I get this question ALL the time and I am so happy that you voted for it to be my next blog! My plan is to keep my blogs short and sweet. Your time is valuable and so is mine. Also, DISCLAIMER: I am not a Doctor or a Dietitian. My word should not be taken as the absolute end all be all. We are all different and have different needs. This is simply what has worked for me! If this helps you in some way that is AWESOME!
What does leaning out even mean!?
For the purpose of this post I’m defining “leaning out” as dropping body fat percentage to expose the beautiful muscles you have already built underneath. For me this usually includes dropping 5-10 pounds but not always. Body fat percentage is the big goal here! This is typically what I work towards if i’m preparing for a big event, have had a season of weight gain and want to get back on track, or want to be ready for my next photo shoot! This IS NOT a quick fix. Example, I’m currently in week nine of leaning and I’ve dropped 10 pounds and 4% body fat. 1-2 pounds a week is considered healthy maintainable weight loss. In this post I’m going to give you the four things I’m that I think are the MOST important when I am trying to really “lean out”
- PICK REAL FOODS
This may seem self explanatory but your typical granola bar with 10 different ingredients and favorite organic peanut butter cup isn’t going to cut it. Simplify your food. I’m talking eggs, apples, bananas, salads with real veggies and lean meats mixed in, salmon, chicken, other fish, quinoa, brown rice. So many foods say “organic” “healthy” Low-cal” but they aren’t real foods at all. Ditch the junk and simplify your ingredients. No ever asked “What’s in that Banana your eating?!” It’s a banana. Simple. As general guidelines I try to eat 5 times a day and have protein in all my main meals, but I don’t track macros or calories. I also try to have more fruits in the mornings and more veggies in the afternoon/evenings. If you do HALF of all of that, you are off to a great start!
2. MAKE YOUR WORKOUTS COUNT
I typically keep my workouts at a half hour. I’m busy, I don’t have time to workout forever or spend hours at the gym. (Face-palm) If I only have a half hour you better bet I’m going to make it count! Whole body toning and HIIT training is key if you are going for a whole body lean out and have limited time.
Secret: the key to getting abs isn’t by doing a bunch of ab exercises. Its by lowering your body fat percentage.
Which means working multiple muscle groups for high post-exercise metabolic BURN! HIIT or whole body exercises, combined with nutrition, will get you there for sure!
3. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
I go to bed and nine and I’m asleep by ten almost every single night. My body will wake up after 7 hours of sleep naturally and I feel totally rested. The amount of sleep you need may be different. Figure out what you need and the SET A BED TIME! It sounds silly I know. “I’m an adult. Why would I need a bed time? This is dumb.” BUT IT’S NOT! Make your sleep a priority.
A good way to make sure you never hit your fitness goals (no matter what they are) is by not getting enough sleep!
Also, sleep is going to allow your body to rest and recover. P.S. You burn fat while you sleep!
4. DRINK DRINK DRINK
Water that is. 😉 If you aren’t hydrated your body wont be able to break down fat or build muscle! You also wont be able to fight fatigue and recover! Being hydrated makes ALL body processes work more smoothly and it is the same when it comes to lowering your body fat percentage! Not to mention your skin will thank you during the winter months!
THAT’S IT! Those are the four things I have found to be MOST important when trying to get lean! If I had to give these percentage values though… Nutrition would get 80% of the credit! What you eat can and will transform your body! Much love and keep it fit!
Elise Lee Fit