In order to build muscle while burning fat there are some basic steps one has to follow. Properly burning calories through cardiovascular activities and properly fueling the body with the correct foods.
In order to burn fat effectively one must incorporate aerobic exercise into their routine. Aerobic exercise is defined as activity that uses the body’s metabolic energy as its fuel source. Which means, an increase heart rate and cardiovascular function. Aerobic activities include, but are not limited to, jugging, swimming, walking and bike riding. These activities should be done at a moderate to intense level of exertion for a minimum of thirty minutes several days a week, if not daily. The time spent on cardio can be done in one thirty (or more) minute session, or can be broken down in shorter “micro workouts” through the day in sessions of ten minutes. Studies have found that it does not decrease the effectiveness of the workout by dividing it throughout the day.
Strength training is as important to burning fat as it is to building lean muscle. A full body strength routine done three days a week is ideal. You should always leave a day in between strength workouts to allow for the muscles to recover. Strength training can be done with or without a gym membership, or even with or without weights. Some basic, and important, muscle groups to focus on are the core muscles. The abdomen and back are easy to work without equipment, and wonderful to strengthen, they provide a central strength to support the entire body. Sit ups and back extensions are easy to do and can be fit into any busy schedule. Another muscle group to focus on are the glutes and quads, these are massive muscle groups and once strengthened will aid in cardio activities. Strength training has an added benefit besides being stronger and looking better, the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn even at rest.
Women who worry about bulking up from strength training need not worry, you do not have the hormones in your system to bulk up, instead strength training will give you a lean, strong look, rather than bulging muscles.
The increased cardiovascular activity will burn fat from the body, resulting in weight loss. Without proper fuel, you do run the risk of losing muscle as well as fat. In order to achieve and maintain a toned physique one must also eat properly.
Carbohydrates are your friends! After many years of the low carb fad, it is becoming more widely accepted that not all carbohydrates are created equal. In order to build lean muscle and fuel and active lifestyle stay away from refined and processed sugars, such as white flour, refined sugar and pre-packaged products, these are loaded with refined and over processed ingredients. Instead opt for natural sweeteners such as honey, raw sugar, wheat flours and whole foods as often as you can. Fruits and vegetables fall into this category and are full of nutritional value.
Another important building block of lean muscle is eating lean protein. You’re body needs the protein in order to efficiently burn fat during and well after aerobic exercise, as well as uses lean protein to build lean, strong muscles. Lean proteins include fish, chicken, lean beef and pork, as well as nuts. Nuts provide the good fats to daily diets as well as fiber. While healthy, nuts are delicious and easy to eat too many of, so portioning is vital!
It is important to remember the need to eat a healthy diet with enough calories to support the activities of the body. Too few calories and you will not see the results, or be able to maintain the fitness schedule you’ll need, to reach your ultimate goal. Online calorie calculators are available to determine how many calories you are taking in, as well as how many you are burning. Remember, the more you are physically active, the more you’ll need to eat in order to maintain that activity.
With every change, it takes time to build a habit into a lifestyle and results aren’t instantaneous. A program should be given the benefit of six to eight weeks of commitment in order to see the full effects it has.