of kicker.

While each and every one of us here are iNform have always had a firm belief that this process worked, and worked well (and had the anecdotal evidence to prove it), we didn’t really have a method of quantifying it.

Well, until now, that is.

 

Train Smarter Not Harder

So, for those of you in the know, I am currently undertaking a PhD at the University of South Australia, where I am looking at the associations between movement quality and physical performance.

In short, I am testing out the effectiveness of the iNform methodology.

Now don’t get me wrong – I am well aware that this could have been disastrous. Imagine spending three years of my life trying to prove something that iNform have been building for the better part of two decades, and then seeing it fail.

And it all comes crashing down.

Like I said, disastrous.

However, as you might have guessed (given the title of this post and all), this wasn’t the case.

In fact, the key training study that I am going to be talking about genuinely smashed all expectations out of the park.

While I wont give you all the boring details (especially since the study is yet to be published), I will give you a bit of a rundown of what we did, and what the results were – and I can only assume that you will be as impressed as I was…

 

A Big Tick For Movement Quality

Pretty simply, we recruited a bunch of people into the study who had a fair amount of gym experience (about 6 years on average). We then took them through a battery of tests. These included iNforms MovementSCREEN assessment of movement quality, the FMS (another assessment of movement quality), and a number of strength and power measures.

To be honest, it was pretty comprehensive (and fairly time consuming…).

We then split the participants into two evenly matched groups.

One group underwent a training program built around the results of their individual movement assessment. This training was designed to improve upon any pre-identified movement dysfunctions and muscle imbalances (we can call these guys the iNform group). The second group underwent a training program built around the recommend guidelines for resistance training. This was done with intent to improve strength and physical capabilities (we will cause these guys the strength group).

Both groups underwent two (both 60 minutes long) training sessions per week for a total duration of 8 weeks. They were also fully supervised, with their training regime provided by a trainer in a one-on-one setting. At the end of each training session we also took a measure to determine how challenging the participants perceived the training.

Now it is important to note that the strength group weren’t simply performing some trashy cookie cutter program – it was still tailored to their individual capabilities, and it was built around training guidelines set by The American College of Sports Medicine.

It pretty much perfectly replicated what you would normally see in a normal personal training setting.

Which is why the results were so damn exciting (or at least, we think they are).

The Results

After the 8 weeks of training, we took all the participants through the same baseline testing battery. This allowed us to compare any differences between the two groups, and establish what method of training caused greater improvement in movement quality and performance.

Now to be completely honest, I did have a couple of expectations coming into this.

I really thought that the iNform group would see larger improvements in movement quality, while the strength group would see greater improvements in physical performance. Which in my mind, would make sense.

But that isn’t quite what happened.

The strength group saw large improvements in both their MovementSCREEN score of movement quality and their physical performance measures. With this, their FMS score of movement quality remained for the most part the same.

Interestingly, the iNform group saw the same degree of improvement in their strength and power measures. In conjunction with this, they saw greater improvements in their measures of movement quality.

Which in itself is pretty damn cool.

However, things start to get even more interesting when we start to look at how challenging the participants viewed their training…

You see, the iNform group found their training program significantly less difficult than the strength group. In fact, they rated every single session easier than the strength training group did.

Which suggests that they got better movement quality improvements and comparable performance improvements for less effort.

 

What The?

To be completely honest, these results took us somewhat by surprise. Not that we didn’t have faith in our processes, but the degree in which the iNform group improved their performance was pretty high – comparable to what most would consider the gold standard method of training.

Moreover, considering that this came with much less perceived effort, well its pretty outrageous really.

While we cant be sure why this happened, we suspect that it was because the iNform method of training is more ‘targeted’. It revolves around identifying the weakest link in the chain (or in this case, the body), and then training to improve that weakest link.

So although the method of training may be less intense than traditional strength training methods, it really works on what needs to be worked on.

Which obviously leads to improvements in performance and movement quality.

 

Take Home Message

I guess what we are trying to say is that the iNform way works. We now have evidence to support it, which we will be sharing in its entirety as soon as its published.

