Get in Great Shape

5 steps to get back into shape

1. Have a source of lean protein with every meal

Your body is like a car, it needs fuel to run, and that fuel comes in the form calories. There 3 sources that your body breaks down and uses as “fuel”: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Of those three sources, protein takes the most energy to break down and turn into fuel, which boosts your metabolism. Having a source of lean protein with each meal will help you burn more calories in the run of a day. It will also help you repair muscle that you have broken down during exercise.

Examples:

  • Fish – contain omega-3 fatty acids which also boost your metabolism.
  • Lean Dairy – 1% cottage cheese, Low fat Greek yogurt
  • Lean Meats – chicken, turkey, lean beef are all high in protein and low in saturated fats.

2. Focus on intensity, not duration

You workouts don’t need to be hours long, but they do need to be intense. An intense workout that lasts even for 20-40 minutes can have a positive effect on your metabolism for up to 24 hours after exercise. I went from an hour+ long workout to under 40 minutes and gained more than 30 lbs of lean muscle. Try the free program I give you when you sign up to my site.

3. Add muscle in the gym, burn fat in the kitchen

Get the most “bang for your buck” in the kitchen. Have large meals that aren’t large in calories. This means lean proteins with every meal, but also vegetables as carbohydrates rather than breads or pastas. Vegetables have very little calories but lots of nutrients, meaning you can have a huge meal which will fill you up, but it won’t make a huge dent in the calories you should be consuming each day.

4. Baby steps

Do one thing at a time, especially when it comes to your diet. If you’re eating 2 meals a day, get it to 3. When you’ve done that consistently, move it to 4 and so on. Meal frequency keeps your body working, it keeps you burning calories even if you’re not training. Once you’re up to 5 or 6 meals daily, start making them “clean” meals. Begin with breakfast or dinner and work from there.

Excitement is a great thing, but don’t let it get the best of you. Taking baby steps will allow you to make smaller, subtle changes one at a time. By making big changes all at once you’ll risk burning out after a few weeks of your new “lifestyle”.

5. Sprint your way thin

Focus on intensity in your cardio, not duration. Length of exercise won’t have the same impact as intensity will. More gains will come as a result of intense, focused exercise than what you’ll get from long bouts of exercise. Head outside and do sprints or stay in the gym and do a circuit.

Start off with a 1:1 sprint to rest ratio, then up it as the weeks progress – 1.5:1 sprint:rest ; 2:1 sprint:rest and so on…

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  • Jonathan

    #3 – great heading!

    #4 – really sounds like Precision Nutrition. Do you know of it?

    #5 – if I were to do sprinting outdoors, what do you recommend for knowing how much time I had been sprinting?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ChadThowse Chad Howse

      @Jonathan

      You can do distance or time. Sprint the length of a field, jog back, sprint, jog back etc…
      or grab a stop watch, you can get them cheap online (recommended), this way you'll be able to keep tabs on your rest and sprint periods. It's more effective to keep tabs on time as you progress and are able to have more than a 1:1 work to rest ratio.

      Chad