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Simple Tips For Getting (and Staying) Lean

dakotayounger.com

Exercise

WHY I LIKE IT:
It’s short.
It’s hard to come up with a good excuse as to why you can’t spare 30 minutes to quickly workout. I’ve taken longer shits before. Even on the days where I
really
don’t want to work out, I just start it up and next thing you know, it’s over.

Easy to access.
You can download the
on your phone, iPad and/or Apple TV and you can download the workouts so you can access them even if you end up without wifi or cell service. I like being able to wake up, go downstairs, pull up the app on Apple TV and just jump into the workout.

It can be done at home or on the road and requires minimal equipment.
Technically, you could do the whole thing with just resistance bands and they’ve designed it that way so that A) you don’t have to buy a bunch of shit just to stay fit B) so your able to do any workout while traveling.

that have worked great. They come with handles and foot straps which is nice because you can use them for resistance or for
assistance
. Like, I would drape the bands over the pull-up bar and put my feet in to help me do more pull-ups with better form initially (still do for some of the workouts). Obviously you can mix and match resistance weights to provide more or less assistance.

The other optional items you can have as alternative to bands are:

I have a set of the
that I really like. They’re compact and easy to store.

I have limited space at my house and the doorways downstairs don’t fit the standard pull-up bar setups that go in the door frame so
that can be broken down. I just take it apart and slide the pieces under the couch. Everything is pretty light (but sturdy) and it also came with a travel case. If I was just traveling a bit, I probably wouldn’t bring it but if I was on the road a lot, I might consider it. I personally think pull-ups are one of the best all-around workouts you can do (in addition to pushups) so I wouldn’t want to miss out on that too much.

I stole one of my wife’s fancy
. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty awesome. They have different thicknesses. I would prob do 3MM but if you want more padding you can obviously go for the 5MM. They have a thinner one they say is for travel (1.5MM) but at that thickness I’d say just use the damn floor.

That’s literally it. A few workouts have you use a chair to put your foot on for like a single motion or something but it can be anything really.

After you do the standard program, they also have additional versions that come with it like one for getting more lean, anther for building more bulk. But I would do the standard program once or twice first.

Diet

Limit Sweets

Apparently, sugar isn’t consider a super “healthy” food group. Depending on your metabolism and a bunch of other sciencey shit, even small amounts can cause weight gain as well as
. What’s worse is that the negative impacts appear to get worse with age. Mind blowing stuff, I know.

When I started working out again, I wasn’t super keen on working my ass off just to put it right back on again later in the day. However, as you may know, I like my sweets. Although I can abstain from certain things for short periods of time, eventually I’m going to revert back to what I like. This was a concern for me because I knew that when I did revert back, I would likely lose a lot of the gains (or actually weight
loss
in this case) that I made. This in turn could cause me to feel like the whole thing was a futile effort and then I might quit all together. Next thing you know, they have to cut a hole in one of the walls of my apartment just to get me out. Yikes.

To avoid this, I decided I needed to find healthier alternative “sweets” to help curb my cravings and allow me to abstain more sustainably. Here are a few that I’ve found and liked:

You can get them other places than Amazon (like Target) but with Amazon you can get them in bulk boxes and save a few bucks. You might want to get a few different kinds from a local store like Target to figure out which you like first before ordering a full box. Pretty much all the Smart Sweets’ stuff is good but my favorite is the
. The
(similar to sour patch kids) and
are also pretty solid. Word of advice though, the ones that look like Swedish Fish do
NOT
taste
anything
like Swedish Fish. They’re alright but I was
extremely
disappointed when I tried them and just want to save you the heart ache. I literally almost cried.

The market for this kind of stuff is blowing up so there are actually quite a few brands out there now. I seems like Target is stocking quite a few different ones, at least in LA so it’s worth keeping an eye out and trying different things. Some are closer to the real thing than others. The way I see it, some might not be quite as good as the “real” deal but they’re good enough to satisfy the craving. TBH though, I’d eat those watermelon smart sweets regardless.

UPDATE:
This
makes some pretty tasty low-sugar candy as well. The gummy worms are my favorite.

You can get individual bags at most grocery stores, usually in the produce section. Bruh, I order these things in
bulk
from Amazon. The
are straight 🔥 . They have regular and cinnamon as well. The regular kind is alright. Cinnamon is a solid second to the caramel ones. There’s another company called “Bare” that makes apple chips too but I haven’t tried them (primarily because I don’t think they have the caramel ones). The 2.5oz bags only 30 grams of sugar which is quite a bit more the 3 grams you get from Smart Sweets but 30 grams is still pretty low. I typically keep to one or two bags a week whereas I have a bag of smart sweets almost every night.

