Diet To Lose Weight And Tone Muscle

Consume A Moderate Number Of Calories

How To Gain Muscle/Mass/Tone/Lose Weight With A Vegan/Vegetarian/Plant Based Diet

To walk the fine line of building muscle while burning fat, it’s imperative you find your caloric “sweet spot.” You need to eat enough calories to fuel muscle building while encouraging release of fat from storage.

Remember, you’re not on a diet! You’re trying to increase muscle tissue while preferentially burning stored fat. Someone who is going all-out in the gym needs the proper balance of macronutrients and enough calories to fuel their efforts to build muscle and lose fat.

How Long Before Crossfit Workouts Should You Eat

Eating before a workout is an individual thing. The answer depends on how you feel with food in your stomach before a workout.

Some people need it to feel good, others feel queasy if their stomach isnt empty, so intermittent fasting in the morning works for them. Other people struggle to perform when their blood sugar is low and need a meal before heading to their local CrossFit gym. Tinker until you find what works for your individual needs.

How long before your workout you eat depends on two things: when you workout and what types of food help you perform.

For example, some people take the 5am CrossFit workout.

This would mean eating breakfast at 4:15-4:30 in the morning, which isnt ideal. But, if you feel sick without eating before training, youll need to get up and do it.

A protein shake in this case may help so you arent cooking in the middle of the night.

The kinds of foods you eat before a workout will vary. Quick digesting carbs like bananas or oats are good for providing a boost of energy right before a training session.

Generally speaking, eating a small to medium sized meal 60-90 minutes before you workout is a good place to start.

Eat a balanced meal of lean protein and carbohydrates, and limit the fat intake. Fats take longer to digest and may make you feel sluggish come workout time.

Start tracking your mood and energy level alongside your meals. Look for patterns that could be impacting your performance and adjust accordingly.

The Relationship Between Diet And Exercise

Which do you think is more important to building a body you want, your diet or your workouts?

Many say its 80% diet and 20% working out. As an experienced personal trainer, I say its 100% each. To get the results you want, your diet must align with your workouts.

A bad diet will translate into a sub-par workout, which will not give you the energy and intensity you need to get results. By eating a healthy diet, you can train hard in the gym and recover properly to build muscles.

Likewise, you can eat 100% clean and healthy, but if youre not training in the gym multiple times a week with enough intensity, then you wont be stressing your muscles enough to get them to grow.

If you need help finding motivation to focus on all of this, you can check out Lifehacks free Ultimate Worksheet for an Instant Motivation Boost.

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What Should You Eat After A Crossfit Workout

Plenty of contradictory research exists on the topic of post workout nutrition.

Some science says you have a 45 minute window to eat that will maximize the gains you make from the workout .

Some of the science says it doesnt matter as long as you eat a balanced diet throughout the day.

Personally, Id recommend you try to do both. Focus on eating quality foods throughout the day, but try to eat something within an hour of training.

Some protein to boost recovery and carbohydrates to replace what you just burned off are good choices. There are plenty of option for post workout supplements too.

Shoot for 25-50g of protein and 50-75g of carbohydrates after you train.

If you cant stomach lean meat after a session, a protein shake works just fine.

Some easy to digest carb options include bananas, oats, Larabars, apples, and yogurt.

Add Some Flax To Your Meals

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Boost your fiber intake and slim down by mixing some flaxseed into your favorite food. Flax is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation and promote weight loss, and they may even help you fend off another sign of aging, too: the dreaded wrinkle. Flaxseed is loaded with alpha-linolenic acid, which researchers at Winnipeg St. Boniface General Hospital and Cuba’s VI Lenin University Hospital have linked to improvements in weight and cardiovascular status among study subjects. The omega-3s in flax have also been shown to trigger improvements in the texture and hydration of skin, fighting wrinkles in the process.

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How To Stay On Track

Habits and cravings are the devil when it comes to dieting. Lets first deal with habits. Juge explains that it takes a good week or two to ease into dieting. Fast food is so easy and theres a McDonalds on every corner. The hardest thing is to develop the new habit of preparing your meals and taking them with you. The first week is the most difficult, so prepare yourself for some challenges as you abandon your usual routine. For example, you might usually go out for a sub sandwich or burger at lunch. Youll now have to bring your food with you and resist the temptation of spicing up your meal with the Doritos in the vending machine or your usual can of Coke. It can be a real mental battle to stick to your food plan.

To stay motivated and deal with cravings, Juge has a couple of great recommendations. First, schedule a cheat meal on every seventh day. Many of my clients have their cheat meal on Sunday, so then theyre ready for Monday and the week to come, he says. If you feel deprived during the week, concentrate on the cheat meal to come, knowing you can eat absolutely anything you want topizza, lasagna, doughnuts, beer, chips, you name it. Remember, though, its just one cheat meal, not an entire day of cheating. Afterward, get right back on the wagon with your next scheduled meal.

