Everyone wants to have a lean body, but how do we achieve it? I did some research to figure out what I am personally doing right and wrong, and here’s what I’ve found. If you have any other tips to offer, please share in the comment area below.
1. Strength Training-Adding strength training to your exercise program will help build lean muscles. Whether you use free weights, machines, body weight, or resistance bands, you will increase lean muscle, reduce body fat and burn more calories efficiently.
2. Eat more protein-Eating protein will help create lean muscle. Create your meals around protein. Identify what protein you are going to have and work your meals around that.
3. Do more yoga-In yoga, muscles are strengthened and elongated so you will not bulk up as much, but get a tone and flexible body.
4. Front-load your carbohydrates-Reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat as the day goes on. Studies show that your body’s ability to metabolize carbs drops as the day goes on, so more can end up stored as fat. My trainer, Jeff Green, from Icon Performance, says “Cut out all carbs after 3 p.m.” Wow is that hard, but if you can do it, you will see a difference.
5. Limit sugar, white flour and alcohol-These foods are quickly digested which causes blood sugar to rise. This stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, which signals your body to stop burning fat (and storing it instead).
6. Eat more frequently and eat smart-Nutritionist and Fitness Expert Sandra Koulourides, of “Fuel Plus Fitness”, suggests eating lean protein, good fat, veggies and fruit. Also, eating more frequent smaller meals with help curb cravings and splurging
7. Drink more water-Staying hydrated with water will help your body stay energized as well as help you cut down on soft drinks and caffeine.
8. Cardio and Interval Training-Do at least 30 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week and stay consistent. Mix this with interval training, and you’ll rev up your metabolism even more.
9. Get more sleep-Refueling and resting your body often helps muscles rebuild. Get at least 8 hours of sleep (and 9 if possible) and take a day or two off a week.
10. Read labels-Don’t just look at protein and carbs, but take note at fiber, sodium, fat and how much sugar is in what you’re eating.
I wanted to make a great Labor Day salad, but wanted to include my favorite “super foods”. I tossed some fresh arugula with watermelon, blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese (I love Belle Chevre) and drizzled it with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. There you have it. Not only is this so beautiful to serve, but so healthy and incredibly delicious. Great for Labor Day or any day!