Having been an avid “gym-goer” for over ten years, my wife posed a good question. “Surely with the amount of time dedicated to going to the gym, you should have a six pack by now?”
She had a point. I was the type of individual who would spend hours in the gym, only to undo my hard work with a well-deserved croissant and carrot cake from my nearest Costa.
It was not until recently, when I visited my nutritionist for a full health checkup, that I discovered that weight training and exercise actually accounts for just 30% of results. It was only when I started eating correctly, and more importantly sleeping correctly that I started to look more like the image I had in my head. With the help of my osteopath and nutritionist, they gave me the advice I needed to understand what it takes to be healthy, stay injury free, and sleep my way to my goals!
So here is the holy grail, and my tips to success in losing weight, reversing type 2 diabetes, and achieving mental serenity. NUTRITION, SLEEP AND EXERCISE…….in that order.
Having dedicated the last year of my life researching nutrition, you very quickly realise how small adjustments can reap massive rewards to achieving success. Sugar is the reason 1 in 3 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the USA. It is the reason why we have this health epidemic. Eliminating all forms of refined sugar in your diet is a sure fire way to success. No need for fad diets, no need to calorie count. Here are my rules:
Anything you can hunt, catch or grow…..you can eat. So meat, fish, eggs, potatoes (normal or sweet, not French fries), vegetables are allowed. As much as you like, and until you are full. No sugar allowed, and no bypassing, such as Diet Coke, red bull zero, stevia, or honey. Your body still thinks you are having sugar. Cook with either coconut oil, organic butter, or ghee. These are the only oils/cooking aids that contain healthy fats, and do not change characteristics once brought to heat. Enjoy olive oil in natural form and use as a dressing only. No chocolates, no biscuits, no sweets. Go nuts! Eat as many nuts until your heart is content. Walnuts and macadamia nuts are a great snack. Rice and bread are a no-go as these are manufactured forms of food. Stick to a caveman style plan. And finally, drink water. More specifically, 1 litre per 25 kg of body weight.
Anything less than 7 hours sleep is a no go. I used to get 5 hours sleep, and this is not enough time for your body to recover. I cannot stress to you how important this is. Remember your muscles grow during sleep (anabolic state), and actually break down when you train (catabolic). Do NOT look at your phone before bedtime. Your room should be a relaxing sanctuary, not a cavern of blue light which affects the quality of your sleep. Try to get to bed before 11pm, and wake up circa 6am, which is in tune with our natural circadian cycle (as our hunter gatherer ancestors).
If the nutrition and sleep are in check, the training element does not need to be as intense. I weight train three times a week, and on the off days I will do either a 40 minute walk or some light cardio. No need to hammer the insanity dvds or do spin classes everyday if you are eating and sleeping right. Just make sure you eat straight after a training session to fuel your muscles, and the rest will fall into place.
STAY INJURY FREE
Consistency is the key to all success and the only way to remain focused on your goals is if you can do the exercise needed to stay fit and healthy. By catching any niggles or pains early your Osteo or sports therapist can stop it escalating to a point where you can’t train for weeks or even months. With special technique and manipulation, exercises and stretches to do at home and understanding your own unique physiology, my therapist has been instrumental in keeping me injury free and achieving my goals.
So, what are you waiting for? Today is the first day, of the rest of your life.