Activities of daily living (ADLs). Have you heard of the 23/1 rule? The 23/1 rule states that just because you did an hours exercise doesn’t mean you can sit on your butt the other 23 and expect to see massive benefits from your workouts! What we do in the other 23 hours plays a huge part in our goal to becoming leaner. We need to consider what can be done in the other 23 hours of the day which will contribute to our success…
Sleep – are you getting 7 – 9 hours of quality sleep every night? If not you are probably running with elevated levels of cortisol in your system (a potent catabolic hormone which breaks down muscle) and it’s unlikely you’ll be training with full intensity if you are sleep deprived. Also, our bodies go into repair mode when we are sleeping, releasing a host of anabolic hormones to repair the damage of the day. Poor sleep = poor recovery. You might be sleeping poorly due to an old mattress that no longer serves its purpose. If you think you may need a new one, you could check sites like Raise to see if there are any savings to be had with popular brands so you can feel comfortable and enjoy some good quality sleep at night. Get plenty of sleep – period.
NEPA – non exercise physical activity. One hours exercise a day, even HIIT, isn’t enough activity to get you lean if, for the other 23 hours of the day you are sedentary. Our bodies were designed to move around – a lot. So, stop using the elevator and start using the stairs, carry your groceries in a basket and don’t use the shopping trolley, if a journey is 1 mile or less, walk don’t use your car, wash your car by hand instead of using the drive thru, take your dog for a walk instead of just letting him out in the yard to do his business, stand up frequently instead of sitting all day, get off the bus a few stops earlier than usual…Look for ways to lead a more active life and guess what? You’ll use more energy every day and get leaner, quicker! Not only will you lose body fat more readily but you’ll keep it off more easily as any dietary indiscretions will have less of an impact. It’s worth noting that a daily 20 minute walk in addition to your normal activities will result in about a 15lb fat loss per year!
Stress – consistently elevated levels of stress cause an increase in Cortisol production. Cortisol promotes catabolism (break down of muscle) which in turn can slow your metabolism and reduce fat burning potential. Do what ever you can to keep your stress levels under control – your waist will thank you for it!
In conclusion, getting lean will require a considerable effort on your part but with determination, consistent effort, planning and discipline this could be the year you get into and stay in your best shape ever!