The Secret to Getting Shredded
Because I’m only 26 years old, people don’t realize that I have been in the Health & Fitness industry for just about a decade now. I started working in my first gym at 17 years old, and furthermore, became certified and started training people at 18 and 19 years old. Safe to say I’ve been in the game a decent amount of time. And without a doubt, the most common question, goal, desire, want, and need that people have, is how to lose weight. More specifically, how to lose body fat.
We live in a country and a society where over half the population is obese. More importantly, the obesity rates seen in our children and youth of our nation has sky rocketed in the last two decades. Losing body weight is not only a desire out of vanity, but a crucial need from a health standpoint. We are at a point in history where 2 out of 3 people will die from lifestyle related illness. Not only that, it is the first time since modern medicine that the current generation is expected to die sooner than the generation before them.
Think about that for second…
With the advancements in technology and medicine, our children are being projected to live shorter lives than we are. If this isn’t enough to open your eyes to the problem, then you’re apart of the problem. Period. We are a sick, SICK and unhealthy nation. Open your eyes!
Why do I bring this up? Because the biggest reason these statistics exists is the same reason you aren’t a shredded sexy beast. THE DAMN FOOD! It’s that simple. The food quality that we now have access to is absolutely embarrassing. The food we (society) now consume daily, will literally be the death of us (and the premature death of our children). We have gotten so far away from where we need to be that I’m not sure if we will ever make it back. Not necessarily with the food (at least not solely), but with our mindsets when it comes to food. If you came here for a secret shortcut, a magic pill, a new innovative supplement, or a bad ass training regimen that was going to etch that six pack onto your stomach, then you will be leaving very disappointed.
If, however, you came here for a concrete, battle tested, iron clad, 100% guaranteed plan to get you into the best body you can rock, then you have come to the right place. In this blog I’m going to give you the exact steps and rules you need to follow to get your beach body ready. More importantly, my main goal is to switch your mindset when it comes to thinking about food. Because after all, that is THE most important thing hands down. Without the change in mindset, none of this will stick long term. Without the long-term commitment, you’ll be exactly where you are now, if not, worse off.
STEP 1 – CHANGING YOUR BROKEN A$$ MINDSET
One of my biggest pet peeves, one of the things that really flips my switch, is when people say, “eating healthy.” THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS EATING HEALTHY!!! There is ‘eating’ and then there is ‘eating garbage.’ The fact that ‘eating healthy’ is a term that is commonly used tells you all you need to know about where we are as a culture when it comes to the food choices we are making. We as a culture, need to create terminology when we decide to eat what humans are supposed to eat, because the status quo is eating crap foods that make us UNHEALTHY.
Food is meant as FUEL for the body. Its sole purpose is to keep you alive…PERIOD. It is meant to fuel your activity, to rebuild your body and to keep your ass waking up every day. Its purpose is not to ‘taste good’ or make you feel better about yourself if you had a difficult day. Its not meant for celebrations or to get you through a bad breakup. You can’t have an emotional relationship with food, because our emotions will change every day. Your mindset cannot change that often. It shouldn’t. And if you’re listening to what I’m telling you here, it won’t. Give your body what it NEEDS. Not what your taste buds want. That is not to be taken as you have to eat foods that taste bad. If you purged your body of all the processed garbage and manmade chemicals in the food, then you would be surprised how good the natural taste of real food is.
Do you think when man was evolving through the ions and went days without eating he came upon some wild blueberries or apples and turned his nose up at them because ‘he didn’t like the taste?’ Hell no! He took that fuel where he could get it. There was no attachment to taste. When you stop at the gas station do you ask your car if it feels like having some Diesel today? Or do you just give it the fuel it needs???
Instead of thinking about what ‘sounds good’ or what your craving, ask yourself what you need. What does your day look like? When are you exercising? What kind of fuel do you need to propel you through the next few hours of your day? That is how you eat! Treat your body like a machine, and soon, it will begin to look like one…
STEP 2 – FOOD CHOICE
Now that we are looking at food for what it truly is – fuel – we need to know what kind of fuel to put in our gas tank. This is perhaps the easiest part of this entire process because you have to follow one rule. EAT REAL FOOD. When I say eat real food I don’t mean stay away from snozzberries . I mean eat food that is natural to this earth. It has grown from the earth, or it has eaten and lived from the earth. Always go as natural and organic as your wallet will allow. The less that has been done to your food from the time it was plucked or killed until it gets to your dinner table, the better. The more hands that touch the food in between that time, the less quality you’re getting. These real foods are very dense in micronutrients which is key for what we want.
