We recommend eating five to eight times per day, which is about every two to four hours. The science nerds will read studies done on fat, sedentary women and tell you that your meal frequency and the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) doesn't matter, but as meatheads, we strongly disagree.
When dieting for a show, we sweat after every meal. That sounds like thermogenesis to me! So be sure to have at least protein and fat every meal.
Your body is like a furnace and food is like coal. If you stop feeding your body food, it will stop burning energy!
The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the more you can eat and not gain fat! Weight training also makes your body utilize more calories in the post workout period and even a couple of days after the workout for recovery and lean muscle growth.
By training every other day, you stay in the anabolic, post workout state and this can help you stay lean and muscular year round... assuming you follow rule #1!
Cardio increases blood flow. Blood flow increases nutrient delivery to your muscles. Nutrient delivery helps your body repair, recover and grow lean mass.
Cardio also helps your body burn fuel more efficiently. Whether it is high intensity or low intensity cardio, do it to stay healthy, lean and very muscular.
Stress causes a lot of straight up nasty things to happen to your physique. It increases certain hormones, which can halt fat loss and increase fat gain, it can make you sick, and it can also give you the urge to kick small dogs.
While you cannot end stress from family, work, and the fact that you have to wait months for another season of "Grey's Anatomy", you can control stressing over your physique and your goals. Just set short- and long-term goals, stay consistent, and it will happen! Results do not come overnight.
Just keep at it, enjoy training and eating healthy, and the goals will come! The destination is great, but might as well enjoy the ride there!
1. Do compound strength exercises.
2. Up your rep speed. Completing your reps faster (without sacrificing form) puts more stress on the body. Aim for one rep every two seconds.
3. Stick to low-impact, light cardio.