Sunday, October 4, 2009

Top 10 Tips for Looking Lean!

Everyone wants to know how to look lean! Here are my top 10 tips!

Do you want a lean, sexy and toned physique? If your answer is “Yes!” then read on! To achieve the sculpted body of your dreams you need to build lean muscle tissue and reduce the layer (or layers!) of fat hiding your fit and fabulous figure! The lean look that you seek can be yours if you take these ten tips and apply them to your fit and healthy lifestyle.

Discover your motivation
A lean and sexy physique doesn’t happen overnight, so first and foremost you have to identify your super “WHY” for wanting to achieve your fitness goal. Whether you want more energy, want to wear cute clothes, improve your self confidence, overcome health problems or set a good example for your family or children, identify and write down the motivators that will keep you on track!

Track your progress
One major key to achieving a total body transformation is knowing where you are now and knowing where you want to go. We’ve all got to start somewhere! Find out your current stats including weight, body fat percentage and measurements, take “before” pictures and update these pictures and stats every few weeks. Weigh yourself on a weekly basis so that you can be sure the numbers are headed in the right direction. Monitoring your progress will help to hold you accountable and once you have the body that you desire you will be able to look back and see how much progress you have made and celebrate your success!

Fuel your body frequently
Your body needs to be fueled constantly throughout the day in order to keep your energy levels high and your metabolic fires burning. In general you should try to eat 5-6 meals per day. Your meals should be small and spaced about 2-3 hours apart. Take some time to plan ahead when you know you will be at work or on the go, and whatever you do don’t skip breakfast! It is literally the most important meal of the day.

Choose your foods wisely
Nutrition is responsible for 80% of your success when it comes to getting lean and shedding body fat. You can exercise all you want and if you aren’t eating properly then you will not achieve the body that you desire. The main staples of your diet should include a combination of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Excellent protein sources include chicken, lean ground turkey, fish, egg whites, skim dairy products, and whey protein isolate powder. Carbohydrates such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat breads and cereals get the thumbs up, and fat sources such as nuts, olive oil, avocado and natural peanut butter are all great alternatives. Your diet should also include loads of vegetables, small portions of fruits and plenty of water to keep you well hydrated and satiated throughout the day.

Hit the weights
In order to build lean muscle tissue and develop a sexy sculpted physique you need to strength train. Resistance training will allow you to build lean muscle and increase your body’s ability to burn calories. The more lean muscle tissue that your body has the higher your metabolism will be even when you are at rest. A well rounded strength training program will include exercises for all of your muscle groups, strength training should be done a minimum of twice a week but as much as six days per week depending on your fitness level.

Crank up the cardio
Research shows that higher intensity, shorter duration cardio sessions are most effective for burning off fat and maintaining lean muscle tissue. Cardio is essential to fat loss. If you are just starting out then begin with smaller amounts of cardio and build yourself up to 5-6 days per week doing anywhere from 25-45 minutes per day. You can choose whatever type of cardio that you enjoy, make sure you are breathing hard and sweating. Incorporate intervals and sprinting when you are ready to kick things into high gear.

Mix things up in the gym
If you do the same strength training and cardio routines over and over again your body will reach a plateau and not progress. It becomes efficient at doing a certain routine within a couple of weeks so spice things up in the gym with new routines, new classes and different types of cardio to consistently challenge and change your body.

Cut the junk!
If you are serious about looking lean then the junk food has to go. Fried foods, greasy foods, high sugar foods such as cookies, cake and candy, sodas and sugary juices have no place in a fit and healthy nutrition plan. Once you are lean and your body is a fat burning machine you will be able to enjoy these foods in moderation on occasion.

Practice portion control
Overeating, even if it is the right types of foods will sabotage your lean physique. Be aware that most restaurants serve anywhere from 3-8 or more servings per meal. Purchase a food scale so that you can measure the food that you eat and learn proper portions. Don’t eat until you are full, your body can only utilize a certain number of calories at one time. When going out to eat share your meal with a friend or pack up half of it to take with you and eat at a later time.

Be consistent
Start your exercise and nutrition plan and be consistent! The way to stay lean for the rest of your life is by developing these healthy habits and being consistent

What are you waiting for? If you want to achieve the lean, toned look that you’ve always dreamed of, then don’t procrastinate another day. Start incorporating these ten tips into your life and you will be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

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