7 Tips For How To Lose Fat & Gain Muscle Tone At The Same Time
Many people want to look leaner, but are afraid of lifting weights. Women, in particular can be put off at the prospect of doing weight training due to fear of bulking up. The truth is, the body becomes more efficient in torching fat when you have more lean muscle mass. Diet, alone, cannot make you leaner, but you can definitely lose weight. If you want to look toned, you will need to incorporate strength training, some cardio, and a balanced diet.
Here are seven great tips on how you can lose fat and gain muscle:
Train for Muscle Gain, Not Fat Loss
Circuit training involves using light weights and performing various movements in high repetitions. However, this is not the best way to gain muscle. Focus on doing compound movements, like deadlifts, squats, rows, and presses. These movements allow you to lift the heaviest weight, and activate the most muscle mass. They should be the foundation of every workout.
Increase the weight over time, and aim for around five to eight repetitions per set. You can stilladd higher-rep strength training, but make sure that the weight is challenging enough to complete 15 to 20 reps. Performing these two types of strength training is the best move for muscle growth.
Limit Your Carbs
Most people who are currently into fitness training know that they need to cut on carbs. While you do not have to take it out completely, you do need to limit your intake. There are plenty of people struggling to cut on carbs, but discipline is the key to a toned and healthy body.
The ideal time to eat your carbs is two hours before and after your workout. Most of your carb intake should come from high-fiber veggies to keep your energy levels high and your hunger at bay. Aim for 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight per day, but drop to 0.75 to one gram on non-training days.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Do not be afraid to increase your protein consumption. Increase your daily protein intake to about 1.5 or two grams of protein per pound of body weight. This will keep your muscles well-fed and your metabolism efficient. How do you know how much protein to consume? A 150-pound healthy woman should eat up to 300 grams of protein per day.
In addition, a high-protein diet helps your burn more calories throughout the day. It will impact your body’s process of absorption, digestion, and nutrient distribution. It is often referred to as the thermic effect of food.
Focus on Rest
Recovery is crucial in muscle building, but many people fail to prioritize this. The muscle breakdown in the body increases as you increase your training intensity. However, your body will only start building muscle when you give it enough time to rest and heal. Make sure to take at least one day of complete rest, and one day of core work or light cardio.
Limit Your Cardio
Cardio offers great health benefits. If you wish to burn fat and tone muscles, however, you will need to limit your cardio workouts. This is because too much cardio can lead to muscle loss, and will result in fewer calories burned. It is ideal to perform up to an hour of cardio workout per week. You can complete two high intensity interval training sessions, and a light cardio workout for 30 minutes.
Do Strength Training First
It is highly recommended that you do strength training first before doing cardio. If you want to build muscle, then this is the right way to do it. HIIT workouts are taxing and will require your full focus, so make sure to schedule them on your upper body strength training days.
Whenever you do HIIT, you are mostly involving your lower body muscles. Doing this type of workout after lifting weights for the legs, then you are setting yourself up for injury. You can do cardio after leg training, but make it as light as possible.
Take Progress Photos
The goal of your muscle toning plan is not weight gain or loss. You will want to increase your muscle mass and calorie-intake without seeing significant changes on the scale. This way, you will become leaner and develop better strength. If you want to monitor your progress, one of the best ways to do it is to take progress photos for future comparison. This will keep you motivated and determined.