Two weeks in, two weeks to go.
Hopefully you all have changed the way you eat to the point where you can already see results. You are sleeping more and sleeping more soundly. These two changes offer huge benefits in the short term and long term. Expect to continue to see these positive changes happen.
I want to show you with this article why water and “base” supplementation is so important to losing and maintaining a healthy weight. I call it base supplementation because so many different factors affect different people specific to that person. For that reason, I have some clients taking different variations of fish oils, some taking cortisol suppressors, and some taking estrogen detoxifiers. It varies person to person. But these supplements are what nearly every single person needs to be taking.
Water and supplementation are so important to people’s health and weight management needs. There are hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions happening every single day inside of your body. For this reason, among countless others, you need at least half of your body weight in ounces of water a day. So if you are 200-pound man you need 100 ounces per day. This is only a general rule of thumb. I hope and trust that most of you are training hard. This means that you are sweating a lot and need to replenish that fluid with water. So on training days look more towards 0.6 - 0.7 ounces per pound of body weight (about 20% more than “1/2 your bodyweight in ounces”).
Another great side effect of drinking water is that it will prevent you from drinking other horrible options when you are thirsty. Drinks like Coca-Cola and bottled fruit juices are basically just sugar water and usually contain high fructose corn syrup or other sugary additives that boost your insulin and make you store fat. Stay away from these types of drinks.
Conversely, coffee and tea are acceptable as these can help boost metabolic rate and contain antioxidants (which are one of the base supplementation requirements everybody needs). I would only drink coffee and tea in their organic options. I would also limit afternoon/evening consumption as caffeine stays in your system for a long time. Typically ½ the amount of caffeine you consumed is still running through your veins 6 hours later!
Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is created in the stomach and allows you to process your food. If your levels are low, you aren’t digesting all the nutrients in your food. Studies show up to 98% of Americans have an HCL deficiency! To learn how to determine your stomach acid levels check out this article entitled, “HCL: The Most Important Supplement Ever?”
Once you have started supplementing your HCL you need to have a proper fish oil (for omega-3’s) and vitamin D3 supplement. These two are keys to your weight management because there are omega-3 and vitamin D receptor sites on every single cell in the human body. Translation? They can help in every area of your life, including fat loss.
Unlike fish oil, vitamin D3 is best taken in mega doses. I recommend up to 70,000 IU of D3 per week taken in two 35,000 IU doses. As your D levels rise you can scale back the amount you consume. And make sure it’s bioavailable D3 and not D2. Please!
Anybody living north of Los Angeles or Atlanta is almost guaranteed to be low in vitamin D. (Get your blood work done to see what level you are at – you want to be I want my clients between 60-80 – most people are around 20 – yikes!!). Our bodies just don’t produce enough vitamin D from the sun because we aren’t out in the sun enough with enough skin AND we are told to get that sun block on all the time!
The truth is the skin of an average Caucasian color can produce 10,000 IU of vitamin D in only 20-30 minutes! My recommendation: wait that much time to put on sun block, get your D, then cover up the skin. And don’t wear sunglasses, either, as this blocks vitamin D absorption!
The final supplements that I feel is necessary are antioxidants. We hear a lot about them nowadays and they are definitely essential. While we work and play and work out our bodies create free radicals.
Antioxidants will help to eliminate free radicals from doing damage and help put our bodies back into an anabolic state. Basically antioxidants are needed for detoxification purposes and to keep inflammation down as well. This will help with fat loss!
Fat-burning exercise tip of the week: Be more efficient in the gym – a smart circuit style/body composition protocol is far superior to gaining muscle and burning fat. Even you guys who “wanna put on some muscle” should quit texting and playing angry birds after each set of that same old (ho-hum) bench press you do every single time you go to the gym. Work opposing muscle groups then take a break. For example pick your favorite leg exercise, your favorite “pulling” exercise and your favorite “pushing” exercise. After a warm-up do them all in a row before you break. Take a short 45 second break then hit it again. Repeat a 3-4 times before you pick some new exercises and go at it again. Trust me, it’s for the best!
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About Phil Gephart:
Phil Gephart is a certified personal trainer with a Master's Degree (MS) in Exercise Science with a focus in Coaching & Athletic Administration, received in 2009 from Concordia University in beautiful Irvine, California. Phil’s passion for fitness is reflected in his involvement in sports throughout his life—in high school, he played basketball, baseball and soccer, in college he continued playing basketball and soccer. Phil also played basketball professionally for five years.
Phil Gephart is currently a professor in the exercise science department at Concordia University, where he teaches an Advanced Personal Training course to undergraduate students.