Ah, if only they were true … all those commercials and infomercials. Take one pill a day to melt away fat. Wear this electronic belt while you’re watching TV and the fat will be zapped. Do this diet and you’ll never get hungry yet the pounds will fly off. Get on this gizmo and do reps for 15 minutes and you’ll look like this guy (ripped muscles, lean stomach, perfect teeth, great skin, thick hair, 22 years old).
If it were that easy, would you be seeking advice right now? No. It’s time for a reality check:
THERE IS NO SHORTCUT.
That said, let’s talk about some shortcuts. Maybe there isn’t one single way or one particular product that will get you lean. But you can lose fat, build muscle, gain better definition, find more energy, and overall feel better by taking several little steps on an ongoing basis. These tips won’t feel like one certain workout, a specific diet, or a product you must buy this instant.
This multitude of “shortcuts” shouldn’t really be viewed as shortcuts, or temporary steps to take just for now. They’re a way to integrate a new lifestyle into your daily routine. Used over time, they become second nature.
It’s just plain ol’ good stuff you might not have thought of, might never have heard of, and ought to be doing. And we’re assuming you already know things like, don’t grocery-shop when you’re hungry and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Eat me. Breakfast begs to be eaten, whether it’s your normal routine or not. This is the time to load up on calories, nutritionists say. Your body has all day to burn them. Worship the bodybuilder’s Faberge egg, the incredible edible egg white. You can mix it with a little cheese and some veggies for a filling omelette–or you can order it that way at a breakfast place. Your wallet likes it, too, because eggs are a cheap form of protein.
Know it, don’t show it. Learn how many calories you should have in a day. Ensure that at least one-third of them are consumed at breakfast, suggests leading nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
Project-manage the gym. Don’t just work out at machines in the order they’re placed. Specifically plan a workout that allows for various body parts to be worked on different days, with a planned day of rest for certain muscle groups after they’re worked out (track this in a notebook if you need to.) It actually helps your muscle-building. “(Many athletes) negate the effects of training by not getting enough adequate rest and recovery,” says Mike Gough, C.S.C.S., who has worked with professional baseball and hockey teams.
Use alternative thinking. Know and plan on substitutions at the gym if the machine you want is being used or has a line, Hough also suggests. This way you can charge through your workout without a loss of time. Always do cardio, even if it’s 20 minutes tacked onto the beginning or ending of your weightlifting. It will burn more fat than any other exercise.