What It Takes To Lose Fat
To lose fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn each day and exercise regularly. Frequent physical activity helps get rid of fat. If you lose weight without exercise, youre more likely to lose both muscle and fat.
While its not possible to lose fat on particular areas of your body, you can work on lowering your overall body fat percentage.
Go slowly. Losing weight quickly may contribute to muscle loss. Its best to lose a small amount of weight each week over a longer period.
How To Lose Fat Without Gaining Muscle
To lose fat without gaining muscle requires you to stick to mostly cardio workouts and stay away from strength training exercises. A healthy calorie deficit diet is also essential.
The key to achieving your desired body is to focus on both aspects of your goal.
Basically, you will be engaging in diets and exercises that help you cut the fat while simultaneously avoiding workouts that cause muscle gain.
The Best Exercise For Belly Fat
We’ve been conditioned to think that super hard exercise are going to be the things to help us get results, especially when we’re trying to lose lower belly fat. In fact surprise, surprise it’s much more holistic than that and is about keeping your nutrition, exercise and general movement in check concurrently.
Outside of gym workouts , the movement you’re doing walking to the shops, making a cup of tea or taking your pooch out to stretch their legs can actually contribute more to hitting your healthy fat loss goals. This type of movement is known as NEAT and is a cornerstone of healthy body composition.
‘NEAT simply refers to the energy used carrying out any daily activity that isn’t formal exercise or sleeping,’ says Elliott Upton, personal trainer at Ultimate Performance and Head of LiveUP Online Coaching.
NEAT plays a major role in how much energy you expend per day and increasing your metabolic rate. It also helps control your blood sugar, aid muscle recovery, lower stress levels and improve cardiovascular health.
You can increase your NEAT by walking instead of taking public transport, opting for the stairs over the elevator or doing household chores. Whichever you choose, they’ll all contribute to the process in which you lose belly fat.
Learn everything you need to know about NEAT exercise with this full explainer.
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Processed Foods That Are Okay On A Whole Food Diet
Many brands of cereals are fortified with B vitamins, which can be hard to come by on a plant-based diet.
For example, vitamin B12 , is largely found in animal sources. It is something that those on a plant-based diet need to keep an eye on, as studies show that around 20% of us are deficient. And we also know that 65% of vegans and vegetarians dont take a B vitamin supplement.
So in that case, choosing a cereal fortified with B vitamins would be a good option, if done wisely. By that I mean use your discretion and check the labels, as many brands of cereals are packed with sugar and additives. But you can strategically choose minimally processed foods using a whole foods mentality.
As a rule of thumb, if there are any ingredients that you cant pronounce, dont understand, or sound artificial, they probably are best avoided.
Choose Hiit For Cardio
For the fat loss side of things, balance your strength training with exercises that will raise your heart rate.
“If you’re going to perform cardio training, focus on high intensity interval training ,” Clark said.
Sprinting outdoors or on a treadmill and cycling are ideal forms of HIIT cardio which should be done on weight training off days .
“This type of cardio training incorporates intense periods of work with short recovery segments. HIIT helps you give maximum intensity within the session and keeps your body burning fat even after you finish.”
Dennaoui also recommends alternating HIIT with longer, slow duration cardio.
“Some form of cardio should be done 3-6 days per week,” he said. “Walking on a slightly inclined treadmill for 45 minutes is an ideal form of the longer duration cardio, which should be performed on weight training days .
“Sprinting outdoors or on a treadmill and cycling are ideal forms of HIIT cardio which should be done on weight training off days .”
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Give Yourself A Break
Exercising regularly may be essential for losing fat and maintaining muscle, but that doesnt mean you should work yourself to the bone. Rest is just as essential.
According to Upton, overtraining and pushing yourself beyond the limit can cause excessive muscle protein breakdown .
You also want to make sure youre getting enough sleep and working on lowering your stress levels. If you are over stressed and under slept, your body will hold onto body fat, Jordan says.
Keep these tips in mind when creating an exercise plan that works for you.
How To Build Muscle
Building muscle requires resistance training.
To build muscle, focus on two main factors: weight training and protein consumption. Strength training is essential to changing your body composition — your muscles won’t grow if you don’t challenge them.
Additionally, you can’t build muscle without being in a caloric surplus, so you must eat more calories than you burn to promote muscle growth. While all macronutrients are important, protein is especially important for building muscle. Without enough protein, your body will struggle to repair the muscle tissues that get broken down during weight training.
