Monday, May 6, 2013

Engineering the Perfect Body, Part 5: Putting It all Together

So here we are at the end of the perfect body series. Over the last few posts we have learned that building the body of your dreams is not impossible, it just requires that you do two things:

That's right, your doctor wasn't lying when he/she said that being healthy is as simple as enjoying an improved diet and moving around a bit every day.

Specifically, eating a more nutrient-dense, toxin-free diet will allow your brain to correctly regulate your body weight and body fat. After you get your diet straightened out, you can then use an efficient and effective daily exercise program that primarily focuses on building muscle that will help you replace fat with muscle. That's it!

For those of you who believe that this transformation will take too long or will make a woman look too masculine, take a look at the woman in the title picture. This person lost 35.9 lbs of fat in six months, which is a healthy 1.5 lbs of fat loss per week. By the end of her transformation, her body weight and body fat dropped to 120.4 lbs and 19.83% (respectively). That's an incredible transformation in only 6 months! (And I don't think that anyone would describe her as too muscular or less feminine.)

To give you a road map to building your perfect body, let's put each of my posts in this series into a single 4-step process:

Step 1: Get Your Waist Measurement Under Control
You can use your waistline as a proxy for your overall health. A growing waistline means that your health is getting worse, while a shrinking (or normal) waistline means that you are getting healthier.

Use the chart below to figure out what your waistline should be (it should be in the green area). Your waist should be proportional to your height.

Click here for larger image.

If your waist is too big for your height, then you need to:
  • Use a clean diet (which lacks the 7 Deadly Foods and other dietary toxins) to allow your body to get rid of your excess abdominal fat automatically. 
  • Because chronic stress can cause abdominal obesity, it is also important that you reduce as many sources of stress as possible (which can be a poor diet, chronic infections, excess exercise, mental anxiety, etc.).

    After making these changes, your waist should automatically shrink to within a healthy range (again, based on your height). Continuing to eat a clean diet while managing chronic stress should help to keep your waist in the healthy range without much effort.

    You can read more about the waist measurement here.

    Step 2: Get Your Body Weight Under Control
    If you are suffering from excess body weight (and you aren’t a bodybuilder), then your brain is likely unable to determine how heavy you are. Specifically, your brain can’t accurately figure out how much body fat you have. This interference tricks your brain into thinking that you are starving, which forces it to increase your appetite and hunger to fill those fat stores and drop your metabolism in an effort to prevent too much stored fuel from being burned.

    Use the body-mass index (BMI) chart below to figure out where your normal weight could be. A BMI between 19 and 25 (which is identified in green in the table below) is considered normal and associated with the least disease.

    Click here for larger image.

    Assuming that you are not a lean athlete, if you are currently at a BMI that is above 25 then you have to use a clean diet to eliminate the foods that are preventing your hypothalamus gland from accurately detecting body fat (known as leptin resistance).

    After making the changes above you should experience a consistent 1-2 pounds of fat weight loss per week (unless you are also exercising while you enjoy a more healthful diet, in which case your weight may drop more slowly as you grow lean muscle while also losing fat). Continuing to eat cleanly while also managing your stress will help you automatically keep your weight within a healthy range for the rest of your life.

    You can read more about your body weight here.

    Step 3: Build Muscle to Change Your Body Composition
    Once your waist has shrunk and your weight is within the normal range for your height, you can use an efficient daily exercise program to help you grow more muscle and further lower your body fat percentage. Using the table below as a guide, you should always aim for a body fat percentage that places you in the Athletes or Fitness categories, not matter how old you are.

    Dropping body fat is often referred to as "cutting up." To cut up, most experts champion hours of cardio as a means to "burn" excess fat weight. Unfortunately, that's not how your body reacts to exercise. In general, once you are at a stable body weight, your brain will try to maintain that weight. If you gain muscle, your body will likely get rid of an equal amount of fat to maintain that stable weight. So, to "cut up," don't waist time trying to burn excess calories; instead, your labor should go towards building muscle.

    To read more about how to build muscle, click here.

    Step 4: Enjoy Your New Body
    This is by far the easiest step to accomplish. Once you've finished building your perfect body, get outside and show it off!

    Time to Get Inspired to Build Your Perfect Body!
    If it isn't apparent from my blog, I love to see people succeed. I especially love the before-and-after pictures of people who have transformed their bodies. To hopefully inspire you to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle, I have assembled some amazing before-and-after pics below. Although each person used their own way to achieve their success, some version of a clean diet and heavy/intense exercise program was used.

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