Eating real, quality, nutrient-dense food will get you shredded faster than anything else. That simple. Outside of the bare minimum needed for optimal health, the adipose tissue on your body really serves no other function. Its ‘dead weight’ essentially. When we eat foods based off the nutrient profile, our body uses those nutrients to feed the work horses of our body – our muscles, organs, bones, etc. Body fat doesn’t need micronutrients. The body fat is just latching on and hanging out where it can find space and is where your body stores all the shit chemicals and toxins you eat through low quality foods. Your body wants to get those things out of the blood stream as fast as possible, so it stores it right into the fat.
When we eat these organic, nutrient-dense foods, we’re feeding the work horses and leaving the body fat out in the cold to starve. We all know what happens when something starves – it whittles away and shrinks until it eventually dies. So, when you are faced with the decision of eating a nice home cooked meal of salmon and asparagus versus ordering a pizza, think about what you’re really feeding. Do you want to feed the lean, muscular, hardworking, golden stallions in your body that will get you feeling and looking great? Or do you want to feed those fat, ugly, pimply, lazy piece of shit ass love handles that are sitting their fat ass on the couch with a shirt that’s 3 sizes too small? Dragging you down making you feel like crap physically and mentally. If you aren’t consciously feeding one, then you are unconsciously feeding the other. Its that simple.
People always want to know about carbs or total calories, so It is worth touching on the macronutrient profile as it pertains to food. The macros are your protein, carbs and fats that make up your daily calories. If you’re looking to be a shredded sexy beast, then it is important to be building and feeding lean muscle tissue. You do this by keeping your protein intake relatively high throughout the day (about 1g/lb of body weight spread fairly even throughout the day). Carbs and fats are your energy macros. It is with the understanding and manipulation of these that’s important when it comes to body composition.
Carbs are your readily available, immediate energy source. Whereas fats are your sustained, stored energy source. A lot of people who want to lose weight think carbs are the enemy, but this is untrue. Excessive carbs are the enemy. Carbs are your immediate energy source, so you don’t need to be eating a lot of them unless you have the need for them. Eat your carbs around your activity. If it is a day where you will be strength training for 60-90 minutes, then you will want to take in some carbs in the meal before that session to propel and fuel you through that effort. Then again after the session to begin the recovery process. If it is a day where you will be sitting behind a desk and working all day, you don’t need as much readily available energy. You will need more of a sustained long-term energy. Thus, fats will be a little higher on that day and carbs lower. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat any carbs, because carbs are still important for cognitive function and other miscellaneous tasks throughout the day. Getting a healthy serving of them at breakfast coming off an 8-10 hour fast to start your day is beneficial. However, throughout the day you will need nowhere near the amount you would consume on a day where you were overly active. Essentially, these two energy sources will have an inverse relationship with each other.
STEP 3 – HYDRATE
This one is simple and easy to follow. Drink lots of water! If you are one of those donkey’s out there that like to tell me you don’t like water, then I am actually surprised you made it this far into the article. But just in case one of you did, then you can get off now because there is no way around this. If you aren’t willing to drink straight up, clear, no BS added flavorings, purified water, then you will never reach your goals. Period. If it wasn’t for water, you would be DEAD. It is the second most crucial substance humans need to live behind oxygen.
Being adequately hydrated allows your body to do everything more efficiently, including burning and expelling body fat. When you are properly hydrated, your mind is sharper, your muscles are stronger and healthier, and your digestion is more efficient. All important for getting shredded and maintaining proper health. Not to mention, 14% of the fat your body burns is expelled through water (sweat, urine, etc.). If you aren’t hydrated, you can’t get rid of the fat!
STEP 4 – MOVE YOUR A$$
Human beings are made to move and in a sedentary society, exercise is a must! That can be anything. From walking, to weight training, to playing recreational sports. Anything that gets you up off the couch consistently, gets you sweating, and keeps you feeling good and healthy.
However, I believe strength training is by far the best form of exercise. Before you call bias on me, hear me out. The first sign of aging in older adults is the loss of muscle mass. The second sign of aging…the loss of muscular strength. One of the biggest risks an elderly person faces is falling. Everyone has had a grandparent, parent or known of someone who had one that has fallen and hurt themselves severely. Simply because they didn’t have the strength or coordination to stay on their feet. For an elderly person, this can be the beginning of the end. Therefore, strength training should be apart of EVERYONE’S lives. Father time will catch up to us all eventually. Strength training gives us the ability to extend the high quality of our lives. This is not to say that other forms of exercise can’t be practiced. It is just to say there should be some sort of strength training element to everyone’s routine.
The bottom line, exercise is essential. The diet will carve us up, but the training will accelerate the process and give our body the need to tap into that body fat to burn as fuel as well as keeping us healthy, balance and strong. Diet is most important for sure, but in my opinion, they both go hand in hand. Strength training and walking are the best duo, in my opinion, to give you everything you’re going to need to not only be shredded, but HEALTHY. Don’t be that whale at the grocery store relying on scooters to get you around. Be a human being and MOVE YOU’RE A$$!
