Benefits Of Cardio When Dieting
As discussed above, when looking to increase fat loss, the goal is to have the majority if not all weight lost on a scale to come from decreased fat, rather than losing fat and muscle.
The more muscle you can sustain during a fat loss program, the more tone and lean physique you will have.
For this reason, cardio is not as critical as eating so that you are in a calorie deficit and weight training in a fat loss phase.
That said, cardio workouts do have their benefits and can be used as needed to aid in overall fat loss if necessary.
The 3 main benefits of doing cardio for fat loss are:
- It aids in caloric expenditure
- It improves heart health
Doesn’t Muscle Weigh More Than Fat Though
Here’s the thing: Muscle is denser than fat, according to The Social & Health Research Center, meaning it’s heavier by volume but takes up less space. Think about the difference between a pound of iron vs. a pound of feathers. They weigh the same , but the iron can easily fit in your hand, while you’d need a bucket to contain all the feathers.
Muscle takes up about four-fifths as much space as fat, so the difference isn’t huge. But if you take two people who are the same height and weight, the one with a higher body fat percentage will likely wear a larger clothing size.
âWondering if your body fat percentage is in a healthy range? Use the LIVESTRONG.com Body Fat Calculator to easily find out.â
It’s important to remember that fat doesn’t turn into muscle. Weight lifting burns fat and builds muscle, but these are separate processes â you’re not replacing each pound of fat lost with a pound of muscle.
Plus, having more muscle helps you naturally burn more calories. At rest, a pound of muscle tissue burns about 6 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns just 2 to 3, according to the National Council on Strength and Fitness.
Lift Weights To Lose Weight
ByJoe Warnerlast updated 8 February 22
When you first start thinking about exercising to lose weight, steady-state cardio exercise like running, cycling and swimming may be the first options that come to mind. However, while those are all great ways to lose weight, strength training comes with an added benefit which helps to hit your fat loss goals. So even if you prefer spending your time with endurance activities, its worth regularly visiting the weights room of your gym. Or your front room, since we all bought a load of home gym equipment during the lockdowns, right?
Even if you dont plan on bulking up, maintaining muscle mass while losing weight is important, because if you simply shed a few pounds your basal metabolic rate can drop as your body reacts to the changes in weight. So even if youre going all-out with cycling or running to lose weight, lifting some weights and eating enough protein to maintain or build muscle is definitely a worthwhile endeavour.
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Getting To Grips With My Beginner Weight Lifting Routine
After my first week, walking downstairs was nearly impossible and getting my sports bra over my head was near torture. Id previously heard of DOMS but my word, Id never experienced them like this.
Alongside the compound movements, Otaniyien introduced conditioning supersets of burpees, battle ropes, slam balls and the much-hated prowler. Ive never experienced quad and glute burn quite like pushing a large weighted metal sled up and down a gym. I could feel my fitness and strength levels improving.
Moreover, my measurements werent lying either. By week three Id lost almost 3kg in weight and 1kg of fat mass, as well as doubling my leg press weight from 90kg in week one to 180k.
Meal Frequency And Timing
To keep your body in peak condition, eating small meals frequently is considered best for athletes in training. Eating every two or three hours seems to be helpful for keeping energy levels high and providing maximum nutrients for bodybuilding.Avoid eating carbohydrates alone. Pair them with a protein or a fat to blunt the insulin surge associated with a high-carbohydrate meal. The crash afterwards can make you feel hungrier than before you ate. Protein should be your go-to snack of choice.Post-workout, protein will help your body rebuild tissue the fastest. Drink plenty of water before a workout.
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What Can You Eat
Those following a bodybuilding diet need to ensure they’re getting enough fuel from carbohydrates to sustain their workouts. Without enough carbohydrates, your body starts to break down muscle for glucose to convert to energy.
The bodybuilding diet emphasizes lean protein to protect and build muscle. It also encourages getting plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates.
Followers of this plan should choose whole grains and avoid refined flours and sugars. Refined carbohydrates are quickly digested by the body and can rapidly spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.
While some people on a bodybuilding diet follow a regimented eating pattern, it’s not necessary for everyone. Depending on what your goals are, it’s possible to build muscle and burn fat by simply following a balanced diet and listening to your body’s natural hunger cues.
But if you’re interested in following a typical bodybuilding diet protocol, here’s some additional guidance for fueling your workouts.
