101 Ways To Shed The Final 5 And Finally Get Ripped
You would think, given how well you eat and how hard you work, that you would actually have been able to hit your goal by now. Right? Surely after everything you’ve put in over the past weeks, months, perhaps even years you should be prancing around most of the time thinking how HOT you look.
You can admit it. I know that’s what you want. Well, maybe not the prancing part.
So why can’t you seem to ever shift that final 5? Why does your body seem to have some kind of unfair set-point just outside of what you long for?
Here’s a shocker – if this is you, then you’re not alone. In fact, a vast majority of the people who come to see for Biosignature are in a similar position. In good shape. Better, often, than many of their friends or colleagues, and most definitely healthier and more informed than the average person. Yet it seems that no matter what they do, they can’t break through to that elusive place of being in ‘freakin’ amazing’ shape rather than simply ‘good’ or even ‘great’ shape.
Keep reading, ’cause not only do I know what it feels like to be this FRUSTRATINGLY close to your goal, but I also know how to break through.
This is for everyone who is willing to do whatever it takes but just isn’t quite sure what ‘it’ always is.
101 Ways To Shift The Final 5 And Finally Get Lean
- Take carnitine, an amino acid that superdrives your metabolism. I recommend 2-3 grams of acetyl-l-carnitine in the morning, and a further 2-3 pre-workout or at lunch.
- Avoid eating 2 hours before bed. It’s important to have everything fully digested before you sleep; this way your body will focus on hormone production not dealing with all those TV-snacks – regardless of how healthy they area.
- Eating protein and fat (like meat and nuts) first thing ensures proper neurotransmitter function, stimulates phase one and two detoxification, and helps your metabolism run at its best.
- When using brain nutrients like carnitine, alpha GPC, or the ‘wake-up-a-cadaver’ (as Charles Poliquin would say) Yang r-ala or Brain Fast, you’ll have a better effect by taking them on an empty stomach, first thing.
- Take a high dose (1 gram per percent body fat) of quality practitioner fish oil for 4 weeks, then decrease to around 10-15 grams depending on your body fat. Increasing omega 3’s dramatically restores your omega 3 to 6 ratios, and ‘turns on the switch’ for fat burning.
- Take 2-5 grams of glutamine before bed to stimulate growth hormone production while you sleep.
- Take another 2-5 grams first thing in the morning, for the same reason (not the sleep part). It also helps digestion.
- Don’t get conned by the latest health food crazes. Agave is still sugar. Organic does not automatically mean healthy. Too much stevia can be toxic. A diet of superfoods – no matter how super – instead of adequate food protein, just doesn’t cut it.
- For goodness sake, eat the meat and nuts breakfast. Do this regardless of how the rest of the day might look in terms of your carb/protein/fat intake.
- Change your training. Even the best program in the world is useless after 3-6 weeks. The more conditioned you are, the more frequently you should change your training – perhaps even as often as every 6 workouts.
- Add some structure to your training. You can certainly work hard and look good on a ‘make-it-up-as-you-go-along’ program, and many people I know who are more into variety and maintenance do this very effectively. If serious transformation is your goal, however, you need a serious training program. Do you truly understand sets, reps, tempo, rest intervals, exercise selection? Do you know the difference between high volume and high intensity? If not, hire someone to train you or at the very least write you a program! The best approach is to find a PICP practitioner in your area – they are trained at strength and conditioning by the world’s best.
- Use caffeine before training but NOT after. Drinking coffee right after you train keeps cortisol high, putting you in fat storing mode and making it difficult to increase lean muscle.
- Eat your protein and fat breaky within 30 minutes of waking, or else you risk eating into lean muscle tissue for energy. This is super important; no excuses!
- Don’t be guilty of going from meal to meal on only ‘snack’ foods and protein shakes. I don’t care how healthy or allowed the snack foods are; if you’re not eating animal protein every 3-4 hours on average when trying to get super lean then you’re going to run into trouble.
- When training for muscle gain or increased metabolic rate through weight lifting, never do so first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You won’t get results. Remember the 30 minute rule?
- How often do you focus on rest? When you rest and sleep, you repair muscle and other cells, and you produce growth hormone. Growth hormone governs metabolism and helps to keep you toxin free. Sleep makes you strong – and lean.
