3X Method Lifestyle/Eating Guide
Obviously losing weight and getting in shape isn’t just about working out…you also need to keep a close on what goes in your body and how you treat it overall.
So rather than devise a restrictive diet that I know most people won’t stick with, what I’ve done instead is create a list of 19 “Ground Rules” that, if followed, will exponentially increase the results you get from the 3X Method.
Ground Rule #1: Eat Less, But More Often
What I found that works best is having 5-6 meals (smaller portions of course) a day, 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart that are high in protein and low in sugar. By giving your body a continuous, steady amount of fuel it will operate off this fuel and signal your body that there is no need to store fat in your tissue. Instead, it burns it because it knows there’s more fuel coming. (The, by the way, is why starvation dieting never works in the long-run…your body actually thinks it’s starving so it begins storing fat rather than burning it.)
Just make sure you don’t overeat. You just want to eat enough to where it takes the edge off of the hunger, but not so much that you’re stuffed after every meal.
This one change in my diet made my metabolism go crazy, and it has also helped many other people I have worked with get great results.
Stick to the low sugar, lower fat (doesn’t have to be no fat because your body needs some) and high protein for 10-12 days and then splurge within reason at least one day out of that cycle, then repeat the process. I would be shocked if your metabolism doesn’t kick it up big time.
Remember I’m not a physician, so if you are going to make drastic changes, always check with your doctor or nutritionist first – but in my experience this flat out works. I have seen it time and time again.
You’re probably saying yeah, yeah, Nathan, tell me something I didn’t already know. Well, the reason you keep hearing it is because it really works. If you can train yourself to do this you will be absolutely amazed at the results.
Ground Rule #2: Start Every Day Right
Always start out the day with some kind of protein. This can be tough at breakfast because we like to eat oatmeal, cereal, and other types of carbohydrates, but here’s an example of how I work breakfast around protein…
I mix whey protein into my oatmeal. If you try this make sure to add enough liquid or else it can be pretty dry. Sometimes I will even mix egg whites into my protein before cooking and that is a great way to get protein first thing.
It may sound disgusting, but it’s actually pretty tasty!
Ground Rule #3: Consume Enough Protein
Eating lean protein probably doesn’t need much explanation, but here we go. Protein is a classic muscle building nutrient that just never goes out of style and needs to be the concrete foundation that you’re going to build your new masterpiece on.
In the past, protein has gotten a bad rap because it was often associated with meats heavy in bad fats. But lean protein is absolutely essential if you want to burn fat or build muscle, and there are plenty of great lean protein choices that will give you the protein you need without adding to any tire around the waist.
Here are a few of my favorite sources of lean proteins:
You’ve probably heard mixed reviews on eggs and whether or not you should eat them. This is what I call the triple threat. Eggs are packed full of protein, B12 (necessary for fat breakdown) and vitamin A. Now this is fat burning fuel all the way. The protein found in eggs is some of the highest quality muscle building fat frying protein around.
Some people are worried about the cholesterol so they will eat just the egg whites. There is plenty of research though to support eating 1-2 eggs a day with the yokes still in play.
In fact, some studies say that eggs are excellent diet food, and this isn’t just from some questionable blog, but studies from sites like WebMD! In fact, one study showed that eggs satisfied obese patients more than bagels or other food with similar amount of calories. And a Harvard study surprised everyone when it revealed that nurses (who were followed around for 8-14 years) who ate one egg almost every day actually had the same cholesterol levels as nurses who only ate one a week!
So there is basically no difference, as long as you don’t go overboard.
What more do you want? I hope this convinced you that eggs are a great addition to the 3X diet!
Consume Whey Protein
Whey Protein is another type of animal protein that is going to assist you in getting you to your goals. Whey protein is a key ingredient in many weight loss and meal replacement products, and for good reason. Studies have found that individuals who combine diets with leucine rich protein foods, like whey protein, and exercise have more lean muscle tissue and they lose more body fat.
