100 Ways To Improve Body Composition - Part 4
76. Supplement with L-Glutamine!
WHY: Supplementing with l-glutamine post-workout can help mitigate the catabolic (losing muscle) effects of cortisol (stress hormone). In addition to preserving muscle, l-glutamine also supports digestive health and immune function!
77. Do Not Stretch Before Training.
WHY: Various types of stretching; static, PNF and contract/relax methods, have been shown to actually decrease athletic performance. It’s better to use a complex warm-up prior to training, targeting the muscles that will be used in the workout though bodyweight exercises or light weights. Stretching is best utilized well before (4 hrs) exercising or well after (4 hrs)!
78. Low Back Pain? Deadlift!
WHY: Performing deadlifts on a regular basis is a great way to strengthen the low back and also prevent pain! Of course if you have a structural issue or are dealing with low back pain of some sort be smart and complete PT along with a structural balance phase. Once on the right side build up your strength and musculature with deadlifts!
79. Lose Fat By Getting More Sleep.
WHY: Lack of sleep, believe it or not can impede fat loss. Hormones can become imbalanced as a result of being over tired. Sleep quantity and quality can affect weight loss because when you’re tired, your hormones become imbalanced. This may not seem like a big deal but even a small deviation in your hormones can significantly affect fat loss and muscle building efforts. Strive to get to bed before 10:30pm and log 7-8 hours of quality sleep!
80. Eliminate Sneaky Trans Fats
WHY: Trans fats are synthetic fats that are mainly found in margarine and shortening.With the population becoming more health conscious, trans fats have been eliminated from many products, however; they can still be found in many prepared foods. These fats significantly compromise quality of life by their ability to cause brain deterioration, poor cognition and increased bodily pain. Trans fats have also been linked to increases in cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, depression and high levels of inflammation. The best way to avoid these fats is to eat whole foods and stay away from packaged foods. Also, look out for foods such as; “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”.
81. Eat Blueberries!
WHY: Not only are blueberries a delicious fruit and have a rather low glycemic index, studies are showing that consuming blueberries after a workout routine can reduce biomarkers of inflammation!This can aid in speeding recovery and get you back in the gym!
82. More Is Better.
WHY: I will admit this isn’t always the case but when it comes to increasing muscle tissue and getting stronger, more sets are better!Unless you’re a novice to weight training, research shows that multi-sets elicit greater gains in; strength, hypertrophy and endurance. If that wasn’t enough, higher volume training elevates our growth hormone, producing a significant fat-burning response!
83. Prevent Obesity And Also Infertility.
WHY: Obesity has a direct link to low testosterone, which increases the risk of infertility. Strength training, proper nutrition and supplementation can prevent obesity and improve endocrine function, thus increasing fertility!
84. Improve Cholesterol By Eating Eggs.
WHY: Do not fear eggs!Studies have revealed that eating eggs as part of a low carbohydrate diet can help you lose fat, improve cholesterol and decrease inflammation. We’ve always been cautioned when eating eggs, however it turns out that high carbohydrate diets are the real culprit! When particularly high GI carbs are eating in excess, inflammation, triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol all increase. Restricting these carbs and eating a high proper and healthy fat diet will help lose body fat and decrease inflammation! Eggs provide a perfect balance of protein to fat!
85. Eat Fiber To Avoid Cravings.
WHY: An easy way to lose fat and improve body composition is to increase fiber intake. Fiber slows digestion and positively affects hormone response to eating, making you more satisfied and less likely to have food cravings!
86. Avoid Caffeine After 1PM.
WHY: Consuming caffeine throughout the day can mess up your circadian rhythm (internal body clock). Caffeine is so powerful that even when consumed in the morning, it can elevate cortisol in individuals who are anxious, reducing the ability to have a sound sleep hours later! Avoiding it all together might be the best option if you struggle catching some Z’s due to a racing mind.
87. Do Not Exercise Fasted.
WHY: Despite the myths, research shows that when you eat a meal consisting of;high quality protein, healthy fat and veggies at least 2 hours prior to training, the fat burning affect is greater during the 24-hour recovery period.
