Get lean and stay lean! 5 tips on how to maintain a lean physique ALL YEAR (Not just for bikini season!)
There are no fads or secrets to getting lean. It actually drives me a bit crazy to hear about all the different things people are willing to do - some are very unhealthy, unnecessary, and in many times, not even effective. We hear trends from the “experts” and never do any research ourselves to make sure it is safe. Fasted cardio sessions, drinking apple cider, not eating after 6pm are all things along with a few others have been suggested by many - not necessarily going to hurt you, but most definitely not the solutions to staying lean consistently and long term.
Here are the top 5 ways to get lean and stay there!
TIP 1: DRINK YOUR WATER.
The leanest people make it a priority to get their water in. How much is individual but I get 3-5L in a day. I know I am dehydrated by looking at my pee - if it isn’t clear and I am not peeing every hour I get on it. Carry a 1L water bottle around with you. Have one complete by 10am, and continue to make sure you are filling that bottle up every 2-3 hours. Your body often signals hunger if you are dehydrated which then leads you to eat more calories than perhaps you should be. When properly hydrated, you have more energy…period! With more energy, your workouts become more intense and more effective.
TIP 2: STOP DIETING.
This one is the kicker for me. I feel like I have been saying this for 20 years and still not getting through to people. I also know I am not the only fitness expert that feels extremely strongly about it. Diets are temporary. Whatever you lose through the latest fad will not stay off because you cannot continue to deprive yourself forever. Eventually, you will go back to eating the way you can manage and the weight will come back on - PLUS - because you have now fucked up your metabolism. You continue to do this yoyo way of eating over your life and you just keep getting fatter and fatter. Trust me - you need to figure out a way to eat FOREVER or you will never get long lasting results. People who are lean don’t diet. They have made nutrition a priority. They like to feel energized, have a clear head, and be able to give it their all at the gym. If you are not fueling properly, or worse, depriving yourself, your body will not respond. Period - the end.
TIP 3: LIFT OVER CARDIO.
Let me start off by saying cardio is great - I am not telling you to stop all your cardio sessions. Your heart and lungs and MIND all will thank you for it - but if cardio is your jam and you’re choosing it over lifting, you are not going to add the lean muscle that is required to get lean and STAY THAT WAY. Look at cardio as SHORT TERM. You burn calories on the days you do a cardio session, therefore if you are “restricting” your diet - you may or may not get into a calorie deficit and MAY lose a pound or two - but again as point #2 has reminded you - temporary. Think about it more on a LONG TERM basis. Yes, it takes time (months, years) to build muscle but keep in mind, the more muscle you build over time - the more efficient your body becomes. The faster your metabolism becomes, the more you can get away with more cheat meals and treats. Muscle burns fat! Keep lifting and stay with it - long term you will be rewarded…I promise!
TIP 4: LIFT PROPERLY.
We all know that the leaner we are, the more muscular you will look. Getting that bulky look is not from lifting weights - it is from eating too many chips and drinking too much beer or wine that are preventing you from success. I touch upon this above, but building muscle TAKES TIME - especially for woman. We don’t have the same testosterone levels as men. You need to learn patience to get to the point where you are truly satisfied with your physique. Therefore, lift weight which is appropriate for you - not your workout partner. Form and tempo cannot be compromised due to lifting weights that are too heavy. You’ll get there - trust me. If you lift too heavy you will certainly end up injuring yourself and then needing to take time off…not good. Time off training will also lead you off track with your healthy eating, and all good habits you’ve formed by staying on track. Taking a major step backwards is almost a certainty. So, lift the heaviest weight you can with proper form for your desired number of reps and sets, no more and no less.
TIP FIVE: BE CONSISTENT.
This is the most important point of all. If inconsistent with training, healthy eating, sleep, drinking your water, etc etc…you never get to your desired, lean, long-term physique. People get way too impatient. I get this all the time - “I have trained with you for a month and I haven’t lost a pound”. First - why are you weighing yourself? (I won’t even go on this tangent today) and secondly, BUILDING YOUR BEST PHYSIQUE TAKES TIME - YEARS! It’s a process, trust it - you just get better and better over time. Stop giving up in the middle of it - keep going and I assure you, in time you will be so proud of what you’ve accomplished.