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There has been much debate on whether it is possible to lose weight and build muscle. Practice shows that it is not easy and that not everyone can do it. But, here is the thing, many people start working out with the aim of losing weight, and then they get upset when they see that the scale is showing the same number. The truth is that when muscles start replacing fat, weight stays the same. The right choice of exercises and the right diet can get you to your goal. What you need to do is define your goal, make a plan and stay consistent with it.
Patience and diet
One of the things you need to keep in mind is that muscle growth is slower when your body is going through a strain such as loosing fat. Going on a different diet regime changes the calorie burn. When choosing a diet, people neglect the fact that they need to consume the right food in order to give the energy to the brain and metabolic system. For this our body takes 75% of energy. Doing everyday activities, as well as walking and running, require 20% of energy, which leaves only 5% for building muscle. If you change the diet wishing to lose weight and do not feed your metabolic system, your muscle bulking will be the one to suffer, meaning you will be without results and your working out will be in vain.
Constant influx of protein
The best thing is to have a protein or moderate carb snack, which would be 30g of protein and 30g of carbs, 30 minutes before and after your workout session. In this way, you will save your muscles from using up all the protein at the expense of losing weight. If you want to stop your body turning to muscles in order to use energy, then take 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight daily, and divide this amount in 5-6 equal portions. Keep in mind that the progress will be slow since you have two simultaneous processes going on in your body.
Consume enough calories
In order to lose fat, the best choice is to cut on calories intake. But be careful not to overdo it. Proper nutrition means making every calorie count. You will do this by:
- Eating unprocessed or minimally processed foods,
- Eating fresh vegetables,
- Eating only good fats such as olives, nuts, and avocados,
- Eating whole grains and low carbs – avoid simple carbs like sugar, alcohol, or white flour, and
- Consuming omega-3s daily.
The best thing is to work with a personal trainer at your local gym. They will make a workout plan for you. However, if you are not a gym fan but can exercise at home, you can search for online custom workout plan generator which you can use to design a workout plan appropriate for you.
Doing cardio on daily basis for 30-40 minutes will not burn muscle, instead it will help you gain muscle while losing fat at the same time.
Get enough sleep
As previously mentioned steps, getting enough sleep plays an important role in gaining muscle and losing weight. Some researches show that sleep deprivation is linked to muscular atrophy and that it causes muscle loss. Sleep deprivation also decreases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) levels, which are fundamental for maintaining muscle mass. In addition, sleep deprivation is responsible for body’s fat regulatory functions. Even though sleep needs are different from person to person, according to the National Sleep Foundation, in order to avoid the negative effects of sleep deprivation, adults need 7–9 hours of sleep per night.
Gaining muscle and teens
There is an increasing number of teenage obesity all over the world. However, there are those who cannot gain weight or muscle, regardless of how much they eat. The problems here are puberty, hormones and metabolic system. One must be careful when teenagers are in question since their bodies are sensitive in this period and much harm can be done if their diet is not proper. It is crucial for teenagers to exercise and have proper diets which will not influence irregular hormone secretion.
Do not set your goals too high or have unrealistic expectations. Do not be lazy, but also do not be impatient. Give your body time to adjust to the new exercise and diet regime while you nurture it. If you are careful, you will succeed.