STEP 5 – BE PATIENT
In a day in age when you can search something on Google and get over a BILLION results in less than 1 second, patience is a virtue that is getting less and less common. It’s important to understand that the physical transformation you are looking for doesn’t happen overnight. Results that come quick, leave quick. You don’t want to result to garbage supplements and/or fat burners to try and shave time off your quest. These things 99.99% of the time are extremely unhealthy for you. Looking good on the outside means absolutely nothing if you’re rotten and dying on the inside. Health comes first before anything else. When you take that approach, you will be surprised how much and how fast you will progress. This is because human beings are not meant to be obese! Human beings as a species are naturally lean. Therefore, when you start working with your body and eat the foods humans were meant to eat, the weight begins to melt off!
Don’t get discouraged after the first week when you don’t look like a cover model AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD don’t think you deserve a ‘cheat meal’ because you’ve done so good for 10 days. You must put the work in, every day, for a long time to get the results you need. That is why it is so important to change that mindset and understand that this is a lifestyle. This is not a diet. Notice that is the first time the ‘D’ word has shown up in this article. Because I hate that f*cking word. To me, it implies that it is temporary. That you are deciding up front to do what is right for a specific amount of time. Then when that time is through, you will go back to your old ways that put you in the position you began with. The position that urged you to make a change in the first place. The position that left you feeling like crap. Thus, beginning the endless cycle of yo-yo dieting that almost everyone is victim of. Up and down. Up and down. Spinning their tires moving NO WHERE. Don’t be that person. That person is unhappy, unaccomplished, and living far under their potential.
This lifestyle takes a lot of will power. A lot of dedication. A lot of sacrifice. A lot of hard work and preparation. But the last time I checked, none of those qualities are bad. In fact, every single one of them will make you a better person and are the building blocks of success for any endeavor.
Will Power. You will need it. Temptation will always be there. Foods will always look good. People around you will try to get you to break. But remember, every single choice you make will either get you closer to your goal, or further away from it.
Dedication. Find it. Its within you. If you’ve ever tried a diet in the past or set a goal for yourself, then you have it already. You just need to find it and feed it.
Sacrifice. Make it. You no longer can do whatever you want. Or what other people want. Going out and getting plastered with your friends is no longer a reality. Eating candy and sweets on a whim is a thing of the past. There is no such thing as ‘just one.’ Never sacrifice what you want long term, for what you want in the moment. Instead, sacrifice temptation, in order to build momentum toward your long-term goal. Every right choice you make, gets you that much closer to where you want to be.
Hard Work. DO IT! Yes, you must think ahead. You must plan your meals. You have to prepare food ahead of time. You must get off the comfort of you couch and go and drop some sweat. You’ve got to MOVE FORWARD and put in the physical labor toward achieving your goals. No one got anywhere by sitting on their A$$!
Now you might have read some of this and thought that I was being harsh. Being a little too hard on some. I would argue that I wasn’t. I have made it my life’s work to help people in these positions. People that are ready and willing to make the change. People that know they have not been living up to their potential and are ready to start putting their better foot forward. Because I was once that person. Looking for guidance. Looking for a way out. Fed up with who I was and just wanting to be better. I was that person that was extremely unhealthy. I almost failed kindergarten because I spent so much time in the hospital from complications with asthma. I lived on medications to keep it in check. I ate at McDonalds EVERY DAY after school for years. Quarter pounder with cheese, supersize fry, and a large coke – the order is engrained in my brain still to this day. For dinner I would have some sort of frozen pizza. Moreover, I would drink 4-5 sodas per day. I lived this way FOR YEARS. Up until my sophomore year of high school when I decided to try out for basketball. I had to get a sports physical to try out. The doctors told me my blood pressure was elevated. I WAS 15 YEARS OLD!!! Needless to say, it scared the crap out of me. I changed my ways that night and the rest is pretty much history.
As you can see, I have been there. I have had to break old habits and create new ones. I had to kick addictions and overcome temptation. I had to lose weight and build my muscle. I had to educate myself along the way, so I could make the proper choices. Did I still make mistakes? Hell yeah, I did. But I did the best I could with what I had at my disposal. I knew where I had been, and while I might not have known exactly which direction to go at the time, I knew I just had to go in the opposite direction of where I was coming from. Everything you’ve ever wanted is always one choice away. I made my first choice that night over 11 years ago when I got home from the doctor when it came time to eat dinner. I made my next choice the next morning, when I decided to wake up early and go for a run. My next choice when I decided to make a quality breakfast instead of eating a donut. I made another choice, this morning, over 11 years later, when I woke up early to get a walk in before I ate breakfast and headed to work.
ONE. CHOICE. AT. A. TIME.
If you want to get shredded, you do it one choice at a time. Your goals, your life and your dreams are always one choice away. Only you have the power to choose for yourself. Choose wisely.