Many ask us how we stay so lean and in good shape for people our age. The calendar actually tells our age, but we feel much younger. So we want to give you some of our top secrets to staying lean. In reality, they are not secrets at all but well-known truths that have been forgotten.

We don’t exercise too hard.

First, regarding exercise, we don’t exercise too hard. Many times, as a matter, fact our workouts last anywhere from 30-40 minutes. Normally, our time is divided with a mixture of weight training, functional training, and cardiovascular training. We train anywhere from 4-5 times a week. Sometimes we go at it pretty hard; sometimes we don’t. We just do it by feel.

Exercise is not used to control fat loss.

Second, and this is very important, exercise is not to be used to control fat loss. Exercise is beneficial to muscle building, cardiovascular health, and lymphatic health. Nutrition is the primary mechanism to controlling fat. Often times, people want to eat horrible, then try to exercise it away. This is not only a bad idea, but is inflammatory.

Many fall into the trap of trying to exercise harder when the body fat loss attempts are not cooperating. As stated, this will increase inflammation, depress immune function, increase adrenal stress and fatigue, and cause hormone dysfunction.

We maintain a simple nutrition plan.

Third, our nutrition plan is pretty simple. We eat green vegetables with each meal, a piece or two of fruit per day, and a moderate amount of protein. We do not eat bread, grains or sugars routinely. Occasionally, we will eat a bit of quinoa or possibly a sweet potato, but mainly this occurs when we eat out.

Regarding caloric load, this one may surprise you. Dr. Michele routinely eats 1000-1400 calories daily. I typically get between 2200-2500, sometimes a bit less. We, as a population, simply do not need that many calories. We must select them wisely and from nutrient dense sources. Our macronutrient breakdown is in the following range: 30-40% protein, 10-20% carbohydrates, 35-40% fat.

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We practice intermittent fasting.

Here is the most important thing about nutrition, it is important to make a practice of intermittent fasting. Every 3-4 days we will utilize a 16-18 hour fast. That’s right, we won’t eat anything for 16-18 hours. Many mistakenly believe that fasting will cause decrease in muscle tissue. Actually it works quite different. When one fasts, insulin descends, fat burning increases, and growth hormone increases. Growth hormone functions to protect and build lean muscle tissue. As you can see, this is the best of both worlds.

You might also be interested in: Intermittent Fasting: How to Reset Your Metabolism

We get plenty of rest.

Fourth, we work very hard to get sufficient rest. Persons need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night at least. Getting sufficient sleep is critical regarding body composition maintenance. When one is fatigued, hypercortisolism will result with potential added fat gain, not to mention other inflammatory conditions.

You might also be interested in: 6 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

These principles seem very simple on the surface. In fact they really are. When employed correctly, like so many of our patients have done, extraordinary results are achieved. It is not uncommon, when these principles are followed, to see a 2-3% body fat reduction in a 30 day period with added muscle tissue.