Some of that info bears repeating…
Whey protein is considered to be THE most effective protein in building and fueling muscle growth, and you can easily obtain it. Remember how I want you to eat 5-6 small meals a day? Well a whey protein shake is a fantastic way to really rev up the metabolism during one of those meals and filling you up without putting on a lot of calories.
In my opinion, whey protein is definitely a winner, and should be part of any body sculpting program whether it’s losing weight, building muscle, or both.
Sources of Lean Protein:
- Beef (lean, not regular)
- Ground beef (can be bought extra lean)
- Lean Steak (meat from the hind quarters has the lowest fat percentage and highest protein)
- Bison meat (served at more and more restaurants every day – maybe the best
- red meat you can eat health wise, and the taste is great, too)
- Flank Steak (testosterone booster)
- Roast Beef
- Tender loin
- **Pretty much all red meat is going to boost testosterone production in your body but don’t overdo it…balance is the key.
- Shellfish (avoid the butter that restaurants love to douse them in):
Ground Rule #4: Consume Enough of the Right Carbohydrates (25-35 grams of fiber per day)
Oatmeal is one of the good carbohydrates when done right – that means with no sugar (so sorry, no Instant Peaches and Cream Outmeal). However, feel free to add milk, fruit, or even low sugar yogurt if you need the extra flavor. Cooking it with milk or soy milk does tend to give the oatmeal a fuller flavor than if you just use plain water.
There are a couple of reasons why this is a key element of the 3X Eating Code. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which means that it attracts fluid and takes longer to digest. Longer to digest means you stay fuller while the body burns more calories to process it. Oatmeal has also been researched and proven to maintain your blood sugar levels longer, which keeps fat from storing, and keeps you from bingeing later in the day.
So start the day out right with a bowl of oatmeal and you’ll be amazed at the results it can help you achieve.
Beans and Legumes:
From a pure overall health standpoint beans are great for your heart. Beans are also jam packed with protein, iron, and fiber. You can call these nature’s magic gift to man. Eating beans makes for a healthier body in several areas, not the least of which include: circulation system, digestion system, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and controlling weight.
Beans provide an amazing amount of vitamins, and they take longer to digest. Once again, this is great for two reasons:
1. You stay full longer 2. Your body burns more calories to process them
There are many types of beans that are extremely good for you, but there are some that don’t make the cut. Watch out for baked beans that add sugar and other outside ingredients. Once again, look at the list to see what types of beans are fantastic to add to 3X diet:
- Navy beans
- Pinto Beans
- Lima Beans
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- White Beans
- NOT – Baked Beans (loaded with refined sugar) and refried beans which are more saturated fat than anything else (this one is really tough on me, as I love Tex-Mex).
These are the warriors of the vegetable world that wreak havoc on free radicals which are responsible for speeding up the aging process. Parts of their arsenal are vitamins A, C, K, and folate, which protect the heart from heart disease.
Basically, this is a cancer fighting super food that ramps up your metabolism and keeps you healthy. As it gets later in the day you will want to eat more of these rather than things like baked or mashed potatoes, corn and other starchy carbs. Nothing beats the ratio of low calories to your stomach feeling full than green veggies.
Make sure you get as many of these into your diet as possible:
- Bok Choy
- Mustard greens
- Green Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
Other Fibrous Carbs:
- Red and Yellow Peppers
Whole Grain Breads
Can you hear the collective gasp of air coming from the no-carb faithful? Eating no-carb is one of the craziest things I have ever heard. Several people close to me tried this diet 3 different times and every single one of them gained the weight back faster than they lost it.
Balance is the key to feeling and looking great. Anytime someone is telling you to do anything in major excess you should be skeptical. Anyone that tells you to avoid these kinds of carbs is off their rocker, especially when whole grain breads actually keep your body from storing fat!
This 3Xer super food goes to battle for your body with fiber, pyridxine, vitamin E, calcium, protein, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, potassium, and zinc, just to name a few.
It will help you defend against the usual suspects: heart disease, cancer, highblood-pressure and obesity. I suggest that you consume these more towards the beginning of the day, and decrease the closer you get towards evening. I generally consume whole grain breads up until a little after lunch time and then switch to carbs like green vegetables.
