An important aspect of MANformation is presenting yourself in a manner that is attractive to other people. That’s what being influential, persuasive and charismatic is all about.
I’m not talking only about being physically attractive to other people. When you take care of your physical body, you’ll also enjoy tremendous mental, emotional and psychological benefits that the rest of the world can’t help but notice and want to be in your presence.
Improving your health, getting your body into awesome shape and becoming more attractive in the process don’t have to be complicated. Here are a few simple and effective eating and exercise strategies that will help you take control of your body, whether you want to build muscle, lose bodyfat or both at the same time.
1) Eating properly must be your number-one priority. The way you eat will have a far more positive effect on the way you look and feel than weight and cardiovascular training. At least 80 percent of the way you look and feel is determined by how you eat. You’ll look much better by changing your eating habits than by turning into an exercise maniac. That’s not what most people think, but your focus and energy must go to this important area of your life.
2) Control your metabolism. It’s the key to effective weight management—fat loss and muscle gain. Your choice of foods, the number of meals you eat, the amount of food and the timing of your meals affect your metabolism. Weight and cardiovascular training play a part as well—but not as big as you might think.
3) Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. That’s the best way to control your metabolism.
4) Eat at least five meals each day. That stabilizes your blood sugar and keeps your metabolism burning at a smooth and constant rate. If you are only eating three or fewer meals a day, your metabolism will be peaking and falling around meal times. That will cause you to burn fewer calories and less bodyfat throughout the day.
5) Treat all meals equally in their macronutrient breakdown. Each of your five meals should have about the same proportions of protein, carbohydrate and fat and should total just about the same number of calories. Your body doesn’t distinguish between breakfast foods and dinner foods. You just need to make sure that each meal is healthful and stays within your allotted number of calories.
6) Eat every three hours. Spacing out your meals to every 2 1/2 to three hours keeps your metabolism operating at an efficient, steady rate.
7) Eat enough food. Although the basic rule for weight loss is to eat fewer calories than you burn, you must be certain to get enough food every day. Otherwise, your body’s metabolism will slow down to “save itself” from grinding away tissue through too much work and too little food. If you don’t eat enough, your body will do whatever it must to prevent itself from dying. Not only will it slow down its metabolism, but it will aggressively hold on to bodyfat to make itself “famine proof.”
8) When you first jump into the process, just concentrate on eating in a healthful manner. Don’t worry about exactly how many calories you’re eating—just eat properly. If you were to take out the obvious junk food at this stage, it’s likely you wouldn’t be eating enough good, healthful food. You can zero in on the “right” calorie count for you as your metabolism gets regulated. Remembering that “some is always better than none,” get started on your nutrition program. Figure out the less important details once you’ve committed to the recommendations on this list.
9) Drink plenty of water. Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle around with you and sip from it throughout the day. A half gallon of water a day helps your body function properly, flush out toxins, look good and stay young.
10) Avoid starchy carbohydrates. During this phase say no to bread, pasta, baked potatoes and rice. The glycemic index of your foods should be low so your metabolism will stay regulated and won’t have to endure all the highs and lows that starchy carbs bring with them. The following tip provides an awesome alternative.
11) Eat lots of green vegetables. This alone can take your body to the next level immediately. You can eat as many green vegetables as you want. The more you eat, the better. Eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, between meals and midnight snacks if you wish. You certainly shouldn’t worry about calories in the vegetables because your body will use as much energy to digest them as they contain. Veggies will make you feel full and satisfied and clean out your digestive system. Because you’re eating so many, the mind is confused, and your hunger will be satisfied in an extremely healthful manner. Spice them up with hot sauce. Eat them raw, microwave them, steam them or overcook them until they are like a stew—it doesn’t matter. Just eat them.
12) Take advantage of modern sports nutrition. Meal-replacement supplements and weight-gainers will be your best friends. They’ll help you get all of those metabolism-controlling meals eaten every day. They’re great when you’re traveling and/or on the run. Sports nutrition bars are okay—but not ideal because they contain a lot of sugar and fillers. Rotate “real” food meals with sports-nutrition meals throughout the day.
13) Budget your cheat meals. If you eat and train like a machine most of the time, there’s no real harm in eating two or three “bad” meals every week. The key here is to plan cheat and not eat them on impulse. That’s what makes scheduled breaks perfect for your structured eating program. Use them wisely. Enjoy them—and then forget them! —Skip La Cour
Editor’s note: Six-time national-champion bodybuilder and success coach Skip La Cour is the creator of MANformation, a powerful personal-development and fitness program for men that is based on the qualities and actions of the world’s most powerful, influential and charismatic men. It is a structured series of alpha leadership strategies for transforming you into the man you really want to be. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life right now, what you have achieved so far or your age. The MANformation program will help you become a better version of you—step-by-step and one strategy at a time. To learn more, visit www.MANformation.com. Sign up for the free weekly e-newsletter, and you’ll get a free alpha leadership e-book.