A lean, healthy body is what most of us want. For some, especially those with a fast metabolism, being lean may seem effortless. While for others, it can be a struggle to lose even a pound.
The most common strategy we use to lose weight is following a diet plan. Unfortunately, diets have a lot of restrictions and they may be a temporary solution. If our strategies are temporary, so is our weight loss.
So, instead of following a short-term routine for better physique and health, consider these simple yet effective ways to get lean and fit.
1. Start Your Day With Breakfast
It is rightly said that “all happiness begins with a leisurely breakfast.” Breakfast is the fuel for your body and it is the most important meal of your day.1
The general advice from health experts is to have a well-balanced breakfast. If your idea of having breakfast is just having a cup of coffee, you need to change that right away.
Breakfast cereals may not be the healthiest option for a good breakfast as they contain added sugars and could lead to weight gain.
Try oatmeal with fruits and honey or eggs with vegetables seasoned with salt, herbs, or your favorite spices. To build more muscles, add some lean beef, too.
2. Have Timely Meals
When you eat is as important as what you eat. It is always advised to have timely meals so that you don’t give into your cravings at odd times.
With our current lifestyle, more meals are skipped and many of us choose to eat out or later in the day even when you are hungry.
Meal irregularity has been associated with a higher risk of the metabolic syndrome – a condition that increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes.2
3. Have Healthy Snacks When You Are Hungry
Some of us cannot feel full no matter how much we eat. There is always a time you wish you could munch on something.
This is where you need to choose what you eat wisely. It is okay to have snacks in the middle of the day but the key is to choose healthy snacks.
Whole fruits are the healthiest options for snacks. Nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and walnuts are filling and can help with weight management as well.3 You can also have gut-friendly yogurt with fruits like berries for a healthy snack time.
4. Depend Less On Your Weighing Scale
When you are on a fitness program, it is only natural to keep a check on your weight. However, don’t obsess over the numbers that your weighing scales show.
It is okay to check your weight once or twice a week but you should also remember that drastic changes will be observed when you lose most of your excess weight.
The last few pounds of your weight are the most difficult ones to shed and they may not appear on your scale like you’d expect.
5. Set Your Workouts Like Appointments
Just eating healthy foods is not going to fulfill your fitness goals. You have to find time to make sure that the extra calories are burnt. So, it is important to have a regular exercise routine.
Some may prefer working out at home, provided they are carried out in the right way. Some like to head to the gym early in the morning or later in the day.
You can get lean by increasing your cardio exercises and lifting weights (start lightly). In later stages, training for triathlon (competition involving swimming, cycling, and running over various distances) can be a good fitness strategy to challenge yourself.
Whatever may be your fitness interest, make sure you have a fitness routine and follow it religiously every day.
6. Be Patient With Your Results
Patience is a strength that will keep you motivated to move forward to fulfill your fitness goals. You cannot become lean and fit overnight; it requires a lot of effort and a consistent one too.
Therefore, if you are starting today, don’t expect to see yourself fit and healthy in a week or even a month. It is a slow process; so, give your body enough exercise and rest to build those muscles.
Having fitness goals is easy, fulfilling them is the task we face. If you are a beginner, start slow and as you move forward in your journey to get lean and fit, challenge yourself a step further.
|↑1||Spence, Charles. “Breakfast: The most important meal of the day?.” International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science (2017).|
|↑2||Pot, Gerda K., Suzana Almoosawi, and Alison M. Stephen. “Meal irregularity and cardiometabolic consequences: results from observational and intervention studies.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 75, no. 4 (2016): 475-486.|
|↑3||Damasceno, Nagila RT, Aleix Sala-Vila, Montserrat Cofán, Ana M. Pérez-Heras, Montserrat Fitó, Valentina Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Miguel-Ángel Martínez-González et al. “Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts reduces waist circumference and shifts lipoprotein subfractions to a less atherogenic pattern in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.” Atherosclerosis 230, no. 2 (2013): 347-353.|