Most fitness programs have a good workout and diet plans, but they don’t give you the tools to actually stick to the program for more than two or three weeks. So you work hard for a while, but you don’t see long lasting changes.
So here are some basic fitness habits for changing your eating and exercise habits and making them stick.
Know your metabolism level
Now, what is metabolism?
Metabolism refers to how much energy your body uses, or how much calories you burn in a day.
In simple.. converting food into energy. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.
A starting point to measure your metabolism is calculating BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which measures how many calories you burn at rest, or if you lied in bed all day.
The metabolic rate varies from one person to another and is affected by sex, age and amount of lean body mass (muscle). Many vitamins and minerals are involved in the metabolic processes in the body. However, once the required amount is obtained, the excess is either eliminated or stored in body tissues.
Find a way to enjoy exercise. Make fitness a priority.
Wake up early in the morning
Waking up early helps you to sustain a healthier diet.
You’ll have your breakfast.
Waking up early enhances your productivity.
Waking up early gives you a better mental health.
Waking up early gives you more time to exercise.
It improves your quality of sleep.
And it helps you enjoying quiet time.
The cornerstone to any detox is water. Drink plenty amount of water.
Health Benefits of Breakfast
Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast – that’s where its name originates, breaking the fast!
Without breakfast, you are effectively running on empty, like trying to start the car with no petrol.
Nutritionists advise Breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking.
A healthy breakfast should provide calories in the range of 20-35% of your guideline daily allowance (GDA).
Eating breakfast has long-term health benefits. It can reduce obesity, High blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Remember It’s 30% workout and 70% Diet. The more serious you are about your nutrition, the more serious your gains will be.
Calculate your Macronutrients intake
Research shows that paying attention to macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat), calories, meal timing and certain supplements will have an enormous impact on your results.
There are three primary macronutrients that the human body needs to function properly:
So how much of these need on a daily basis.
To achieve substantial gains in muscle mass along with significant body fat decreases, many hormonal events need to occur in the body. The amount of success that can be achieved in these endeavors is determined by how much testosterone, growth hormone and insulin are produced by the body and whether or not they are produced at the right times.
These events are affected to a large extent by the quality, timing, amount and ratio of the macronutrients consumed on a daily basis.
Focus on Protein
Consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight on a daily basis. Protein provides the amino acids that are used as the building blocks of muscle protein.
Although the recommended daily allowance for protein is set at less than half a gram per pound of bodyweight for the typical person, research shows that athletes, especially those concerned with muscle mass and strength, need roughly double that amount.
Beginners should try to get in about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day for the first six months of working out since this is when your muscles will respond the most rapidly to training.
For the 180-pounder, this means 270 grams per day at the outset and a bare minimum of 180 grams daily after that.
Your protein choices should come mainly from lean animal proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs and dairy. These are the complete protein sources, meaning they provide your body with every essential amino acid, defined as those your body cannot manufacture on its own.
Eat about 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight each day. Protein is the most critical macronutrient for muscle growth, with carbohydrates a close second. Carbs are stored in your muscles as glycogen, and both keep your muscles full and extensive and fuel them during workouts.
To gain mass, the 180-pound beginner will need 360-540 grams of carbs daily.
For most meals, stick with slow-digesting carb sources such as whole grains, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, beans, fruit, and vegetables.
Don’t Avoid Fat
About 20%-30% of your total daily calories should come from fat. And unlike the general sedentary population who are advised to eliminate their saturated fat intake, 5%-10% of your fat calories should be saturated because higher-fat diets (particularly those higher in monounsaturated and saturated fats) appear to maintain testosterone levels better than low-fat diets.
Don’t Forget, Maintaining optimal levels of testosterone are paramount for building muscle mass and strength and for avoiding fat gain.
Count your Calories
To build muscle, consume 20 calories per pound of bodyweight per day. You must stay in a positive calorie balance (taking in more calories than you burn) to gain quality mass.
