Today, weather wise, was a glorious day here in North Carolina. Blue skies, temperatures in the high 6os, shirtless hot male runners abound. Let’s face it, folks. Though parts of the country are bracing for more winter weather, we’re nearing close to Spring which means we’ll be giving the finger to all of this snow, frigid temps and saying hello to warmer temps, shorts, shirtless runs and skin-baring outfits. Or will we?
The problem many guys face this time of year is the realization that we’ve really let ourselves go over the past few months. At the end of summer you may have had an awesome body from all the outdoors running you did, how well you ate, the motivation you had to stay fit so that you could rock that awesome gym bod you worked hard for … just to hit the winter and the holidays to let it all go. First came Thanksgiving when you eased up a bit to make room for all the turkey and trimmings; then came Christmas with all the parties and festivities and to top everything, you let your entire fitness plan drop like the ball on New Year’s Eve. Now here we are at the end of January, approaching a new month, and getting closer to that season where we’re going to baring skin and showing off for all the hot boys (or girls for those bi guys).
So, we all know that February is the shortest month of the year. Really, it’ll be here and gone before you know it and March will bring with it more warmer days as spring officially starts. So, is it too late for you to reclaim that awesome pre-holiday body by the time spring starts in March? Yes. You could easily start eating better, slash carbs, cut out sugars and basically be a tad bit miserable for the next few weeks or you could get a bit experimental and try some new tricks that may jump start your weight loss and fitness plan. You may or may not have heard about a controversial new book by Tim Ferriss titled The 4-Hour Body. In the book Ferriss writes about some uncommon things you can do to speed your fat-loss that’ll lead to a healthier you. I haven’t read the book but I have seen Ferriss make his rounds on the talk shows to talk about his book and different tips. He was recently on The Dr. Oz Show where Dr. Oz looked closely at three of Ferriss’ recommendations and somewhat endorsed them. So, it’s clear we don’t have much time to get our body in order and perhaps Ferriss’ speedy fat loss method will suit our needs. Here are some interesting, uncommon methods that could help you shed that winter weight and get the body you’ll want to show off in a few weeks:
1) Eat 30 grams of protein within 3o minutes of waking up. It’s always been recommended that you eat breakfast every morning and that you eat it soon after waking up to stoke your metabolism. Eating 30 grams of protein hasn’t been a common recommendation because that could translate into eating something like 5 eggs, which many would consider a heart-attack waiting to happen. Eating protein early in the day not only revs up your metabolism (leading to more calories being burned) but will give you a shot of energy that you’ll benefit from throughout the day. Know how you feel sluggish after lunch? It’s probably due to a lack of protein. The protein you consume at breakfast doesn’t have to be from eggs. Re-think breakfast and look at it as your first chance to fuel your body and muscles. You could easily consume a protein shake (whey) or even eat some tuna. Yes, these aren’t necessarily seen as breakfast staples but don’t you want a faster metabolism, less fat covering your abs and more muscle to impress all the boys in the yard? Thought so.
2) Ice Therapy. One of a guy’s favorite phrases seems to be “chillin'” and if you take that phrase literally, you could actually lose weight! You can trigger hormones in your body that are responsible for fat burning by lowering your body temperature. The colder you are, the more work and effort it takes your body to do simple tasks. Think about the summer and how easy it is for you to run and sweat. Now think about running during the winter. You don’t sweat as much, but you’re cold and you probably think you’re burning fewer calories. Wrong! The colder you are, the more calories you’ll burn when you work out because the (brown) fat in your body will work harder to keep you warm. Ice therapy can be done in a variety of ways including placing and holding ice packs on your upper back, cold showers and by taking ice baths. Ferriss recommends saving ice baths for later on in your ice therapy routines and limiting them to 10 minutes, 3 times a week.
3) Pig out once a week. This is the most controversial of Ferriss’ recommendations. He says you should allow yourself one day out of each week to let go, eat whatever the heck you want regardless of its nutritional value and that by pigging out once a week, you’ll actually lose weight. You may scratch your head at that but there’s some validity to it. Spiking your calories once a week if you’re eating healthy the other 6 days out of the week isn’t going to wreck your fitness plan is actually a common recommendation. I know, I know. There are guys you’ll encounter in the gym who will say they eat healthy every fricken day of the week, every month, every year and have sworn off anything that has sugar or fat in it and they’ll look ripped and will make you green with envy. Then there are guys who look ripped and have rippling abs who will tell you that they eat everything from McDonalds to cake and ice cream and yet it doesn’t show. What gives? It’s allowing yourself to eat the foods you crave that’ll actually benefit your diet plan. Many people find it hard to eat healthy because they think the commitment has to last a lifetime. Then they cave, they indulge, and give up on eating healthy ever again. Sound like your last relationship?
Indulge. It’s good for you. But do it in moderation and include a “cheat” day in your week. My recommendation is to have your cheat day land on a weekday rather than a weekend because if you allow yourself to indulge on a Saturday, you’ll carry it over and give yourself a pass to indulge on a Sunday and the bad eating will snowball into the week. Unlike Ferriss, I don’t recommend or endorse an entire day of pigging out. I am behind a “pig out” meal once a week including a somewhat unhealthy appetizer, main course and dessert. It’s also found that before you pig out you can help direct where the calories from the meal will go – either to your muscles as fuel or to fat, by drinking a little grapefruit juice before your pig out meal and doing a bit of exercise after your bad meal within an hour of consuming it. Did you slip up during the week? Do body squats for a minute. This simple move can help you use the calories from the cheat meal as fuel rather than having it store on your body as fat.