In your quest for your best body ever you’re faced with a tough task – lose weight and body fat, while adding more muscle mass.
It can be difficult if you don’t follow the right guidelines, but we’ve got that covered with these top tips to achieving your physique-oriented goals.
#1. Reduce your calories
At its most basic level, dropping weight and shedding body fat boils down to a simple equation; burn more calories than you consume.
While there are important nuances, such as controlling insulin and other hormones, the fact remains that consuming too many calories will lead to weight gain, most of which will be in the form of body fat.
To achieve a negative calorie balance, many believe that they can merely train more, but this is the least effective route to the desired outcome, for numerous reasons.
The more effective approach is manipulating your diet to create a slight calorie deficit every day, while still training. This approach will give you a better chance to drop body fat over time while sparing and even adding more muscle in the process.
Just plan your calorie deficits carefully. Don’t suddenly decrease calories and ramp up the exercise. This will more than likely result in a loss of muscle mass, or will slow down your metabolic rate when you need it to be working at its most efficient.
A conservative guideline is to reduce your calorie intake by 10-15% of your normal diet, but no more than 500 calories a day.
#2. Find your fuel
If you want to change your lifestyle and body, it is important to determine whether you are a fat or carb metaboliser. This insight will help to inform your dietary approach.
Once you have established if your body responds better to good carbs or fewer carbs and more good fats, you can adjust their meal plan according to their training schedule.
However, those who are overweight or obese are more likely to be insulin resistant, which means they’ll derive more benefit from a low-carb, high-fat approach to eating, at least initially.
Even carb eaters should be strict about the types and amount they eat each day. The general consensus is that fibrous carbs from fresh fruit and vegetables should be the dominant source in your diet, with as few processed carbs and simple sugars in your eating plan as possible, if at all.
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#3. Don’t ditch the protein
Give special consideration to the protein component in your diet. This macronutrient helps to spare muscle tissue during periods of calorie restriction and intense training.
Proteins and fats are also essential for the production and release of various important hormones that help to build more muscle while also working to burn more fat. For example, increased protein intake can positively impact on glucagon production, a hormone that opposes the action of insulin to prolong the use of stored fat as an energy source.
READ MORE | Fire up your metabolism with protein
#4. Train intelligently
While exercise is generally ineffective at creating a negative calorie balance, mainly due to the time constraints we all face, exercise can help to speed up the process when you follow the right dietary approach.
For instance, intelligently using cardio can help burn a few hundred calories each day but, more importantly, it can help to ensure most of those calories come from stored fat.
Fasted state cardio, for example, has the power to burn fat when used correctly. When we keep our carb intake low, our bodies are forced to fuel this activity from other sources, the most abundant source of which is stored fat.
Another tip is to get more active throughout your day to burn extra calories through normal daily activity. Taking the stairs instead of the lift, going for a walk around the office every hour and parking your car at the far end of the shopping mall parking lot and walk the extra few metres to boost your daily calorie expenditure by a few 100 calories each day.
In addition, the right type of weight training also helps to sculpt a more muscular physique and boost your metabolism.
Therefore, the best approach to training for fat loss is a combination of cardio and weight training, with heavy compound lifts that incorporate as many muscles as possible in each movement the most important element.
These moves burn more calories per rep, help to create more shapely muscle throughout your body, and this form of training helps to release more of those beneficial hormones already mentioned.