7 Tips to Being Leaner, Stronger, and Healthier In 2014
By Nick Barringer MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS (EIEIO)
Making New Year Resolutions is easy but sticking to them is a different story. Since fitness/weight loss goals are typically the most popular—and often the most difficult goals to achieve—the Rhino Den has your back with 7 simple steps to make your fitness/weight loss goals a reality.
1. Eat Almonds: Eating about 30 almonds for afternoon snack can help you lose weight and gain muscle. Almonds are high in magnesium; and Spanish researchers have recently shown that eating a magnesium rich diet is associated with a longer life. Harvard Researchers have also found an association between nut consumption and extended life expectancy.
2. Drink Green Tea: Dutch researches estimate that one cup of green tea burns about 5 extra grams of fat. So using those calculations, just by making the resolution to drink 3 cups a day for the next year you could be 16 pounds slimmer by the start of 2015. As a bonus, green tea consumption is associated with a longer and healthier life.
3. Use Your Body: Can’t or don’t want to go to the gym? Use your body—try a protocol of 50 push-ups, 50 bodyweight rows, and 100 bodyweight squats per day. It might appear daunting but just break down the total reps into as many sets as you need. Although simple, a recent study showed that just 8 weeks of 100 bodyweight squats per day can lead to more muscle and less fat.
4. Whey Before Meals: Worried that overeating will ruin your weight loss goals? Try consuming 10-40 grams of whey protein mixed in water 30 minutes before your meals. Researchers found this practice caused subjects to reduce their voluntary intake.
5. Get your Vitamin D: The winter months mean less time outside which can significantly lower vitamin D levels. Low vitamin D levels can wreak havoc on your strength and weight loss goals.
Researchers have demonstrated that by just taking 1,000 IUs of D3 per day you can lose weight and prevent muscle breakdown. I also should mention that low vitamin D levels are associated with all-cause mortality.
6. Drink Water: Yup, your hydrophilic Drill Instructor was correct in telling you constantly to “Drink Water” to cure whatever ails you. Researchers have shown that drinking two glasses of water before meals can help you lose more fat. Previous research has also demonstrated that a hydrated individual is going to burn more fat and less protein. I bet you never would imagine that the sage advice your Drill gave some of you years ago will actually allow you to burn more fat and keep more muscle in 2014. Now go drink some water and be sure to put your old Drill Sergeant on your Christmas Card mailing list for 2014!
7. Use Olive Oil: If you currently use butter on other fats for cooking, try olive oil instead. Researchers have shown that replacing other fats with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), like olive oil, can improve body composition in as little as 4 weeks. What makes this change so impressive is that total caloric intake did not alter, so it appears MUFAs have special weight loss properties. This is supported by previous research that shows MUFAs increase fat oxidation both during and post exercise. Oh, and as a side benefit, you might live longer as well.
As you can see, all these steps are relatively simple and easy to implement. Make a commitment to give all of them a try for the next 30 days and let us know your results. You might have noticed that 3 of the 7 tips might help you live longer. That is no accident, as I sincerely hope that all the Den readers have improved health in 2014 so you can continue to celebrate New Year’s for many more to come.