If you have spent the last few weeks binging on desserts, calorie-rich holiday dishes and alcohol, you're probably feeling guilty about your waistline – especially if the jeans feel a bit too tight. If your portion size recently ballooned like floats in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it's time to get back on track right away: save the New Year's resolution for taking a longer vacation or learning a new language.
To help get rid of those extra pounds and help relieve holiday bloating, you can take these measures:
1. Get back to cardio
The first thing you need to do is get back to your cardio schedule. If you've missed cardio sessions over the holidays, you might feel a little sluggish. Apart from burning calories, cardio helps in release of toxins via sweat. For the first week after the holidays, perform more intense and longer cardio sessions. Try to burn at least 500 calories per session to burn one pound of fat (3500 calories) in a week.
For the maximum fat burning effect, perform 30 minutes of cardio in the morning on an empty stomach (that's when the body is deprived of its glycogen stores and is ready to use fat for energy). Cardio combined with weight lifting will gradually enhance muscle definition.
2. Simulate your metabolism
Increase your intake of foods that can help simulate your metabolism. Capsaicin, when used on meals, can reduce appetite and increase metabolic rate. Chili peppers contain this metabolism boosting capsaicin compound. In addition to hot peppers, green tea is also a metabolism booster: it contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that blocks a major enzyme that breaks down the body's fat burning hormone.
Another option is to take a fat trimming supplement that contains these and other metabolism boosters. On its Facebook page, Healthy Trim notes that natural dietary supplements include green tea extract rich in polyphenols, which is useful for weight management. Another ingredient that supports a healthy metabolism is resveratrol: it counters the negative effects of high-calorie diets. Naturally, dietary supplements with regular exercise and proper diet will yield the best results.
3. Be a little hungry before bed
Be a little hungry, but do not starve yourself. You don't want to be too hungry during the day, or till dinnertime, because then you'll be in starving mode and eat the last meal of the day like the apocalypse is imminent. It's a common trait called the 'night eating syndrome', and it's most likely to strike after holidays are over.
The strategy is to stay properly energized during the day so you don't lose it later on. Eat moderate meals throughout the day, and stop eating after the last meal. This is called sleeping on a little empty stomach. It's really OK to be in this state before bedtime, as your appetite rests overnight, and you can start off with a clean slate of eating a healthy breakfast the next morning.
4. Drink plenty of water
Aside from suppressing your appetite, water can help you lose weight by helping you avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks. If you consume two cans of cola a day, substituting plain water can help you save 270 calories a day.
As one pound of fat is 3500 calories, sparing these many calories can help you with half a pound of weight loss a week. Water also keeps you hydrated, which may reduce the need to reach for a snack when you really need fluid.
Dave Palumbo gives diet advice on Florida's Wink News' Fitness Friday.
Q: I know you had specific reasons for adding Glutamine to the original Met-rx and Physique 2.0. But still to this day I hear so many people give credit to Glutamine as a credible standalone supplement.
People often claim they want to lose weight. But “weight loss” can be attributed to many things, including water, muscle or fat. In reality what most want is to lose fat while maintaining lean muscle so the result is a leaner physique with an overall improvement in body composition.
When I talk to bodybuilders and others that want to lose fat, or increase muscular definition for competition purposes, I often hear them ask about things like re-feeds and cheat days.
Re-feeds and cheat days are generally defined by the bodybuilding community as days of extra carbohydrates and/or calories over and above typical daily calorie intake. Some people will choose to make this a free-for-all – eating whatever they want for one meal or even all day. On the other hand, some will simply eat the same foods they normally eat, but eat them in greater quantities.
When fully developed, there are few things more impressive on the bodybuilder’s physique than well-rounded delts! Many trainees own a pair of big arms, or have nice, thick chests, but is it much more rare to see a couple of “cannonballs” hanging off the clavicles.
Some of the most dramatic physiques of our time are ones that show incredible side delt development. Think about men like Kevin Levrone, Paul Dillett, Gary Strydom, Dennis Wolf and Jay Cutler… or women like Lenda Murray, Iris Kyle and Juliet Bergman. As soon as any of these champions walk (or walked) out on stage and turn to the front, the dramatic proportions of their physiques are immediately evident, and much of this has to do with the width of their shoulders.
Are you having trouble losing weight? You’re not alone in being frustrated when it comes to losing body fat. The main ingredient missing from most people’s fat loss strategy is knowledge. So let’s go ahead and fix that.
First off, you’re going to have to get your diet in order. There are many ways to “skin a cat”, or “shed a pound,” in this case. And I don’t have enough room to get into all of your options here in this column, but what you will want to do is start keeping track of your macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. It sounds daunting at first, but once you start paying attention to what you’re putting in your mouth, you’ll soon see that scale start to move. Check out my “Shock & Awe” training, diet and supplement plan on my blog (www.agarmt.com/blog). It doesn’t matter if you compete or not, the information there applies to everyone. It will give you all the info you need on setting up your meal plan, whether your goal be shedding fat or gaining mass.
For those of us who love to lift weights, cardio training is often an excruciatingly boring endeavor. Whether it is HIIT, steady state, or anything in between, when it is time to jump on the treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical the majority of us iron warriors cringe in disgust. But isn’t it this very type of mundane cardio that allows us to most efficiently burn off body fat and reveal the details of our hard earned muscles underneath? Not necessarily! Utilized correctly, the same BB’s, DB’s and machines we use to induce hypertrophy can also be extremely effective tools for melting fat like butter in a flame! The keys lie in choosing the right exercises, incorporating the proper rep range, and arranging your workouts in a manner that encourages the body to tap into body fat for energy.
It always baffles me why some (read most) people believe that men and women should train differently. “Guys should train 6-8 reps and mostly with weights, hitting bench and squats, while girls should stick to higher reps and exercises like cable cross-overs and lunges.” I say, that’s complete B.S.
Anatomically speaking men and women are very similar. We have bones, skeletal muscle and many of the same organs. Our bodies process food in the same manner and our skin reacts the same way to the sun. When it comes to bodybuilding (which covers all manners of physique transformation involving weight training), the biggest difference between men and women is testosterone. Testosterone is the anabolic hormone that allows men to build superior muscle mass to that of our sisters
Even though the summer is upon us, not everyone is getting beach ready, not everyone is trying to shed a few pounds on the beach, there are still going to be those who are trying to add some size and fill out their frame.