My Health Journey Started With a Slow-Mo iPhone

Picture this. As a young fella, I was perhaps a typical ectomorph teenager. Eat whatever I wanted and not an ounce of fat on me. Fast forward into my late 20’s and it was pretty much the same. I had established some pretty strong habits around eating well and exercise.

Enter Stage Left – Kids!

I had 2 children in my early 30’s and like most families with young kids, sometimes those gym sessions got less and less until one day, I saw something on my iPhone.

It was my knees.

My kids found the slow-motion on my iPhone and filmed me running – I didn’t know that ‘knee fat’ was actually a thing. I didn’t think too much of it at the time other than – lets delete that shall we…and lets create a new password.

Fast forward 12 years and things took a little left turn for me. My wife and I decided we would go our separate ways and look after our two kids together, but in a different sort of way. We were still very good friends and caught up most times over the week. We were happier, kids we’re loving it – life was good.

But this brought in a whole new set of challenges. I was single and I recalled, I have knee fat.

What happens if I went on a date and had to run across the road to meet her? That thought of the slush of fat, surrounded by shriveled up skin as it thrashes itself around my kneecap when I ran. Not to mention an extra 15lbs of the ‘good life’ around other areas of my body.

It was time. I needed to put myself out there and get into shape.

I was told by a Nutritionist and a Personal Trainer 5 things – let me share what worked for me!

This Is Not Rocket Science – It’s Consistence Science.

Whether you are getting ready for a vacation or preparing your summer body for lighter, form-fitting clothes, burning fat and keeping it off is the factor in shaping your physique.

But where do you start? Well, you start with being consistent with your actions.

A quick google search will flood your screen with the routines, diets, and every other weight loss system imaginable. It can all be quite overwhelming and very confusing. To help point you in the right direction, I’ve compiled a list of 5 of the best science-backed weight loss methods you can incorporate to see the results you want, quicker, and most importantly, safer.

Fasted Cardio

The last time I fasted was when I went to bed early and woke up late – pretty sure that still counts.

Waking up extra early in the morning might be a drag for some people, but if optimal fat loss is what you’re after, you should get to bed earlier and prepare to wake up earlier as well.

Fasted cardio is exactly what it sounds like, doing cardio while in a fasted state. It’s usually done first thing in the morning since you probably hadn’t eaten anything while you were sleeping, allowing your body to burn through most of its glycogen stores (blood sugar) throughout the night. Doing cardio first thing when you wake up, forces your body to burn through whatever blood sugar is left in your system, and tap into your fat deposits sooner.

Avoid doing high-intensity cardio or heavy weightlifting while fasted since this level of exertion could cause your body to burn muscle as well as fat. Instead, opt for some steady-state cardio at 60-70% of your max heart rate for 30 minutes – 40 minutes. This should be just enough to get your blood pumping, burn fat, but not sacrifice important muscle tissue

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If your workouts have become too mundane and you’re not seeing the results you want (or need), switching it up and incorporating HIIT is a great way to shock your system and burn some extra calories.

You can probably already guess by the “High Intensity” in HIIT that this workout will demand a higher level of physical performance, but don’t worry, you’re not going to be sprinting at 100% capacity for 20 minutes straight. HIIT involves short bursts (between 30 seconds – 1 minute) of maximum power than an immediate recovery period (typically 3-4 minutes long) –

Be gone – Knee Fat!

HIIT workouts can vary from strictly cardio-based exercises such as working out on a stationary bike to more muscular endurance routines such as plyometrics. This type of training results in a higher excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), causing your bodies to continue burning calories after you’re done training. It other words – it smashes fat into next century.

RESET Your Nutrition Plan

Remember: Food is Thy Medicine.

You can do all the cardio and HIIT training your body can muster, but if your nutrition is not on point, you’re simply wasting your time. Giving your diet an overhaul can be exhausting and stressful because most people don’t like celery and we don’t blame them. Food cravings throughout the day often get the best of us, and if you’re working in a hectic environment with little time to prepare meals, fast food often becomes the norm. This doesn’t just add inches to your waistline, it also shaves years off your lifespan.

I was working full time, active kids, school work, sports activities meant at times I didn’t choose the best types of foods. I wasn’t taking the time to prepare, and this is where a meal replacement worked in well.

My Nutritionist pointed me in a direction that helped a lot. I have discovered an incredible dietary supplement by USANA Health Sciences called, USANA RESET. It’s a protein-enriched meal replacement program that provides you with an easy to mix Nutrimeal shakes that combine the perfect balance of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fiber and they taste a w e s o m e.

The RESET is a simple 5-Day program. It came with detailed instructions on how to kickstart your new healthy dietary choices. The Nutrimeal shakes come in a variety of flavors and can be a part of a healthy breakfast smoothie, or if you need a healthy high protein, low-calorie meal to help you bridge the food gap during a long day of meetings.

USANA Products are manufactured in the USA and come with 100% guarantees so if it wasn’t for me – I could get a refund.

The 5 Day RESET Kit came with extra-low GI meal plan options and what I found was, it helped me gain way more control over my cravings.

I was back eating well, losing weight, exercising like an Olympian (well…kind of) and feeling great – tell you what, exercise and mental wellbeing go hand in hand!

Hit the Weights. Resistance Training (Strength Training) is Critical.

Believe it or not, cardio and diet are not the only methods you can use to burn fat, nor should they be.

Like HIIT, a proper strength training program can also increase your EPOC for periods of 24-38 hours after a workout. And combining weight training with cardio burns even more calories.

We’re not saying you should load a squat rack with an unmanageable weight and injure yourself. All routines, no matter if they are strength-based or cardio-based, should adhere to a person’s experience and fitness level.

However, a good strength training routine must challenge you both physically and involve some component of muscular endurance, which can be a combination of high reps and relatively lower rest periods between sets. A good place to start is by giving yourself a 90-second rest between exercises. Once you feel you’re comfortable with that timeframe, reduce by 15 seconds. Keep your rep range at 15 reps to ensure you’re getting the right amount of volume and pumping enough blood to your muscles.

Reduce/Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet

While eliminating sugar entirely from your diet is possible, it might be a little more difficult for a beginner who is new to the nutrition game. That’s why it is so important to set realistic goals, beginning with the obvious sugar-filled items like candies, cookies, and anything else that satisfies your sweet tooth.

Once you’ve gotten that down you can move onto the next step, of eliminating those not so obvious sugar-based foods.

Sugar is found in more than just soft drinks and junk food, it’s added to many other food items that you would never know about unless you read the ingredients, and incidentally, this is where the battle is won. By checking the labels, you can slowly begin to identify the products that contain sugar and replace them with healthier alternatives. Cravings will diminish over time and if they do arise, get back into your healthy protein shake options mixed in with some blueberries.

So – having knee fat was actually the catalyst that taught me so much about food and exercise.

The importance to stay healthy so I can run around (with less knee fat) with my kids. I didn’t necessarily have them in mind when I started this journey, but I sure can see why we need to look after our health.

This content is brought to you by Dale Folland

Photo: Shutterstock

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