Ground Rule #5: Consume Enough of the Good Fats.
Forget “no fat” diets. This is an out of date diet that is a short-term solution and to be honest, not healthy. The right kind of fats, like those found in extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, almonds, and omega-3 oils, in the right amounts, are not only good for your health but vital to your weight loss.
Now it’s time to challenge some of the commonly held beliefs on how you should eat not only for weight loss but to be healthy in general.
So if you’re sick of the diets that demand major calorie restriction, lots of roughage, no animal flesh like hamburgers, steak, and pretty guaranteeing decreased testosterone levels then you’re going to be glad you found the 3X Method.
Next question, so how much fat should you consume?
Bottom line, keep you calorie intake from good fats like the omega 3’s and monounsaturated in the range of 35 – 40%. Research has shown this to be the testosterone sweet spot. Also try to get another 35% of your daily calories from protein like red meat. Salivating yet?
Again let me emphasize to not go to extremes like the Atkins diet…BALANCE!
Eat Peanut Butter
The right kind of peanut butter in the right moderation is going to help you burn the mushy stuff around the waist and build muscle. For you to benefit from peanut butter, you’re going to want to stay away from the mass produced stuff that is high in sugar and trans-fatty acids (bad fat) which seems to be in almost everything these days.
NOTE: Always look to see if trans-fatty acids are present in the food you’re eating and avoid it like your life depends on it…because it does.
Peanut butter contains protein (always good), magnesium, niacin, Vitamin E, and monounsaturated fat (there’s that good-fat again), basically all sorts of fat burning goodness. It’s almost too good for Peanut Butter to be part of the eating guide since it is high calorie but when it whacks fat, the aging process, cardiovascular disease and muscle loss it has earned its place as a 3X staple.
The thing I love about peanut butter is you can slap it on almost anything from whole grain bread to apples, and bananas (recommended after a workout).
However, please do it in moderation since it is very rich and calorie dense. For an advanced technique, put tablespoon of peanut butter in your protein shakes. Remember to look for organic peanut butter, and not the sugar added mass produced crap that most people buy for sandwiches.
Olive oil is loaded with vitamin E and monounsaturated fats (the good-fat). As a nice side benefit, olive oil also beats the snot out of high blood pressure, cancer, obesity, and heart disease.
But as with all things…don’t overdo it – maybe two tablespoons worth in your cooking. The monounsaturated fats (the kind of fat in olive oil) actually burn bad fat, raise your metabolism, clear out cholesterol, and provide the fats your body needs to run at full health.
This amazing oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which is why despite being a “high fat” diet, these are some of the healthiest people in the world, with not only long lives, but a high quality of living right into their eighties or even longer! Olive oil has a lot to do with that.
Big picture, this incredibly oil is going to help you lower your cholesterol levels and will boost that fat furnace we know as the metabolism. You know when people are accused of having a high metabolism? Are you ready for that to be you? Darn right you are!
Flax Seed Oil
Most of the stuff in fat burning pills is garbage, but there’s one substance that you see over and over again that is totally legit: flax seed oil. Flax seed really is one of the most important substances to ingest to starting tearing the weight off now and increase your overall health.
As I mentioned previously Omega 3 fatty acids are very necessary for you to maintain optimal health, and stay alive as long as possible. The richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids is Flaxseed Oil.
This is not speculation, but researched fact. If your diet is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids you will have more lean muscle, lower bodyfat, and better health. In fact, the Omega-3’s are so important, that they have been found to be all of the following:
- Anti-lipogenic (fat storage blocker)
- Anti-catabolic (prevents muscle breakdown)
- Increase lipolysis and beta oxidation (Fat burning)
- Improve insulin sensitivity (Keeping blood sugar levels down and metabolism high)
- Increase thermogenesis (Slightly elevated body temperature promotes faster fat burning
- Cholesterol reducing (the perfect fat to include in any diet)
Adding flax seed to your meal, whether straight or mixed into vegetables, shakes
, oatmeal or really anything, creates a feeling of satiation (fullness and satisfaction) following a meal.
