After your 30 minutes of weight training, now is the time to do some aerobic training (elliptical, stairmaster, step climber, bike, rowing, jog on treadmill or fast walk on treadmill) are some examples to choose from. The goal now is to get your target heart rate in the FAT BURNING ZONE. This is usually accomplished by calculating the absolute measure of your VO2 Max, which is a measure of aerobic oxygen consumption, measured technically in liters of oxygen used per kg, per minute. Without getting too technical, take 220- (your age) than multiply 60% of this value which will yield 60% VO2 Max. The range is typically anywhere between 110-140 bps depending on age, weight etc. You will maintain this aerobic capacity for the next 30-45 minutes. Only by keeping your heart rate up and your body moving while in a glycogen debt will you start to burn fat and lean out.
When you are done with this 60-90 minute workout, now its time to replenish the bad calories (good riddance) with clean calories. What I mean by ‘clean’ calories is to consume a nutrient dense diet rich and balanced in macronutrients and micronutrients to fulfill not only your body’s caloric requirements but also more importantly to meet the recommended dietary allowances required to sustain bodily functions and a healthy body. Consuming a form of whey protein (in the form of an Isolate and Concentrate is key) or protein derived from milk or egg protein is an excellent recovery supplement. Protein shakes are great, but make sure you stay away from anything that has too many added sugars or rich in extra carbs. You don’t want to give your body any extra tools in order for it to create fat when over-consuming carbohydrates or sugar intake.
If you don’t want a protein shake for rapid absorption and recovery post workout, other great protein sources are skim milk, cottage cheese, egg whites or eggbeaters etc., and they are cheaper than whey protein. And by the way, eggs and milk are nature’s way of providing us affordable and very effective protein sources with high protein efficiency and high biological value. The protein whey manufacturers are simply restructuring the protein from milk by-products and reselling them to you at a much higher cost, through effective marketing tools and baseless claims of added benefit to whole food even at sometimes 10 times the cost of just buying milk or eggs. So keep an eye out for those protein options.
Now that your workout is done and you are feeling great because you started your day off with some rewarding activity and discipline, the rest of your day and what you eat is crucially important. After an hour or two from your workout and drinking a protein drink, try to eat frequently (small frequent meals well portioned) and don’t carb out on sugars, breads, rice, pastas or even fruits. Instead go to the grocery store and stock up on lean meats (chicken, turkey and top loin lean choice cuts) animal proteins are a much better source of protein than plant sources due to higher biological value protein and higher protein efficiency ratios. Have some chicken, turkey, steak and fish prepared and ready to eat when you get hungry. Remember insulin activity is highest in the early part of the day and wane as the day goes on. This is why it is important to consume the majority of your carbohydrates immediately post workout and prior to evening hours way ahead of our body screeching its heels in preparation for retiring to restful sleep. As the day goes on your insulin levels wane and your body can digest carbs and sugars easier earlier in the day, closer to your workout, as opposed to later in your day when your body’s chemistry is winding down. Your last meal of the day should be a lean protein and veggies.
Always drink plenty of water to flush toxins and stay hydrated. Keep up this very simple daily routine and you will be feeling and looking “fit forever”. Your instant gratification isn’t going to happen overnight but with any set goal you could really be at the level of a well-rounded healthy physique in short order. Keep in mind, dedication, application and perseverance are the keys to ultimate success.
Good luck and know that it is worth the effort.