Don Saladino is a New York-based personal trainer and member of the Men’s Health advisory board who has helped numerous stars get into peak physical shape to play superheroes on the big screen, including Hugh Jackman for Wolverine, Scarlett Johansson for Black Widow, Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool, Sebastian Stan for the Winter Soldier, and David Harbour for Hellboy.
While he has shared plenty of insights and advice pertaining to those body transformations on his social media and YouTube channel, in his latest video Saladino’s focus is on achieving realistic fat loss in an accessible and sustainable way. Specifically, he shares tips and tricks that don’t actually require you to use complex equipment or go to the gym at all, which is useful at a time when gyms are either still not open, or people don’t feel comfortable working out inside with other people, or they simply don’t have access to one.
The first point Saladino raises is non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This refers to any kind of physical activity in your day-to-day routine that isn’t explicitly working out, and can be anything from walking to get coffee, to doing housework. “In simple layman’s terms: steps,” he says. Upping your daily step count can be a simple but highly effective low-impact way of burning calories, especially if you’re starting from a low number (Saladino recommends an ideal count of 10,000 or more).
Secondly, he suggests cutting out all processed foods for six and a half days per week. “We are going to be feeling like we’re giving up a lot of things that we love,” he says. “And I don’t want you to do that. I believe in moderation. But I also believe in some consistency, so when you’re starting a new nutritional plan, we need you to start following some guidelines in the beginning, you can’t be having cheat meals every other day, we need your body to be able to react and respond… Blow it out for one meal. This isn’t about being perfect all the time, it’s about building consistency.”
Another thing to consider regarding diet is your protein intake. “I like revolving everything around protein when it comes to my nutrition,” says Saladino. “Carbs and fats, which are your energy sources, might need to be manipulated day to day, but protein is that one area that’s always consistent. I think the guideline we should all be following, male or female, is one gram per pound.”
Hydration is another hugely important factor, and Saladino advises getting half of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. So if you weigh 200 pounds, try to drink 100 ounces of water. “It’s going to speed up your metabolism, it’s going to flush out impurities, and it’s also going to help with water retention.”
Improving the quality of your sleep is another frequently overlooked boon to fat loss, explains Saladino. “Our body repairs during sleep. We put muscle on while we’re sleeping and recovering. Our bodies heal throughout that sleep process, our hormones heal and become stronger, our bodies become more efficient with energy, more efficient with fat-burning.”
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