How To Build Muscle And Burn Fat
EAT OFTEN – By eating meals and snacks more frequently, you are giving your body fuel to burn rather than forcing it to dip into muscle stores, which means you can keep the muscle mass you’ve already got. Eating small meals often throughout the day also keeps your blood sugar stable which prevents the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) into the bloodstream and subsequently keeps you from feeling panicked and hungry as well. Not surprisingly, eating regularly can also help control your mood and improve your concentration.
EAT ENOUGH – One of the biggest mistakes people make is relying on calorie cutting to lose weight. This practice is outdated and even harmful, causing the body to cut into muscle stores as well as fat stores at the risk of leaving you depleted and without energy.
“Your body will make a choice: lose body fat or lose muscle. An inadequately fueled body will choose to drop calorie-burning muscle rather than fat. Excessive loss of lean muscle mass leads to weight loss without improvement of body composition or health. This leaves you frustrated and ever-battling your weight.” – Hana A. Feeney, MS, RD, CSSD
If your body is constantly in a calorie deficit, it means that you are routinely depriving yourself of important nutrients and fuel. On top of that, it puts you at increased risk for injury and illness, and nobody wants that, right you guys?
EAT THE RIGHT THINGS – All calories aren’t created equal, so don’t think of the directive to eat more as a license to eat more of whatever you want! Quantity AND quality are both important when it comes to nutrition. Generally speaking and as far as strength training and fitness are concerned, eating the right things looks a lot like paying attention to your macronutrients.
Macronutrients, or macros, are the three main components of a healthy diet: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Finding the right balance of these three macros can have a hugely positive impact on your ability to burn fat, and build that all important lean muscle mass. My IdealFit nutrition programs are carefully constructed to include the correct macro content depending on your individual body weight, taking the sometimes complicated guesswork out of it!
EAT MORE PROTEIN – Protein is THE key component to building muscle since it is, quite literally, the stuff your muscles are made of. Proteins which are made of amino acids are the building blocks of all major tissues and organs, even the brain. These tiny proteins are especially important because they dictate how your body builds and maintains muscle. Since lean muscle is your most effective tool in the fight to burn fat, you want to make sure you’re taking care of what you do have, and also working to build more by getting enough protein. My recommended amount of protein equals about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.
Saturated fats from milk, cheese and other animal products can be high in cholesterol and should be consumed moderately. Trans fats like those found in fried food, processed foods, some baked goods, and butter substitutes like margarine and other spreads should generally be avoided all together. When it comes to adding fats into your diet, shoot for heart-healthy unsaturated fats like those found in nuts, nut butters and olive oil.