Plus, studies show that a high-protein diet can help with losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time. Research shows that, while in a calorie deficit, consuming more protein than you normally might can help preserve your lean body mass than being in a calorie deficit without changing your protein intake.
In people who have already been following a strength training program, increasing protein intake and following a heavy weightlifting routine leads to improvements in body composition.
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When it comes to building the perfect body there is nothing that cant be done including losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time.
Now doing this isnt going to be easy but with the right build muscle, lose fat workout plan and the right diet, you should be able to achieve that banging body in a matter of weeks.
This article covers the diet part. In weight loss, what you eat determines how fast you will lose weight, and if you will maintain a healthy weight.
Oral Contraceptives Affect Your Gains
Using oral contraceptives can change your hormone levels. These changes might affect your body’s response to exercise. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research explored this possibility in active, younger women either taking or not taking oral contraceptives.
Participants did an intense combination of strength and endurance training for 10 weeks. The data indicated that, compared to baseline, women not taking oral contraceptives showed a 2.1 percent increase in muscle mass, a 1.5 percent decrease in body fat and a small change in luteinizing hormone.
Women taking oral contraceptives showed no changes in any variable. This finding suggests that oral contraceptives can block some of the positive effects of exercise. A 2017 report in the Open Access Journal of Exercise and Sports Medicine supports this idea. These researchers showed that oral contraceptive use decreased the exercise capacity of female soccer players.
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The Diet & Workout To Gain Muscle
As with the fat loss stage, during the muscle gain stage, diet is very important. On the opposite end of the spectrum though, these 5 days you need to eat quite a bit of food. Really!
This is not a green light to stuff your face with anything and everything you see, but you do not need to be overly concerned about what you are eating. Obviously, candy, potato chips, french fries and so on should not make up a large percentage of your diet, but you can get away with enjoying them sporadically. Focus on lean meats, quality carbs, fruits and a lot of vegetables.
Perhaps even more important than diet in this phase is the workout. In order to transfer your lose fat gain muscle plan from the lose fat stage to the gain muscle stage you need to eat and lift differently. Here is a solid approach to pack on quality muscle mass during this phase.
The gain muscle phase workout
- Day 1 Chest / Triceps / Shoulders
- Day 2 Back / Biceps / Abs
- Day 3 Cardio
- Day 4 Chest / Triceps / Back / Biceps / Legs
- Day 5 Rest
Each of these workouts should also contain 2 exercises for each muscle group. To gain muscle, you need to do a higher volume of reps than when training for definition. I like to do 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps and rest only 30-45 seconds between each set.
Wrapping This Up
Lift Weights For Muscle Gain
A 2016 review of 15 studies concluded that resistance exercises cause dose-dependent increases in muscle mass. This powerful finding suggests that weightlifting gives you the best chance of gaining muscle. Yet these studies have mostly tested men. A 2018 paper in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looked at the impact of resistance training in sedentary, younger women.
These researchers assigned the women to one of two groups: low-load training and high-load training. The resistance exercises focused on thigh strength and mass. For low-load training, the women did sets of 30 to 35 repetitions. For high-load training, they did sets of eight to 10 repetitions. Training happened twice a week for nine weeks.
Results indicated that, compared to baseline, both treatments increased thigh muscle strength and mass. However, low-load training caused larger gains in muscle mass. The authors attributed the latter finding to the greater amount of work done during low-load training.
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Ways To Lose Belly Fat And Live A Healthier Life
Maintaining a trim midsection does more than make you look greatit canhelp you live longer. Larger waistlines are linked to a higher risk ofheart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Losing weight, especially bellyfat, also improvesblood vesselfunctioning and also improves sleep quality.
Its impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you cant see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D. , director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
Heres how to whittle down where it matters most.
Forget About Weight Loss
When your goal is body recomposition, ditch the scale and use a tape measure for a better idea of your progress.
Body recomposition isn’t about weight loss it’s about fat loss. On a body recomposition plan, you may maintain your current weight or even gain weight — remember hearing “muscle weighs more than fat”? This is semi-true. Muscle is denser than fat.
During body recomposition, what changes, instead of weight, is your physique. As you progress through body recomposition, you may notice changes in your body, such as an overall firmer look or that your clothes fit differently. You may even gain weight, but have a smaller physique, at the end of your body recomposition program.