The essential fats in flax seed oil cause the stomach to digest food for a longer period of time, benefiting fat oxidation. This results in a more gradual release of nutrients into the small intestine, which creates a slow, sustained rise in blood sugar level as opposed to the sharp spikes that encourage fat storage and make you feel hungry.
Ground Rule #6: Consume enough dairy
Here is yet another Metabolic Fat Frying 3X Method Staple. We’ve all heard the saying, “Milk does the body good” and our parents have told us since we we’re knee high that if we wanted to be big and strong we need to drink our milk.
How right they were…
Not only does it make the bones strong, but thanks to the presence of Vitamins A, phosphorus, potassium and B12, it will help you build a strong defense against osteoporosis, high-blood pressure, obesity and cancer. Researchers believe that calcium helps your body break down fat, preventing weight gain, as several recent studies have shown that people eating low fat yogurt tended to burn more fat than those who didn’t have low fat calcium in their diet.
Consuming calcium in the forms of Non/Low Fat Milk, Low-Fat Yogurt, hard cheese like Cheddar slices, and low fat Cottage Cheese will help you burn fat. Studies have been conducted where participants who consumed more calcium lost a noticeable amount of weight, so make sure you get all your full servings in.
I always keep a tub of plain low-fat yogurt in the fridge so I can have a bowl for one of my meals and I throw in some pecans and berries (if I have them) for a fat ripping power meal. I’ve gotten to point where I even crave these. They’re pretty dang good and when you can really enjoy something that actually helps you rip up that aint’ bad my friend.
Ground Rule #7: Always Keep the Right Kind of Snack on Hand
Almonds, Pecans and Other Nuts
You never know when you’re going to be unable to eat for longer than the 2½-3 hour gap between meals. Having a bag of non-salted almonds or another kind of nut will help you keep the metabolism up and prevent you from eating too much when you sit down for the next meal. Strategies like this will also keep you from stopping at a fast-food restaurant and consuming something that you’ll regret later.
Eat Plenty of Berries
Raspberries and Blueberries are jam packed with fat blasting goodness. They have high levels of vitamin c, antioxidants, and of course, fiber. They combat our common enemies: obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
Berries also help prevent cravings, short-term memory loss and even improve balance which is very important for the type of workouts you’re going to be doing. All this, and there are even many studies that suggest that these berries are so well broken down by the body that very few calories remain to go to fat— meaning you can often eat and eat and eat these berries without fear of putting on weight.
Ground Rule #8: Avoid Refined Sugars and Grains Like the Plague
Refined sugars and grains are fast digesting and will cause your body to release higher levels of insulin which surprise, surprise signal your body to store fat.
When food manufacturers process a lot of the things we eat like white bread, pasta, or anything with white flour, they basically remove the bran which has the fiber and all the valuable nutrients that our bodies need to run at their top capacity. Whole grains are good carbs, white flour are the simple carbs that you want to avoid—they’re nothing but empty calories just waiting to be made into fat around your midsection.
Food made out of processed white flour are simple carbs that your body doesn’t know how to process. When your body doesn’t know how to process the food, it turns the calories straight into fat. Enough of that!
More grains and fiber makes sure your metabolism is running full tilt, and these complex carbs are where you get energy from, so enjoy the oat bread, but put the white in the trash can or even better don’t buy it at all. On a side note, if you have kids it’s time to stop feeding them enriched white bread because it causes there insulin to spike just as it does yours, and has been proven to increase chances of diabetes as well as weight gain. Watch out for food manufactures, they’re sneaky and like to call certain breads wheat when all they do is color it brown.
Ground Rule #9: Don’t Skip Meals
How many people do you know that skip breakfast or even breakfast and lunch?
Eating like this actually has the opposite effect, and will cause your body to go into starvation mode as it actually tries to store fat. Aside from this, your body needs fuel to run. Skipping meals will cause your metabolism to drop as your body conserves all the energy it can to avoid starvation—meaning you will gain weight off of less calories.
This is why I recommend the 5 to 6 smaller portion meals per day. If you don’t eat breakfast, you’re going to start getting cravings a little bit before lunch and you will eat whatever you can get your hands on like chocolate/cookies sitting around the office or at home since these are easily accessible.
