How to Lose Fat & Build Muscle

lose-fat-build-muscleA lot of us have a fat problem. If you think you fit the endomorph body type, if maybe you don’t have much knowledge on how to do exercise and work out correctly and efficiently to suit your daily life, or if you’re looking for a diet to lose fat and build muscle, you’re in the right spot. A lot of people think just going to the gym will help them to replace the fat with lean muscles. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Actually, it can work like this in certain situations and for certain people. But, since these situations are the exception to the general rule, they aren’t really worth mentioning, as they probably apply to less than 5% of the people who want to lose fat and build muscle at the same time.

So, let me give a heads up with a basic principle. You should understand that in order for the muscle tissue to recover and grow, you need a high caloric intake. But, at the same time, to lose fat, you need a low caloric intake. As you noticed, you have to do two opposing things at the same time. However, the bigger your muscles are, the more energy they will consume, and this will also help you to lose fat.

Maybe you have a weight problem because your metabolism rate is low, which means that you get fat very fast or that your body is producing too little carnitine, an amino acid which is responsible for burning fat and turning it into energy.

Okay now let’s start – “How to Lose Fat and Build Muscle” – in as little time as possible:

Make a start on the right diet if you want to lose fat

I would suggest you find a place where you can compute your metabolism rate and you will know exactly how much calories you should eat each day. My recommendation is MyFitnessPal. Register online for FREE and get your login ID. It will let you know how much calories you’re allowed to take every day in order to reduce or maintain your weight based on your goal.

You don’t have to be starving to lose fat. According to research, ideally you should eat only 90% of the calories that are recommended in your daily meal to maintaining your metabolism. You just need to get rid of all low nutritional foods ie. junk like snacks, chips, sodas and that sort of food.

There are plenty of diets out there, so there’s no point in talking about different types of diets right now. Just go and try one that you feel comfortable with, and start to lose fat. Keep in mind, though, that most of the diets you will find will try to say that they are the best and that the other diets are bad. Don’t worry about that at this point. Just focus on the one thing that everybody is agreeing upon: you need to consume less calories than needed.

diet-lose-fatIt is advisable to not to go below the 90% calories intake that is recommended. If you want to lose weight, do it in a healthy way. Losing a lot of weight in a very short period of time is not healthy at all. Most doctors recommend a person lose maximum 5 pounds of body weight per month in order for this to be considered healthy weight loss.

It is impossible to present you with a complete list of all the foods and their nutritional values because new foods are appearing every day and it is basically impossible to keep track of all of them. It would be a whole lot easier to understand if you only looked at the general nutrition information for major food groups. Some of the values in the table below will be shown with a minimum and maximum value, and they represent a guideline for your shopping list. When you actually want to buy any of the foods listed below, it is advisable to read the product’s nutrition information on the label at the back.

Nutrition information for major food groups

Food (100g)

Kcal

Proteins %

Lipids %

Glucide %

Water %

Bread

239-282

7.8-10.3

0.8-2

47.5-54

0-40.2

Decorticated rice

355

5.6

1

75.8

14

Semolina

354

11.2

0.8

73.3

14

Oat flakes

382

13.6

6.3

65.3

12

Pasta

360-366

5.6-10.2

1-2.2

75.9-79.1

11.8-12.5

Crackers

337

8.2

9.5

74

6

Cow’s milk

53-67

3.5

2-3.6

3.9-4.9

87-88

Yogurt

30-55

3.2-3.3

0.1-3.2

3-3.9

90-92

Cheese

97-337

13-28

1.2-28

0.5-4.5

39-75

Beef meat

118-401

18.3-22

3-35

-

64.3-74

Pork meat

143-388

15-20.4

6.3-35

-

49-72

Bird meat (chicken, turkey, duck)

128-179

19-24.5

5-9.5

-

65.8-75

Fish

82-104

18.9-19.4

0.4-2.8

-

77-79.4

Eggs

171

14

12

0.6

72

Potatoes

80

1.7

0.2

17.4

80.5

Cucumber

19

1.3

0.2

2.9

94.3

Onion (green)