- Go vegetarian once a week. Yup, you heard me. No protein at all – not even in supplement form. Just lots of green vegetables, and – ideally – some medical food to aid detoxification or support gut health, depending on your Biosignature.
- One reason this works if the pure shock factor. No matter how good the ‘rules’ of lean living are, your body responds well to shock. I’m generalising of course, but you could even try making it ‘opposite week’ and tracking your progress. I don’t mean sit still and binge, but maybe you do need more sleep and less training; perhaps you SHOULD have some carbs occasionally, maybe it would help to relax the reins and go with the flow. If you’re in the final stages, being overly rigid can hurt your progress. Experiment – but keep track, and do it with a reason.
- Read and research. There is no better way to get results in any area of your life than to learn from others who have successfully done what you are setting out to do. No man is an island.
- Surround yourself (if not in the real world, then online) with others who have achieved what you’re setting out to do. Maybe even get a mentor or a coach. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. How in shape or healthy are they? Don’t kid yourself; this matters.
- Increase your green vegetables to 9 servings a day (this does not mean you have to eat 9 times obviously!) Dr Jonny Bowden says that 9 serves is the ideal number for fat loss, health, and longevity.
- For women, aim for at least 0.6 grams of protein per kilo POUND body weight, and for men aim for up to 2 grams. (Thanks for the correction Meri and Jorge; can’t believe I did that!)
- Increase fiber in general – from vegetables for sure, but you may also need to supplement. Particularly if you eat a lot of protein, which you should do.
- Take a HCL test with a qualified Biosignature practitioner. You are throwing your money away on other supplements if you haven’t done this. You are not what you eat, but rather what you eat and digest.
- Give yourself a break now and then. It’s counter-productive to train week in and week out. Take every 13th week off and engage in other activities such as sports or simply something a bit different and fun.
- Before training take 5-10 grams BCAAs and 2-3 grams carnitine, and 2-5 grams glutamine
- During training take 5-10 grams BCAAs, an appropriate amount of Beta-alanine, and some glutamine
- After training take 5-10 grams BCAAs, 10 grams of glucose, and 2-5 grams glutamine
- You will also want to lower cortisol post-workout, so take some magnesium (glycinate is good after training), and either some glycine or some primal greens.
- PS: Since we’re talking about it, nutrition in and around training is up there with the meat and nuts breaky in terms of its importance and power over your results, so take this stuff seriously!
- Seriously – you should take fiber. Even if you do get your 9 serves of veg each day. Flaxseed hulls ground up are a favourite choice of mine as they help detoxify estrogen (lower body fat), and you only need 1/4 teaspoon at a time.
- Oh, but you have to rotate your fibers. Fiber works intimately on the lining of the intestines, so you don’t want to take the same one day in and day out. Change every 4-8 days, between 2-4 different types. It should always be a blend of soluble and insoluble, usually it’s good to build up to 2 rounded teaspoons morning and night.
- If you are going to miss a meal or find yourself a bit disorganised, take 10-20 grams BCAAs to prevent muscle loss and a ramped down metabolism.
- Avoid super-clean eating day in and day out with no break. In nature you would occasionally come across sugar, do the same thing in real life! Having a scheduled treat meal once or twice a week is important to shock your metabolism into overdrive. It doesn’t have to be a binge, you could just add some fruit or healthy starch.
- If you’re going to do this; or indeed if you’re going to change ANYTHING about your diet, then track those changes and how you respond. Measure and record – getting super lean is about facing the facts not fantasising about how you’re going.
- If your sub-scapular skinfold is below 10mm then you probably need some carbs (especially post-workout) in order to continue getting gains. Going completely starch-free could be holding you back.
- But for 75% of the population, carb-free is the way to go until you’ve maintained your ideal leanness for 18 months. After that you will have switched your metabolism to being carb-tolerant. For real. Yay!
- Did you know that up to 80% of the population is gluten-intolerant. It’s a safe bet, therefore, that you should avoid gluten.
- Want to test if this applies to you? It’s simple to test at a basic level – just eliminate it 100% for 2 weeks. If you get leaner and feel better, steer clear of it. For a proper test, consult a Bioignature practitioner about doing a food intolerance panel or muscle testing.
