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Do you really want to get LEAN for 2023?

Have you ever wondered what it costs to achieve that “look”? What must you do more of? What must you really give up?

Myth #1:

With just a few small, easy, hopefully imperceptible changes to one’s diet and exercise routine, you too can have shredded abs, big biceps, and tight glutes, just like a magazine cover model.

Myth #2:

“Getting healthy” or “losing weight” involves massive, painful, intolerable sacrifice, restriction, and deprivation.

Reality #1:

The process that helps you lose “the first 10 pounds” isn’t the same one that’ll help you lose “the last 10 pounds”. Indeed, it usually takes a lot more work as you get leaner.

Reality #2:

If you do aspire to “fitness model” or “elite athlete” lean, you might be surprised. Images are photoshopped for effect. Bodybuilders only look like that for competition. And achieving that look comes at a high cost; one most people aren’t willing to pay.

Reality #3:

If you’re okay not being on the next magazine cover and aspire to be “lean and healthy” even small adjustments can — over time — add up to noticeable improvements.

Here’s the benefits, tradeoffs and activities that support some body fat categories

Body Fat Percentage: Men>20% Women>30%

  •  Doesn’t require much thought or work

  •  Poor health

  •  Low energy levels

  •  Poorer life expectancy

  •  Risks of metabolic syndrome

  •  May need medications to manage various conditions

  •  Eat processed foods

  •  Eat big portions

  •  Eat quickly

  •  Exercise of any kind

  •  Eat fewer whole foods

  •  Balancing meals

  •  Sleep less

Body Fat Percentage: Men: 15-20% Women: 25-30%

  •  Exercise is easy and enjoyable

  •  Requires some thought and planning

  •  You’ll look good but not super lean

  •  Include protein dense foods in 2 meals per day

  •  2 servings of vegetables per day

  •  Exercise 3-5 time per week, any activity you enjoy, and intensity level

  •  Eat fewer processed carbs but do not reduce carbs drastically

  •  Drinks fewer caloric beverages but do not reduce drastically

Body Fat Percentage: Men 13-15% Women: 23-25%

  •  Fairly easy to maintain

  •  Will probably be able to reduce or eliminate many medications

  •  May require effort and attention to maintain sleep

  •  May require some time and attention to learn stress reduction techniques.

  •  Eat slowly and only until satisfied with 75% of meals

  •  Include 2 servings of protein dense foods at 3 meals per day

  •  Include 3 servings of vegetables per day

  •  Sleep at least 7 hours per night

  •  Practice some stress management techniques

  •  Desserts/ processed carbs 3-5 times per week

  •  Drink caloric beverages 3-5 times per week

Body Fat Percentage: Men 10-12% Women: 20-22%

  •  Fit appearance

  •  Higher energy

  •  Better overall health

  •  Fewer food cravings due to balanced diet and exercise regime

  •  Relatively easy to maintain once practices become habitual

  •  Requires more planning and greater overall attention to diet

  •  Will need to prioritize sleep

  •  Eat slowly and only until satisfied at 90% of meals

  •  Include 2 servings of protein dense foods at each meal

  •  Include 2 servings of vegetables at each meal

  •  Include 2 handfuls of minimally processed carbs at most meals

  •  Sleep at least 7-8 hours per night

  •  De-stress daily for 20 minutes

  •  Eat desserts/processed carbs only 1 time per week

  •  Drink 1-2 caloric beverages per week

Body Fat Percentage: Men 6-9% Women: 16-19%

  •  Will probably look extremely lean; may have that six pack

  •  Overall health will probably be very good due to carefully balanced and minimally

  • processed diet

  •  Will experience fewer cravings

  •  May struggle in social situations, especially those involving food

  •  May not have time for social opportunities outside of exercise

  •  May have to give up other hobbies and interests outside of fitness

  •  Eat slowly and only until satisfied at 95% of meals

  •  Include 2 servings of protein dense foods at each meal

  •  Include 2 servings of fibrous vegetables at each meal

  •  Include 2 handfuls of minimally processed carbs after workouts

  •  4-5 exercise sessions weekly working hard/ breaking a sweat

  •  Sleep at least 8-9 hours each night

  •  De stress 20 minutes daily

  •  Limit carbs to designated higher carb days

  •  Eat desserts/ processed carbs one time every 2 weeks, within reason

  •  Drink one caloric beverage one time every 1-2 weeks, within reason

  •  Will want to start limiting time at restaurants, 1-2 times per week

Body Fat Percentage: Men <6% Women: 16%

  •  May feel pride at achieving an athletic goal

  •  Will have difficulty socializing in most situations where food is involved

  •  May lose out on fun events with family and friends

  •  Big time commitment to measure and weigh and track all foods

  •  Hyper focus on diet and exercise may contribute to disordered eating

  •  Time required for exercise may crowd out all other pursuits and interests

  •  Eat slowly and only until satisfied at 99.9% of meals

  •  Incorporate calorie/carb cycling

  •  Follow meal plan with predetermines foods and amounts

  •  Measure food specifically

  •  Include exact amount of essential fats at each meal

  •  Include exact amounts of minimally processed carbs after workouts’

  •  Exercise 45-75 minutes, twice daily

  •  6-7 exercise sessions weekly working hard/breaking a sweat

  •  Sleep at least 9 hours each night

  •  Destress for 20 minutes daily

  •  Otherwise limited to designated higher carb days

  •  Eat desserts/ processed carbs one time every 12 weeks

  •  Avoid caloric beverages

  •  Avoid eating at restaurants

Is that level of leanness worth it?

Having a six-pack doesn’t automatically make you healthy. In fact, getting too lean can be actively unhealthy.

You might end up with amenorrhea, low libido, disordered eating, social isolation, and a host of other problems.

Clarity is essential in change.

If you think you may want to change how much body fat you have, start by getting a clear idea of where you’re at.

  • Figure out your goals and priorities. If you don’t know what your priorities are, now’s a great time to explore that.

  • Decide what you’re willing to do right now to serve those goals and priorities.

  • Decide how often, how consistently, and how intensely/precisely, you’re willing to do those things.

  • Decide what you’re not willing to do right now. Why not?

  • In the above steps, be honest with yourself

You may need more tailored guidance or coaching. Age, gender, genetics, medical conditions, and pharmaceuticals can all affect what you’ll need to do to get and stay lean.

What do you think?

If you’d like to get lean in ANY fashion, contact me for a FREE CONSULT to reach your goals for 2023!

Check out my holiday flash sale on mini coaching packages for the remainder of 2022 HERE

Keep Moving Forward 😊 Sarah

*Excerpts from Precision Nutrition

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