But what does this mean for you?

Well in my mind it clearly shows that training with iNform can improve how well you move, while simultaneously increasing your strength and power. Moreover, you will find this method of training less challenging than ‘traditional, training methods.

Train smarter not harder.

Simple.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting

Everything You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting

What is intermittent fasting?

Each and every week there seems to be a shiny new health and fitness trend. You know what I’m talking about? That brand new exercise, amazing new way of eating, or incredible new superfood? Yep, the one that is going to boost health and “help you drop 10 kilos in as little as two week!”

Just to be clear – I am being a little bit sarcastic here.

Or very sarcastic here.

Whatever.

Anyhow – while most of us are going to be highly skeptical of these claims (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), it can make it a challenge to sort through all the misinformation and find something that actually works.

Like Intermittent Fasting for example.

As you are most likely aware, intermittent fasting is a way of eating that has gained a lot of attention over the last couples of years.  It has been described as an ‘incredible way’ to both promote fat loss and improve health.

But is this really the case?

While these claims may seem rather lofty (I can hear your bullshit sensor going off from here…), there is evidence to suggest that it may assist in achieving both of these goals quickly and efficiently. When it’s implemented correctly, that is.

Now before we dive right into the rest of the article, I want to add a bit of a disclaimer. Intermittent fasting is not the be-all end-all of dietary interventions. It’s not going to do all the work for you – and it’s certainly not going to get you ‘shredded in weeks, brah’.

But it does offer a tool that can be used to help you boost health and promote weight loss.

 

What is Intermittent Fasting?

So, to put it pretty simply, intermittent fasting describes small periods of eating that are broken up by longer periods of not eating (or fasting).

While at first glance this may seem like a stupid concept, it is important to note that we all undertake a period of fasting during the night while we sleep. Overnight we obviously (and unavoidably) abstain from eating, and then break our fast with whatever we chose to eat upon waking.

Simple stuff really.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that the term ‘intermittent fasting’ actually covers a broad range of eating patterns. As a result, there are a number of different approaches to intermittent fasting that can be used.

Some intermittent fasting protocols recommend that you extend your overnight fasting period by a few hours, while others suggest that you should fast for days at a time. No matter what you choose to do, you are essentially trying to cause the same key outcomes.

Namely capitalizing on the hormonal changes that occur when the body is in a fasted state.

 

What are the ‘Real’ Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

As I have mentioned briefly, intermittent fasting has been said to both boost health and enhance weight loss – but like most things of this nature, some of its claims have been somewhat blown out of proportion.

With this in mind, I have compiled some of the research around intermittent fasting and its impact on the human body

So first and foremost, after a period of fasting, we see some key hormonal changes in the body:

The Hormonal Effects of Intermittent Fasting

Firstly, we see a decline in insulin secretion.

Insulin is often considered the ‘energy storage hormone’, as it causes the uptake of proteins, glucose, and fatty acids into the body’s cells. To describe it rather simplistically, when insulin levels are high, the body is in a state of storage.

Alternatively, when insulin levels are low, the body is suggested to have easier access to fatty acids for energy, which has been said to have some positive (albeit small) implications for fat loss.

Interestingly, a reduction in insulin secretion has also shown to reduce your risk of developing metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, and even age related cognitive decline.

So a few positives to consider.

Secondly, after a period of fasting, you also see a large spike in the secretion of human growth hormone.

Now this is important, because human growth hormone plays key role in the breakdown of fat for energy and the development of new muscle tissue. As a result, prolonging its natural secretion can have some positive implications for your body composition.

Namely, more muscle mass and less fat mass – although again, the impact here is relatively small.

Through the interactions of each of these factors, intermittent fasting has also been shown to cause small, yet measurable, increases in resting metabolic rate. This meas that you will be burning more energy at rest than you would be normally.

So, in short – Intermittent fasting can put your body in a state that makes it easier to lose weight and has potential metabolic health benefits.

 

Are There Any Other Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Enhancing fat loss

Now, while the hormonal impact of intermittent fasting is undoubtedly positive – particularly in regards to improving metabolic health – it certainly isn’t its biggest bonus in terms of weight loss.