20

1

0.2

8.5

95.3

Mushrooms

35

5

0.5

2.5

88.4

Cauliflower

30

2.8

0.3

3.9

91.6

Beans

33

2

0.2

5.7

89.4

Peas

96

8.4

0.5

14

71

Carrots

45

1.5

0.3

8.8

87.2

Tomatoes

25

1.1

0.3

4.3

93.9

Cabbage

33

1.8

0.2

5.8

91.7

Pineapple

52

0.4

0.2

11.9

85

Bananas

66

1.3

0.6

13.4

75

Apple

74

0.3

0.4

16.9

82

Melon

29

0.5

0.1

5.4

91

Grapes

100

2.1

1.7

18.5

81

Peaches

56

0.9

0.1

12.4

83

Oranges

47

0.8

0.2

10.1

87

Peanuts

408

8.7

33.8

11.7

4

Green olives

664

24

55

13.2

6

Nuts

654

19.8

60

3.7

5

Milk chocolate

603

6.9

29.9

49.8

1.2

Honey

335

0.4

-

81.3

18

Sugar

410

-

-

99.9

0.1

Margarine

786

0.5

82

-

15.7

Butter

806

8

80

2.5

9.5

Sour cream (20%)

213

3.5

20

3.1

71.4

Sunflower oil

929

-

99.9

-

0.1

As a general rule, like I’ve said, a diet to lose weight doesn’t mean starving yourself, but managing your meals. You should eat 3 main meals per day, but make sure you compute the calories that your meals are providing. You should make it an everyday habit to eat vegetables, fruits, milk or yogurt, and you should also stay away from foods like butter, oil (especially for salads) and sweets. You can have a regular amount of carbohydrates in the morning, half of the regular carbs for lunch and as little carbs as possible for dinner.

Example:

cereals-bread-eggs-milk-breakfastMorning (approximately 870 Kcal):

  • 100g cereals (oat flakes)
  • 250ml skimmed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of graham bread

roasted-chicken-potatoesLunch (approximately 650 Kcal):

  • 200ml of vegetable soup
  • 2 slices of graham bread
  • 150g of grilled chicken breast
  • 200g potatoes (roasted, mashed or boiled)
  • mixed salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cheese etc.)

yogurtTea time – afternoon snack (approximately 100 Kcal):

  • 150ml skimmed yogurt
  • 2 slices of graham bread

grilled_fish_salad

Dinner (approximately 400 Kcal):

  • 200g of grilled fish
  • mixed salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cheese, etc.)
  • fresh fruits: orange, mandarins, grapefruit, strawberry

This is just an example of one day’s menu that went up to 2020 calories, which is lower than the recommended 2550 calories for the average man. It is very easy to create different menus. You just need to keep an eye on the nutrition facts for each ingredient that you use and make sure you don’t use any of the ingredients that are high in calories.

Another thing that you should really do is to increase the amount of carnitine that your body has available to properly turn fat into energy, and you can do this by consuming a nutritional supplement that is always called “L-Carnitine”. The best L-carnitine is the liquid one and you should look for a high l-carnitine concentration. A product that delivers 1000mg L-carnitine/15 ml of liquid is to be considered very good. You should consume 1000 – 2000mg of L-carnitine in the morning and another 1000 – 2000mg of L-Carnitine before your workout.

You also can take AAKG (arginine alpha-keto-glutarat) or even plain and simple L-Arginine. This is another amino acid that our body is producing and it’s responsible with the blood speed. A higher blood speed means that your cells will be better oxygenated and the nutritive substances will be assimilated much better by your body. It also extends your endurance to effort.

**Important note: Always consult with your physician or doctor before deciding to take any carnitine or AAKG consumption and get their advice on whether your body needs those supplements.

Perform cardiovascular exercises if you want to lose fat quicker

Another way of increasing the burn rate of your fat is to consume more energy (the more energy you consume, the more energy your body will produce, and it does that by burning fat). There are a lot of ways for working out, but the best are cardiovascular exercises. This generally means going to the gym and heavily using the treadmill, the stepper or the bicycle. Of course, it is always better to do all of these activities in open air, so you can jog, run, ride a bike or go up and down the stairs. Another great exercise that I favour is running on rough terrain. This is not only good for burning fat but also for the overall shape of your muscles.

Best recommendation: Mix cardio and weight lifting

compound-exercises

The best workout for losing fat and building muscle fast is to mix weight lifting with cardiovascular exercises. If you are performing a weight-lifting training and using the right weights, reps and rest periods, this kind of training can actually amplify the effects of cardiovascular training. Think about it: weight lifting involves a lot of effort, meaning that your body will use more energy to sustain that effort. And, as I said before, the more energy you consume, the more energy your body will have to produce, which means burning a lot of fat.

There are different ways to mix those 2 workouts, and for each way you will probably find dozens of studies that will either encourage or discourage that particular training. This happens because it is extremely hard, if not impossible, to create a pattern that applies to all of our bodies. The truth is that we have different bodies that respond in different ways to the same treatment. Take coffee, for instance. Most people find coffee to be energizing, but there are some people that get drowsy after drinking it.

