There may be fitness tips that help you grow your muscles, but they do nothing to help you lose weight. There are others that do the opposite – help you lose fat but not grow muscles. In terms of health and fitness, it is important that you achieve both. You need to work on building muscle and losing fat at the same time. And when it comes to achieving this, it takes more than just your vigorous workout routine. In fact, your weight loss efforts are only 20 percent exercise.
Here are 9 fitness tips to help you lose fat and build muscle at the same time:
1. Boost protein and healthy fats intake
Health fat means concentrating on the unsaturated ones because these are the fats that support your arteries, keep your heart working well, sustain your brain capacities and mechanisms, and let you torch more energy throughout the day.
While protein helps you build muscles, it doesn’t really provide you the energy that your body will require. Healthy fats, on the other hand, are converted into ketones, which are utilized by the metabolism to get you through the day with your energy intact.
Still, it doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid carbs. Just like fats, there are two forms of carbs: simple and complex. The former is usually refined and will cause sugar rushes while the latter disintegrates gradually and promotes a healthy digestive system.
Since protein is still an essential part of your diet, you can go on a diet that doesn’t go beyond 60 percent complex carbs, 30 percent protein, and 10 percent healthy fats. You also need to include macronutrients in your diet. Make sure your body has enough potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamins.
2. Eat simple carbs post-exercise
Simple carbs don’t need to be fully eliminated from your diet. They just need to be reduced as they give you an immediate energy boost when your body requires for it. What’s ideal is to consume simple carbs at the right time. After your training, it’s best to add some simple carbs to your protein intake.
The combination of these two will provide an immediate increase of energy while obtaining a permanent boost to develop your muscle. By having simple carbs after a workout, you will also increase your hormone release as your brain doesn’t crash from the fatigue brought by your workout.
3. Work on your legs
Your legs have 70 percent of your muscles, so you need to start working on them in order to target the rest of your body. Building the muscles in your legs enables the body to begin secreting hormones to help build muscles in the other parts of your body.
With this, it’s easier to build on your arms, your chest, and your back. Besides, toned legs look more appealing and they’ll also help you run and perform cardio workouts more efficiently. You can work on your legs by doing more squats, deadlifts, lunges, and more.
4. Combine cardio and strength training
Strength training is essential for weight loss and muscle growth, but it doesn’t mean that cardio exercises should be forgotten completely. That’s why it’s better to mix them up given that interval training is one of the greatest forms of workouts to do and this includes a combination of cardio and interval exercises.
Cardio exercises are essential for building the lungs and heart. They will help boost the calories you burn as well as provide you a series of other health gains. As long as you perform the right kind of cardio, you can successfully target all the muscle groups while holding up your core, and enhancing your hormonal stability.
However, cardio exercises don’t allow the body to burn calories after a workout, unlike strength training. Even after working on your muscles, your metabolism is still needed since the muscles require support to rectify the damage, generating strong muscles that will keep on torching more calories. In fact, you can boost your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after a strength training routine.
5. Eat less but more frequently daily
You can say goodbye to the three huge meals rule and go for five or six small meals more consistently throughout the day. While the portion sizes lower, you will feel that your energy levels are more maintained. Basically, the body requires refueling every 3-4 hours.
If you fail to eat during the time that your body needs to be replenished, your metabolism will resort to getting energy from your reserves. This can lead you to snack more and eat in larger portions when you have your next meal. Your energy levels will also plummet and your metabolism will slow down.
6. Don’t overdo it
The notion that working out a lot can help you lose weight fast won’t be good for you. In fact, it could cause more health problems. Overdoing it in the workout category is a huge issue. Your muscles don’t get the respite they require in order to heal and recover. You’ll always feel exhausted and you will discover that you cannot perform as many reps or lift heavy weights as you used to before. Thus, your workouts stop being efficient. Many people choose to exercise seven times a week without a break. Apparently, this is already over-exercising. Workout addiction happens and when it does, you reach the point where you’re afraid to take a break.