This is guest post from Lilly, my homeboy and wingman in Tampa. Lilly was a college athlete and he continues to take care of himself by going to the gym regularly and eating right.
Yo, Lilly here. Lance asked me to write a guest post on diet and fitness, so here it is. I’ve been exercising consistently since I was 15 years old. I’m still in good shape and I look and feel pretty damn good for being almost 32. When I was a kid, I was tall and skinny and I wanted to put some meat on my bones to get in better shape for surfing, look better for the girls, and feel better about myself. Well, I accomplished all three of those goals. Here’s what I did.
(Lilly may or may not look like this)
This one is going to be broken down into a number of items. For the normal person, diet is over 80% of the battle. Unless you’re Mark Wahlberg or Angelina Jolie (if you’re a chick), your diet is much more important than exercise. You are what you eat and that is a fact.
Eat 5 Times a Day
People always tell me that I have a fast metabolism and that I’m blessed to be able to eat as much as I do. My boss visited me the other day and said, “Is that all you do is eat? Every time I come over here you’re eating.” I don’t think I’m blessed with a fast metabolism, I think that I’ve earned it. My parents used to call me Buddha Belly when I was a kid, hence the insane working out for 6 hours a day in college! But, seriously, the more often you eat, the more efficiently your body uses the energy. There are no spikes in blood sugar, no ups and downs in energy, and you actually end up being able to eat more.
When I say 5 meals a day, I mean as many as you can evenly proportion out. If you determine that you eat 2,500 calories a day, than each meal should be about 500 calories. Eat a normal breakfast, have a piece of fruit in between lunch, and then eat a normal lunch. Gradually add more to your snack and a little less to lunch and breakfast. A meal for me would be a sandwich with ¼ pound of lunch meat, two slices of whole wheat bread, an apple, and a banana. A morning snack is yogurt, fruit, and maybe a few lightly salted mixed nuts.
Eat Every 3 Hours
This is how I make sure to get in all of my meals in a day. It works perfectly: breakfast at 6 am, snack at 9 am, lunch at 12 pm, snack at 3 pm, sometimes a few raisins before working out, and then dinner at 7 or 8 pm.
Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
If it’s in a box with wrappings and it comes from a factory, do you really want to eat it? I do eat cereal, but I eat Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Try it, it’s expensive, but it’s high in protein, fiber, and, yes, carbs (you need them, just not in the form of white bread or icing on a cake). Canned vegetables are great for you but I would pretty much stay away from canned fruits as they are laden with sugar. I mostly shop on the outside edges of the supermarket where all the natural foods are located. I try to eat fruits and vegetables with every meal possible. The frozen foods section has some great things for snacking and meals. Publix has these garden burgers that are pretty damn good despite being vegetarian, i.e. you get protein and vegetables.
Eat Natural Foods
The more it’s processed the worse it is for you. Wash the dirt off and enjoy!
Eat a Variety of Foods
I eat all types of fruits and vegetables. The more the better. Spaghetti squash is actually really really good for you and tastes so similar to regular pasta that there’s no point in not eating it. Plantains are also really good for you depending on how they are prepared. They can be fried into chips or baked as sweet plantains or platanos maduros for those of you who know Spanish. All types of berries are good and taste good. Any type of vegetable is good, califlower can be mashed with small amounts of butter and garlic added to resemble garlic mashed potatoes but with tremendous amounts of nutrients and hardly any fat. Typically the more colors and deeper the colors the better it is for you.
I made a chili the other day with lean ground beef, red, green, and yellow peppers, onions, canned tomatoes with spice, three different types of beens, black, pinto, and kidney, and it was really good. After sauteeing the vegetables and cooking the beef, I just threw everything into a gigantic pot, cooked it until it boiled, and then ate it for lunch all week and even dinner. You could freeze it, too. There are so many options when it comes to food that you don’t have to eat McDonald’s. Ever. I can’t even remember the last time I ate anything from a fast food joint.
Honey is going to kill me on this one. The health benefits of meat are inarguable. It is the best source of protein available.
