Some people want to focus on losing weight, and then start working on building muscles. They think it’s the best way to do it, but they’re wrong. Not only is it possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, it’s the best way to do it. If you focus on weight loss, without including exercise, you’re more apt to shed lean muscle tissue, leaving you more unfit than previously.
Exercising builds muscle tissue and boosts your weight loss efforts.
Strength building exercises also are great for burning fat. They build your strength because they build your muscles, so you’re getting a two-fer when you add these to your workout schedule. Best of all, the more muscle tissue you build, the more calories you burn, since muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. That means even when you’re playing couch potato, you’ll be boosting your caloric output and helping to lose weight.
A personal trainer can help you calculate the balance you need to achieve both weight loss and building muscles.
Unless you’ve calculated your caloric intake before or just want to rely on the averages, trainers are the best resource to use to help you judge the amount of calories your body needs to both shed pounds while still building muscle tissue. If you cut calories too low, you’ll lose weight, but won’t have the fitness results you want. Cutting them too little won’t result in the weight loss you hoped to achieve and can lead to discouragement.
Focus on protein intake and lifting weight.
That doesn’t mean you have to actually lift weights, although it’s one way to do it. It means any strength building exercise, whether it’s kettlebells, body weight or actually pumping iron. While you can restrict your caloric intake, don’t skimp on protein. Your body needs protein to create muscle tissue. If you just want to eliminate fat and build muscles, eating a well balanced diet that has extra protein, but slightly fewer calories will result in that. You may actually lose inches but gain weight with this strategy. That’s because muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch. It’s like comparing the size of a container to hold exactly a pound of feathers and one containing exactly a pound of iron. The one containing the iron, although weighing the same, will be smaller.
- Focus more on inches than on weight when trying to gain muscles and lose fat. As noted previously, you might gain weight, but look thinner and fantastic.
- Identify your caloric need and slowly lower the intake when you workout to build muscle tissue. It helps you burn fat, but still allows you to build.
- Cutting calories requires you to boost your protein intake. Some of the protein will be used to replace the calories for energy, so you need extra to help build muscle tissue.
- Distribute your intake throughout the day, don’t just slug a protein shake or two and think you’ve accomplished your goals.