Day: July 7, 2019

How to Lose Your Gut in 10 Days

Yeah, we know: A headline like “How to lose your gut  in 10 days” screams “bullshit.”

But, truth be told, it’s actually quite possible to burn belly fat  in just a week and a half. The key to success is in the details, and you’ll need to follow them meticulously. But don’t stress: This is a short-lived emergency shred, not a long-term lifestyle plan. So whether you’re prepping for a party or a vacation, we’ve got you covered.

Note: Depending on the circumference of your gut, results may vary.  

1. Go to bed

Exhaustion can give you a gut. “Sleep deprivation disrupts your metabolism, seriously sabotaging efforts to maintain an ideal weight,” says Jana Klauer, M.D., an obesity researcher at NYC’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. Here’s how it works: Fat cells produce a hormone called leptin, which tells the body how much potential energy it has stored. Since leptin production peaks at night, when you’re asleep, sleep deprivation can throw levels of the hormone out of whack. The end result? Your body has no idea how much energy it has banked, so you end up storing fat instead of burning it.

Consider a full night’s rest an integral part of any weight-loss regimen. Getting sufficient sleep will prevent lags in energy and help reduce carb cravings, adds Klauer. It’ll also help build gut-busting muscle. “Sleep deprivation causes a drop in the production of human growth hormone,” says Klauer. (This ensures the fat your body stores will make a beeline for your waistline.) “After a good workout, you get more deep, slow-wave sleep; and it’s this cell-repairing stage of sleep where up to 70% of daily growth-hormone secretion takes place in young men.” Meaning, even if you’re getting in your time at the gym, you still need to hit the sack to complete the biological process that makes muscles pop.

Get seven hours a night.

2. Power up with protein

Protein is the main component of muscle tissue, so it should be the primary focus of your muscle-building diet. Aim for 1.5g per pound of your targeted bodyweight during an emergency shred like this. Always have a form of protein in every meal to ensure muscles are being fueled with amino acids throughout the day and blood sugar levels are stabilized. Under normal conditions, you should eat about 1g per pound of bodyweight. Always consume protein post-workout.

3. Have a carb strategy

We’ve heard it all before: “Carbs are the enemy.” Well, not really. Completely slashing your carb intake will certainly help with dropping the pounds (and fast) but you’ll also be left feeling cranky, tired, and lethargic. “Carbs are essential for life as our brain and central nervous system require them to work properly. Forgoing carbs can force your body to metabolize muscle for energy,” says Tim McComsey, R.D., P.T. It all comes down to using carbs correctly, not cutting them completely. “To get lean, a balance of the right amount of carbs in the morning and post-workout is ideal,” he says.

4. Lift for nine days

Most people believe cardio paves the way for six-pack abs, but lifting is really the crucial element. For the next week and a half, you’re going to lift for nine days.

Perform your lifting workouts at night, as interval training will be a part of your morning routine.

Here are your splits:

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Chest
Day 3: Back
Day 4: Shoulders
Day 5: Arms
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Legs
Day 8: Chest
Day 9: Back
Day 10: Shoulders

5. Do seven days of intervals

If your goal is to burn fat, intervals better be part of your program. Besides being a quick method to get in a great workout, intervals are extremely effective for transforming your physique. By incorporating intense periods of work with short recovery segments, intervals allow you to keep the workout intensity high while still maintaining form. The magic of high-intensity interval training lies in its ability to keep you burning fat even after you leave the gym. In short, your body isn’t able to bring in enough oxygen during periods of hard work. Therefore, you accumulate a “debt” of oxygen that must be repaid post-workout in order to get back to normal. The result: Your metabolism is revved for hours after you leave the gym.  

Perform interval workouts in the morning on an empty stomach. Here are 8 of our favorite fat-burning intervalsOpens a New Window. .

Day 1: On
Day 2: On
Day 3: Off
Day 4: On
Day 5: On
Day 6: Off—perform a paced run at 60 minutes
Day 7: On
Day 8: On
Day 9: Off
Day 10: On

6. Get laid

Testosterone, perhaps the most widely known hormone, is responsible for helping lifters put on more muscle and recover faster from workouts. Other hormones such as growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and hCG also play a huge role in recovery and seeing jumps in size and strength (not to mention your mood and sex life). Increasing your hormone levels to the optimal numbers involves balancing your lifestyle, perfecting your nutrition, and training at the right intensity. Too much stress in day-to-day activities can release more catabolic hormones (like cortisol), which break down muscle and make it tough to build the physique you want. “Our best evidence identifies regular exercise, a good night’s sleep, and plenty of sex as our best bets at increasing our muscle-building hormone king (aka testosterone),” says Yoni Freedhoff, M.D., family physician and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.

7. Use a supplement stack

There’s no secret elixir or magic pill, just the basics.

Supplement with caffeine (200mg pre-workout) and beta-alanine (2g in the a.m., 2g post-workout).

A 2008 study at the College of New Jersey examined collegiate football players on a 30-day schedule of beta-alanine supplementation. The players were randomly divided into a supplement or placebo group three weeks before preseason football training camp. Performance was measured on the first day of camp by a 60-second anaerobic power test and three line drills. Throughout the duration of camp, logs recorded resistance training volumes, and subjects completed questionnaires on feelings of soreness, fatigue, and practice intensity. The group that took the beta-alanine supplements had a lower fatigue rate and a higher training volume throughout the exercises.

Researchers in the UK found athletes who ingested caffeine had a rate of perceived exertion that was 5.6% lower than athletes who were given placebos. The researchers also found that caffeine improved overall exercise performance by 11.2%. Imagine getting 11% more out of every workout, just because you had a shot of caffeine before you hit the gym.