Take a Supplement
My dad used to make fun of me because I would whip up a protein shake after every workout. He called it a steroid shake. Protein powder is an excellent addition to a healthy meal, plus it’s a quick and easy meal to create in, oh, 20 seconds. I like that. Make sure you get quality protein and not the cheap stuff. Also, take a multivitamin if you think you are lacking in some nutrients.
If you’re trying to build muscle, alcohol actually breaks muscle down. Plus, the hangovers and dehydration wreak havoc on one’s system. But, it’s a vice like any other and its fun to have a few drinks. So be responsible and know your limits.
Eating Quality Junk Food
Look, if you ate perfect all the time you would be an android and boring to hang out with. You know what you like, so when you do decide to cheat make sure it’s on something REALLY good. Don’t go to the snack machine at work and buy M&Ms! Those are made with cheap chocolate, cheap peanuts, and cheap sugar. You need to go out to somewhere special like Bern’s Steakhouse dessert room and get the Banana Foster’s or find somewhere that has a fantastic cheesecake or Enzo’s molten lava cake. Or if dark chocolate is your vice, find a Godiva shop nearby and get the good stuff. You’ll find out very quickly that you will enjoy it MUCH more and you won’t eat as much of it.
If you don’t know what you are doing at the gym, than get someone to show you. Ask a cute girl (or guy) at the gym how to use a machine and maybe you can get them to show you around and get their number. Get a trainer or find someone to work out with. I usually weight train 3 days and run 3 per week.
My 3 day a week lifting regime consists of combining body parts for maximum growth and rest. Plus, I’m only in the gym 3 days a week as opposed to 4. This has taken me quite a number of years to perfect so if you can’t combine it than it’s okay. Most people work chest and triceps or back and biceps on one day but I find that after doing chest I don’t get as full a work out with my triceps or after back with biceps. Thus:
- Day 1 – chest and back
- Day 2 – legs and calves
- Day 3 – shoulders and arms.
Each day I do sit-ups and lower back exercises so that I don’t have to do them after I run since I’ll get cramps sometimes. Chest and back typically takes only about 1.5 hours, legs are usually a longer workout of about 2 hours, and shoulders and arms is usually pretty quick at about 1.75 hours. Each of those times include abs and lower back. Adding legs in between allows for rest of my arms and allows for my legs to be sore for about a day or two so that I can do cardiovascular exercise. So, Day 4 is rest and then Days 5 and 6 I’ll either run, surf, or anything else. Day 7, which is usually Sunday, can be an off day or another cardiovascular day depending on how sore or tired I am.
I also change things up. Mostly I just go surfing, but on occasion I’ll go snowboarding, wakeboarding, mountain biking, swimming, etc. I highly recommend doing weight training AND cardiovascular training. Also, weight training is more important than most people think, and sorry girls, but that excuse about getting too muscular, there is no chance in hell unless you’re either a genetic freak or you spend 8 hours a day in the gym.
The one question people have asked me about is motivation. How do I stay motivated? Lately I’ve been pretty un-motivated but the thing that has kept me motivated is surfing. I found something that I thoroughly enjoyed and I spend hours dreaming about it. When I don’t want to go to the gym I tell myself that if I get out of shape that I won’t be able to surf as well and so far that’s been true. Sometimes I can’t get to the beach for a couple of months, but once I get there, after a couple of rides, I’m back to where I was. I recommend everyone find a physical activity that they can enjoy until they die and that will keep your motivation at its highest.
As a quick note for those of you who want to burn the most amount of fat, lift weights first than do the stair stepper or treadmill. And if you replace your body fat with muscle, you burn tons of energy just sitting around doing nothing.
Now that you’re exercising you need to make sure your body recovers. Try to get at least 7 hours a night. 7.5 is optimum since your body sleeps in 1.5 hour intervals. When you first start working out you may need more than usual, but that will pass. Some people need more sleep, some less. If you can’t sleep, sex is a fantastic exercise and sleep inducer so if you have someone, well, you get it.
I’m sure I’ve left more than a few things out but I think these are the main points. The most important things are that everyone has to find what works for them, everything in moderation, and the only day for a new, better you is today!