The best way to lose fat is to gain muscle.
Muscle is your body’s engine. It demands fuel to keep running. It gets the fuel from carbs you’ve eaten and fat you’ve stored away. Your muscles will burn fuel for up to 38 hours after you’ve finished working out. Things like running only burn the fuel as you’re doing it.
But… cardio is great. And it does burn more calories while you’re doing it. The idea is to build muscle and do cardio work. It’s great for you all the way around. Do your resistance training first, then top it off with a round of cardio for a great all-around, fat-burning workout.
Cut down on carbs in your diet, get yourself on a regular muscle building workout schedule, and you will burn that fuel naturally and surprisingly quickly.
Carbs are your main source of fuel, but the body will switch over to fat when carbs are in low supply. Fat is a rich source of fuel. It’s like Premium gas. One gram of fat has 9 calories, which is double that for either carbs or protein.
How many carbs? That’s a very tricky question. The best advice here, I think, is to cut way back on processed foods, refinedÂ wheat and added sugars. You can eat pretty much all the fruits and veggies you want, but go easy on starchy stuff like potatoes.
- 100 – 150 grams per day is considered a moderate level of carb intake
- 50 – 100 grams is a restricted, dieting level of carb intake.
- 20 – 50 gram limit should turbo charge the metabolism
You’ll have to experiment a bit to find the right mix for you.
How Much Fat?
The Mayo Clinic advises we limit how much fat we ingest daily. If your total calorie intake was 1,800, Mayo says limit your fat intake to between 40 and 70 grams (20 – 35% of totally daily diet).
And you want to focus primarily on “Good” fats.
Good fats, Monounsaturated or Polyunsaturated, are considered the heart-healthy fats. You get these from foods like vegetable oils, nuts, avocados and cold-water fish, such as salmon and tuna (also great sources of protein).
Bad fats, saturated and trans fats, raise the LDL cholesterol levels in your blood stream. That can cause hardening of the arteries and eventually cardiac arrest. You don’t want that. Trust me, I experienced a heart attack 12 years ago. Minding your fat intake is worthwhile.
Processed foods are a source of bad fat and they are also found in some meat, seafood and dairy. Read labels carefully and make smart choices.
Protein is the building block
Protein is another critical component of your diet. In fact, after water, it’s the most abundant resource you have and it’s in every cell in your body. Protein is the building block for muscle, as well as hair, skin, eyes and our organs.
Protein can be used as fuel by your body if there is not enough available through the main sources, but it will be converted to fat in the process. So, minding the overall diet plan is important. If you’re building muscle, you need good quality protein intake.
How much protein should you ingest if you’re trying to build muscle? The old bodybuilding rule of thumb was 1 gram for every pound of body weight. But these days, dietary experts say that’s too much. Somewhere between 0.7 and 0.8 grams per pound is more like it. So for a person weighing 150 pounds, protein intake should be around 0.248 pounds — or about 1/4 pound of protein (about 4 ounces).
There are some experts who argue much less protein is ideal: 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams for men — that’s about 2 ounces for men. Their calculation doesn’t take into account differences in body weight or the intention of building lean muscle mass.
Again, you should gauge what works best for you and adjust your protein intake accordingly.
You can also look into a quality Whey Protein supplement as an easy-to-digest source of quality protein.
So, that’s the story on what to eat. Now, how do you build muscle?
As for the best workout, please see this post on how to build muscle without Insanity or Pain. There are lots more posts on this site on specific workouts with how-to diagrams. Please feel free to explore and check things out.
And if you’re looking for a cheap but effective way to start working out at home, pick out one of these resistance bands and get going now. They’re an entire home gym in a small bag.
And in this post, there’s a complete guide for a beginner, including exercises and the minimal equipment needed. Simple Workouts at Home.
Please let me know what you think in the comments below.
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