In fact, I would argue that there is one very good reason as to why intermittent fasting can help you lose weight.

And it comes down to the fact that it makes you eat less.

*Gasp*

I know – pretty damn clever, right?

By restricting the amount of food you eat during the day, you will eat less on a weekly basis (duh…).

This makes it much easier to maintain a weekly energy deficit, which will obviously lead to weight loss and some associated improvements in health.

Genius.

 

What’s the Best Way to Do Intermittent Fasting?

As I have already mentioned briefly, there are a number of unique intermittent fasting protocols that you can use, however, I like to opt for a rather simple approach. This makes it not only easy to implement, but also much easier to stick to.

 

Regimented Intermittent Fasting

You see, some people recommend regimented and timed fasting protocols. With these, you can only eat between certain times during the day – for example, only eating between 1pm and 8pm every single day.

This is done to provide an eating regime, ensuring that you avoid food outside of these times and guaranteeing that a prolonged period of fasting is maintained.

However, while this does seem like a fairly logical approach, I believe that it does have some associated downfalls.

Firstly, this particular method is very restrictive. It offers absolutely zero flexibility on a day-by-day basis.  This is important because in my mind, those diets (or in this case, eating patterns) that are most successful are those that are the easiest to stick to.

No flexibility = hard to stick to.

Secondly, these arbitrary and regimented eating windows don’t factor in the time you wake up, or the time that you go to bed. As a result, they are not really applicable to everyone at an individual level.

 

Easy Intermittent Fasting

So with all this in mind, it’s pretty obvious that the benefits of intermittent fasting come from spending time in a fasted state. This means a fast lasting anywhere between 12 and 18 hours will have the positive effects previously mentioned – no matter what time we start to fast each day.

As a result, if someone is interested in trying intermittent fasting, I recommend that they simply fast for around 5 or 6 hours after waking each day. This will work irrespective of whether they wake up at 5am, 8am, or even 10am.

This still provides more than enough time to get the positive effects of intermittent fasting (often still using around a 16 hour fast), without having to deal with the regimented time periods associated with our more traditional methods of fasting.

Simple and effective!

 

Intermittent Fasting Frequently Asked Questions

So you might find that while this seems well and good in theory, there are a few practicalities that need ironing out. Taking that into consideration, I have tried to answer some of the more common questions that people ask me when it comes to intermittent fasting.

 

What Can I Eat While I am Fasting?

So fasting essentially means abstaining from food in its entirety. As a result, during your fasting period, it is pretty much integral that you do not consume any calories.

This is because as soon as energy enters the body, we see hormonal changes that ultimately eliminate the positive effects that are associated with intermittent fasting.

But, it’s important to note that you don’t have to abstain from absolutely anything.

Zero calorie beverages, such as black coffee and green tea are fantastic options. While I must admit that they are not all that filling, they do actually have the ability to blunt hunger. This can make managing your fasting period much easier.

Can I Drink Liquids during the Fast?

Building on the above point, you can certainly consume liquids, but again, they have to be non-caloric. So again, black and green tea, black coffee, and water are all fine.

Although it might be worth avoiding the addition of sugar and milk to these…

 

Isn’t it unhealthy to skip breakfast?

This is a question that comes up pretty often, and I believe it’s based off of the age old suggestion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – to which I would argue that it probably isn’t.

You see, while there is some research to suggest that people who skip breakfast tend to be less healthy than their breakfast eating counterparts, this isn’t the whole story. It is more likely that most stereotypical breakfast skippers also have unhealthy lifestyles. So rather than them skipping breakfast causing their poor health, its the fact that their lifestyle cause poor health..

So in short, as long as you eat healthy meals the rest of the day, you will be fine!

 

When is it best to workout with intermittent fasting?

In an ideal world, you would exercise in between your first and second meal – so either early afternoon or evening. This would ensure that you have adequate energy available to support your training session. Additionally, it will also provide you with all the necessary nutrients you need to recover after that training session.

However, I realize that we can’t always do this (you know, because of life…) – which lends itself to our next question quite nicely.

