What are the best-kept secrets about exercise, fitness, body building, and working out?

Answer by Joey Song:

Here are some good exercise tips to keep in mind:

  • Nutrition is KEY. Just working out alone will not help you burn those nasty love handles.You must eat a proper diet that is high in fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein. Does that mean you need to kill yourself with a strict diet? Absolutely not. However, eating a balanced diet for the majority of your weekly schedule will not only help you look better but can give you more energy. Also, never skip breakfast. Breakfast gives our bodies a chance to refuel after sleep and helps ignite our metabolism, which can help us eat less throughout the day.
  • Try to eat less and eat slowly. A good secret to help eat less is chugging one large (16oz) glass of cold water before you eat. This will almost help trick yourself into thinking that you are slightly full and you will thus eat less. Also, try to chew your food more to help slowdown your process of shoving food in your mouth. Your gut will thank you later.
  • DO NOT just do isolating abdominal exercises. This means don't do hundreds of situps or crunches unless you have low body fat. If anything, you will develop abdominal muscle UNDER your fat and you will ultimately look more fat.
  • Sleep, sleep, then sleep some more. I cant tell you how important sleep is for our bodies. It gives our bodies (which work like machines) a chance to shut down and recharge itself. Also, believe it or not, while we sleep we actually burn calories, so it is optimal to get a good night's rest if you are working out and eating a balanced diet to see max results.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals a day. This will ensure that you will not overeat at any given time and also you will keep your metabolism churning the whole day.
  • Do HIGH INTENSITY training. Those of you that prefer to run on the treadmill at a constant speed or lift weights at your own comfortable pace may not be seeing dramatic results for one reason: your heart rate stays too low. Jump start your workouts by engaging in high intensity interval training. That means ramping up that treadmill or power lifting for short bursts then having short rest periods. This will ignite your metabolism and help you burn fat.
  • Drink healthy tea. Studies suggest (but do not prove) that helps promote weight loss, speeds up metabolism, and burns calories all in one, especially Green or Oolong tea. http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/calories/burning_calories/green-tea-weight-loss.htm
  • Eat healthy fats. Everyone knows by now that Trans fats and Saturated fats can lead to heart disease and weight gain. However, one secret that not many people know about are healthy fats. These are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are found in nuts, avocados, fish, etc. These fats help lower cholesterol and keep you at a healthy weight.
  • Take the stairs. This is one good secret that everyone should keep in mind. If you don't have time to work out, at least try your best to stay moving and active during the day. So, taking the stairs back to your office cube after lunch may be a good idea since it will help promote digestion and burn calories.
  • Avoid caffeine or sugar. Drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine (outside of healthy teas) or sugar are just cheap ways to get short term energy. What you're left with is an even more tired body after your caffeine or sugar rush wears off. One secret that not many know about is caffeine and sugar can lead to BLOATING. This may make you look fatter than you actually are!

These tips should help you promote a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. Remember that maintaining a healthy weight and getting fit is more about a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, rather than a workout routine change. Results may take up to 2-3 months to show, so stay patient. Lastly, one good bit of advice is that "too much of anything can be bad." This is ultimately true for food and diet. Yes, eating healthy fats can help maintain healthy weight, but eating too much of it can also be detrimental. Key is to stay balanced everyone!!

For more tips and advice, I usually head to http://www.menshealth.com which gives you a litany of articles to help you on your way. I will also hopefully be writing articles about Eastern diets and its health benefits on my website (listed in my profile), please check it out!!

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