- Oh – and if you are gluten intolerant? It’s a zero percent tolerance rule. I know – sad face. But listen up – it takes your body about 90 days to clear out the effects of one bite of gluten, and the effect it has is like a virus. Imagine lots of little inflammation fires all throughout your system – each time you eat a little gluten those fires start burnin’ strong again. Your poor body can never catch up – and you’ll never fully reach your ‘lean living’ goals if this is an issue for you.
- While you’re at it, you may as well eliminate dairy for a few weeks. Dairy and gluten intolerance often go hand in hand.
- PS – cream and butter do not count as dairy in this case, they count as fat. Many people who don’t tolerate milk can handle cream and butter no problem.
- Butter and coffee are the 2 most important foods to eat organically, but if you’re serious about health and fat loss then all your food should be organic.
- Oh – and if you want to take it a step further? RAW cream and butter are seriously A-MA-ZING. Try your organic store or farmers market.
- A typical way to structure a weights program is to alternate between months (or weeks) of high intensity (low reps, long rest times), and high volume (higher reps, often lower rest times). Sticking with the same old 3×10 of everything week in and week out will get you nowhere fast.
- Don’t get cocky though – remember to get proper programming from a certified strength coach if serious transformation is your goal (and you haven’t been getting there). This is who I’d recommend now that I’m not seeing new clients.
- Kickboxing or boxing with a proper trainer is one of the most effective cardio-style additions to weight training. Bonus? It makes you feel really cool and powerful!
- The best time to do your cardio or circuit training is on the same day as your lifting, 4-6 hours later. You could also do yoga or strongman training at this time.
- If you’ve never experimented with tempo training then it’s time to learn. Your reps should really last an average of 4-5 seconds, not 1-2.
- Train because you are committed, not because you feel like it.
- (But be smart enough about it that you WILL feel like it – change your programs regularly, enlist a training partner, get inspired by reading about others success stories or putting up photos).
- Consider creating a vision board or scrapbook – keep your big goals and dreams where you can see them, not only to keep you on track but to help you more easily visualise yourself being ‘there’.
- Take vitamin C and vitamin E before and after training, as well as morning and night. These important nutrients will help to speed up detoxification, including estrogen detoxification, and will keep you from getting sick or rundown.
- Consider cutting out all stimulants for 2 weeks – particularly if you’re a very busy and stressed person. This may be the break your adrenals need to start healing and kicking off faster fat loss. Switch to peppermint tea, and perhaps some organic green tea.
- If you do cut out the stimulants, this is a great time to also have a ‘rest and play’ week and some extra sleep. You’ll benefit more this way and your body will more readily heal – when you go back to your normal routine you’ll feel on top of the world!
- If you DON’T normally use stimulants, try some espresso before training. Research shows that caffeine improves performance AND metabolism/fat loss.
- But remember – go organic for coffee. Coffee typically has over 200 chemicals, and fat is all about toxic load.
- If you really want to pull out all the stops at this time (or anytime), consider doing a full 4-7 day cleanse. This requires structured supplementation for your Biosignature profile, including medical food and proper nutritional support. It’s one of the toughest things you’ll ever do, but the detoxification and fat loss benefits are out of control. Consult your Poliquin Biosignature practitioner for how to do this – it’s not for the faint-hearted!
- Take a blended magnesium with and after dinner. Everybody who works out is lacking magnesium, and it’s a mineral that is crucial to bone density, to metabolism and fat loss, and to quality sleep – which just brings you right back to fat loss.
- If you have digestive issues (most people do; take the HCL test to be sure), then use topical magnesium as well. (Because it gets to the gut faster). Put 2 pumps behind each knee 20 minutes before bed.
- If you have issues with sleep due to a busy mind or restless body, consider a tailored sleep support program. Nutrients that work well on detoxifying cortisol and restoring proper sleep include Yin r-ala, inositol, phosphytadil serine, and melatonin. Poor quality sleep is not something to grin and bear; if you need help then get it!
- It could also be that the simple things will work for better sleep and hormone production: try using earplugs and a sleep mask, and ensure there is NO light (not even a pinprick) in your room. Switch off the TV at least 30 minutes before going to bed, and use low lighting to wind down.
- Writing a grateful list is also an excellent tip for sleep and for detoxifying cortisol. Record 10 present or future things you are thankful for and feel yourself unwind. This is my favourite tip from Coach Poliquin.
