With the holidays coming up, it’s essential to keep your waistline in check. I’m sure that ringing in the new year with extra midsection mass is the last thing you want. So if you want to know how to get ripped before 2013, follow these four steps.
1. Consume Organic Chia Seeds Before Meals – according to folklore, Aztec warriors consumed chia seeds to help with strength and stamina. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant: chia seeds are an excellent food. They contain plenty of omega-3s, vitamins and trace minerals. The unique nutritional profile of chia seeds will improve your strength, endurance, recovery and sleep.
The key to losing fat is to incorporate foods that are low in calories while being densely packed with nutrients. Chia seeds fit the bill perfectly. The digestive support they provide, along with five grams of fiber per tablespoon, makes them a natural and effective appetite suppressant.
How to use: mix one tablespoon of organic chia seeds in water and let them sit for a few minutes in order to “bloom.” Once the seeds have expanded, drink the liquid 15 minutes before two meals each day. It’s good to chew the seeds as you’re drinking the mixture. The other option is to use ground chia seeds, but you must chug it down as soon as you put the tablespoon in water because it’ll gel quickly. You want that gel effect to happen in your stomach.
2. Eat Organic Raspberries Between Meals – for years I’ve talked about the importance of eating berries when fat loss is your goal. Much like chia seeds, they contain a big dose of nutrients with minimal calories. All berries are excellent, but when it comes to fat loss, red and black raspberries rank highest in my book. There are two reasons.
First, raspberries contain the highest levels of ellagic acid of all berries. This is an important phytochemical that has anti-estrogenic, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Second, raspberries also have the highest fiber content of any berry, and this is essential to stave off hunger. My clients are amazed by the hunger-curbing effect of just six ounces of raspberries between meals, whether they eat one meal per day or more.
How to use: raspberries come in a small, six-ounce container at virtually every supermarket. Eat one container’s worth of raspberries once or twice each day when you’re most hungry.
3. Eat Veggies and Protein First – I’m a guy who really likes to eat food, and I’m not talking about boiled fish with white rice. Pasta and potatoes are frequently part of my main meal at night. Now, both of those foods can wreak havoc on your waistline if you eat too much at the wrong time.
So when you sit down for one of your holiday meals that grandma worked so hard to prepare, the last thing you want to do is insult her by keeping that sweet potato casserole off your plate. The trick is to eat vegetables first since they’ll start to fill you up fastest without inducing a large insulin response. Second, eat the majority of your protein source to also provide satiety while keeping insulin in check.
At this point in the meal if you eat carbs the insulin response will be blunted by the vegetables and protein that came before it. And best of all, you’ll eat significantly less carbs because you won’t be ravenously hungry. Your abs will be happy, and so will grandma.
4. Use HFT to Stay Lean – burning fat primarily hinges on nutrition, that’s why the first three steps focus on it. However, there are simple training strategies you can follow during the holidays to keep you lean. One of the best steps is to train more frequently around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Now, this doesn’t require more trips to the gym. For example, most people skip training on Thanksgiving day, but this is the day when your muscles should have the highest insulin sensitivity so the food you eat will go into your muscles instead of your fat cells.
A simple body weight workout that will help you stay lean during the holidays is: 100 push-ups, 100 lying leg raises and 100 lunges (50 with each leg). These reps should be spread throughout the day into three or four mini-workouts. For example, when a commercial comes on during an NFL game, knock off 25 push-ups, 25 leg raises and 12 or 13 lunges with each leg. Do this four times during the day and you’ll significantly improve insulin sensitivity.
Even better, use the holidays to add muscle to your underdeveloped muscle groups as covered in my new training system, High Frequency Training. The targeted HFT plans for muscle growth require little to no equipment and the mini-workouts take just a few minutes. With HFT, you’ll make better use of those extra holiday calories by providing growth and repair instead of fat gain.