If you burn more calories than you consume ( negative balance), your body will go into conservation mode and won’t support new muscle growth.
That’s why an 180-pounder should get roughly 3,600 calories daily. Keeping in mind, 20%-30% of these calories should come from protein, 40%-60% from carbs and 20%-30% from fat.
Eat a meal that contains quality protein and carbs every 2-3 hours to ensure a steady supply of energy and amino acids for muscle growth all day long, helping you gain mass and stay lean.
The key is to keep every meal approximately the same size. If you pig out with a 1,200-calorie lunch, you’ll be less likely to eat 2-3 hours later and liable to gain the wrong kind of weight, since calories more than what the body can process at a given time are often stored as body fat.
Aim for at least six meals per day and shoot for eight, which for the 180-pound guy would consist of 500-600 calories per meal.
Pre- and post-workout, get in at least 20 grams of protein in convenient shake form. Protein shakes are considered supplements, but we like to think of them as important meals to be consumed at critical times during the day.
While your diet should consist mostly of unprocessed whole foods, at times a protein shake is a much better option. An example is 30 minutes immediately before your workout.
To prepare your muscles for the ensuing training session, as well as to get a head start on the muscle recovery process, drink a shake with 20 grams of either whey protein or a mix of whey and casein along with 40 grams or so of a slower digesting carbohydrate.
Then, in the 60-minute window immediately postworkout, down another 20-40 grams of liquid protein (mix in water for convenience) and 60-100 grams of faster-digesting carbs.
Eat the right Carbs at the right time
Eat a slow carb 30 minutes pre-workout and mainly fast carbs postworkout. As stated you should select slower-burning carbs for most meals, including before you train.
Research shows that when athletes eat slower digesting carbs, they not only have more energy and less fatigue during exercise but they burn more fat while training and experience less hunger throughout the day.
Good slow carb choices include fruit, whole-grain bread, and oatmeal.
Postworkout, choose fast-digesting carbs such as white bread or baked potato. This will spike levels of the anabolic hormone insulin, which drives the carbs you eat into muscle cells, where they’ll be stored as glycogen to be used for your next workout.
Insulin also helps amino acids get into the muscle cells to build muscle protein. It’s critical to delivering creatine to the muscles and increases muscle protein synthesis, one of the major processes by which muscle fibers grow.
Typically, you want to keep insulin levels in check for a variety of health reasons, but immediately following a hard training session is one time when an insulin spike is desirable.
Eat before Bedtime
Before going to bed every night, consume 30-40 grams of a micellar casein protein shake or 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese, as well as 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil, 50 gm of mixed nuts or 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter.
When you sleep, you essentially fast for 7-9 hours (or for however long you sleep). With no food available, the body goes to your muscle fibers for amino acids to fuel your brain.
For the individual looking to get bigger and leaner, this is not a good thing. The answer isn’t to get less sleep but rather to eat the proper foods immediately before bedtime.
Slow-digesting proteins and healthy fats are your best bet. These foods help slow digestion and provide a steady supply of amino acids for fuel, thereby minimizing the body’s tendency to use muscle.
Casein, the principal protein in milk, is a good option – either from a protein shake or 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese.
Include 3-5 grams of creatine with your pre- and postworkout shakes.
Many scientists, doctors, and nutritionists agree that creatine works ideal for most athletes regardless of age or gender.
After hundreds of studies have been conducted on the supplement, the consensus is that it’s not just effective but also safe.
Taking creatine in monohydrate, ethyl ester or any other form can help you gain up to 10 pounds of lean muscle, boost your strength in the gym by 10% and produce a significantly greater pump during your workout, in just a few weeks.
Rest is more important for muscle recovery and growth.
Sleep also enhances muscular recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release.
Getting 8-10 hours of quality sleep every night will promote these factors as well as general well-being. Recovery will take a backward step if one does not prioritize sleep, so get to sleep if you want to grow.