- Eat organic (better still raw) butter with your vegetables. It increases nutrient absorption and the butyric acid revs up your metabolism.
- Macadamia nut oil is also a brilliant (and tasty) oil for cooking or using on your food for increased fat loss
- Filter your water – tap water is full of rubbish (and empty of minerals), and bottled water is hot poured, meaning it’s absorbed plastic even if you buy it cold. A Brita filter is fine.
- Remember to avoid plastic in general. Absorbing the chemical compounds in non-BPA free plastic increases your toxic load, especially estrogen. Which manifests itself as lower body fat. Don’t heat food in plastic, and don’t drink warm water from plastic.
- Oh – don’t heat food in the microwave at all; not if healthy blood cells and proper nutrition are goals of yours. It changes the molecular structure of the fats and proteins and quite literally zaps the food of nutrition.
- That lower body fat we were just talking about? Other reasons for increased estrogen include the contraceptive pill and other medications, poor gut health, too much cardio (especially spin), and poor nutrition.
- The cardio thing? You really do have to feel the fear and cut it out or at least down. Focus on weight lifting and some INTERVAL cardio as an addition.
- Lift weights, lift weights, lift weights! Then do your cardio. Not the other way around! 3-4 times a week lifting is your goal, most of the time.
- Avoid sparkling water except for the top quality brands. It depletes your stomach of HCL and your bones of minerals.
- Give away or tithe 10% of your income. Generosity is the key to wealth, and it’s essential to happiness. Happiness is essential to mindset, beliefs, and happy hormones. Happy hormones are essential to fat loss. Give to others and reap the rewards yourself.
- Have a zinc test with a Biosig practitioner. Low zinc can cause testosterone aromatisation, poor vitamin and mineral counts, and an inability to lose fat. 99% of people tested are low, so maybe just go ahead and take some anyway.
- Before I forget – NEVER ever ever ever (ever!) take off the shelf supplements. Save the trip to the store and just go ahead and throw your money away. I only use and recommend practitioner brands, and my favourite is Poliquin. Metagenics, Thorne, and Bioceuticals are all reputable brands in Aus.
- And for the love of God, don’t kid yourself. No, we shouldn’t need supplements in a perfect world and if we eat well. Is it a perfect world? Do you eat well 100% of the time? Even if you do, are you free of toxic load from things you can’t control? Okay then.
- If you still struggle with digestion or have had serious digestive issues in the path, consider additional digestive support, such as with an enzyme like Omnizyme or Polyzyme. There’s no point eating the best food and using the best supplements if you can’t break them down.
- Eat dark chocolate and drink red wine – the polyphenols in chocolate and the resveratrol in wine are essential antioxidants for health and for fat loss. But make sure you choose organic – we want to decrease toxic load, not amp it up. The best is completely sugar-free, and raw. Tough to find but worth the effort.
- Don’t forget this: fat stores toxins. Your fat cells are not made up of globules of avocado or butter, they are made up of toxins absorbed through your skin, from the air, from cosmetics and household products, and from your food. Fat stores toxins so your vital organs are protected. Therefore, every time you consume non-organic food, or use skincare with synthetic chemicals, you are increasing toxic load, which increases the size and maybe even quantity of your fat cells. Toxins do make you fat. Get it?
- With that in mind, throw out the overpriced beauty regime and stick with organic products such as mineral make-up and natural oils.
- Get your vitamin D levels tested. Every cell in your body has vitamin D receptors. This means that if you are lacking, then NOTHING will work properly, and it will be very tough to lean up. Vitamin D is best taken in a high dose 2 times a week; research has shown this to be more effective than a smaller amount daily.
- Remember that the RDIs for most nutrients are based on outdated principles of minimum standard health. For example, the RDI for vitamin C is based on what you would need to take to avoid scurvy. Minimum necessary is not the same as ‘ideal for optimal health’.
- If you think you have a thyroid issue, get it tested. Selenium is the best mineral to take for the thyroid, and it’s actually non-existent in Australian soils which means that even if you eat all organic you’re probably lacking the stuff.
- (I took a high dose of selenium post-pregnancy for about 6 months. Pregnancy ramps down the thyroid).
- If you feel you really have tried everything consider working more holistically on your body and mind. Acupuncture and kinesiology are two holistic treatment styles that I’ve found can help break through fat loss plateaus.