Then, if you body is in starvation mode, guess what happen? That’s right, fat storage.
Also, if you’re able to resist the cravings and you do make it to lunch or beyond, when you do finally get a chance to eat you are more likely to gorge yourself. Remember I talked about constantly fueling the metabolic flame to ramp your metabolism up? Well, if you throw too much wood on the fire you’re going to suffocate the flame and the reverse will happen.
Big picture: DON’T SKIP MEALS
Ground Rule #10: Stop Counting Calories
I suggest you have a journal of what you’re eating for the purpose of evaluation and tracking, but I do not want you counting calories. This is border line obsessive-compulsive, and it requires a lot of time as well. It’s not bad, but your focus is best applied on other areas. If you’re eating the right food in proper portions, it doesn’t matter if you ate 330 calories or 350… your energy is better spent on other things.
This doesn’t mean ignore calories—you should want a general idea of where you are calorie-wise so you don’t over eat, but knowing exact numbers doesn’t really do you any good and it keeps your focus off the main points, which is keeping your metabolism revved up and sculpting your body.
One trap calorie counting can make you fall into is thinking, “Hey I can have a Cherry Coke, I’m still 500 calories down.” NO! You want the right type of calories, and this type of excuse will have you under the “calorie line,” but it’ll stop your metabolism cold.
Focus on eating the right types of food and the rest will fall into place.
Ground Rule #11: Determine Goals, Chart Success and Celebrate Achievements
Let me share a quick story with you that exemplifies why setting goals is so powerful and so important for success.
I had never written a goal down in my entire life and the idea of it was just kind of weird. I mean I knew what I wanted to do, so what’s the point in writing it down?
Well, I had a college professor that had us go through the exercise of writing the 3 main things we wanted to accomplish the next year, put those goals in a self addressed envelope and give it to him so he could send it to us a year later.
The main goal that I wrote down was that I was going to lose weight, specifically I was going to go from 270 lbs to 190 lbs. At the time the goal seemed impossible…almost laughable. In fact, when my buddies asked what I had written down I lied and told them it was career-related.
I still remember the day the letter showed up. I had completely forgotten what it was, but when I opened it up I literally had to sit down. I sat there in amazement
as every single thing that I had written down had been not only accomplished but exceeded.
There is serious power in writing down your goals, and I strongly encourage you to do this and do it sooner rather than later. After all, how can you hit a target if you don’t even know where it is? Ever see marksmen aim at a target that isn’t there? Think about it…same rule applies here.
When it comes to setting your goals there are some easy rules to follow that will make this one of your most powerful tools for success.
First, we’re looking for a breakthrough weight loss results. So what is a breakthrough result?
A breakthrough result is a result that you’re 100% committed to…you may not know how to do it but you’re committed anyway. It’s a goal that is also not predictable, meaning that there’s nothing in the past that would indicate that you can accomplish it.
A good barometer for choosing this goal is if it makes you feel just a little bit uncomfortable about achieving it. You think it’s possible but just don’t know exactly how it’s going to happen. Regardless you’re committed. Just like 3X Method, this needs to be a disturbance to how you normally think and approach your goals.
Your goals will need to:
• Have strong reason/purpose • Be clear and measurable • Have milestones – Beginning, Middle and End • Be celebrated when you achieve them
Start out by writing your personal charter…
Your Personal Charter
Step 1: Write Your Purpose (this needs to be real and have an emotional connection to compel you)
Have the energy not to sit in front of the TV, zoning out and disappointing my children when they want to play with me. When I think about how sad they were later it almost brought tears to my eyes.
Be able to play a full court basketball game without collapsing in front of friends and colleagues. I never want to be the guy that can’t compete anymore, the guy that no one really wishes was on their team.
Have the energy to make love to my spouse when I’ve been working and stressed all day long. Every time I see her disappointment it tears me apart.
These are things that would piss me off enough to fight in spite of myself. I really go after myself where it hurts. You may not need to use this strategy but it has worked for me.
