It’s not rocket science, men – your body is a reflection of your routine.
Having visible stomach muscles in the form of a six pack or abs is due to a solid foundation of core and abdominal muscle combined with low amounts of body fat.
Whilst genetics will get you so far, maintaining this comes down to refining your daily routine to be geared towards health.
Working out daily and moderating kilojoule consumption goes without saying as being necessary to achieve the physical attributes of a Greek God. Yet many of us who do this still cant seem to loose that last couple percentage of body fat.
Let me explain why this is the case through these three practices that prevent us from metamorphosing into something that resembles a marble statue.
Mid-Week Work Drinks
Most people are aware of the degenerative effects of excessive alcohol consumption on the human body.
Alcohol being a depressant means we are more likely to skip the gym. Its twice as dense in energy as carbohydrates and being a toxin the body must digest the alcohol first meaning we are more likely to store the food we are eating as fat.
Drinking mid week obviously adds calories to your bottom line but this isn’t the worst thing about socialising too much at work.
Burning the candle at both ends by working late, exercising hard, being mindful of diet and socialising leaves little time for rest and recuperation. Most of us are fine during the week and even until early Saturday morning, however at some stage it catches up with us and leaves us in bed all day Sunday hiding from the world.
We all do this when we are young but inevitably our resolve to maintain exercise and healthy eating decreases and we burn out as our commitments with work and partners increases with age.
If you can strike a balance and moderate when and how much you are drinking around work, you are far more likely to have that six pack not only now but well into the future.
Take Away Work Lunches
It is common for us only to see good and bad when we get take away; Sushi and rice paper rolls = good, Thai noodles = bad. However it isn’t necessarily what you’re eating that is the primary problem, it is what getting lunch out most days says about your lifestyle.
Someone that opts to buy lunch at work is someone that forgoes planning and preparation of food and health for something else.
All of us have a growing ‘To Do’ list of work and life administration duties; kids, social drinks, exercise, resting on the couch, and only a set amount of hours in the day.
All of us make decisions that have a resulting impact on our health and body that are either progressive or regressive in their impact. Simply it is whether or not we prioritise health, that is planning and preparation, which is the largest determinant to the state of any ones gut.
This needs to start with where we spend most of our time, doing work.
Morning Tea & Coffee
The classic corporate day of food goes as such; fruit or piece of toast for breakfast, coffee for morning team, take away sushi or tuna salad for lunch, coffee and treat for afternoon tea, snack upon arrival at home before a large dinner.
Coffee plays a key role in this day, stimulating our sensory system – arguably improving mental alertness whilst suppressing our appetite. It enables us to reduce our food consumption at work and through the first half of the day.
Whilst this appears as a positive, it is a massive error in understanding of how our mind and body work in relation to contemporary work life balance.
Propping our mentally exhausted minds up for short periods, caffeine allows us to suppress our appetite. We do this when we are busy, in the morning. In doing this we forgo energy, vitamins and minerals when we need them – when stressed.
Unfortunately the body has a wonderful way of surviving. When stressed and exhausted we crave energy to ensure we can survive the next bout. For most, this means that home time is a time that is full of instant gratification, be it mind numbing TV (inactivity), treats after dinner (calories when you don’t need them), and eating until heavily full (catching up on what you didn’t eat that day). When this happens day in day out it becomes tricky to manage weight.
The solution is to understand why you are reaching for the coffee and its affects on your routine choices. Using coffee as a meal replacement or stress relief due to its availability typically leads us to eat more in the second half of the day, when we are less active.
For those of us in high pressure jobs, it exhausts our adrenal systems, leading to other poor choices such as too many work drinks, take away lunches and inactivity.
Jordan Ponder is the founder of Transform Health in Sydney, Australia. TransformHealth has been created to inspire habitual health and improve performance.Contact Jordan to arrange a nutrition, fitness and lifestyle consultation.