It’s the same when it comes to training strategies, and that’s why we have so many training routines. So I am not going to tell you a specific training routine to build muscle, because it might just not work for you. Instead, I will tell you general rules to follow when working out.

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The way you mix cardio exercises and weight lifting workouts depends on how many days in a week you are training. It is suggested that for every 2 days of weight lifting training you should have 1 day of cardiovascular exercises. For weight lifting trainings, you should follow a maximum 40 minute workout and end with 10 minutes of cardio exercises. This can mean doing several sprints on the bicycle or on the treadmill or even sprinting on the stepper. Just perform the exercise for 30 seconds than allow yourself 1 minute to rest. Perform 3-4 sets of the chosen exercise, and you’re done for the day!

Weight lifting training should also follow a precise resting period between sets. You should follow a 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off routine. This makes recovery a positive work period. You could also go 20 seconds on and 40 seconds off and so on. The main thing to remember is that the resting time should be twice as long as the time it takes you to complete a set of repetitions.

Use a weight that will allow you to perform at least 15 repetitions. A lighter weight at a faster speed will use more of the body’s muscle tissue. This kind of training is also performed by athletes who are looking to get ripped.

When performing cardiovascular exercises, you should go easy on yourself and let your body properly rest. You should always use a heart rate monitor. Make sure that you go above 85% of your maximum anaerobic threshold and, when you do, stop and rest. You should rest while monitoring your heart rate, and, while you’ll be tempted to start exercising again when your heart rate goes down to 78 – 82%, you should wait for your body to reach the “green zone”, which means that your heart rate should drop below 75% of your maximum heart rate. When it does, you can resume the exercise.

The best possible way is to alternate 2 days of weight lifting training with 1 day of cardio exercises and do it again for 3 days. This means you’d have to work out 6 days per week. Most people will find this very difficult to implement. Remember that the psyche plays an important role in everything we do and that, even when you feel tired and depressed, you shouldn’t skip a training. Just go to the gym and give it your best shot. It doesn’t matter if you are too tired to perform at your maximum ability. The most important thing is to perform better than you would by sitting on the sofa at home, watching TV.

Combine diet, workout and supplementation to maximise your fat loss and muscle building regime

drink-proteinThe basic diet of any man who wants to build muscle mass and maintain it consists of high protein content meals. This is also what you should do. The highest protein concentration can be found in meat (chicken breast, turkey breast, lean veal and even lean pork), milk, cheese, fish and eggs. So first you need to make sure that you include at least a couple of these into your everyday menu.

You must also compute your body’s protein needs, and you do it by multiplying your body weight (in kilograms) by at least 2 because, in order for the muscles to grow, your body needs at least 2 g of protein / each kg of your body per day. So, if you weight 90 kg, you should consume at least 180 g of protein each day.

Extra calories are mandatory if you want to allow your body to fully recover after intense workouts. This means that you can eat a little more carbs, but keep staying away from anything that is fried. Try to eat as many grills as possible, vegetables and fruits. Drink 2 glasses of milk every day, and go heavy on the cheese.

It would be great if you could eat fish every day. Apart from being a rich protein source, fish is also rich in fatty acids like Omega 3, 6 and 9 and shouldn’t be missing from any diet if you want to build muscle. Don’t forget to drink at least 2 litres of water each day. This is not just a saying. It is very important to maintain proper hydration if you want to build muscle very fast.

You will find it hard to get all the necessary protein only from meals, and, most likely, you’ll have to use a protein powder. If this is the case, you should consider a few things:

  • use only whey protein
  • use only 100% whey protein isolate
  • make sure that the product you are buying is low on carbs and fat
  • the protein concentration should be at least 90%
  • try to use the unflavoured version (if available)
  • you should take 1 serving (25 – 30g) in the morning upon waking up and another serving right after your workout (the sooner, the better)
  • do not consume more than 1 serving at one time
  • you can consume up to 4 servings / day, as long as you allow 2 hours between the protein shake and meal

Maintain the muscles that you built!

You will see improvement, but this doesn’t mean that, after a few months, you can go back to your old habits. Don’t forget that your habits are the ones that got you fat in the first place! You need to maintain this healthy lifestyle all the time!

Try to make a habit of going up and down the stairs, going on foot to the local supermarket, taking walks in the park, and doing all these simple activities that are helping you burn some calories while also relaxing your mind.

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