Step 2: List the Specific Goal You Have In Mind
Example: “I will lose 70 lbs and weigh 180 lbs by 07/03/2021.”
Step 3: List the Milestones To Measure Beginning, Middle and End
I will weigh 235 and have lost 19 lbs by 03/03/2021.
I will lose 5 lbs by 01/03/2021.
I will lose 6 lbs by 02/03/2021.
I will lose 8 lbs by 03/03/2021.
This will give you the ability to review your goals when you get to a deadline and see how you’re measuring up:
If you accomplished your milestone/goal then it’s time celebrate your success. Treat yourself to an activity that you really enjoy and don’t get to do all that often. Really make an effort to provide your subconscious with positive reinforcement.
If you didn’t quite get there you can then re-evaluate the steps you were taking to get there and see where you need to make the adjustments. Perhaps you will need to make an adjustment in your diet or pick up the intensity of your workouts. Minus tracking yourself like this you will have no way of evaluating your goals and performance and making adjustments along the way that guarantee your success.
There’s nothing wrong with missing a milestone from time to time. In fact it can be good, as it will teach what you can expect and also let you know where to push harder
It’s not easy to work your way from overweight and frustrated to a ripped, calorie burning machine. So as you set short term goals on your route to the long term goals, celebrate! Enjoy the congratulations of your support group, and let that pride motivate you even more to do your very best.
Having fun can be a huge motivator, and relieve stress that you don’t even know is there. When you have a chance to really revel in your accomplishments, do it, and let it be a motivation for you to push yourself that much harder.
Ground Rule #12: Establish Accountability Structure (very important)
It’s always far harder to go it alone than to achieve your goals with a great support group. The encouragement when you’re doing well is just as important as the accountability when you feel yourself begin to falter.
So don’t go it alone.
Encourage a close friend, or maybe even a spouse to go through this training with you. Share your personal charter with them and ask them to hold you accountable to your milestones and goals.
Human beings are very adept liars, but we’re especially good at lying to ourselves. Take yourself out of the equation, and your results will improve because of it.
Ground Rule #13: Avoid Mindless Eating
DO NOT eat in front of the television. People tend to zone out when they get in front of the boob tube and consume considerable amounts of food. Carbs like a bag of chips or a bunch of cookies will create a huge spike in insulin release which results in fat storage…not good. And people wonder why diabetes is at epidemic levels!
In addition, there are studies that show that “couch potato” may not be just a figure of speech. Some tests showed that when a person lounged on the couch and watched TV for an extended period of time, their resting metabolism slowed even more than someone who was just sitting down to read. So if you’re munching away at donuts and junk food while watching TV, that’s a double whammy!
Ground Rule #14: Eat Carbohydrates Earlier in the Day
It has been proven by researchers that, as the day drags on, your body’s ability to effectively metabolize carbs decreases which means more of it gets stored (as fat) in your body.
That’s why front-loading carbs first thing in the day is a great idea, as this will give you plenty of time burn those calories and also provide your body with energy. That is one of the main reason why I have oatmeal at breakfast and then possibly whole grain breads at lunch but after that I start pulling back. You’re not as active at night so you’re not going to need to have as much carb intake. At dinner you will benefit greatly from dining on protein rich meat and vegetables which are low carb but still filling and healthy.
Ground Rule #15: Drink Less Bad Stuff
There are some things that you should drink a lot of (like water), but there are a number of other liquids that not only make it harder to burn fat…they actually inhibit the natural production of testosterone.
First, the consumption of sodas, soft drinks, pop or whatever you’re calling it needs to come to a grinding halt. Some experts/gurus compromise with their people about not drinking soft drinks by saying it’s cool to drink all the diet drinks you want.
Not me, and here’s why: Soft drinks have a very strong PH (acid) levels, which in turn can raise the blood-acid levels in your body and can have a profound effect on energy levels. On a side note this is one of the reasons why I find it hilarious that the food manufacturing companies make these “energy” drinks that give you a perk that doesn’t even compare to the energy drop experienced shortly after drinking.