For example, I weigh exactly the same now as I did before I started exercising and eating healthy. I wear smaller clothes, however, and my body has more muscle tone than it did before. I also feel much stronger than before I began a strength training program . So you can ditch the scale, because it doesn’t differentiate between fat loss and muscle loss, and weight loss isn’t the primary goal with body recomposition.
There’s one caveat to consider, though: If you want to lose a large amount of body fat and don’t intend to put on much muscle mass, you may lose weight in the long run.
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Strength Training Can Be High
All that is not to say there won’t be benefits to getting a sweat on. In fact, getting your heart rate up in the right way could help you get lean while building muscle.
That’s why Ngo Okafor, a celebrity personal trainer and transformation coach, recommends following a program combining high-intensity strength-training circuits using light weights and high repetitions with cardio bursts mixed in.
He told Insider that while lifting weights or strength training builds muscle, “your heart rate is not as elevated as it would be if you were doing cardiovascular activity.”
“However, the process of breaking down muscle and rebuilding them continues long after the activity ends,” he said. “Strength training actually burns calories for several hours after the workout had ended.”
Cardio, on the other hand, may blast calories while you’re doing it, but this burn “slows down immensely when the cardiovascular activity ends,” he added. “Combining cardio and strength training elevates the heart rate and keeps it elevated throughout the workout, thereby causing a higher calorie burn during the workout.
“Because strength training builds muscle and the body requires energy to rebuild muscle, the calorie burn will continue for several hours after the workout has been completed.”
An example of a lower-body workout that would fit Okafor’s training style? Strength movements like squats and deadlifts along with cardio bursts like 60 seconds of high knees.
Prioritize Exercise Based On Your Goals
Even though you will include cardio and strength elements in your training, you don’t need to prioritize both. If you’re a marathoner, focus on cardiovascular endurance. If you’re a bodybuilder, focus on muscle growth.
For the beginning exerciser or average exerciser, having a balance between the two is the best way to maximize fat loss while preserving muscle mass. Also, remember that you might lose fat without losing weight, so your scale may not be a good indicator of the progress you’re making.
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Diet For A Clean Bulk
Complete the rest of your diet with carbs and fat. Get about one fourth of your calories from fat, recommends Muscle & Fitness 2. For example, in a sample 3,800 calorie diet, you’d include 105 grams of fat, primarily from healthy sources such as:
- olive oil
- * fatty fish The rest of your calories should come from carbs such as whole grains.
Body Recomposition: How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle At The Same Time
Want muscle definition? It’s not about weight loss — you need to know how to recomp your body.
Lean out, tone up, get ripped… they all mean the same thing: body recomposition.
“Get toned” is one of the most common goals personal trainers hear clients and prospective clients say they’re after. Whether they realize it or not, these people are referring to body recomposition, the act of altering your physique by burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time. These people know what they want — less fat and more muscle — but they often don’t know what it takes to get there.
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Many people think that true body recomposition is impossible because of this conundrum: To reduce your body fat, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn. But to build muscle, you have to eat more calories than you burn. However, your body is smarter than you may give it credit for, and by keeping a close eye on your diet and your training, you can absolutely lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
Body composition refers to your body fat percentage and lean mass percentage.
Your body composition is the ratio of fat mass to lean mass in your body. Sometimes, body composition is used interchangeably with body fat percentage, but body fat percentage is just one part of your overall body composition.
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Exercising Builds Muscle Mass And Helps You Lose Fat
The great thing about exercising is that a lot of exercises will burn fat and build muscle, both at the same time. Its neat, too a kind of bonus, actually that as you build muscle mass, your body burns more energy. This effect even works when we are at rest.
So, to me, that is an incentive to move as much as you can. Its a great reason to work out with intensity to get full benefits.
Thats why when I exercise, I like to use weights. To me, theres just something about pushing myself to the limit. And to boot, lifting weights can boost your metabolism.
Its been proven that hours after you have completed a strength training exercise, your resting metabolic rate is still elevated. So, the intense weight lifting session you powered through is continuing to give you calorie-busting benefits.
If you are someone who loves a cardio workout but wants the lean muscle mass building effect of weight training, HIIT may be for you. How does it work? Short bursts of exercise, like jumping rope and sprinting, can help to burn calories in quick exercise intervals. These bursts can be done throughout the day, freeing up time to concentrate on your strength training sessions.
Whichever type of exercise gets you moving is the best kind. Dont be sedentary. Move your body and combine that movement with strength training to lose fat and build lean muscle mass.
Lift weights at least twice a week, or if you can, take part in a strength training workout at least every other day.