The American College of Sports Medicine estimates the protein requirements for strength trainers at 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight per day . Some individuals may require an intake of up to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
Weight Workout #: Double Up
Training muscles twice a week benefits not only from more-frequent training but also the split lets you focus on intensity variation. Meaning, the first workout in the week will emphasize heavier weights and fewer reps while the second workout in the week will focus on moderate weight and higher reps.
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Find Your Workout Community
One thing we’ve learned in over 20 years of helping people change their lives is that it’s far, far easier to doâand to maintainâwhen you do it with the support of a community.
The best fitness community we know happens to be the one we created over a decade ago: BodySpace. It’s a fitness-focused social network that has helped millions of people on their fitness journey and remains a powerhouse of positivity whereâbig bonusâyou can also track your progress and workouts.
Choose Bigger Exercises To Burn More Fat
When youre looking to optimize fat shredding results from weight lifting, choosing the right exercises is key.
Theres no room for inefficient exercises that work one muscle at a time. They just wont burn enough calories to make a difference.
So by ditching the triceps kickbacks and forearm curls, you can make way for the real fat burning lifts:
- Presses and pulls
- Squats and deadlifts
- Lunges and hip hinges
In this program youll be using rep ranges that force your body to adapt and grow. Focusing on 6-10 reps is a great way of maintaining muscle, even in an aggressive deficit. And its also heavy enough to absolutely blast you with a big cardio and strength effect too.
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Eat This Way To Build Muscle And Lose Fat
Think it’s not possible to lean out while adding or maintaining muscle? Your diet, or lack thereof, could be playing tricks on you. Here’s how to make it work.
Getting big is one thing. Getting lean is another. And the two simply don’t happen at the same timeâor so the commenters would have you believe.
I’ve worked with plenty of bodybuilders and strength athletes who needed to hold onto muscleâor even build itâwhile also burning fat. And I’ve seen them do it. But it didn’t happen by accident or by shortcuts, it was a question of making the right choices over and over again for a long time.
To be clear, everything here assumes that the basics are in place: You’re eating adequate calories and protein and your training is in line with the goal of burning fat while building muscle.
Got that? Then here’s how you should eat, from the training trenches straight to the stageâor just to your selfie.
What Should I Eat To Lose Weight While Weightlifting
Now that you’ve got the facts, it’s time to figure out what you’ll actually be eating. Michele recommended planning out your meals around your protein source simply because those usually take the longest to cook and filling in vegetables and some starchy carbs around it. Pop a chicken breast in the oven, for example, while you sauté some spinach and boil quinoa. Here are a few of Michele’s healthy meal recommendations for weight loss:
- Open-faced breakfast sandwich
- Spring greens with cottage cheese, blueberries, quinoa, almond slices, and balsamic vinegar. “Feel free to add leftover chicken, or use edamame to keep it plant-based,” Michele said.
- An open-faced sandwich with turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mustard, plus sides of mandarin orange, half a cucumber, and Greek yogurt.
- A small apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter
- Baked chicken or ground turkey with lots of veggies , whole wheat pasta, and tomato sauce
Eating cleanly and strategically works hand in hand with a strength training routine to help you maximize fat burn and muscle gain, which can equal major weight loss. For more meal ideas to promote weight loss, check out our two-week clean eating plan and pair it with this weeklong muscle-building workout schedule for maximized fat burn.
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All Of This Means Nothing If You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep And Hydration
All three experts could not stress this point enough. “If people are poor sleepers they will not burn fat as efficiently and it’s much harder to build muscle,” Khader says. The nutritionist also pointed out that people who don’t get enough sleep are always hungry which means they are at risk for consuming above and beyond the amount of calories they really need.
And there are several studies to back this up. One published by the Public Library of Science studied 1,024 people’s sleeping habits and the participants with short sleep had elevated levels of certain hormones related to appetite regulation and an increased BMI was shown as proportional to decreased sleep.
And of course the other factor, hydration is also and always super important, in body recomposition and in everyday life. “You can’t build muscle if your body is not recovered from the day before in normal life,” Catadul say. “Being hydrated and sleeping are so critical to basic human function. If you do all these things and you’re not drinking water or you’re sleeping four hours a night, it’s either not going to work at all or work so much slower than if you’re body is in a good state.” And who doesn’t want to see results?
As far as timeline goes, the experts all agree that you should start to see results within four weeks if you’ve been consistent. Within a few months, other people will start noticing. And in six months, you’ll see drastic changes. Its not easy, but its worth it, Oprea says.
