I’m going to lay down a basic plan how I plan to lose weight and gain lean muscle mass resulting in me getting back my six-pack at +40-year-old.
Being in good shape is something Everybody wants, everybody wants to feel and look good! What this shape means in real life may differ from people to people and what that means for you personally I don`t know.
You may have some general goal like loosing weight, inches or fitting into some old pants. You may also have a more specific goal or definition what it means for you to be in good shape. This could be to run 10k for time, finish a marathon, dead lift 2x your own weight or any other of countless possibilities. Your definition could also be more esthetic in nature for example lose weight to look better, be more “toned” etc..
Everybody would like to be in “good Shape” but the definition of shape can mean a myriad of things. I suggest you take time to consider what your definition of being in good shape is. What is your goal, or first step that you would like to achieve. Setting some sort of goal, any sort, is going to help you get started, make you moving in some direction wich in this case always beats no direction. “Any plan beats no plan” !
If I may give a suggestion: I have found it to be a good idea to set a rather specific and measurable goal even if your nr:1 goal is to look god in speedos!
Setting a measurable specific athletic or fitness goal is better because:
- Easy to measure your progress
- Can be split up into many mini goals, achieving these help with motivation
- Just going to the gym or on a run to look good after 6 months is boring, but running or lifting to be able to do something you could not last week will help you put in the work
So for example your goal is to make heads turn on the beach when you walk by in your speedos. You could set up your training to add x to your dead lift and run 400m under 70s. These are the goals you train for and when 6 months later you have aced them as a by-product you look like a young David Hasselhof 😉
I’m going to share my goals with you and lay out my plan and progress, I have already started as I write this so I know its working and I can make good on my bold statements.
In general you could say most people would like to be a leaner, stronger, faster, more agile and have better conditioning, so do I. I stated it would be helpful to have a concrete measurable goal, and still I ignore my own advise and make my goal a pure mirror thing. My goal is to have that fabled thing the unicorn of male fitness the Six Pack Abs! And I want to have it in 3 months. But do as I say and not what I do.
I’m going to lay down a basic plan on how to lose weight and get some lean muscle mass resulting in me getting back my six-pack at +40-year-old. I’m going to post my progress and some training logs and tips. This plan is not for expert athletes but for your everyday Joe who has to have the time and energy to also work and take care of family duties.
How to get your six-pack abs
Nutrition and Exercise!
Huh! Who would have guessed that..
Yes the answer to this is, as it in many cases in life is, is in reality very simple. But not always easy. Or the”simple” anwser can be implemented in a million ways which result in confusion and lack of action. Yes you can reach most goals by many alternative ways. I will point out just one. So in short the plan is:
- intermitted fasting
- Low Carb
- Train often but stay fresh
The Nutrition part:
Before I get to the point I have to rant a little..
Before you get to your diet and what and when to eat get one thing straight first!
If you miss on this one, nothing else will matter!
EAT FUCKING REAL FOOD!
Not some junk, processed shit, real food. If you don’t know what real food is I give you one fast test how to assess that:
“Real food does not have ingredients, Real food is ingredients “
Not real food
Various types of snacks are photographed for a quiz on healthy snacking for kids to run on the AOL Healthy Living site at AOL Huffington Post headquarters in New York on Wednesday Aug. 15, 2012. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)
Don`t be like this
Yes I’m very strict about this one, no excuses!
“Don`t have time.. ” No excuse! Plan ahead!
” Don`t know how to cook..” No excuse! Learn!
“I can’t afford..” No excuse, you can`t afford not to eat real food!
OK, enough ranting for this time..
Back to the story:
I have tried all sort of diets and nutrition plans. I was a semi pro athlete when I was younger and have been testing on my self since I was twelve. I had training and nutrition plans by my trainers but I often found myself tweaking them. Mostly to no use. I measured my pulse every morning and kept a log of, my pulse, my training, how I felt and nutrition for many years in a row. You could say I have been “biohacking” since I was young, even before anyone heard of the term.
The best eating habits which I have found to be most effective to lose or keep your weight are Low Carb and Intermitted fasting. These are also the ones which in my opinion has the most scientific proof behind them. These “Diets” also comes with some extra health benefits packed so I would recommend one of these if someone wanted to lose weight.
