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Anti-Flab Routine


Drink Water

Drink water, lots of it, to flush out bloating and puffiness (often a result of overdoing the chips, nuts, and other highsodium foods). Water not only helps flush out excess sodium, but it's also critical to the proper functioning of every major system in your body, and it helps you feel full. Buy yourself a big of plastic water bottle, fill it up, and keep guzzling all day.

Eat Every Three Hours, Please!

That's three meals and two healthy snacks in one day. Here's the trick: Each meal should contain a palm-sized serving of protein, two fist-sized servings of veggies (sans butter or toppings) and a fist-sized serving of healthy Garbs like whole-wheat pasta, or a slice of just-out-of-the-oven whole-grain bread.

Don't go over the size or frequency limit, and never let yourself get hungry. A great combo: 4 scrambled egg whites plus 1 tomato, sliced, 1 piece of whole-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese. For snacks, mix protein with fruit. Try 12 raw nuts and a fistful of grapes or 12 raw almonds and an apple sprinkled with cinnamon.

Incorporate Some Cardio

Start working out do anywhere from just 10 minutes to an hour (you can split up the hour into three 20-minute segments throughout the day if you need to for time and sanity). Aim for 60 minutes if possible, even if you go slow. Then, over the next seven days, do cardio daily - no excuses. (Remember, you're trying to start a habit; seven days in a row is not something you need to do for a lifetime!) 

Add In Stretching

Start by doing 3-5 minutes of very gentle stretching in the morning. Stretching opens the hip flexors and brings some flexibility to the spine, so you're not starting your day off tight. Finish the day with gentle stretches too, especially if you've been sitting deskside for hours. Most important, do a full stretching routine after your cardio workout (when muscles are warm), holding at the point of mild tension for 30 seconds without bouncing.

Focus On Strength Training

While cardio is essential for losing fat, strength training will accelerate your efforts; strength training builds muscle, which burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. Begin with 1-2 sets of 8-12 reps of moderate weight twice a week on non-consecutive days, and choose one exercise per body part: arms, abs, chest, back and legs. Already lifting at an advanced level? Use heavier weights or do more challenging moves.

Give Yourself A Posture Check

Remind yourself at least twice a day to stand and sit tall (which has the added benefit of being an instant appearance slimmer). Look in the mirror: Draw your shoulders back, press down shoulder blades, lift your chest, pull in your abs - and try to maintain this good posture while you breathe normally.

Mix It Up

Exchange your daily stretching for a yoga class (or invest in a yoga DVD) or book a salsa or other dance class for your cardio. Exercise should be fun, not all work. If you decide to stick with your routine run or walk, at least vary your route or intensity.

Take 10 For Yourself

You must add something restful to your life, whether it's a bath, massage or just kicking up your feet on the couch and listening to your favorite music. As few as 10 minutes can refresh your mind. Pampering is necessary: You can't get your best body ever if you don't take time out for regular tune-ups. Now you should feel better - and, most importantly, rejuvenated.

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