 

Can I work out while fasted?

First and foremost, I should note that your body isn’t as fragile as some people suggest. With this, it’s certainly not going to spontaneously combust if you decide to exercise without eating anything beforehand.

Your body swill still be full to the brim with all the energy you consumed yesterday. So in the grand scheme of things, neither your performance nor your recovery will be limited.

I should note that while training fasted for 30-60 minutes will be fine, running an ultramarathon fasted is probably not the best idea…

Isn’t fasting bad for my metabolism?

The short answer to this one is no.

The suggestion that not eating will cause your metabolism to slow down is based on evidence showing a small increase in energy usage eating. This acute increase in energy expenditure is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).  TEF ultimately refers to the energy required to break down and digest the food that you have just consumed.

The assumption is that if you eat more often, you will cause acute increases in your metabolism more frequently, and burn more energy as a result.

But TEF doesn’t work like that.

TEF is determined by your total daily energy intake (and often sits between 10-20% of the food you eat). So it doesn’t matter whether you eat 6 small meals totaling 2000 calories, or one large meal totaling 2000 calories.  As long as the macronutrient profile of that food remains the same, so will your TEF.

So no, fasting isn’t bad or your metabolism in any way, shape, or form.

 

Can I Eat Anything I Want During My Eating Window?

A common misconception that sits around fasting relates to the suggestion that you can eat anything you want. Which i can assure you is not true,

Even despite the benefits associated with intermittent fasting, you can still overeat during your fasting window. This can essentially render any of those possible benefits completely useless, leading to weight gain and declines in health.

So with all this in mind, it is in your best interest to eat a normal healthy diet during your eating period. This means that you will still get in all your essential vitamins and minerals, but with less energy on a daily basis,

 

Does it get easier?

And finally, one question that comes up quite a bit is ‘how do I deal with my hunger pains?’  And to be completely honest, it does get easier after a week or so. In fact, it probably gets easier after only a few days.

Often we eat out of routine – not out of necessity.

With that in mind, the hunger signals you receive in the morning are only there because you haven’t eaten at a time when you normally would. After an hour or so they will dissipate completely, and you can carry on with your day as normal.

So yes – it should get much easier.

 

Take Home Message

Intermittent fasting isn’t going to save the worlds obesity crisis, cure diabetes, or eliminate cancer. But it does offer a useful tool that can be implemented to help facilitate weight loss and improve metabolic health.

It also doesn’t have to be complex.

The intermittent fasting protocol outlined in this article offers a simple and effective way to fit this unique way of eating around your own individual schedule, This makes it less restrictive and more effective as a result.

If you have any questions, drop a comment down below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

About the Author

3 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home

3 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home

Our list of the 3 best core exercises offer the perfect way to keep your spine health and your abdominal muscles strong and functioning well – no matter where you are!

Those of you who have had some previous ‘iNform experience’ would be fully aware that we tend to stray away from traditional abdominal exercises like crunches, for those movements that train the core in a more movement specific manner.

Now, first and foremost, a bit of a disclaimer – these traditional exercises are unquestionably anatomically correct.

With this I mean that they do indeed train the abdominal muscles – although they certainly don’t really train them in a manner that replicates how they work in the real world.

You see, the muscles of the trunk (AKA, your core) make up a seriously complex system that plays a multitude of roles which are dependent upon the scenario in which they are placed.

With this in mind, they act to stabilise the spine and pelvis during high force and high velocity movements, they transfer force from one limb to another (for example, from the hip to the arm during throwing movements), and can also initiate movement of the trunk itself.

Which should make it pretty obvious as to why traditional abdominal exercises really don’t do enough.

But don’t worry – we have got you covered.

The 3 great core exercises outlined in this article provide a simple way that you can train the muscles of the trunk in an effective and efficient manner. These can be performed at home, and offer a fantastic means of enhancing your ability to stabilise the spine and transfer force – ticking all of the boxes for us.

 

3 Best Core Exercises You Can Do at Home

So, onto our exercises.

1.Deadbug

The first cab off the rank is the deadbug.