Youre Not Striking The Right Balance
If youve been shunning carbohydrates because you think theyre making you fat, you might want to reconsider. Cutting out an entire macronutrient from your daily diet can make you feel deprived and tempt you to binge. Instead, reach for healthy, complex carbsthink sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, oats, peas, beans, and whole grain bread. Of course, an occasion sweet is fine, but a steady diet of simple carbs, like candy, soda, sugary sweets, and processed foods with added sugar, wont help you reach your weight-loss goal.
Tip: Go for starchy carbohydrates, which are digested more slowly and release glucose into your bloodstream more slowly.
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What About Body Recomposition
Body recomposition refers to the process of changing your ratio of fat mass to lean mass — that is, losing body fat and gaining muscle mass. The goal of body recomposition is to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously, unlike the traditional approach of “bulking and cutting” in which you intentionally put on a lot of weight first and then go through an intense calorie deficit to lose the fat and reveal the muscle underneath.
How Much Fasting Is Too Much
Fasting longer than 24 hours has its cons. The fasting methods we previously described suggest a maximum of 24 hours without eating. For example, in the Eat-Stop-Eat method, one fasts once or twice a week for 24 hours. There are people who push a fast to 48, and even 72, hours, but thats outside the scope of why most would be fasting.
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Always Pick Quality Over Quantity
Focus more on what you want to accomplish in your routine than on how long each workout takes. You can get better results from a shorter, intense workout than from one thats longer but low quality.
Proper form is also super important. If you rush through an exercise or push past your limits, your form can get sloppy. This increases your risk of injury and can even decrease your workout results.
For Weight Loss A Calorie Deficit Is Key
A caveat to the research, however, is that exercise alone may not help with weight loss without proper nutrition.
Weight loss in the study was tied to a calorie deficit, or eating fewer calories on average than you burn off with exercise.
“If you want to lose weight, you have to reduce your calorie intake,” Lopez said.
Experts say that while a calorie deficit is essential for weight loss and fat burning, methods of creating a calorie deficit can vary. Strategies to cut calories include tracking what you eat, reducing portion sizes, adding more high-volume foods like veggies, or trying a diet that helps you eat less by other means such as low carb or intermittent fasting.
A calorie deficit can also come from adding more physical activity to your day, from walking to gym sessions, although exercise alone is rarely enough for long-term weight loss, previous research suggests.
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Why Lifting Heavy And Eating More Is The Best Way To Lose Fat
An elite trainer explains what most guys get wrong about fat loss
The fitness industry has fat loss programs backwards.
Weve been programmed to think that in order to lose fat, you need to elicit a caloric deficit. This is true. I am not one of those fitness conspiracy theorists who tell people to eat more to lose weight.
Calories in must be less than calories out. Its math. And science.
This can be accomplished by eating less or exercising more .
As a result, many guys gravitate toward programs that advocate aggressive dietinglow-carb, gluten-free, grass-fed acai berry shakes sprinkled with sawdustand even more aggressive, super high-volume training programs.
Its what we’ve been told to do and weve been doing it.
Those programs work. Its just that most of the time, they dont work in the long term. Because you can only torture yourself for so long.
Instead, I prefer a different approach. Rather than referring to a fat-loss program as a fat-loss program, I prefer to think of it as a muscle-retention program.
Because thats the point: to keep as much muscle as possible. Not only will that help you fill out your T-shirts , but the increased muscle mass will also help you burn more calories on a day-to-day basis and fend off fat.
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Youre Not Working Hard Enough
Theres no exact equation to working out and eating healthyits a matter of trial and error, finding out what works specifically for your body. And more time spent in the gym doesnt always equal a more fit person. Unless youre an athlete, body builder, or a marathoner-in-training, the average person shouldnt be working out more than an hour a day.
Your workouts should be intensity-dependent, not time-dependent. Keep this fact in mind: the harder you work, the shorter your workout time may need to be.
Tip: Maximize time spent at the gym, in fitness class, or in your at-home workout routine so you can achieve that coveted afterburn effect, which keeps your metabolism revved for 24-48 hours afterward.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern where a person deliberately and intentionally chooses windows to abstain from food and to eat food . IF is concerned with the WHEN to eat, not the WHAT to eat.
Fasting isnt anything new, really. Humans have been fasting for centuries, whether for medicinal, spiritual, or other personal reasons. In respect to human history, humans evolved to be able to function for extended periods of time without food.