Getting healthy is a great goal, but during your pursuit, it is essential that you target specific muscle groups and build muscle while you are losing fat. It is possible to do this, even though some may claim it is not. If you need a little more help in your health pursuits, and want to effectively build muscle while losing fat, here is what you need to know.
Focus on Your Diet
Strict diets seem to be a part of every fitness regimen, but when you are trying to build muscle while reducing fat, things can become a little tricky. The key in this instance is to portion your food accordingly. Carbs, protein, and vegetables are essential to your success, but too much of one can negatively impact your goals. Prioritise vegetables on your plate and throughout the day. When in doubt, eat some vegetables. When making a plate for your meal, think about how much food you are placing on the plate. Carbs should take up ¼ of the meal with protein taking up another ¼. The remaining half of the plate should be devoted to solely vegetables. As for cooking mediums, focus on healthy fats including olive oil instead of saturated fats found in butter.
Do Not Overcompensate
An intense workout session will leave you feeling like you need to immediately refuel your body. Protein following a high intensity workout can help you build muscles more effectively, but it will not increase your ability to lose weight. Instead of ingesting protein following your workout, choose lighter options such as crisp veggies and high fibre carbs. Ensure that you are not eating more than a quarter of your entire calorie intake on protein alone.
Take Weight Gain with a Grain of Salt
Upon starting your fitness routine to lose weight and build muscle, jumping on the scale frequently can be a double edged sword. Where it will show progress in one manner, it can also be a measure to discourage you while trying to get fit. Ideally, you will want to see immediate progress with the reduction in your weight. However, you should always remember that weight is just part of the process and muscle weighs more than fat. Instead of focusing on weight alone, look at other ways of tracking progress such as how your clothes fit and take measurements of your body. The scale can be a tool, but do not use it as your sole means of noting progress.
Caloric Intake and Relationship to Fat
In essence, the notion of burning fat while building muscle is confusing. On the one hand, you are expected to provide enough calories for your body to survive when you workout extensively, you must take in more calories to compensate for the loss. However, when you are focused on losing weight while building muscle, you must approach the issue a little differently. It is a balancing act to determine how many calories to take in to help lose fat and how much to workout to gain muscle.
A good way to compensate is to take in between 250 and 500 calories fewer than what is recommended for your body weight and type. The additional calories needed for muscle growth will be taken from excess fat in your body. Once you have reached your goals for body fat, you can add those necessary calories back in.
Cardio and Weight Lifting
Some people focus on the wrong things when they are trying to lose weight and gain muscle. It is thought that in order to workout, you simply need to focus on your core through weight lifting. However, cardio is a significant part of your fitness routine as well. While investing in intense workouts and weight lifting sessions, add in cardio as well. Running, biking, and other forms of cardio allow your heart and lungs to receive an excellent workout as well. Additionally, if you simply tone your muscles, but neglect cardio, you are just toning muscles behind fat without any progress. Cardio is one of the bet ways to reduce your overall body fat.
Losing weight is a slow process and gaining muscle mass is also a slow process, no matter what others may tell you. It takes an extreme amount of commitment to accomplish both, but it is possible to lose weight while gaining muscle at the same time. The key ingredient in this instance is balance. Balance your caloric intake with how many calories are burned through weight training and cardio. Reduce the amount of unhealthy, saturated fats and replace them with healthy fats such as olive and avocado oil. Take your time and do things right and you will see your fitness goals come to fruition. It will not happen overnight and will require lifestyle changes. For those who are willing to make these sacrifices, a sculpted body will be your reward.