Top Ten Tips for a Tip Top Torso
by Dr. Don Rose, Writer,
Which do you want: a tip top torso, or a wide wobbly waist? Do you want to look
like a Greek god in sandals, or get a big gut with large love-handles?
It gets harder to avoid the latter as we age; that’s why bloated bellies tend to
be seen more often on older folks – like Boomers and
-- than on the younger set. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone at any age
can have a great looking bod, and not fear their rear, if one follows some exercise
and eating rules of thumb. The rules presented below offer ideas on how to get fit
and fight fat – something especially useful around holiday time, when calories tend
to tempt us time and time again. The modern middle-aged male’s midsection is often
more massive than it should be, which can mean many medical maladies if not modified.
The good news: most midsections can be trimmed and tightened
with time, through tenacity and tried-and-true techniques.
1. Moving Morning: move
your workouts to the A.M. if possible -- the earlier the better. Early exercise
increases the metabolism, which stays high for several hours afterwards. Benefits
of getting your body moving early: more calories burned during the rest of the day
and your appetite tends to decrease for a few hours after a workout.
2. Big Breakfast: eat more
in the morning (and at lunch) than in the evening. Not only will this get your metabolism
going, but you also have all day to burn off “early calories.” Think of your ideal
daily calorie intake as an inverted triangle -- more in the morn, tapering off till
3. Welcome Water: try to
drink at least 8 glasses (cups) a day, if possible. Besides the many benefits from
the water itself, drinking water before a meal makes you feel fuller and hence you
are less likely to overeat. Everyone’s needs are different, of course, but the common
maxim says to drink 8 cups a day for optimal health. (Note: urine color indicates
whether you need more or less H20; a deeper darker color means you probably need
more water.) Tip: try drinking 1 or 2 cups upon waking, before you do anything else;
my friend said her friend lost several pounds via this tip alone.
4. Healthy Half: some folks
have lost pounds by eating and drinking whatever items they want, but half the usual
amount. By doing this, you’re not denying yourself any particular food or beverage
– but half the portion means half the calories, which helps you lose weight. For
example, one might eat a sandwich with only one side of the bun. (This not only
halves the bun calories, but less bread means less carbs -- so it’s a double salvo
in your weight loss war.) You also stretch your food budget twice as far.
5. Ditch Dessert: a variant
on the previous rule, where you eat whatever you want, with one restriction. In
Rule 4, the single restriction was halving portion size; in this rule, it is eliminating
any item that is sweet (that is, items with sugar, since sugar is dense with calories).
Combining Rules 4 and 5 can be especially effective.
6. Best Buddies: it’s often
helpful to have a buddy (or significant other) following the same or similar rules
and routines as you -- for support, and to compare notes. Your buddy may discover
a useful technique, trick or tip you didn’t think of (or vice versa).
7. More Meals: eat more
often, but less per meal. This keeps the metabolism constantly in high gear to burn
off calories. Try to keep the smallest meals (i.e., snacks) healthy, too. Using
this rule along with Rule 4 can be a sensible combination. For example, instead
of 3 or 4 “normal portion” meals per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and an occasional
late supper/snack), try eating 6 to 8 small meals, each at half a “normal portion”
or less. This keeps you feeling full and your metabolism high all day. If possible,
reduce portion size as the day goes on (see Rule 2).
8. Food Focus: paying attention
to what you eat can pay big dividends. First, you’ll enjoy your meal more, since
your increased attention will lead you to savor the eating process. Second, the
seconds will seem like minutes the more you focus on what you are eating; it will
seem like you are eating for a longer time. Third, you will end your eating earlier,
because you’ll be aware of the onset of “feeling full” faster – which means less
calories taken in, and the gift of extra time to do other things. It’s win win win.
Combining this rule with Rule 4 can be effective; the more you truly focus, the
more your “half portion” will seem as filling as your former “full portion.”
9. Ending Eating: evening
calories are less likely to get burned off that day, and eating right before bed
can lead to heartburn or restless sleep, so try to consume less at night (as touched
on in Rule 2). Ideally, stop consuming calories at a set time each night. For example,
no food after 8pm. Make a rule and stick to it – whatever works for you. The goal:
put as many hours as you can between “last bite” and “good night.”
10. Sound Sleep: sleep is
when muscles repair, and in general the body uses this time to heal itself. Make
sure you get enough hours of shuteye each evening (most people need around 8 hours
per night). They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing!
Refer back to these rules when you need to remind yourself of some good habits to
follow. These rules are by no means exhaustive, but I hope they provide a general
roadmap that will take you closer to your final destination: a fine, fit physique.
If you find it hard to remember all of the information presented above, here is
a closing two-line poem that may help, summarizing the rules in ultra-brief form:
Work out mornings, more food
Focus now, buddy; half, no sweet.
8 cups water, 8 small servings. 8 o’clock stop time,
8 hours sleep.
The information provided here is, to the best of our knowledge,
reliable and accurate. However, while
strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee
100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to gather more information before drawing
conclusions and making decisions.
Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles
on many topics, including computers, the Internet, artificial intelligence, science
and technology, and issues related to seniors.
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