Getting fit or staying fit requires a comprehensive approach. Doesn’t everyone want to build muscle and lose fat? With these 5 tips, you’ll be on your way by sticking to healthy habits, incorporating specific exercises and fueling your body with the nutrients you need.
- Maintaining a Healthy Diet
One of the most important aspects of losing weight and gaining muscle is maintaining a consistent diet. Aside from the typical eating your vegetables and staying away from sodas, it is time to take a further look into a diet that will maximize your efforts of reaching that dream physique.
- Eat more calories and carbs on days you work out than on days you don’t.
o In other words, you need to create more energy on days where you’re expending a lot of energy. During a workout, your body enters the catabolic state where it starts breaking down your muscle— but your goal is to lose fat and gain muscle, right? That’s why it is important to eat protein after your workout in order to put your body back in its anabolic state where it starts to build muscle again. If you skip out on this step, your body will be in extreme hunger mode later in the day, which may cause you to consume an overload of unwanted calories.
- Speaking of Protein…
o A high-protein diet is key for building muscle. It is healthy to consume anywhere from 0.8 – 1.5g of protein per pound of your goal body weight per day. That being said, it is important to focus on the quality of the protein. Lean meats and healthy veggies are the key to maximizing your healthy diet. Additionally, fats aren’t all bad. In fact, healthy fats are necessary to your diet. Focus on proteins that contain healthy fats, such as grass eating animals, fish, nuts, seeds, etc.
- Compound Weightlifting
What’s the formula for reaching a shredded, muscular physique? It’s simple, really— having high muscle mass with a low body fat percentage. In order to reach your goal faster, it becomes important to focus on compound weightlifting. Rather than focusing on isolation exercises that pertain to one muscle group, look for exercises that force all of your muscles to work together. Examples of compound weightlifting would be: squats, deadlifts, bench press, dumbbell lunges, abdominal bicycle, etc. Some added bonuses include:
- Ensuring a proportional body outcome
- Performing fewer individual exercises, which means less time in the gym
- Quicker results
- HIIT Cardio
Though it is possible to lose body fat without focusing on cardio, high intensity interval training will cut your weight in no time. Pushing your body to the limit for shorter increments of time will have bigger results than maintaining a steady pace for a longer period of time. So you’re saying my long jogs haven’t been helping me cut weight? Well, long jogs are good, but they don’t maximize your workout. Instead, do short sprints with small breaks in between. This will allow you to engage and preserve more muscles than steady-state cardio.
- Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
An important aspect of losing weight and gaining muscle that is oftentimes overlooked is obtaining an adequate amount of sleep. Studies show that sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in growth hormones, which can cause muscle loss. Also, not getting a healthy amount of sleep can increase your appetite. If you don’t get enough sleep, you might break your diet. Overall, sleep schedules are often hard to maintain due to the fact that becoming fit is only one of life’s challenges. Balancing work, school, parenting and more can be hectic and cause you to lose the sleep you so desperately need. That being said, exercise might also allow you to find a routine that will improve the quality of your life as a whole. When finding a routine that works for you, ensure that you are fitting in 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Diet and training are the two most imperative aspects to reaching your goals, but supplements can be an added bonus. Unfortunately, some workout supplement brands have lost sight of the healthy aspect of exercise while trying to survive in the competitive industry. That being said, some of these products can be a waste of money, but the right supplements can help. Here’s the trick: look for safe, natural substances that increase strength and muscle endurance. Overall, your nutrition should focus heavily on what you eat. Don’t allow supplements to replace your diet—instead, allow them to help make up for the nutrients you’re missing.
Overall, losing weight is a challenge in itself, but adding the work it takes to gain your desired muscle mass is a full-blown commitment. That being said, it’s important to know how to get fit in a healthy way. Through diet and exercise, you will begin to see muscle growth. By focusing on these five tips, you’re well on your way to reach your desired figure.