Health and Fitness is big business these days. But I know a few tricks to cut weight and improve your health that don’t cost a thing. With a few modifications to your daily habits you can make tremendous gains towards your weightloss and fitness goals; permanent and sustainable gains. It will take some dedication and discipline though.
The first few tips involve your diet and eating habits. Now diet in this context just means what you eat on a daily basis. This isn’t about counting calories or cutting them, but improving the quality of the calories you take in every day. Any real coach or trainer will tell you that a trim ripped body is built in the kitchen with responsible eating habits and quality food. Exercise and working out is just the icing on the cake so to speak.
Ditch wheat, grains, and white starches. Whether you’re gluten intolerant or not is no longer relevant. Gluten affects us all in one way or another including increased inflammation, gut permeability, and decreased vitamin and mineral absorption. Not to mention its effect on your insulin levels and growing proof that excessive grain and simple carbohydrate consumption as prescribed by the FDA is one of the leading causes of Diabetes in America. This tip is non-negotiable. If you’re serious about getting rid of excess and unhealthy amounts of body fat you have to walk away from wheat and grains.
No more sugar of any kind. Your body does in fact run on sugar or glucose but the kind it makes itself. The kind you eat or drink will most likely be converted and stored as body-fat not burned for fuel. The number one source of calories in all beer, wine, and hard liquor is sugar in the form of carbohydrates and alcohol. Every drink you down might as well be 12oz. of sugar. More importantly most beer and liquor is wheat and grain based. Your body was designed to synthesize its own glucose by breaking down body fat not by ingesting it in the epic amounts we Americans are consuming. No sweeteners, no fructose, glucose, maltodextrin, sugar, fruit juice concentrate or artificial sweeteners or natural substitutes like stevia or agave nectar either. This like the first tip is non-negotiable.
You need to be drinking more water. I’m willing to bet 75% of everyone reading this is in fact dehydrated to some extent right now. 64 ounces to one gallon a day is a good starting point.
Omega-3 is your new friend. Throw out all your kitchen and cooking oils. Only use coconut, olive oil, or ghee to cook with. Grease from grass fed meats can also be saved and used for cooking. Modern oils are over saturated with omega-6 and 9. Both of which encourage inflammation. Inflammation is a good thing in small amounts and is essential to the healing and recovery process but in chronic cases leads to a whole host of auto-immune conditions and illness. Grass-fed and organic meats are excellent sources of Omega-3 as well as fish, many leafy greens, ground flaxseed (not whole) and of course Fish Oil supplements. Be sure to take in at least 2-3 grams a day if you’re supplementing. This is 2-3 grams of the active ingredients of DHA and EPA not just the fish oil itself.
Eat more vegetables. Fruit is not a vegetable and if you’re eating more than one serving a day of fruit you’re taking in too much sugar. There is an entire generation of our youths out there that has never seen and cannot recognize most common vegetables; this is just pathetic. You’re an adult and have no excuse so step up and start eating your greens. Many vegetables can be great substitutes for rice, pasta, and bread. More importantly the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables are much more bio-available and readily absorbed than any kind of supplement can hope to be. They also provide fiber and help promote sound colon health.
Eliminate dairy as much as possible. I like grass fed organic whole milk, and I use whey protein supplements. I also belong to that small genetic pool of western European descended people who still produce lactase in adulthood. For most people though lactase production ceases when we are weaned off of mom’s milk. Continuing to consume dairy after this point can cause inflammation, gut permeability, allergies and many other illnesses. Do yourself a favor and step away or at the least consume only once a week and never eat or drink low-fat or fat free dairy products. These chemical crap-storms are nothing more than sugar water and artificial thickening agents. The catch though is this: if by some miracle you can get your hands on un-pasteurized raw milk and know for certain you have no allergies or intolerance to lactose; drink this stuff. It has amazing benefits to those that can literally stomach it, so too does organic kefir and genuine organic Greek yogurt: NOT GREEK STYLE! True Greek yogurt is not flavored or fat-free or low-fat.
Adopt a fitness program that uses some kind of mix of metabolic conditioning, strength training, and endurance. Of course CrossFit comes to mind but then again this is neither free and it sure isn’t cheap. You can accomplish everything I just listed at home for free if you’re willing to be creative and simply do the work. I’ve got tons of workouts on this site just for this situation and having no equipment is no excuse. Basic CrossFit requires no equipment to leave you gasping for air and collapsed on the floor in a puddle of sweat. And of course my training advice and online programming is free as well so now you really have no excuse. Added to this try to get up more often and walk around if you sit a lot and take time everyday to do some mobility work on your hip girdle. Free Mobility demos are avaialbale online from “Mobility WOD” and on YouTube.
Limit stress, get more sleep, and most importantly play more. Yes I said play more. I know hundreds of people in the fitness and CrossFit community that are human specimens of physical ability and every time I see them they have bags and circles under their eyes and are stressed out. Few of them every do anything anymore just for fun, like hiking, kayaking, surfing, or playing basketball. They also spend their days obsessing over their diets. The point of a sound diet is that after the initial month or two of adjusting it becomes automatic. Good health and fitness is supposed to add to the quality of your life and allow you to enjoy it more. Do not become a slave to your fitness trends and habits.