How to get an awesome body and keep it - Part 2

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I could write about this topic forever so following on from yesterday’s post, here are a few more tips to get you on your way to your best body.

1.     Cut the cardio and start lifting

Have you ever noticed the most overweight people in the gym are usually the ones on the elliptical, bike or treadmill? There is a reason for this. While cardio generally burns more calories per session than weight lifting, it tends to do very little in terms of toning and overall tightening of the body. The effects of cardio also don’t stick around as long as those that follow post a lifting session (I have posted about the benefits of weight training here previously).

I try to commit to cardio only one to two times per week, with a run or hour-long interval elliptical session. That’s it. You can easily incorporate cardio into your days without using it as your main form of exercise at the gym. I, for example, now ride a bike to and from the gym, so get my cardio out of the way then and there.

Lifting weights offers a guaranteed method to tone and tighten up and problem areas you have. It will get your metabolism revved up and keep those calories burning well after the event.

2.     Keep alcohol to a minimum

I know none of us like to hear this one but minimising drinking really does make a difference. Not only does alcohol add extra calories on to your daily intake, but the after effects leave you sluggish and often hungry the next day.

Enjoy alcohol within moderation on the weekends but during the week, try cutting it out completely. It will do wonders for your training sessions and help you stay focussed and on track.

3.     Eat your veggies

Use vegetables to ‘crowd out’ your plate of other bad foods. Minimising meat in your diet will not only ease digestion, it will also drastically reduce the amount of fat you are taking in. Unless you are buying organic and antibiotic meats, you are also ingesting a whole host of disgusting chemicals every time you ingest meat, so be careful and choosy with what you buy and order at restaurants.

Vegetables are filling and provide a myriad of nutrients that provide your body with the fuel it needs to function properly. Try to incorporate as many vegetables as you can at every opportunity and you won’t be scratching around looking for more to eat post meal.

4.     Cook at home

Preparing your own meals is the only sure fire way to know exactly what you are putting into your body. When eating restaurant meals, you can easily ingest an additional 500 calories than you would have had you made the meal yourself. Restaurants want their food to taste good so you keep coming back. To achieve that, chefs add extra salt, sugar, fats, oils and preservatives to present the tastiest dish to diners. Controlling portions is also extremely difficult to do in restaurants as is avoiding other temptations such as the breadbasket and the dessert menu.

By all means enjoy a few meals out a week, but during the week, try preparing meals at home. If you are pushed for time, prepare something in bulk, like a big vegetable lasagne or a soup, and eat it over multiple nights.

Making small tweaks in your lifestyle and diet, such as these, will go a long way in ensuring you get to your best body yet. They are not difficult or expensive and will keep you in check into the future.