Weight loss alone will not give you a fit, lean look. That requires losing fat while building lean muscle. However, the process of building muscle while burning fat is a tricky one. It truly is a balancing act that requires intentionality.
Here are 5 tips that will help you build muscle and burn fat, giving you a lean, toned, fit look.
1) Eat the right macros, at the right time, for the right reasons.
If you’ve never heard the term macros, it’s short for macronutrients: carbs, fat and protein. In order to build lean muscle while burning fat to get lean, you need to track your macros. This doesn’t need to be an overwhelming thing that causes you to obsess over everything you eat. Instead, tracking macros helps you focus on fueling your body for your workouts (the right reasons). In addition to that, implementing Intermittent Fasting (eating at the right time) will help your body burn fat more efficiently. This isn’t as scary as it sounds, but it is an important component to getting lean.
2) Lift heavy to develop lean, calorie burning muscle.
In order to build muscle you have to lift heavy weights. Muscle growth happens when you progressively overload your muscles, forcing them to adapt and grow. When the muscles are being overloaded they will burn significant calories during your workout. The work you are required to expend during your workout will require repair after your workout, which means you will burn calories for hours after your workout is over. This kind of muscle building will not make you look big and bulky. Instead, it will help you look lean and strong. To do this effectively you need an intentional workout plan. This will also require that your diet be dialed in: specifically your protein intake.
3) Engage in Fasted Cardio and HIIT Training
When combined with a strategic weight training program, cardio done in the fasted state will require your body to reach into its fat stores to start burning fat for energy. In addition, a well-planned HIIT workout will not only burn tons of calories during the workout, but will burn calories up to 48 hours after your workout has finished.
4) Build Healthy Gut Flora
Our gut health is directly related to our immune system and metabolism. Supplementing a well designed workout and nutrition plan with effective probiotics will help you shed more fat, while helping your build lean muscle. Probiotics aid your body in the production of Short Chain Fatty Acids or SCFA’s. SCFA’s aid your body in burning fat while telling your body to stop storing fat. The more efficiently your body produces them, the more you will see the lean muscle you are building, specifically around your midsection.
5) Maintain the Right Mindset
Building lean muscle while burning fat takes time. Staying off the scale and looking for non-scale victories will go a long way in relieving stress and getting results. People who stay positive throughout a fitness program have greater long-term success than those who don’t. In addition to staying positive, the simple act of thinking about what you are grateful for has been shown to decrease cortisol levels by 23%. Cortisol levels plays a significant role in the way your body stores and burns fat. An effective program will have a mindset component added to its nutrition and fitness plan.
If you want to get lean, you need to build lean muscle and burn fat. While doing both of those things at the same time can be a challenge, these 5 strategies will help you do that dance well.
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