1. Make sleep a priority
If you want to commit to a leaner, healthier body, sleep needs to be one of your top priorities. Sleep is often overlooked as an important component of getting ripped. But even the best training routine, nutrition and supplement program won’t compensate for inadequate rest. When you sleep, growth hormone is released and protein synthesis occurs – vital for muscle repair and growth. This is the kind of recovery you need so you can hit up the gym and train again and again.
In one study on over 35,000 men, shorter sleep cycles were associated with higher odds of obesity and increased BMI levels in men.
2. Plan your meals
If you’re rushing about deciding what to eat, you’re more likely to reach for a not-so-healthy quick and easy option. Take an hour or two out of your day to plan your meals for the week. You could meal prep a variety of healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners to help you stay on track and within your calorie goals.
Proper hydration is key is to staying lean and losing fat. Not only can dehydration affect you physically, the mental impact is just as damaging.
Increasing your water intake is an effective way to boost feelings of fullness which can help you stop overeating. It also ensures your body is in the right state to function properly and metabolize fat for energy.
Studies suggest being even mildly dehydrated can reduce concentration and focus levels which leads to a drop in energy. Not only this, but not drinking enough water may impact your muscle endurance and power output during your gym sessions. Get hydrated and lift to your full potential.
4. Schedule in your workouts
Are you the type of guy who steps foot in the gym and figures out what to train, there and then? It’s time to switch that up and get planning. Grab a journal and write down your workouts for the week. Schedule exactly what you’re going to do on what day and you’re more likely to get in the right mindset to dominate your sessions.
Preparing your workouts in advance helps ensure you won’t skip them and essentially forces you to stick to a strict fitness routine.
5. Strength train
It’s simple science – the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism runs. As a man, you generally benefit from having more lean muscle tissue compared to women. But there’s nothing wrong with trying to boost your muscle mass to maximize your calorie burn throughout the day.
Lifting weights is one sure-fire way to grow muscle. Try compound movements like deadlifts, squats and bench presses to recruit more muscle fibers and pack on mass.
Strength training will support your balance, posture and coordination while helping your bones get stronger too. The good thing is, you could even use your own bodyweight to help with resistance training.
6. Prioritize protein
This macronutrient is extremely crucial for fat loss and muscle growth. Protein is highly thermic, meaning your body uses a whole lot of energy to digest it. This can lead to an increase of your metabolic rate by 15-30%.
Protein scores highly on the satiety index measure, meaning it’s incredibly filling. It can suppress your appetite and help you stick to your food intake.
Struggling to hit your protein goals? You should try to aim for around 1.2 – 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight daily to encourage muscle growth. If you can’t get enough through your food intake, try a whey protein supplement to support.
7. Get your steps in
Do you know the minimum number of steps you should walk every day? It’s 10,000 to be precise – which works out to around five miles. If you can hit around this mark daily, then you can consider yourself an active person. If not, you might fall in the sedentary category.
To track your steps, you can use anything from your smartphone to your Fitbit or smartwatch. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get your cardio in. Studies have showed that 10,000 steps a day can help you lose weight and improve mood, and taking 15,000 steps a day can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
8. Eat what you want (every now and then)
It’s fine to ‘fall of the wagon’ for one day or a vacation but, try not to turn it into a long-term thing. A diet doesn’t need to be completely restricted of your favorite foods. Balance your diet with the 80/20% rule and eat healthily for 80% of the time. The remaining 20% of your diet can be less healthy and perhaps a few indulgences such as alcohol, processed foods and refined carbs.