Fitness could easily be defined as the battle between muscle and fat. The goal is to gain muscle and to lose fat, but that can be easier said than done.
Gaining muscles requires a large amount of protein and calories, but if you eat and exercise in the wrong way, those calories can easily turn into fat instead.
Transforming your body composition doesn’t completely start at the gym, though. It starts in the kitchen.
How To Eat And Exercise Smart For Muscle Gain And Fat Loss
The First Step: Clean Eating
Clean eating focuses on three main food sources, in this order: lean protein, low-glycemic carbs, and healthy fats. You’re looking for high-quality, nutrient-packed foods.
The key word here is lean. It isn’t always fun, but to avoid gaining fat, you need to avoid fatty meats, fried foods filled with saturated fats, and processed foods made of empty calories with zero nutrients.
Some of the best, most nutritiously dense sources of protein include lean beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and whey protein.
The Second Step: High-Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT)
It makes sense that a workout called HIIT would hit you hard, doesn’t it? High-intensity intermittent training, aka HIIT, simply means intervals of intense workout and rest periods.
An example would be sprinting for a minute, then walking for a minute or two, in intervals. HIIT has been shown to really help with weight loss, specifically fat loss.
Studies show HIIT stimulates fat oxidation and even suppresses the appetite post-workout, the time most people have to fight not to overeat. It gets better:
HIIT workouts also stimulate muscle-building hormones like growth hormone and even rev up the metabolism.
Check out FitnessBlender for numerous videos of HIIT workouts you can try out. Aim for three days of 20-30 minutes of interval training.
The Third Step: Lifting
On days that you’re not HIITing, you should be lifting. One thing should be becoming painfully clear at this point: building muscle while losing fat isn’t easy.
Interval training requires you to really get in shape, and when you’re lifting, you should be challenging yourself to go for heavy weights and compound movements, or lifts that require numerous muscles to work as hard as possible.
Remember to switch up your routine in order to keep your muscles awake; they can essentially adapt to a regular routine and begin to grow less.
3 Steps: It’s That Easy (And That Hard)
The simple fact is it isn’t easy. If you eat smart and train hard, though, you can begin to enjoy the process and see and feel results of your hard work.
Here’s a bonus step: take progress photos and measure your body composition each month. Tracking your progress will keep you in check and push you to continue improving.
Have you been trying to gain muscle and burn fat? What’s worked for you?