Not to mention increased blood-acid levels also negatively impact joint pain as well as fat loss. Guess where excess acid in the body is stored? That’s right in your fat cells…fun stuff.
Obese people are not just overweight but actually are over-acidic which has been linked to a number of health problems including CANCER.
Now for the other part of the drinking story as it pertains to your testosterone levels…
What About Alcohol?
The best way to just absolutely wreck your hormone levels is to drink too much alcohol.
So, how much alcohol is too much?
Now this is the area where I’m going to compromise a little, and fortunately science is on my side. There was a study conducted by the department of medicine of the New York Medical College where they gave moderate amounts of alcohol to male participants. Specifically, they gave guys with normal levels of testosterone just one glass of beer or wine per day, and in 4 weeks there was a noticeable decrease in testosterone secreted from the testicles resulting in decreased testosterone in the blood as well…Ouch, now that hurts.
Less testosterone means less muscle, which ultimately equals increased levels of fat…you get the idea. So if one drink over the course of a month can do this kind of damage imagine what you do to the jewels if you decide to really tear yourself up on Friday night?
I have a “weekend only” policy where I will have 2 – 4 drinks over the course of the weekend. By limiting it to the weekend, I’m giving my body time to flush the alcohol from my system so it doesn’t negatively affect my testosterone levels.
Obviously there are a lot of personal issues at play here that I don’t want to deal with. Just suffice it to say that in all ways, alcohol should only be consumed in moderation.
Ground Rule #16: Drink More Good Stuff
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but more than 50% of your body is made up of water. Drinking the right amount is not only vital to getting into shape and burning unwanted fat, but it’s also important if you just want to stay healthy and alert.
Did you know that 90% of the cases where people experience some level of “low or decreased energy,” the cause is actually dehydration (i.e. a lack of water)? I know I was a little shocked the first time I heard that.
Here are some signs to determine if you have the dehydration:
• Headache • Sunken eyes • Muscle cramps • Dry mouth
• Skin elasticity (if you pinch it and it doesn’t immediately return to previous position your most likely dehydrated
• Cotton mouth • Dark circles under eyes
So how do you know when you’ve had enough?
Really the best way for you to tell whether you’ve had enough water is by the clarity of your urine. The clearer your urine the better.
Typically, when you first start drinking the appropriate amount of water you’re going to be making more trips to the bathroom than you’re used to. But once your body normalizes, that will decrease and you won’t have the urge to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes.
But whatever you do…
DO NOT gauge need for hydration by thirst. Thirst is always a lagging indicator and at that point you’re already dehydrated. As I mentioned above, clear urine is the best way to know for sure.
Big picture: When it comes to burning fat, your body just doesn’t isn’t as effective when you have high levels of acid in your blood. The best way to decrease the acid level is to put your body in the best position possible to get rid of waste. In order for your blood to be able to carry the waste materials away in your body you need to be properly hydrated. You may be asking saying to yourself, “What in the heck does acid levels have to do with proper hydration and fat loss?”
Your body is constantly rebuilding itself, cell by cell. In fact, your body almost completely rebuilds itself once every six months. During this rebuilding process, waste is created much like when your house was built or any kind of construction where excess material and waste is left strewn about. Having excess waste increases the acidity level in the blood which increases your chances of storing fat.
So if you want to not have that late afternoon energy bonk and increase fat percentage, drink plenty of water and get rid of the waste.
Ground Rule #17: Assess Your Current Level of Health
It’s a good idea to visit your physician for a check up and make sure that everything is good to go, especially if you haven’t been active in a while. Also, in regards to this program and measuring your current ability to complete I suggest you try some of the movements either from the Beginner section or Week 1 of Phase I.
If the Beginner movements are relatively easy then I suggest you go ahead and start with Phase I. However, if you’re not able to complete those then I suggest that you start out with Beginner and work your way up.
Ground Rule #18: Get Plenty of Rest
The amount of sleep that you get is another very important part of the weight loss equation. Did you know that your health and weigh loss goals can be sabotaged by not getting enough sleep? Recent research has been done that supports lack of sufficient sleep can actually increase your chances of being obese.
