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3 Pillars Of Optimal Health

How To Be Healthy

The path to a healthier lifestyle is all about planning and patience. While there are some tips and products that can be used by those that are wondering how to lose weight fast, everyone should realize that this process will require a lifestyle change when it comes to diet, exercise, and supplements that could help them along the way.

Whether you have recently asked yourself how to lose belly fat for the summer or are looking to increase your overall strength and athletic ability, here is a closer look at the fastest way to lose weight, gain muscle, and create the body that you have always wanted.

The Diet

If you are ready to start on the path towards a healthier lifestyle, it is important to remember that your diet is going to be the single most important part of this process. No matter if you are an athlete that is curious how to build muscle or searching for an answer on how to lose belly fat, altering your diet will be your first and most important task. While the diet can eventually be tailored to fit your final goals, the basics for almost everyone will be the same.

Clean Eating

There are countless diets on the market that tend to fade in and out of popularity, and those that claim there is only answer on how to build muscle or how to lose body fat are almost always wrong. This is why many have turned to “clean” eating as a diet that can be personalized to fit one's needs, lifestyle, and goals. In its essence, clean eating is all about creating a diet around minimally-processed or completely unprocessed foods. Processing can be defined as adding anything to food such as salt or sugar, changing the form of natural food, or eating foods that are manufactured in a lab.

Going Hungry Will Set You Back

When a diet is centered on fresh produce, whole grains, and lean meats, hunger pangs will most likely become a thing of the past. In fact, those that are interested in weight training, bodybuilding, or improving their athletic performance will actually being doing themselves a disservice if they keep their body in a constant caloric deficit. Study after study continues to show that diets rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and lean proteins keep humans feeling fuller for longer while simple carbohydrates and sugar have the opposite effect.

Learn to Listen to Your Body

In the end, you will not be able to construct your own ideal diet until you are more in tune with your body. Recognizing when your body is actually in need of calories and when it is merely a habit to eat is a great first step. If certain foods seem to have an ill-effect on you, try cycling them out for 10 to 14 days to see if the effects change. The answer of how to lose weight fast is never about starving oneself or struggling with a bland and unsatisfying diet. It is all about changing your mindset about food and to thinking of meals as the fuel that drives you.

The Exercise

Just as the industry is littered with fad diets and abstract opinions on the best foods to eat, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to exercising. Your final goals will determine how personalized your exercises will become, but here are some tips to keep in mind for those that are just starting out.

Where to Begin

Unless an individual is injured or otherwise instructed by their doctor, the average healthy adult should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. This is the bare minimum for those that want to avoid serious health complications. Within this time frame, about two sessions a week should be spent on actual strength training that is designed to stimulate particular muscles instead of just increasing your heart rate. Moderate aerobic exercises include a brisk walk or physical chores such as mowing the lawn. Rigorous exercises can loosely be defined as an activity in which you cannot hold a conversation while doing it such as a faster run.

It is important to remember that this is only the minimum amount of exercise that an adult needs in order to maintain a baseline of health. If you have been asking yourself how to gain muscle or drop some weight, these numbers will need to be altered according to your specific goals.

Goal-Specific Workouts

This minimum of exercising is not going to help you if you are on the search for how to gain muscle or lose that stubborn fat around your midsection. For these goals, it is time to start considering specific exercise routines and plans that will help you break past plateaus. The absolute fastest way to lose weight is to burn as many calories as possible while consuming fewer calories. There are many approaches to this, but the simple fact is that you will have to workout longer or harder in order to meet your goals.

How to Lose Body Fat

The two most popular methods include steady-state cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT). For steady-state cardio, you are looking to maintain a specific heart rate (55 to 70 percent of your maximum) for 30 to 90 minutes. When the training is over, your body will stop burning calories within a few minutes, but you will be burning a steady amount of calories for as long as you are working out. HIIT involves bursts of rigorous movement, up to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate, followed by complete rest. These are both effective for different individuals and you will need to decide on the intensity and time you are willing to invest into your training as well as your current level of fitness.

Weights

Weights are not just for bodybuilding and some form of weight training should be adopted into every exercise program. The avid health enthusiasts will need to sit down with a specialist to come up with specific routines, sets, supersets, and other tactics that will need to increase their strength quickly, but the average person can keep these few tips in mind. Primarily, they should be attempting to use weight training to work every major muscle group at least once every 7 to 10 days. This includes:

-Chest
-Shoulders
-Arms
-Back
-Legs
-Core

It is also important to vary your routine at least once every 1 to 2 months. The human body will naturally stop growing when it can complete a workout. For example, when a person does the same routine for legs week after week, the legs will build muscle until it can accomplish that routine and then stop growing. A simple way to combat this is to change the movements, weights, and reps that are used to constantly keep the muscles in a state of “confusion” that requires them to continue growing and adapting.

The Supplements

With a good plan for your diet and exercise in place, it is time to start considering supplements. Contrary to what some may tell you, you cannot simply stock your shelves with the best protein powder, creatine, metabolism boosters, and pre-workout supplements and expect any real change. Instead, supplements should be thought of as a solution to fill the gaps in your diet and as an aid for your exercise. These supplements can be used to ensure that you have energy to complete a rigorous workout and that your body has the nutrients you may not be getting from food.

Daily Supplements

Before getting into specific supplements that are designed to meet fitness goals, every adult may want to consider a daily supplement or multi-vitamin. This is one of the most efficient ways to ensure that your body does not go into a deficiency, especially as your diet and exercise habits are changing. For the average adult, you will want a supplement that helps you meet or exceed your daily requirements for the basics such as all B vitamins, all D vitamins, and then vitamins A, E, and K. Other important nutrients include iron, potassium, iodine, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.

Pre and Post-Workout Supplements

When your workouts become more rigorous and you are looking to break past plateaus, it is then time to start considering pre and post-workout supplements. Supplements such as thermogenic fat burners and pre-workout powders can be combined with meals for long-term energy with a little sugar, some fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, and protein. The best protein powder will have low fat, some carbs, and 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving that can be taken before or after a workout.

If you have begun to transition into a more difficult phase of working out, you must remember that your body will be in a state of shock during and after your workouts. Muscle fibers will tear, lactic acid will build up, blood sugar will vary dramatically, your metabolism will change, and your body could actually be in an oxygen deficiency. If you are constantly sore or finding that you cannot break past a plateau, here are some other basic supplements that could help you improve:

- Creatine
- Glutamine
- Fish Oil
- Probiotics

Achieving Your Goals

This is quite a bit of information for anyone to digest, especially if they are new to the world of fitness. Luckily, almost every aspect of your health can be broken down into a few basic changes to your daily routines. Most importantly, you want to get into the habit of listening to your body. There is no single diet plan, exercise routine, or supplement that is going to be a silver bullet for shedding pounds or toning muscle. Slowly start changing your habits and then focus on how your body is adjusting, changing, and improving.

From one moment to the next, this process can seem extremely straightforward and then become overwhelmingly complex. When the journey to better health does become difficult, remember to focus on the three pillars of health:

1. A clean diet centered on unprocessed food
2. An exercise program designed to boost your heart rate and hit all your major muscle groups
3. Supplements that can fill in your nutritional gaps and help you meet your goals

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