By Don Saladino
Ok so Labor Day has passed. We just experienced some incredibly beautiful weather and I know for a fact, a lot of you definitely enjoyed the sun, some great food and a few cocktails here and there to say the least.
For me, the fall is a critical time of the year when dealing with one’s physique. Kids are back to school, the work schedule picks up and there are no holiday engagements … until the end of November. In reality, we have two months to really make an effort and go into Thanksgiving feeling like a million bucks. After all, I believe in enjoying the holidays. I believe these are the times we should let our hair down and we should indulge.
So what am I getting at here?
We have got to use this pre-Thanksgiving time to really commit ourselves back to becoming the best we can be- physically and mentally.
I’ve become very successful by showing people that you do not have to deprive the things you love in life in order to achieve progress in the world of fitness and wellness.
So now that the summer is over and a lot of us feel much more focused than we were in August, I would like to establish a couple of rules for you to follow. I promise you, if you follow these, you will not only improve your physique, but also your overall general wellness. Here we go:
80-20 rule: Very simply, I need 80% of your week to be perfect from a nutrition, training and rest standpoint.
Let’s break it down…
If you eat five times a day, which seems to be what the general norm is (three full meals, two snacks), and if you multiply that by seven days, you will have consumed 35 meals in a week. That means if you’re perfect 80% of the time, I want 28 of your 35 meals perfect. This means you will consume your lean proteins, vegetables and slow burning carbohydrates (ie sweet potato, white rice and gluten free oatmeal). The same approach will go for your training. If you commit to five workouts a week, then that means you need to get in a minimum of four. Does this mean I want you to sit on the couch or drown yourself with fried foods the remaining 20 percent of the time? No. This means I want you to make sensible choices but free yourself up a little bit. Day in and day out, we need to stay active and at the very least, an easy rule of thumb is to break a light sweat at least once a day. It does not have to be intense, but on a non-working out day, it’s a good rule to follow. This can be achieved by doing things like taking the stairs or carrying your groceries home from the supermarket.
Sleep: You should be sleeping seven to nine hours a night. Now I know most of you will be leaning more towards the seven; that’s fine. Sleep is a great fat burner and an extremely overlooked component of health and wellness. In my opinion, this trumps everything else. Very simply, sleep and resting help your body repair and recover. Our hormones will function more optimally which means an overall better you.
Hydration: Man, I’ll tell you, a lot of people just can’t get this one. For me, it’s the most simple. 50 ounces of water should be consumed for every 100 pounds of body weight. This means a 200 pound male will need 100 ounces of water. A 130 pound female will need roughly between 65-75 ounces of water. Don’t kill yourself on the math; just get in those ranges. Properly hydrating with water really helps flush out all the toxins and impurities in the body. It will leave your skin looking better and more vibrant and it will help you recover much more quickly.
Alcohol: Keep alcohol consumption to one day a week or allow yourself one glass of wine a day, but do not exceed. Anything beyond that will really lose its benefit.
Remember, I’m not preparing you to be on the cover of Muscle and Fitness here. My goals for everyone are to move better, feel better and even look better naked. I mean who doesn’t want that?
I never have a problem with someone going overboard, granted that they deserve it.
I promise you right now that if you follow these points, you will go into the Thanksgiving holiday with a sense of achievement and the ability to relax and enjoy your holiday indulgences. The key that I’m trying to teach everyone is that we do not have to kill ourselves day in and day out in order to achieve overall health and wellness. I find that if you follow my 80-20, you will have an easier time being successful day in and day out with the things we really wish we could be consistent with in life. See you at Thanksgiving. Another story to be told by then.
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