The hidden danger lurking behind Trump’s embarrassing 4th of July spectacle

On March 12, 1938, the vaunted German army was to make its triumphant entry into Austria—the infamous Anschluss by which a compliant Austrian government surrendered to the Nazis without a shot.

A grand parade of the Third Reich’s might was scheduled for the Austrian capital Vienna but the army’s tanks were not as invincible as the generals bragged. They quickly broke down, clogging the roads, stalling the advance, and infuriating Adolph Hitler. And so, French author and filmmaker Eric Vuillard writes in his eloquent essay, The Order of the Day, “the German troops loaded as many tanks as they could onto railroad cars… the trains hauled away the armor the way you’d transport circus equipment.” The parade went on as planned.

It was that image of massive weapons as circus gear that flashed to mind this week when photos were released of tanks on railroad cars in Washington, DC, ready to be placed on display at our National Mall on the orders of Donald Trump. They were part of his plan to hijack the Fourth of July and make our nation’s birthday all about him—a “Salute to America,” featuring the tanks, military flyovers (including the Blue Angels and Air Force One) and a speech made by the man who calls himself, “Your favorite President, me!” The White House, the Republican National Committee, and the Trump reelect distributed VIP tickets.

As per The New York Times, “Pentagon officials have long been reluctant to parade tanks, missiles, and other weapons through the nation’s capital like the authoritarian leaders of North Korea and China. They say the United States, which has the world’s most powerful military and spends more on defense than the seven next largest military spenders combined—China, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Russia, Britain, and Germany—does not need to broadcast its strength.”

Many former military weren’t crazy about the idea either. Retired Army Lt. Gen. David Barno, who commanded troops under George W. Bush, told Politico, “This looks like it’s becoming much more of a Republican Party event—a political event about the president—than a national celebration of the Fourth of July, and it’s unfortunate to have the military smack dab in the middle of that.” Retired Army Maj. Gen. William Nash added, “The president is using the armed forces in a political ploy for his reelection campaign and I think it’s absolutely obscene.”

(Mother Jones reported on Wednesday that soldiers assigned to the tanks and other armored vehicles plopped down among our national monuments had been given a card by the Pentagon about what to say to the public, including,  “I am proud of my job and my vehicle/tank. I am glad to share my experience with American People.”)

Anyone who has ever spent a Fourth of July in Washington knows that it’s a festive fun day in the capital, albeit wilting hot and sopping humid, usually above politics, featuring a parade, a folk life festival, grand music, and fireworks. But this year, the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, usually a prime vantage point for watching the skyrockets, and the surrounding parkland were cordoned off for the invited guests so that they could watch our egomaniacal president and the first lady make a grand entrance across a red-carpeted stage at the spot where Marian Anderson sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” when she was barred from Constitution Hall by the DAR in 1939, and Martin Luther King, Jr., told an eager crowd in 1963 of his dreams for racial harmony and freedom.

Trump’s attempt to wedge himself and his reelection into the festivities—using, in part, taxpayer millions diverted from much needed repairs of the national parks—had the grace of that clown who tries to photobomb a group portrait in the high school yearbook, making faces and wiggling fingers in his ears. The speech, which many feared would be a partisan attack similar to the rants he delivers at his campaign rallies, turned out to be standard if dull rhetoric that sounded more like the third-place winning essay in an eighth grade civics contest than a speech by our putative chief executive. It went on at such monotonous length that CNN actually cut away for a commercial break, something I have never in my life seen happen during a presidential address.

Standing behind a wall of bulletproof glass so rain streaked it appeared he was speaking from behind a car windshield during a cloudburst, Trump was at his best when quoting the eloquence of his predecessors rather than the boilerplate of his speechwriters. (Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people ” was trundled out, but there was no mention of Abe’s “malice toward none.”) He lumbered through a rambling litany of moments in American history and named its greats, glossing over our sins, thanking all the branches of the military, and presenting notables in the audience who had been brought there, State of the Union-style, to be lauded for their achievements.

(One of them, Clarence Henderson, introduced by the president as among the first to participate in the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins in 1960 and cited by Trump as an exemplar of the success of civil rights, has in recent years been an outspoken Trump supporter and president of the North Carolina chapter of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group that seeks, according to The Fayetteville Observer, “to grow the ranks of conservative Christian black Republicans.”)

Aside from the verbal slips he inevitably stumbles into when reading from a teleprompter (“ramparts/airports”) there was no groaner of an improvised joke or insult, although given his draft record, the call for young people to join the military was a little rich. That this failure to further embarrass the nation was cause for kudos from Republican leadership and some in the media gives an idea of how low we’ve let this man set the presidential performance bar.

But as conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin noted in The Washington Post, Trump misconstrues American traditions: “What should be a commemoration of human rights (‘All men … ‘) and the unwavering faith in the rule of law and in democratic governance in Trump’s hands becomes a caffeinated Armed Services Day. He manages to transform a holiday about the greatest experiment in civilian self-government into a garish military Mardi Gras.”

So why spend even a moment wringing hands over such an event when there are horrors perpetrated by this regime on an hourly basis that far eclipse some uninspiring oratory and slipshod pageantry? When Trump perpetually lies, makes policy mayhem worldwide, utters dark threats about the homeless and deportations and allows men, women, and children to cluster in overcrowded squalid cellsalong our southern border?

Why bother? Because, as Eric Vuillard writes of World War II in The Order of the Day, “Great catastrophes often creep up on us in tiny steps.” Because on the same day a company donated $750,000 worth of free fireworks for Trump’s Fourth of July party, he dropped a tariff on imported Chinese fireworks that same company had been lobbying against. Because every bit of graft like that, every small indignity inflicted, each gesture and symbol of disdain, are reflective of a greater, potentially fatal insult to democracy and a degradation of the greater good that was idealized by the men who signed the Declaration.