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Hit these targets and watch the scale slide in your favour
By registered dietician Carol Brown
You don’t have to be a total nutrition nerd to know that some numbers are extra important when it comes to your health, weight, and overall wellbeing. I think the scale is overrated, but I do see my clients rock their goals with the help of some hard targets. And in both my experience at Foodtrainers, a private nutrition practice in NYC where I customise food plans for clients, I know that men and metrics work very well together. A little challenge and competition never hurts, right?
In general, I am a fan of completely customising your diet, but I’m going to let you in on a few secrets that can seriously benefit most men. Here are some numbers I’m challenging you to hit on a daily and weekly basis.
10 GLASSES OF WATER PER DAY
Getting hydrated is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do for your energy, your mood, and your weight. I suggest at least 10 glasses a day.
9 OR FEWER ALCOHOLIC DRINKS FOR THE WEEK
Try to keep your cocktailing and booziness to single digits (9 or fewer) for the week, especially if weight loss is a goal. If that sounds totally unrealistic, at least get a firm count on how much you do typically drink in a typical week, and cut back by a couple. If you drink more than 9 drinks per week, you are getting over 4100 kilojoules from alcohol, not to mention the impact booze can have on your food choices and your exercise intensity.
7 HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT
Sleep impacts your appetite. Your hunger hormones surge after a sleep-deprived night, according to Penn State research. If you feel like you’re doing everything right, and scale is not budging, or you get cravings in the late afternoon, I can almost guarantee that focusing on your sleep habits for a week will have an impact. At least 7 hours a night is ideal, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
170g PROTEIN, 3 TIMES A DAY
While macro needs are different for everyone, in general, eating a higher protein breakfast (eggs, Greek yogurt) and lunch (fish, chicken, turkey, steak) is the best way to maintain energy and avoid crashing late afternoon. Of course I am a fan of having a solid protein serving at dinner, too.
5 WORKOUTS PER WEEK
You can’t out-train a crappy diet, but exercise is extremely important for both your body and your brain. The specifics depend on where you’re starting from, but aim to get moving 5 times a week. I suggest at least 2 to 3 cardio workouts and 2 to 3 strength training workouts per week, depending on your goals.
4 FISH MEALS PER WEEK
Omega-3s may be good for your body fat percentage, according to Gettysburg College research. So you want to get in omega 3’s in as much as possible; I suggest at least 4 servings a week.
3 HOURS BETWEEN MEALS AND SNACKS
When you eat is almost as important as what you eat. So do your metabolism and your willpower a favour and aim for 3 to 4 hours between meals and snacks to prevent a blood sugar crash and scavenging through the snack drawers.
2 SOLID VEGETABLE SERVINGS PER DAY
So often I see people fail in making real diet changes because they focus on what they’re NOT eating. Instead, I want you to focus on eating more of certain things, specifically vegetables. That’s at least 2 cups, 2 times a day of vegetables raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted, grilled, or in soup or salad.
1 GOOD FAT PER MEAL
Fat is where it’s at for weight loss, fullness, and for your skin, hair and nails (hey, I can attest that girls do look at these things). So, no fat-free or skim products. Aim for 1 good fat like nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, etc., per meal.
0 ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS + FIZZY DRINKS (DIET OR OTHERWISE)
Enough said! One trick I use when I find myself wanting to add sweetener to coffee, Greek yogurt, or smoothies: Add a pinch of cinnamon instead.
Article originally published on menshealth.com