Concurrently gaining muscle and losing fat is no easy feat, but can be done with the right exercise and eating routine. When you consistently strength train and increase your protein intake as you cut calories, you create an environment in which your body builds muscle as you shred excess fat. The process takes dedication and effort, but it's worth it to transform your physique and to look and feel healthier.
Reduce Your Calorie Intake to Lose Fat
You'll need to downsize your calorie intake to lose fat. First, compute the number of calories you need to maintain your weight by using an online calculator that figures in your age, gender, size and activity level. Then, from this number, subtract between 250 and 1,000 calories to create a calorie deficit that yields a 1/2- to 2-pound per week weight loss. Since 3,500 calories theoretically equals a pound of fat, subtracting 500 calories a day from your intake should help you lose a pound a week.
Avoid eating fewer than 1,200 calories per day if you are a woman or 1,800 calories per day if you are a man. Too few calories can lead to muscle loss as your body scrambles to hold onto its fat stores in the face of what it perceives as food shortage. Losing muscle is contrary to your goal of becoming stronger and more defined.
Running was one of the things my research showed to be most effective toward living a long and healthy life. In fact, studies show that running burns up to 700 calories in an hour and is one of the best fat burning workouts. It’s also a great way to increase your metabolism. I started training almost 4 years ago for my first organized race. I have since become a lover of running, specifically running in half marathon. If, however, you are one of the many who have issues with knees, hips or ankle joints and simply cannot run, there’s good news. Walking briskly while swinging your arms and carrying 1-2 lb dumbbells can have tremendous health benefits and is a great way to get your heart pumping. An hour of brisk walking burns about 320 calories.
2. Clean Eating.
My journey led me to discovering the one way of eating that would promote good health and fat loss and not leave me starving. There were many other perks to this new way of eating that I would learn about along the way: slowing and reversing the aging process, having an abundance of energy, sleeping more soundly, clear and glowing skin, cellulite reduction or elimination, more focused thinking, fewer mood swings, and on and on.
If you are finding it difficult to give up fast food entirely, create alternatives. For fast food favorites made healthy try our eBook, Fast Food Freedom…Ditching the Drive-Thru. This eBook features fantastic alternative recipes and snacks. Here’s a sample recipe to get you started quinoa lentil burger.
3. Weight Training.
Next, my quest for the most effective fat loss, body sculpting, metabolism boosting workout led me to weight training. Yes, I’m talking about dumbbells, barbells, cable and weight machines. Here too, I discovered all sorts of benefits that were unexpected, for example, improved: bone density, immune system, self-esteem, flexibility, strength, stamina, and the list goes on. But of course like most people, looking and feeling fabulous was at the top of my list.
4. Plan. Create a plan and make it happen!
There you have it. Getting rid of unwanted fat and creating a lean and well-defined body doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, overly complicated. Getting healthy by losing fat and getting fit depends on how much you want it and if you are willing to put forth the effort to make it happen. Take my word for it, the end results are well worth it.