Heads up:
if you’re ordering them from Amazon, make sure you get the 2.5 oz bags and
not
the .7 ounce bags - unless you’re doing it for portion control reasons ...or you
really
like opening bags. Learned that one the hard way.

Particularly the ones from Target. I swear Target isn’t paying me to say this stuff. These things just are
insanely
tasty. Especially the strawberry ones. They have 10g of sugar per strip which isn’t bad but you’ll still want to practice moderation if only for the fact that most people will have a pretty hard time comprehending let alone sympathizing with a sob story about gaining weight from fruit strips. I mean, unless they’ve actually tried these things but look, you don’t want to play those odds. Just be smart. One or two a day is fine.

We get the
from the grocery store. Throw the whole smore pack in the freezer and it’s pretty much heaven. I know chocolate might seem like a step in the wrong direction but if you look at the nutritional stats, they’re actually not too bad. Only 25g of sugar for the whole bar (which is less than the apple chips, though the apple chips have less fat but only by a few grams). That said, I usually will just break off half a bar and then break that it into the mini rectangles and eat them slowly, enjoying each little bit. Even if you think you’ll eat the whole thing, take half and try to enjoy it first. If you decide you want more, go back to the freezer and get it but sometimes it might be enough. There’s been times where I’ve just been too lazy to get up which...hey, I’ll take my wins anyway I can get them.

/Seltzer Water
We get it from Target. I prefer the
but they have a bunch of flavors. Doesn’t have to be Bubly either (obvi), just anything besides soda. Soda has
so
much fucking sugar! Avoid it like the plague. I don’t even let myself have a cheat with it once in a while. It’s just not worth it IMO. Not all seltzer water is equal though. So if you try a certain brand or flavor and don’t like it, keep trying others until you find one you like. Having them be cold helps a lot I’ve found as well.

In fact, I went and got one of these
. Every night when I’m done I just put the whole thing back in the freezer and take it back out the next night. It insulates the can plus it has an icepack that goes at the bottom to keep the can super cool. You can also take the ice pack off and use the insulator part as it’s own drink holder as well, comes with a lid and everything. I know it’s kinda nerdy but I actually really like it.

What compelled me to actually make this purchase was that I
really
enjoy an ice cold beer. Like,
super
cold to where it kind of hurts the back of your throat. However, I found that in an effort to enjoy my beers at peak cold temperature, I was drinking them a lot faster than I actually wanted to which inevitably led me to drink more beers per night as a whole. I thought that if I could find something that allowed me to enjoy my beer at the same temperature
longer
, I might drink fewer beers and reduce my calorie input. As it turns out, I was right! Where I used to drink 2-3 beers a night, I was able to cut down to 1-2 without feeling
any
difference in cravings. I know a beer or two might not seem like much but if you consider the fact that an average IPA (my beer of choice) has ~200 calories, that’s actually a big deal. By reducing my beer intake by just
1 beer a night
, I was able to reduce my calorie intake by ~1400 calories a week! And frankly, by now I usually just nurse the one and be fully content.

Meal Replacement Shakes

I actually initially got into these because my schedule in the day tends to be pretty busy and as a result, I would frequently miss lunch. Depending on what I had for breakfast, this would often result in a mid-day energy crash. What I found even more frustrating though is that if I
did
get lunch, I commonly experienced what I call a “lunch hangover” - where you feel all heavy, lethargic and foggy headed.

Meal replacement shakes turned out to be a great all-around solution because they’re really quick to make and they don’t cause that post-lunch hangover. Even better, when you do the math each lunch ends up coming out to something like $1.50. You’ll be hard pressed to find
any
lunch at that price, let alone one that’s as healthy considering all the protein, fiber and other nutrients you get.

I’ve tried a few different kinds over the years but the one I’ve been using the longest (and continue to use) is
. Compared to other brands like
,
is more nutritional
and
cheaper. It also tastes great - like graham crackers. If you’re interested in checking it out,
.

Watch
When
You Eat

This one is huge.
Really
try not to eat 2-3 hours before going to bed. Most people will tell you not to eat past 9pm. However, the
timing
is what’s important, not the actual time (for the most part). If you go to bed earlier then you’ll want to stop eating earlier (obvi).

Your body needs time to fully digest food otherwise it gets turned to fat. Plus it can hinder your quality of sleep. That’s a gross simplification but look it up if you don’t believe me. It’s science.

———

Alright, so that’s my whole bag of tricks.
. Hopefully it helps. Good luck!
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