As an expat settling down within new surroundings and getting up to speed with the strangeness of everything, life can get pretty accelerated. Often, one of the first ‘normal’ activities thrown out the window is exercise. Once you’ve settled down in the big city and explored all that it has to offer, maybe it’s time to start getting serious about working out. But how can you achieve a lean body? What do you have to do more of? And what do you have to give up?
There are two common misconceptions when it comes to achieving a lean physique. The first is that people who are already working out regularly think it just involves making a few, small, additional changes to their diets and exercise routines in order to look like a magazine cover model. The second is that people think that it involves pain, major sacrifices of time and deprivation of luxuries.
We are here to tell you that neither of these is true, and that it all comes down to how much you lose depends on how much you are willing to pay.
The two basic principles you should always remember:
- Any further changes to your body are dependent on further changes to your lifestyle.
- The leaner you want to get, the more your lifestyle has to change.
Here is a chart outlining the different fitness levels, what it really takes to lose body fat and improve your health.
Here is another chart outlining what you might consider doing more of and less of in order to achieve your desired fitness level.
Now, you may be wondering, what is a healthy level of body fat? According to research, most men are considered healthy somewhere between 11 to 22% body fat while for women, it is between 22 to 33%.
Going from ‘overweight’ to ‘normal’
Now you may be wondering how you can go from being overweight to the higher end of normal. Here are a few changes you can make:
- Drink less sweet drinks or alcohol each day
- Don’t consume too much dessert or fast food
- Take walks daily or sign up for a yoga class
By implementing these small changes in your life, in six months to a year, you will see your body fat percentage drop into a much healthier range.
Going from ‘normal’ to ‘lean’
Now that you are in the zone, you may be looking to get lean or leaner. You will definitely have to do more such as:
- Get more exercise or make your exercises more intense
- Eat more vegetables and lean protein (goodbye, fried chicken)
- Do more meal planning
- Get more sleep
- Learning your physical hunger and fullness cues
These changes will have to be implemented consistently over a period of time, so it is up you to decide whether they are worth making.
Going from ‘lean’ to ‘super-lean’
Let’s say you are still not satisfied. You want to be like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Here is a newsflash: To achieve elite bodybuilders and supermodels status, you are basically in for a slow starvation process.
There is an extremely strict and precise regimen of eating and training in order to shed most of your body fat. Some of the restrictions involved would be exercising even when you are exhausted, ignoring your hunger pangs, maintaining intense focus and dedication, no eating out in restaurants, and no staying up late. In short, chances are you will lose your sex life, social life, parenthood and a regular job.
So ask yourself: Is getting this lean worth it?
What you actually need to do next
Now that you have a clearer view of the cost and benefits involved, you should start thinking about the below:
- Set your goals and priorities
- Decide what you are willing to do
- Decide how often and precisely are you willing to do those things
- Decide what you are not willing to do
While you need be brutally honest and realistic with yourself when it comes to the steps above, remember not to sell yourself short as well. Nobody is perfect, even the elite bodybuilders and supermodels. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your own body – what’s most important is that YOU understand what matters to you and what it takes to obtain a certain outcome.Article source: http://www.ufit.com.sg/cost-getting-lean/