Also, let it be known that if you’re not getting enough testosterone production in your body your REM sleep quality is just one of the things that will decrease in quality.
But it gets even worse…
It turns out that lack of sleep can actually increase your chances of over-eating. Researchers from several different studies have found a link between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behavior. There are two specific hormones are involved.:
• Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger • Leptin tells the brain when it’s time to stop
When you’re sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease. The result is an intensified craving for food and decreased feeling of fullness. Also, it’s been proven that sleep deprived people tend to choose different foods to snack on—unfortunately that choice more often than not is high calorie sweets and salty and starchy foods—and it’s easy to see how these small changes can lead to increased fat storage.
In one of the studies referenced above 1,024 people aged 30-60, Body Mass Index (BMI) levels were recorded. Those who slept only three hours a night had a 5% increase in body weight over 15 years. Researchers say that the number may well be an underestimate of the real life impact.
Optimal Sleep for Weight Loss
Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night…some more, some less. Very few of us actually get the minimum of seven. How do you know how much sleep you really need? Experts say to sleep as long as you want for several days (best done on vacation). Then, your sleep should stabilize and you’ll find yourself waking up after the same number of hours every day, within 15 minutes or so.
Once you know about how much sleep you need, start getting into a steady routine. Set a regular time for sleep. Start getting ready ahead of time. And experts say, avoid using the bed for watching TV or doing work. The light emitted by television and computer screens has been proven to affect the brain in a way that will make it more difficult for you to sleep.
Sleep + Exercise + The Right Diet = Weight Loss
If you think snoozing a few hours longer each night will solve your weight problems … think again. Consistent exercise and eating health and nutritious food is still the way to go.
But that said, lack of optimal sleep may soon be considered another risk factor for obesity. Especially since 65 percent of Americans are overweight and 63 percent of people don’t get eight hours of sleep a night.
Interestingly…many of those who are overweight also don’t sleep enough. Hmmmm, I wonder if they’re linked? You do the math.
Ground Rule #19: Make Your Results Tangible
This is important especially in the beginning because you will not notice the changes with your appearance as much. If it’s something that you can literally see it will help you stay focused and motivated.
When I was in the process of losing weight I actually did two things to make results more real:
1. First, I tracked all my progress on a poster board graph that I created so I could literally see it on paper, and…
2. Second, I bought a pair of jeans in the size that I was planning on wearing and would put them on at least once a week.
I still remember the feeling I had the first time I put them on and they fit. Now I’ll admit, this last one is a bit girly. Still, it worked with me, because it allowed me to see that progress was being made even when my own eyes (and the scale) seemed to suggest otherwise.
Conclusion: Health Is a Lifestyle Choice
There are a lot of people out there saying a lot of different things about how people should be eating for health and weight loss. I’ve been finding as of lately the majority of information seems to be contradictive. I could name a few, but no reason to draw attention to something that doesn’t deserve it.
I realize that the phrase “Health is a lifestyle choice” may be overused and possibly even annoying, but the fact is it’s the truth.
You really do have a choice, but not only that, you have the power to choose however you want to. Unfortunately it’s much easier to choose the things more often that are not in your best interest.
Here’s another overused phrase, “The best offense is a good defense. “
First, make the decision to stop buying the things at the store that you no longer plan to eat except maybe on cheat days. It becomes a whole heck of a lot easier to not indulge on the things that cause the bulge if they can’t be found in your house.
What I will say is that many of these diets out there do a great job of complicating the simple. Seriously, if you just do what I outline for you below you would lose weight without exercise but obviously exercise speeds up the entire process. I find it quite humorous that something so simple can appear to be so difficult. I say that but I still remember how difficult it was when I first gave up fast food and soft drinks. Honestly that was all I really ate at the time so I didn’t know what to do when I made that decision. I read everything I could get my hands on, tried it, if it worked I kept doing it and if it didn’t I dropped it immediately. What I’ve outline in this manual are things that I know work
Working with your body not against it is a major key to succeeding. Your body has a fat burning sweet spot and 3X Method will help you find it if you operate within the model provided.