|TRAIN TO GAIN
by Linnea Hannigan, Contributing Writer
My name is Linnea Hannigan and I'm 56 years old. I have had a lot of success with reshaping my health and body in the past few years, and I'm often asked to speak to others on the subject. Truthfully, what I have found is that most people are unknowingly focused on the wrong goal - their weight. As a matter of fact, I tell clients right off the bat that I will only work with them if they throw away their scales . . . and yes, there are times the client ends the conversation right then and there. I get it - it's ok. I was married to my scale for forty years. That's where their head is and ultimately, they need to walk their own path. I will only work with people who want to gain health and strength and stop worrying about how much they weigh.
Weight is not a measure of health. Strength is a measure of health. Energy is a measure of health. If you focus on your health, your body will attain the proper size and shape as a by-product.
See, it's not about losing. It's about gaining. It's not about cutting out. It's about adding to. It's not about deprivation. It's about abundance. That is hard to grasp when the diet "industry" has pounded the unsustainable negative concepts of never ending cardio and caloric deprivation into our heads as being the way to 'success'. If you want to eat without measuring or counting calories, then lift weights. This is how you build lean muscle, which is muscle without the fat.
Please step back and keep in mind that the diet industry has no greater goal than to see you come back again . . . year after year. That is why it is a billion dollar INDUSTRY. Their goal is to get you hooked on dieting. So, to keep this to a minimum, here is "the skinny" (pardon the pun).
#1. TRAIN TO GAIN:
Make gaining muscle your goal. When you build muscle, you are gaining the mechanism in your body that not only eats fat 24/7 like a starving Pac Man, you are gaining health, energy, an immune system that won't quit. Side benefit? A rockin' sexy body and you get to eat! So how do you gain muscle?
Lifting weights builds muscle and muscles are on a constant calorie burn. It's as simple as that. Cardio does not build muscle, it builds endurance. Cardio has its place, but it cannot do for you what weight training can. Lift weights that challenge you - and in the beginning, that might be body weight - and that's ok. Yoga is body weight - and that's fantastic, too. You will be amazed at how quickly you will get stronger. You need to use muscle to build muscle, and you NEED TO EAT to feed your muscles so that your constant calorie burning muscles do not turn on themselves and eat themselves, and you need to sleep - that's when the magic happens! Simple as that. So it goes like this . . . Lift-Eat-Sleep-Repeat . . . Lift-Eat-Sleep-Repeat. I can get a better muscle-building workout doing 20 minutes of lifting than I can in an hour of cardio.
#2. TOSS THE SCALE:
I don't care what you weigh. I don't even want to know because it doesn't matter. For example: I have been a size 14 at 160 lbs and a size 6 at 160 lbs. So what mattered, the weight or the size?
Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat!!! A pound is a pound!!! However, muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat - that's the win. So 160 lbs of higher muscle percentage and lower body fat make for a smaller, tighter body! By the way, it takes a long time to build muscle - you are lucky if you gain about a pound of muscle a month depending upon your age and stage, so no, you won't end up looking like Arnold any time soon, but you will get healthier and your metabolism will fire up like never before.
#3. PROTEIN FIRST:
Plan all your meals around your protein. Pick your protein and build around it. Start with the protein and then add fruit and veg, add whole grains, healthy oils (absolute necessity), and then add water! As BJ Gaddour (fantastic fitness pro and writer) says "Protein, Produce, Water." And while we are on the subject of meals, you have to eat if you want to gain muscle, and trust me, that IS what you want to do! Yup, it's true, EAT! Wrap your head around that one! In order to get fit and strong you need to EAT. You cannot build muscle on a regimen of caloric deprivation because muscles need you to EAT! Now here's the key: You need to eat as clean as you can. If you put junk into the system, you're gonna get junk right back out.
Plant protein is much more efficient than dairy or meat protein as it is readily absorbable and very little becomes "trash" - as opposed to dairy and meat protein. Even if you eat 30 grams of meat protein, your body will only assimilate about 1/3 of that, and the rest becomes 'trash'. So, that is why there is a general misconception about 'how much protein you need' in the diet world. The number was traditionally higher because there were very few vegan or vegetarian options offered. Now we are full of fantastic options for our protein. So, if you are using a plant-based diet or plant-based supplement, you may think that you are not getting enough protein, but you most likely are. I'm not a big fan of whey as most whey in the USA is not sourced from clean sources and ultimately just becomes toxic in your body, causing inflammation (this is a whole other discussion) - much of it comes from China, as a matter of fact. Clean whey is very expensive and not easy to find, and sometimes not exactly tasty.
But for me, here is the reality: The kitchen is tougher than the gym. It is sometimes logistically hard to eat so many times a day because work, kids, and life get in the way. My secret weapon is Juice Plus+ - Complete Shakes and the Juice Plus+ Garden/Orchard/Vineyard/Omega capsules. I concentrate on getting two Juice Plus+ Complete Shakes into me - because then I am sure that I have gotten all micro and macro nutrients to sustain me and help me maintain and build muscle, and from there I add my other meals. The Complete keeps me fueled and balanced, and the urges to snack on C.R.A.P. (Carbonated, Refined, Artificial, Processed) are gone because of the low and slow-release glycemic load. #happytummy #neverstarving
I'm busy! I want simple and I need simple. I have tried a bazillion other supplements, but they either taste nasty, cost a fortune, or they simply aren't good for you for a variety of reasons. I choose to use a product that is do-able, affordable, tasty, 100% whole-food, 100% plant based, and is 100% bio-available (that's key). I can also make bars, and pancakes, and those amazing little treats that Loretta is addicted to with the JP Complete powder.
That's it. It's really simple. Train to Gain. Toss the Scale. Protein First. Juice Plus. Lift-Eat-Sleep-Repeat. Gain strength to take care of yourself. Gain the strength to serve others. Focus on the positive of adding health to your life and the rest will take care of itself.
DrStandley.com Contributing Writer
Linnea is a College instructor, mom to twin teenagers and Juice Plus distributor. Linnea struggled with her health and weight for 40 years before she finally "got the get" and found a way to help herself and others attain a healthy, fun, and energetic lifestyle.
**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.