88. Listen To Music To Destress.
WHY: Listening to pleasurable, relaxing music can take your mind off the daily grind, enhance recovery and have a calming effect on the brain, leading to lowered cortisol!
WHY: When you’re shaping up in the kitchen and working out correctly you want results, we get it!However, critiquing your body everyday and expecting immediate results is unrealistic and sets you up for failure. The body takes time to make changes and everyone’s physiology is different. For a program to work it is important to have patience, faith and a great trainer!
90. Don’t Ignore Your Calorie Intake.
WHY: To lose body fat you need to consume fewer calories than your expending, in the other direction, to gain muscle you must take in more calories than you burn!Now, there is no reason to obsess with counting calories, however; it is important to ensure you’re creating a calorie deficit in order to drop body fat. This can be done through a food journal, working with a training or using an app!
91. Avoid Phthalates.
WHY: Phthalates (plasticizers), make plastics more flexible and resilient. These chemicals can be found in food packaging, nail polish, hair spray, lotion, shampoo and detergents. Unless you start making a determined effort to limit exposure to these chemicals, phthalates can alter your hormone levels and eventually increase the risk of developing cancer, infertility and liver toxicity. Opt for natural products and avoid these abbreviation; DBP, DEP, DEHP, BzBP, MEHP, DES and DMP.
92. Don’t Get Sucked Into The “Whole Grain” Myth.
WHY: Grains are not exactly healthy, they’re high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients. Most grains contain gluten and lead to various types of gastrointestinal stress. If your goal is weight loss and improved body composition it would be wise to eliminate grains.
93. “Embrace The Grind”.
WHY: Understand that changing your physique will not be a “walk in the park”. There will be peaks and valleys along the way but the payoff far outweighs the struggle!
94. Make Cooking Fun.
WHY: A common hurdle when it comes to eating healthy is cooking.Unless you want to spend a hefty amount of money on prepared foods or a personal chef, it might be a good idea to find a way to enjoy cooking!
95. Active Muscle Release.
WHY: A common set back that can occur when improving your body composition is small aches and pains.Most of the time were talking about tendonitis! A chiropractor or physical therapist can remedy this issue in around 45 minutes. These specialists will target painful areas, work to break up scar tissue and get you back on the fast track!
96. Train For A Max Testosterone Response.
WHY: To give your testosterone levels a boost, use lifts that engage major muscle groups, moderate repetitions and slower rest periods. Due to the short rest periods you’ll have to use lighter weights but this process will increase blood lactate. Increases lactate will boost testosterone and growth hormone, which helps with fat loss!
97. Try Supplementing With Magnesium.
WHY: As a result of changes in diet and a drop in soil quality, magnesium deficiencies have become rampant.The benefits of magnesium are; calming effects on the nervous system, serotonin production, stabilizes blood sugar levels and helps fight inflammation.
SUGGESTION: Head to your local Whole Foods and pick up an inexpensive Magnesium supplement.
98. Spend Less Time Around Your Cell Phone.
WHY: Newly discovered research has shown that cell phones are linked to brain cancer and on a more alarming note, kids have higher health risks when being exposed to cell phone radiation.
SUGGESTION: Sleep with your cell phone in another room (purchase a classic alarm clock), stop carrying your cell phone on your body and investing in a headset is a great way to begin limiting your exposure.
99. Try Supplementing With Fenugreek.
WHY: Fenugreek is a powerful herb that can help you gain muscle, lose fat and also gain strength because it supports anabolic hormone response to training.
100. Speed Detoxification of Alcohol For Better Health.
WHY: When alcohol is consumed, all other metabolic processes are put on hold until alcohol is metabolized.This means that fat and carbohydrate burning stop, as does tissue rebuilding and protein synthesis! Drinking alcohol can also depress growth hormone production and increase the conversion of testosterone to estrogen (aromatization). To speed up alcohol detoxification try taking curcumin, green tea and milk thistle!