There’s no secret here. Eat like you love your body and you’ll reap the benefits of a healthy and lean physique. Just like a car, your well-built machine needs proper maintenance and care to operate as efficiently as it was created. Most people with a general awareness of nutrition and fitness find they have fewer health complications and a more active lifestyle.
Let’s be honest, it comes down to aesthetics when people want to get “ripped.” Feeling like you are attractive and your best self leads to happier living for many. There are those who may argue this point, but study after study shows the benefits of living fit in the present and well into the future. To each their own.
So, what do we need to know in order to achieve, maintain, and enjoy an awesome physique year round?
Here are some points regarding nutrition to keep that body in tip-top shape:
* Water. Drink water. Stay away from sugar-heavy drinks and give your body what it really needs.
* Protein should come from animal sources because they provide all the essential amino acids. These include lean ground beef, fish, plain Greek yogurt, shrimp, whole eggs, turkey breast, pork tenderloin, fat trimmed beef, and bison.
* Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mixed greens, zucchini, spinach, and brussels sprouts are all perfect choices. You can spice it up with low sodium flavorings to give yourself variation.
* Fruits and protein shakes after your workout are perfect for replenishing carbohydrate stores and feeding your muscles in that optimal hour.
* The best carbohydrates are from slow digesting foods such as sweet potatoes and rice. Limit fruit intake to a few times a day. The sugar can still add up if consumed in excess.
* Fat macronutrients should be consumed based off of your protein sources for the healthiest and most natural forms. Consuming fats from avocados, virgin coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive oil are also perfect choices for the healthiest fat intake.
Next we meet our power hour in the gym. If you want to stay ripped, you’ve got to keep those muscles active!
Perform resistance training at least 3-4 times a week. Split muscles as you like and be sure to change up routines often! Multiple movements in various planes can also maximize your time in the gym and achieve results faster. For instance, 8-12 repetitions of 3-5 sets will allow your muscles to warm up effectively and get optimal activation for maximum benefits.
Cardio and/or HIIT training are also effective fat scorchers to add into your workout routine. Taking a class (at the Phoenix Effect, of course) is a great alternative for those who don’t like getting on the hamster wheel.
No, I didn’t forget about alcohol. Remember, alcohol contains 7 calories per gram.
These calories have no nutritional value, but sure do create a good time. Learn to limit your alcohol consumption to once a week, if that. Just watch as those abs begin to pop!
Finally, one of the most overlooked components to staying lean all year round is proper sleep. Everyone is different, but you can gauge what is right for you. Anything between 7-9 hours of sleep will keep your body at peak condition.
So, this is for those of you who want to keep it lean and clean year round. Treat your body with love, and it will show you the same. Eat clean, stay lean, but don’t forget throw in a few cheat meals here and there to enjoy!