While there are some fitness tips that help to build muscle, they don’t always help you lose fat. Then there are others that work the opposite way around. You can lose all the fat in the world, but you have no muscle left either by the end of your workout or your diet.
It’s time to work on losing fat and building muscle at the same time. This is going to be more than just about the exercises that you can do. Your weight loss efforts are only 20% exercise.
Here’s a look at all you need to make sure you build muscle and lose fat. Are you ready to take the plunge with these nine proven fitness tips?
Lower Simple Carbs but Increase Protein and Healthy Fats
It seems like an odd consideration: you need to eat fat to lose fat. What you want to focus on is the term healthy fat. There are two main types: saturated and unsaturated. We won’t get into all the subcategories from there. You want to stock up on more unsaturated fats. These are the ones that line your arteries in a healthy way, keep your heart working effectively, support your brain functions, and burn more energy throughout the day.
Don’t just stock up on more protein when you reduce your carbs. The protein helps to build the muscle, but it doesn’t quite give you the energy you’ll need. The healthy fats are turned into ketones, which are then used up by the metabolism to get you through the day.
But this doesn’t mean you need to stop eating all carbs. Like fats, there are two main types: simple and complex. Simple carbs tend to be refined and will lead to sugar rushes. You want to cut them out and opt for complex carbs that break down slowly and support the health of your gut.
Protein is still important for the building muscle. Focus on a diet that is no more than 60% complex carbs, 30% protein, and 10% healthy fats. If you’re going to reduce your carbs, increase the healthy fats that you eat.
Don’t forget about the micronutrients. You need to stock up on potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and your vitamins. All together your nutrients will help to improve your recovery time, build muscle, boost your immune system, and support your metabolism. You’ll find you continue to burn calories for hours later with the right balance.
Your diet makes up for 80% of your weight loss efforts. It’s extremely important for fat loss and muscle building.
When you get the right diet, you will naturally need to eat less. You’re not just eating fewer calories, but burning more throughout the day. And you don’t need to eat the excess calories like you think you do when you’re eating too many simple carbs. Your diet will be much easier to stick to, healthier for your overall body, and help to build muscle.
Eat Simple Carbs After a Workout
While simple carbs should be reduced, there’s no need to cut them out completely. After all, they give you an instant energy boost when you need it. What you want to do is focus on the right times to eat these simple carbs.
Right after a workout, you want to add some simple carbs to your protein. The two nutrients together will give you an instant energy boost while getting a long-term boost to build your muscle.
By keeping your energy levels and muscles satisfied, you will find it much easier to stick to whatever diet you create. You will also boost your hormone release, as your mind doesn’t slump from the tiredness after the workout.
At the same time, your recovery time improves. This means you won’t feel pain for as long. Working out again will be much easier, and you’ll gain far more benefits from your exercises.
Work on Your Legs for the Rest of Your Body
70% of your muscle is in your legs. You need to work on this part of your body if you want to work on the rest of it. Yes, it seems like an odd connotation, but we’ve already busted the myth of fat makes you fat, right? This is just another one to bust.
When you build the muscles in your legs, your body will start to release hormones to help build on the other parts of your body. You’ll find it easier to build on your arms, your chest, and your back. Plus, great looking legs will give you more confidence anyway, and you’ll find it easier to run and do other cardio workouts.
Do more squats, deadlifts, lunges, and more. Make sure each of your workouts focuses on this part of the body for some of it, and the rest will become easier. You can always add some arm exercises while you do some of the leg ones. This will kill two birds with one stone.
Do a Mixture of Cardio and Strength Training
You’ll hear a lot about how you need to do more strength training for weight loss and muscle building. While this is certainly true, you can’t forget about cardio workouts completely. You want to do a mixture of the two with each of your workouts. Interval training is one of the best types of exercises to do, and this incorporates a mixture of both cardio and strength training.
Cardio workouts will help to build the lungs and heart. They will increase a number of calories you burn at that time and offer a range of other health benefits. When you do the right type of cardio workouts, you can work on all your muscle groups, support your core, and improve your hormone balance.
The downside of cardio workouts is that you don’t have the after-work out calorie burning benefits that strength training offers. When you’ve finished working on your muscles, your metabolism is still required. Your muscles need help to repair the damage, creating strong muscles that will continue to burn more calories. You can increase your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after a strength training workout.
You just don’t get the large instant calorie burning during your strength training. You also don’t get all the hormonal benefits, as the workouts tend to take up less time from your day. However, you will get support for your joints and flexibility.
Opt for circuit training and interval training to help combine the two types of exercises. Do bodyweight exercises with running or jumping in between. You can also increase the cardio aspect by doing jump squats, jump lunges, and other similar exercises.
Alternatively, you could opt for cardio straight after your weight training exercises. Opt for a swim to stretch the muscles and help with the recovery period. On your days off, enjoy a walk around the park or add a swim to your day.
There are many worries that weight exercises will make women bulky. This isn’t the case. Sure, they can, but it will depend on a number of weights you lift. The right exercises will help to tone and strengthen your muscles, toning your body for after you’ve lost the fat. Keep your protein levels healthy and avoid steroids and you won’t create the bulky, weightlifter look from your strength training!
Eat Little and Often Every Day
While our ancestors ate three big meals a day and snacked throughout the day, there is now a move into eating little and often throughout the day. Drop the three large meals rule and opt for five or six small meals more regularly throughout the day. The portion sizes will drop, but you will find that your energy levels are more sustained.
