Losing weight and building muscle are two processes that go together more than most would assume.
In fact, you’re more successful at losing weight if you build muscle and vice versa!
Knowing how to lose weight and build muscle is a good start to achieving your personal health and fitness goals.
The Difference Between Weight Loss And Fat Loss:
Many people use the terms “weight loss” and “fat loss” interchangeably, assuming that the only weight they can possibly lose is in the form of fat. NOT TRUE.
It is entirely possible for your body to turn to muscle tissue for energy, breaking it down and causing weight loss where you don’t want it.
If you’re trying to cut the fat and build muscle, it’s important to understand that muscle is more dense–and weighs more–than fat.
This means that the number you see on the scale could possibly not reflect your progress at all, assuming your goals are not extreme loss of excess fat.
Keep this in mind if you’re just looking to tone up!
If you step on the scale 12 weeks into your program and it says you’ve only lost two pounds, but YOU think you look great, that’s because you’ve simply reconfigured your fat to muscle ratio: there’s more lean, defining muscle than there was fat that was covering up the shape of your body.
Moving forward, a great thing to keep yourself in this mindset is to take progress pictures at the beginning of every week or month.
Lose Weight In The Kitchen…
To begin, your first battle will take place in the kitchen. You cannot eat badly and just expect a hard workout to make up for it! Going by that method puts you on a long, hard road to weight loss.
Start by eating clean, small meals throughout the day. Five modest meals evenly spaced during the day will keep your metabolism on its toes, prevent fatigue and hunger-induced irritability, and binge-eating.
These meals should be low calorie, but need to pack a punch with protein, fiber, low fat, and little or no sugar.
When you begin to clean up your eating habits, you’ll begin to see the weight coming off as your body stops relying on excess carbohydrates and sugars for energy, and turns to excess fat storage instead!
…Get Toned In The Gym
Building muscle will become your best friend when it comes to staying energized and burning more calories throughout the day, even while at rest.
Muscles need energy to function and carry out their day-to-day tasks, from moving your fingers across the key board, to maintaining good posture, to doing ¼ mile sprints!
All that to say, your muscles never really stop. More muscle mass requires more energy to power it, which results in even more calories burned.
It is possible to build muscle without becoming “bulky”, which is often a worry for women who are trying to lose fat and get toned. They’re afraid of losing their feminine figure, or looking too manly.
It takes a LOT more work, diet restriction, and supplementation for women to come anywhere near the muscle mass obtained by men.
Lean muscle mass can be obtained with regular strength training involving your body weight, weight lifting or weight machines, and every day cardio.
As you build this muscle, your body will require a lot of protein to maintain the tissue, and carbohydrates for recovery. It’s important to give depleted and tired muscles the nutrients they need to build more muscle tissue, so that your body doesn’t resort to breaking down hard-earned muscle for energy.
The four cardinal rules for maintaining lean muscle mass and shredding fat are:
1) Eat one gram of protein for each pound of body weight every day.
2) Keep your carb intake low (100-150 grams), and get your carbs from fiber-rich foods and whole grains.
3) Drink a lot of water, as it will keep you satisfied, energized, and your body hydrated enough for the hard work you’re putting in!
4) Be wary of the number you see on your scale! It often doesn’t accurately define your progress.