Every now and again, we here at howtogetasixpack.co.uk kind of understand that committing to a long-term exercise regime is simply not possible. Not that we’d ever recommend it, but circumstance does sometimes lead you that way. Only sometimes.
Therefore, for those of you who genuinely can’t commit to a full time abs workout program, I’ve prepared this bullet-point six-of-the-best weight loss 101 that you can implement should any form of exercise be out of the question right now.
These tips will at least prep your gastrointestinal tract should the urge of starting the best six pack abs program on the planet ever take your fancy.
Yes, I would say that, wouldn’t I? Nevertheless, by providing you with this cheat sheet for zip, nada, Belgium nil points, I hope that you’ll remember it’s me (bookmark this page, now) who has primed you when the time is right for you to blitz the belly fat and get a six pack.
All that I ask by way of return is that you a) come back tomorrow to get parts 4-6 and b) if you think the first three tips have merit, you perhaps give this page a thumbs up, a tweet or even share with your friends on the social network of your choosing.
That said, please enjoy, courtesy of the six pack team and I.
1. Sleep is vital for weight loss success
You may think you know what I’m gonna say here, but I bet you don’t.
Lack of a good night sleep may well directly affect your appetite for a workout, granted. But it’s more the hormonal effect on your appetite for food caused by sleep disruption that really jeopardises your realisation of weight loss goals.
It’s all to with the hormones leptin and ghrelin; think of them as good cop, bad cop when it comes to policing your feelings of hunger, if you will.
Latest research results have begun to fuel the theory that lack of sleep or sleep deprivation drives ghrelin levels up, but suppresses the fat-cell produced hormone, leptin.
If this culmination of events was vice versa, caffeine would be the biggest boon to the weight loss industry on the planet. Sadly, the effects are the other way around.
Ghrelin, manufactured in your G.I. tract, promotes feelings of hunger. As your ghrelin levels rise, as they will when you’ve had a poor night’s sleep, the more convinced your brain is that you need food.
Conversely, a poor night’s kip reduces leptin production levels. Yes, you’ve guessed it: it’s leptin that tells your brain that you’re full.
Therefore, scientists are now convinced that a poor sleep pattern is incontrovertibly linked with weight gain, so make sure you’re fitting in enough Z’s to stave off unnatural food cravings.
2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
You’ve heard it all before, I know. But breakfast genuinely is the most important meal of the day.
Key to your weight loss goals is keeping your metabolism ticking over at all times. This is why eating five to six times a day is recommended.
If you’ve taken on board the advice from point 1., Sleep, you’ll not be surprised to hear that your metabolism is likely to be at its laziest after seven or eight hours knocking out the Zs.
Therefore, it’s imperative to get your system ticking over as soon after you awaken as possible. And I’m not just talking a coffee and a cigarette, here. I’m talking a protein enriched breakfast.
A recent study in the US discovered that people who incorporated a 600-calorie breakfast rich in protein lost significantly more weight over the long term than those who had only half of the calories and 25% of the protein than their study counterparts.
Not only that but, if you go without breakfast after a good night’s sleep, you’re putting your body in very real danger of going into starvation mode. Having deprived your body of nutrition for so long, its DNA is encoded to store away calories rather than use them effectively for the here and now.
That’s another key reason why those who eat 5-6 meals a day show greater weight loss results than those who only eat two or three times daily.
3. Water, water everywhere – so drink some!
I know it’s difficult to drink the recommended amount of water. However, let us offer up two excellent reasons why you should at least try and pack in roughly two litres a day.
What’s more, I offer some sneaky ways that you can easily fit the required amount in, daily, without trying to cram in a litre and a half before bedtime, thus ending all possibility of achieving point 1.
One of your liver’s main functions is to contribute to the efficient use and consumption of fat within your body. Another function it has is to step in to give the kidneys a hand when they’re not working at full speed.
In order for your kidneys to operate as the efficient cleansing tool they’ve evolved to be, they have to sufficiently hydrated. Therefore, if you’re not drinking enough water to facilitate this, you’re causing a chain reaction detrimental to your weight loss goals.
Ultimately, your liver will have to ditch its fat-burning responsibility to take up the slack of under performing kidneys, noticeably decreasing the efficiency of your body to combat excess fat.
The second reason water is critical to any weight loss aspirations you may have is as a cleansing tool in its own right.
After your food is broken down by your stomach, the majority gets sucked through into your intestines. From there, the tiny nodes that line your intestines extract the nutrients and distribute them around the body.
Over time, especially if your diet has a high fat content, these tiny nodes can get clogged. In effect, you’re suffocating the positive effect of eating healthily on the occasions that you do.
By consuming the required volume of water, you help to keep your intestines clean; vitamins, minerals and fibre also play key parts in this role.
What this means to your weight loss goals is simply this: if your intestines can’t extract enough nutrients from your diet to pacify your ghrelin hormone production, they’ll keep telling your brain that you need more food. You then eat, or at least crave, more and any caloric limits you set disappear out of the window.
Four tips to help drinking 2 litres of water a day an easy task
As promised, I’ll finish off part one with a few sneaky tips to ensure you’re able to get a steady intake of water, without jeopardising a good night’s sleep for a 3 a.m. toilet break.
- When you fill the kettle in the morning, have a half pint glass ready next to the tap that you can fill and drink while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil; 1 x 250ml
- By taking a half pint glass of water before each meal, you’re both hydrating your kidneys and cleansing your intestines. If you’re eating six times a day, that’s another 6 x 250ml
- Before your abs workout, take in a half pint of water and have a half litre of mineral water to hand top up your hydration levels and electrolytes as you work out; another 2-3 x 250ml
- One final half pint of water before you retire will ensure your brain is hydrated during sleep and is not enough to break the bank, as it were. That’s another 1 x 250ml.
If my maths is correct, on workout days you should be consuming between 2.5 – 2.75 litres of water per day. On non-workout days, a steady 2 litres.
Providing you’re eating five to six healthy meals from fresh ingredients each day, your body will benefit from this much water.
Please be warned. If you’re not exercising and not eating healthily, 2 litres of water per day can be dangerous.
Rather than benefit your body, it stands a very good chance that you’ll be washing away precious vitamins and minerals that your body is not getting the chance to absorb.
This could be because either your diet is lacking in nourishment or because your gastrointestinal tract is not efficient enough extract the nutrients from the food that you do eat.
I’m sure you know someone who’s heard that “2 litres of water per day is good for you” and is setting their station by it. If you think their diet isn’t up to scratch, do us and them a favour and point them in the direction of this article, would you? Thanks, that’s your good deed for the day accomplished, too.
Okay, that’s enough to get you and your work-shy metabolism going for one day. Join us tomorrow for parts 4-6 to conclude this mini-series.
No, I’m not going to give you a sneak preview, although I stand by my word and promise that there’s no exercise involved. See you tomorrow, if you know what’s good for you…