Extremely simple in premise, this great exercise offers one of the most effective ways to improve core strength and improve spinal stability, while also enhancing the trunks ability to transfer force between the upper and lower limbs.

Moreover, it can be performed anywhere and at any time.

  1. Start by lying on your back with your feet and hands in the air. Your knees should be bent to 90 degrees (you should ultimately look like a ‘dead bug’). In this position brace your abdominals and press your lower back flat into the ground.
  2. Proceed to drive one leg out, while simultaneously lowering your opposite arm back. Extend both out as far as you can without your lower back raising off the floor. This movement should be slow and controlled.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side – this is one repetition.

We can thank well known coach Tony Gentilcore for the perfect demonstration

 

2.Side Plank

An oldie but a goodie!

When performed appropriately the side plank trains the muscles of the trunk and the hip in a manner that teaches proper spine and hip control. This means a healthier spine, and a stronger trunk – both of which are pretty important of you ask me!

  1. Start lying on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder. You should be able to form a straight line from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head.
  2. Lift your hips and trunk off the ground, ensuring that they are held in a straight line and completely rigid.
  3. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

Here is a perfect demonstration by super coach, Dean Somerset.

 

 

3.RKC Plank

Our third and final option is a specific plank variation that aims to correct the unwanted postural deviations we see as the result of prolonged periods of sitting.  I really like this plank variation for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it is seriously brutal. As a result, you only need to do sets of 15-20 seconds to get a decent effect, and get your abdominal muscles working overtime.

Secondly, it’s really hard to perform incorrectly. Once you get yourself in the proper position, if you ‘lose it’ you will feel it straight away. As a result, you can be sure that this exercises is doing exactly what its supposed to – which is building essentially building a strong and resilient human!

So, without further ado:

  1. Start in a traditional plank position, with your elbows placed directly under your shoulders while you are up on your toes.
  2. Shift your hips up so that they are slightly elevated, and squeeze your glutes as hard as you possibly can (imagine you are trying to crack a walnut…).
  3. While in this position, actively ‘drag’ your elbows towards your knees (your elbows shouldn’t actually move, this should simply increase tension).
  4. Hold this position with maximal tension for 15-20 seconds.

And another excellent demonstration provided by Dr John Rusin

 

Putting it all Together

So, doing these in a single (very short) session at home might look something like this.

  1. Deadbug 20 reps either side
  2. Side plank 20 seconds either side
  3. RKC plank 20 seconds

Then rest for 1 minute and repeat the cycle 3-4 times, for a grand total of 10ish minutes.

Simple, and effective.

 

Take Home Message

I appreciate that you may not have the time available to get in a solid gym session every single day – but to say you don’t have the time to do anything is inexcusable. The program provided using the 3 core exercises outlined can be performed in as little as 10 minutes.

Not to mention it can be done literally anywhere, offers the perfect way to promote back health and enhance trunk strength, and allows your burn a little energy in the process.

So give it a go and let us know what you think!

About the Author

 

5 Simple Tips to Help With Sustained Weight Loss

5 Simple Tips to Help With Sustained Weight Loss

The weather starts to improve, the days start to get longer, the shorts start to come out, and the knowledge that summer is just around the corner starts to hit.

Happy days.

Until you realize that you planned on doing a little more work in the gym before beach season…

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am all for both accepting and loving one’s body.

I truly believe that you are worth so much more than simply how you look on a given day. I also believe that you shouldn’t give a second to thought as to what others think about you, nor how they think you look at any given point in time.

However, I am also very aware that on a personal level, I like being leaner in the summer time.

Call it vanity – hell, call it whatever you want – it’s the truth, and I am perfectly OK with that.

And you should be to.

So, with all that in mind, here are my 5 keys to leaning out before summer – do with them what you will, and enjoy the results!

1. Lift weights 2-3 times per week

This may go against what some would consider conventional wisdom, but that doesn’t make it any less effective.

The amount of energy your body needs to survive (AKA your metabolism) is heavily dictated by the amount of lean muscle tissue you have on our body. This is because muscle mass is what is considered active tissue – which simply means that it needs to use energy to survive.