- I said this before, but it’s probably one of the most powerful tips: Remember that you are the average of the 5 people, things, books etc you spend the most time with. Who or what is influencing you regarding your beliefs and your knowledge? Make a point of surrounding yourself with inspiring, informative, and uplifting people and books. Find new friends and a new job if that’s what it takes.
- Speaking of which – follow your dreams and your passion. No you may not ever achieve everything you’ve always dreamt about. But you DEFINITELY won’t if you don’t try. Happy and fulfilled people live in accordance to their values and they live with at least an element of passion; whether from head or heart. Happy and fulfilled people have low cortisol. Cortisol stores fat. You see the connection? It really works.
- Go on an all seafood diet (focus on white fish and some crustaceans) for 1-4 weeks. You’ll ramp UP your thyroid and massively attack insulin resistance, which can be a key reason for stubborn fat – especially around the belly. Eat seafood 4-6 times per day, coupled with plenty of green veg and some good fat. If you’re going to do this, choose ONLY smaller fish as they are less toxic. No tuna or swordfish!
- Take a walk after any large meal, around 20-25 minutes. This will aid digestion and stabilise blood sugars.
- If you dare – a la Tim Ferriss – take an ice bath. Or you could just lay on the couch for 25 minutes with an icepack under your shoulders. It activates brown fat, which helps burn stored body fat!
- Another Mr F tip which I love – perform about 90 seconds of ‘air squats’ or wall push-ups prior to eating. It forces your body to shuttle food into muscles rather than fat. Pssst: speaking of learning and books? The 4-hour body is a must-have.
- Take a nap. 18 minutes is said to be key, for rejuvenation but also for a nice little growth hormone boost.
- For God’s sake, track what you, how you train, what you take, how much sleep you have, and anything else that might be relevant. How on earth do you expect to get anywhere if you don’t truly know where you’re coming from? It will also keep you accountable. If you’re at this stage (being ‘nearly’ ripped) it shouldn’t be a problem to go this extra mile, and recording your every move for 3-4 weeks can really help you to notice patterns or blocking factors. I wouldn’t recommend doing tracking month in and month out, just for a few weeks at a time and 1-2 times per year.
- Consume ONLY organic fats. You know it: fat stores toxins. This means animal, plant or human fat. This is another super-important tip! Well – they are all really.
- If the treat meal thing doesn’t work for you 1-2 days a week, try a once a week high-carb day. Saturday is the ideal day. You need to keep your fats low though; unlike the rest of the time. Load up on lean protein and (mostly) ‘healthy’ starches for a day and TRACK your results.
- Could it be that you’re not eating enough? A lot of the time people who switch to a low-carb lifestyle unwittingly half-starve themselves. When your main foods are protein and green veg, more is definitely better.
- Or – could you be over-indulging in fat? A lot of people get excited by the idea that they are allowed to eat fat, and then end up going overboard. Calories do count, and fat is calorie-dense. Most active people need no less than 50grams per day, but for a woman I probably wouldn’t push 70 if you’re looking to lean up, and 100 if you’re a large and muscly male.
- Have a life outside of work, eating and training. When was the last time you did something purely for indulgence or out of spontaneity? All work and no fun makes you not only dull, but also stressed. And stress can keep you holding fat.
- When it comes to training, if you forget everything else then remember this: tempo, tempo, tempo. Speed is not your friend here!
- Now that I’ve stressed that, consider this. We are all unique. What works for me may not work for you. A lot of people I know and know of have had breakthroughs by introducing intermittent fasting. This works best when you have a foundation of good eating habits, and when you’re not actively trying to gain muscle. It could be just the shock your body needs in the short-term.
- Just stop making excuses. Yes, you can get lean or even ripped. No, it will not always be easy. Yes, you WILL (not might) have to make sacrifices in other areas and you will need to be organised. Get real – either you’re prepared to do what it takes, or you’re not. Either you want to get lean and feel amazing, or you just love your certain elements of your lifestyle too much. Either way is fine; just be honest about it.
Thankyou to my FB friends for adding their tips to my already lengthy list! If you have a tip that’s worked for you, please add it to the comments. Oh – and can I ask a favour? If you found this post helpful and you think your friends or network might do so, can you share it and also press like at the top of the post? I’d love to see if I can get this one to go viral!
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