But here the problems starts:
In short Intermitted fasting means that you cut your meals to fewer a day and have longer periods of not eating in between. For example an easy plan is to feast for 16 h and then eat your “daily bread” in the remaining 8 hour window that remains. This is usually done with 3 meals. An even better way is to cut to 2 meals a day and only eat in a 4-6 hour window. BUT how many can easily cut to only to meals a day and go 18 to 20 hours without eating every single day? And stick with it.. Not many.
You easily become tired, light-headed, feel noses. Or become a monster with the munchies! Hungry and angry is what most will be. Not pleasant for you nor for your surroundings. And does this help with your training or being more alert and effective while working? Not so much.
I have tried and experienced all of the symptoms, and in my family there was a joke that you better keep me fed or else.. (insert horror music ) I learned that these symptoms were caused be my blood sugar spiking and crushing. I was not a monster I just experienced the chemistry in my body doing its thing. My body would probably adapt and I would get less “side effects” if I would have kept up with the Intermitted Feasting but I never stuck to it.
Enter The Low Carb diet! In short you eliminate all sugar, starch, grain and processed food from your plate and feel like a king. A colleague of mine recommended that I try a low carb diet and out of curiosity I tried for 2 weeks. It`s now been 12 years and there is no turning back.
The real WTF moment came when I tried to combine these two diets. Now all of a sudden I had no problem when I was fasting. On the contrary I was feeling on top of the world. I’m super focused and bubble with energy. I try to get as much work done right from the morning when my energy is as its highest. How can this be? How can my body let me do this now when earlier it was almost impossible? The answer is: low carb diet keeps my blood sugar more stable, its keeps my insulin levels low. And as a magic spell has been cast on me I can go 16- 20 hours without food and enjoy it!
I’m a little over forty and have my own business, I’m also fortunate to have 4 boys. Between work, family and hobbies there is not much time to train. So I have mostly skipped gyms because the time it takes to go to one. I mostly train at home, bodyweight moments and with kettle bells. I can train when I have time and when I feel like it. Even if I have some protocols I follow and train for a couple of athletic goals, I many times tweak these and go by how I feel at the moment. I have some old injuries and my body takes longer to recover after a hard work out than before. So in short I try to go often but on the light side, I try to feel more energetic after the workout than I did before.
So the training part in this post might not be for your goals or optimal for you. You should train after your goals and according to your athletic abilities. If you like to follow the outline I set for training you can. And it does not take very much time or equipment and can be done also if your work has you traveling a lot.
A plan, any plan beats no plan.!
Exercise, any exercise beats no exercise!
I prioritize strength training as it carries over to real life better than other forms of training. strength also is considered to be a more accurate measurement in determining your life span than for example cardio. There are a number of studies of this, you can check out a couple here:
Study 1, Handshakes Better Predict Life Expectancy Than Blood Pressure
So be strong and live long and prosper!
Why to eat a low carb diet and do intermitted fasting
Here I’m going to lay down some facts for all you geeks who don`t just do as I say but need to now why! And all of you who don’t care to read as much can just watch the videos. I suggest you do both.
1 .Intermitted Fasting
How to do intermittent Fasting
Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that time span, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you’re in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.
Humans have actually been fasting throughout evolution. Sometimes it was done because food was not available, and it has also been a part of major religions. Intermitted fasting is very common for mammals in nature, in specific for predators. The grazing herbivores are eating all the time, their biology is tweaked to use for example grass that has very low energy content and has to be consumed in large volumes. So they eat all the time! The Wolf on the other hand goes without food for days and risks its`s life to get the kill. Then it eats. You are how you eat, so are you Bambi or a killer Wolf? Decide and eat accordingly.
These are the most popular methods:
- The 16/8 Method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only eat 500-600 calories. Eat normally the other 5 days.
Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and may even help you live longer (1, 2, 3).
Here are some changes that occur in your body when you fast:
a) Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, to name a few (4, 5, 6, 7).
B) Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible (8).
C) Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells (9, 10)
D) Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease (11, 12).
In short Intermitted Fasting works as a natural steroid that builds muscle, helps you lose wight, gives you more energy and makes you live longer. Hmm.. why bother?
Soon to be continued..
In part 2. I will go into the science and benefits of a low carb diet. And take a closer look at the training plan.