By Andrew Serpas
We’ve all been there. It’s a couple of weeks until a big event where we will have to show off, for lack of better terms, how our body looks, but the only problem is that we actually can’t even fit into that pair of flattering jeans, that tight red dress, or that slim-cut shirt anymore.
What on earth are we supposed to do? Eat 500 calories a day and spend every waking second on the elliptical? No, that’s how you fast-track yourself to headaches, sickness, and overall poor health. This extreme tactic is actually quite counterproductive because the lack of proper nutrients slows down your metabolism and your body starts to burn muscle for energy rather than stored fat. The healthy and effective way to go about shedding those extra pounds quickly is a simple, three-step system.
First, eliminate all sugar and starches. (Yes, this includes fruit, whole grains, etc.). The reason behind this is that even if the sugar you are taking in is naturally occurring, it will still be stored as fat if not burned off within a certain time frame. Same thing goes for whole grains. In place of these carbs, load up on leafy greens and non-starchy veggies. I suggest things like Kale, Spinach, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. This will help to keep you full while still giving you the fiber and other key nutrients that your body needs.
Second, chow down on protein and fat. Yes, I said fat, but I don’t mean eating a Big Mac without the bun. Your body will need fuel to keep functioning properly, and since your carbs have been cut down tremendously, you need healthy fats to replace them as energy. Things like beef, pork, chicken, fish, seafood, and whole eggs are all fantastic sources of protein and fat. Studies are quickly debunking the myth that low-fat, high-carb diets are the most effective way to shed fat and stay healthy. In fact, saturated fat has been proven to in no way raise risk of heart disease. Also, protein is the macronutrient that contributes most to fullness, and eating adequate amounts of protein can raise your metabolism. Stick to cooking with butter, coconut oil, or olive oil. These are healthy fats that also attribute to fullness.
Last, but not least, exercise at least three times per week. In this stage where you’re really trying to get rid of those extra pounds, exercise is the key to maximizing results. This doesn’t mean just hopping on the treadmill for 20 minutes at a 4.0 speed. While that will help some, try adding in some weight training or even calisthenics such as pushups, bodyweight squats, crunches, etc. Performing weight training in a high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT) style will help you cut the fat while also toning your muscles.
Not only is this program great for quick, short-term weight loss, but it is also a fantastic way to eat for long-term results and health. Your body will actually learn to burn fat for its main source of energy instead of carbohydrates. There is also no need for calorie counting since you will naturally feel full as long as you’re eating these good sources of food. Say goodbye to the days of tracking every calorie and say hello to a natural way of life!
Andrew Serpas is the co-founder of Prime Life Health, whose certified personal trainers design custom exercise and/or nutrition plans made specifically for YOU. Check them out at www.primelifehealth.com