The body needs refueling every three or four hours, or so. If you don’t eat regularly enough, your metabolism will start to go to your energy reserves. This is a good thing, right? Well, it can also lead to you snacking more and eating bigger portions for your next meal. Your brain starts to worry when your next meal will come. Thisis based on how the body reacted back in the past when food wasn’t as easy to come by.
You’ll also get a drop in your energy levels. Your metabolism will slow down slightly until you get your next meal.
When you eat every three or four hours, you will sustain your energy levels. As your metabolism uses up the last calorie, you give it more to burn.
Doesn’t this stop you from losing fat? Not at all. You can still opt for a calorie deficit, so your metabolism still should take some calories from the stores. Instead of dropping its rate, the metabolism will use a few and then be replenished with your next meal. You’ll also eat less sugary ingredients because you don’t get the cravings for the quick energy boosts.
Avoid Skipping Breakfast
When losing weight, it’s common to look for ways that you can reduce the amount that you eat. Many people will choose to skip breakfast. This isn’t good for you.
There’s a saying to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. This is because your body needs more food to start the day than to end it. When you wake up, you’re waking up from a 6-8 hour fast. Your body’s metabolism has had to take from the reserves, and your blood sugar levels are increased. Eating first thing will help to lower your blood sugar levels and give you the energy you need to start your day.
When you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to snack before lunch. And your snacks are never going to be healthy choices. Your body wants something that will give it an instant energy boost. You add extra calories from the sugary foods and don’t offer the right nutrients to help with fat loss and muscle building.
So, yes, cutting out breakfast may reduce your calories, but it’s not necessarily going to help your weight loss efforts. It may help you lose fat, but it isn’t going to help you build muscle at the same time.
Change Up Your Workout Routine
Your body will get used to the same workout routine day in day out. You’ll need to make sure you make some changes to the exercises that you do. Well, you need to change the order that you do them. Don’t just increase a number of reps or how heavy your weights are.
When your body gets used to a routine, the exercises become less effective. Your muscles know what they’re doing and won’t break down to rebuild. Yes, your muscles will tear when you’re exercising. This is normal. When they rebuild during your recovery period, you’ll find that they rebuild stronger.
Of course, there is a limit. You shouldn’t feel pain while working out. You won’t feel the muscles tearing. You’ll just feel an ache as they repair afterward.
By changing up your routine, your muscles don’t know what to expect next. They’ll work harder, and that means they can build better later one. You’ll burn more calories in your workout and afterward, helping to lose more fat and build more muscle in the long term.
At the same time, changing your routine will prevent you from getting bored of it. When you get bored, you’ll put less effort into your exercise routine and are less likely to quit partway through. By changing things up, you have something to look forward to every day.
You don’t need to change things every week. Opt for the same routine for 6-12 weeks and then change things.
Don’t Work Out Too Much
Like eating less, there is the theory that the more you work out, the thinner you will be. After all, you’re burning more calories, right? Well, you could cause more health problems for your body. While you may lose some fat, you won’t build the muscles as well as you could.
Over-exercising is a major problem. Your muscles don’t get the rest that they need. You’ll constantly feel muscle fatigue, and you will find that you can’t do as many reps or lift heavy weights as you used to be able to. You don’t get as much out of your workouts after all.
There are a few ways that people over-exercise. Some will opt for exercising seven days a week, without a break. Each day is an attempt to beat a record set the previous day, and you’ll not even take time off during vacations. In fact, your addiction to exercise can get so bad that you’re scared of taking a day off.
Other people exercise for too long. For optimum results, you only need to exercise 30-60 minutes a day, and that’s if you’re doing moderate exercise. If you’re doing high-intensity workouts, then 15-30 minutes could be enough! It’s all about the quality of the exercise and not the amount that you do.
Make sure you create a weekly routine that gives you at least one day of rest. Two days is better. That doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk or a light swim, but these rest days are for recovering and not fat burning or muscle building.
You’ll also want to make sure you rest plenty on a night. Your body needs sleep to recharge and heal. Without adequate sleep, you won’t build the muscles or lose the fat that you want to. You’ll feel fatigued, hungry, and depressed. Everything works together, causing you to crave more sugar and over-consume calories. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep a night. If you are genuinely tired, don’t exercise!
Get Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Like sleep, your body also needs plenty of water throughout the day. This means you need to start drinking more. We’re all likely a little dehydrated. Very few of us will get at least eight glasses of water a day. If you’re exercising or it’s hot, you’ll need a few more glasses!
Plain water is the best way to keep yourself hydrated. Fruit juice is full of unnecessary sugars and calories, while coffee can be dehydrated and cause issues with the caffeine. Of course, nothing is going to be completely banned from your diet, but you want to opt for everything in moderation.
If you want to add more flavor to your water, opt for some sliced or chopped fruit. You can now get infusion water bottles to keep your fruit and water separate, so you don’t end up drinking mushy fruit accidentally. With the fruit slices, you just get some of the natural fruit flavors without any of the calories. It’s refreshing and delicious.
It’s Time to Build Muscle and Burn Fat
With the above tips, you can burn the fat and build the muscle at the same time. Your new lifestyle is more than just exercising. You need to use diet and exercise together while looking after your whole body. Feed it with the right nutrients, and it will work with you to reach your goals.
Burning fat isn’t just about losing weight. You need to support your metabolism, immune system, heart health, and much more. It’s important to build the muscle to help tone and shape your body while you get rid of the fat. You’ll have much more success in the long run and feel healthier for it at the same time. What are you waiting for?