It's that time of year again - the time when our new year's resolutions from last January seem like a distant memory. Did you write your goals down? Do you remember what they were?
It is August. A massive heat wave is attacking the US. School is about to start. Don't let the business of life and inconvenience keep you from attacking your goals and whatever you do... Do not put off your goals until January 2024.
There are 5 months left in 2023... Let's crush each and every one of them.
I've come up with 9 super simple tips for building lean muscle and losing fat that won't require you to completely turn your life upside down.
1: Eat more protein: Consuming enough protein is crucial for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. Aim for at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. This can be achieved through a combination of protein-rich foods, such as chicken breasts the size of your head and tofu that tastes like cardboard (just kidding soy is gross).
I am a big fan of eggs, greek yogurt, tuna pouches, and whey protein.
Pro Tip: Keep hard-boiled eggs readily available in the fridge for a quick protein boost.
2: Incorporate strength training: In addition to cardio, it's important to include strength training in your fitness routine. This will help you build lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism. Don't be afraid to lift heavy weights. I'll just say it, lifting weights is more effective at changing body composition than cardio alone.
No more wandering around in the gym. Have a plan of attack, get consistent, and see better results. Sign up for a free 7-day trial of my workout plan here!
Pro Tip: Focus on the compound lifts such as RDLs, squats, bent rows, presses, lunges, pull-ups, etc
3: Remember that calories are king: In order to lose fat, it's important to be in a caloric deficit. This means you need to burn more calories than you're consuming. Keep track of your daily caloric intake and ensure you're in a deficit to see progress.
A lot of the time we underestimate how much we are actually eating. We think it was one bowl of cereal but it was actually 3 servings. Get brutally honest and weigh/ measure food if needed.
You don't have to track forever. Once you have a good idea of how much you are actually eating, you get to the point where you can eyeball and just eat more intuitively.
Pro-Tip: I like using MyFitnessPal to stay on track with my calories and protein intake!
4: Don't skimp on carbs: While low-carb diets may be all the rage, it's important to include adequate amounts of carbs in your diet, especially if you're trying to build lean muscle.
Carbohydrates provide energy for your workouts and help with muscle recovery. Don't cut them out completely - just make sure you're choosing healthy, complex carbs like oatmeal, berries, sweet potatoes, etc!
Pro-Tip: If you want to cut out something out, cut out soda. Soda provides zero value. Give a zero-sugar option a try in moderation if needed.
5: Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is VITAL for overall health and can also help with weight loss and muscle building. Aim for 3 liters of water per day.
And if plain water isn't your thing, try infusing it with fruit or herbs for a little extra flavor. You'll be as hydrated as a camel in the Sahara.
Pro Tip: I aim for a gallon of water per day.
6: Get ample sleep: Adequate sleep is important for recovery and muscle building. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Make sure you're creating a relaxing bedtime routine and avoiding screens before bed to ensure a good night's rest.
No more scrolling through Instagram before bed - it's time to hit the hay!
I have been hearing a lot about the 3-2-1 Rule:
No food 3 hours before bed.
No liquid 2 hours before bed.
No screens 1 hour before bed.
I don't make the 3-2-1 rule typically, but it's a good reminder, especially regarding screens.
7: Eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods: In addition to getting enough protein, it's important to include a variety of nutrient-dense foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. These will provide important vitamins and minerals that will help you feel your best. Plus, they'll give you the energy to crush your workouts.
Pro Tip: Leafy greens, brazil nuts, eggs, etc... are superfoods.
8. Set Short-Term Goals with a Long-Term Focus: Fitness needs to be a lifelong pursuit, not a quick 30-day challenge. However, we must focus on the here and now.
Win today. Eat in a way that reflects your goals. Complete your workout.
Win the week. Workout 3-4 times. Keep nutrition on track 80% of the time.
Get in this groove of winning 1 day and 1 week at a time. Then never stop.
9. Stay Focused: I love that saying, "Sometimes you have to choose what you want most over what you want now."
Yes, there are times you must give yourself grace but hold yourself accountable. When you hit snooze 10-15 extra minutes of crappy sleep is never worth it. But hopping out of bed and getting in your workout always pays off.
It is up to you and I know you've got this!
Pro Tip: Don't fall into the trap of only focusing on exercise and neglecting your diet - the two go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly (or avocado and toast, if that's more your thing).
So there you have it - 9 simple tips for building lean muscle and losing fat. No need to completely overhaul your life - just make a few simple changes and you'll be on your way to crushing your health and fitness goals and the remainder of 2023!
To learn more about my fitness and career journey check out my "About Me" page here!