As a result, if you increase the amount and quality of muscle mass you have on your body (even slightly), you can cause a pretty substantial increases in your metabolism.

In short, this means you will burn more energy every single day – even irrespective of any additional exercise that you may be doing outside of your gym sessions.

 

2. Consume a serve of lean protein every single meal

Now, I can certainly appreciate that telling you to eat more of something may sound somewhat counter intuitive, but hear me out for a second.

First up, protein plays an integral role in recovery after exercise. In this manner, it is used to build and repair muscle tissue.

So, if you are performing strength training on the regular (which, as the above point so aptly states, you should be), then you need enough protein available within your body to recover and build new muscle tissue – which invariably increases your metabolic rate, and therefore contributes to fat loss.

Secondly, protein has the highest satiety rating of all the macronutrients that we eat – this means that per calorie, protein will make you feel ‘fuller’ for longer.

As a result, eating protein will seriously increase the amount of satisfaction you feel after a meal, while simultaneously reducing hunger cravings throughout the day. This will lead to less snacking, which will cause an associated reduction in energy intake.

Third and finally, I should note that protein also has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF) of all the macronutrients.

This means that your body actually has to use energy to break down and digest the protein that you consume, which can contribute to the amount of energy you expend on a daily basis.

So, to summarize: Protein = fat loss.

3. Perform 1-2 sessions of high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions per week

Image result for spin class

HIIT pretty much describes a modality of exercise that requires you to perform short bouts of high intensity cardiovascular activity, which are then separated by short bouts of low intensity cardiovascular activity.

Those of you have been to iNform before would have a pretty good idea of what I am talking about here.

So, a simple HIIT session may consist of 30 seconds running at a fairly rapid pace (say, 90% of your top speed) followed by one minute of very light jogging – which could then be repeated for a total of 21 minutes (or for 14 intervals, however you want to look at it).

Now, the reason I like HIIT over some other modalities of training is twofold.

  • Firstly, it is extremely time efficient.
  • Secondly, it not only burns energy during the session, but also helps you burn calories after the session has been completed.

You see, HIIT places the body under high amounts of physical stress (good stress, of course).

As a result, it requires a slightly longer period of recovery than lower intensity cardio. This means that the body must work harder to contribute to this recovery process. This results in an increase in energy expenditure for up to 48 hours after the session has been completed.

And, to talk it up a little more (sorry if this sounds like a shameless plug… it just works that damn well), HIIT can be applied to any exercise modality, and tailored towards anyone’s individual level of fitness – meaning it is pretty useful for anyone.

 

4. Stop Consuming Liquid calories

People think the bubonic plague was bad – but at least those guys got to go quickly.

Sugar sweetened beverages do it slowly. They increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity – and obviously weight gain.

Beverages like soft drink and fruit juice are literally full to the brim with sugar, and as such, provide an abundance of energy per serve. Within this, they register very low on the satiety index – meaning that they will not make you feel either full or satisfied after you drink them.

With all this in mind, it should be pretty obvious as to how they increase your risk of gaining weight, and also how they severely hinder your ability to lose it.

So simply – try to avoid them.

 

5. Knuckle down on sleep

Now my final tip is pretty boring – but that doesn’t make it any less important.

Many don’t realise it, but sleep is absolutely integral to maintaining a high quality of health and maximising weight loss.

A lack of sleep can wreak absolute havoc with your hormone levels, leading to an increased secretion of the hormone cortisol – which can result in huge declines in your daily energy levels, combined with an inability to lose weight.

As such, in situation where you are getting minimal amount of sleep per night, fat loss can become very challenging.

With his in mind, you should aim for anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

This will improve health, enhance your ability to lose fat, and of course increase your energy levels throughout the day – all of which are pretty damn important.

 

Enhancing Fat Loss: The Take Home Message

With summer just around the corner, why not take a few extra steps to get beach ready – I certainly know I am!

The tips in this article are pretty simple to implement, and seriously make the world of difference.

So give them a go and let us know what you think!

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