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Use Cardio To Burn Fat Not Calories

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to burn body fat is performing lengthy sessions of steady-state cardio. This works for burning calories, but it can also spin you into a caloric deficit where your body begins to preferentially burn muscle tissue over body fat.

Instead, when aiming for the combo of leanness and muscle, I recommend high-intensity interval training as your primary form of cardio. Why? HIIT has been shown to preserve muscle mass, and even enhance fat use as fuel. That’s a winning combination!

HIIT is very taxing for your body, so don’t attempt it every day. Do 1-3 sessions per week, with 3 as the absolute max. If you feel like HIIT is draining your energy in the weights department, scale back.

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Keep Your Caloric Deficit Moderate

You can’t ignore or cheat calories. But that also doesn’t mean you should go as low as possible. Use a calorie calculator to place yourself in a slight deficitâusually no more than 300 caloriesâto drive weight loss. Aim to lose 0.5-1.0 pounds per week, and no more. Keep it slow to keep your gains!

How Much Protein Do You Need To Gain Muscle

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Many people find themselves asking, How much protein should I eat to gain muscle? Like most things in life, there isnt a one-size-fits-all answer, but there are some guidelines that can help when it comes to muscle building foods.

How Much Protein Per Day?

The recommended dietary requirements for daily protein is at a modest 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day. This means if you weigh 130lbs, optimal protein intake would translate to eating a minimum of 47g of protein, or about 2 small chicken breasts a day as part of a muscle building diet.

This RDA requirement is the bare minimum of protein consumption and is based on the average sedentary individual. If you dont exercise and also sit for 8+ hours a day, then the RDA recommendation is perfect for you, and theres no reason why you need to eat more protein.

How Much Protein Per Day to Build Muscle?

I have found from training clients that a higher protein intake translates to faster fat loss and a higher metabolism versus a lower protein intake, even if you dont do strength training. Adding more protein to your diet causes you to eat less, which results in weight loss.

For building muscle and fat loss, I would recommend about 40% of your total calories come from protein, or about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Good Sources of Protein

Instead, swap out your breakfast with high-protein choices like eggs, Greek yogurt, or smoked salmon, or throw a scoop of protein powder in your smoothie or oatmeal.

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Know That You Won’t Achieve Your Goals Overnight

Changing your body composition is a long journey, and you need to be prepared for this to take some time.

Fat loss doesn’t happen overnight, and muscle gain typically takes even longer. Don’t rush it.

“Unlike weight loss that can be very rapid , building muscle is a notoriously slow process, and, therefore recomping is no different,” Carpenter said.

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Instead of waiting for aesthetic results to keep yourself motivated, set training goals to work toward, like deadlifting 1.5 times your body weight or doing an unassisted pull-up.

“Implementing some performance-based gym goals may be good for a motivational perspective, as physique changes are likely going to be slower changes that are harder to monitor,” Carpenter said.

Essentially, there are many ways to get strong and lean, but resistance training, protein, and patience are key.

It’s doable and you can do it.

Wishing you well,


As a senior lifestyle reporter at Insider and a self-described fitness fanatic with an Association for Nutrition certified nutrition course under her belt, Rachel Hosie is immersed in the wellness scene and here to answer all your burning questions. Whether you’re struggling to find the motivation to go for a run, confused about light versus heavy weights, or unsure whether you should be worried about how much sugar is in a mango, Rachel is here to give you the no-nonsense answers and advice you need, with strictly no fad diets in sight.

What Is The Best Way To Lose Weight And Tone Up In 30 Days

Have plans to lose weight and tone up? Building muscle while losing weight takes effort and strategy, but it can be done. As long as you eat right and exercise intelligently to reach your goals, you can see results in 30 days.

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Eating plenty of protein and strength training while adding high intensity interval training to your exercise routine will help you build muscle and lose fat at the same time, a process called body recomposition.

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Identify: Skin Or Fat

First of all you need to identify whether the excess skin is actually that, or whether it could be a thin layer of stubborn fat.

If you can pinch more than a few millimetres of skin then you probably still have some fat cells that need to be lost before the skin will appear firmer. Our bodies hold on to stubborn types of fat – in men its usually areas such as the lower abs and lower back, whereas in women it can be stored on the thighs, backside, abs and hips – which, as the name suggests, is more difficult to lose.

In order to burn fat, your body produces a chemical known as catecholamine. These travel through your blood and attach to receptors on fat cells, catalysing the release of the energy stored within the cells so it can be burned off.

What you think is excess skin may actually be stubborn fat cells stored within the skin, in which case you will need to keep training to reduce it before the skin can look firm. The best way to do this is through HIIT training, which maximises fat burning during and after the workout, and also through strength training.

Calories Are King But The Balance Of Protein Carbs And Fat Can Vary

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More carbs for gaining weight and more fat for losing weight is usually the advice you hear when fitness pros talk about macronutrients thats protein, carbs, and fat for changing body composition.

But what might be more important than macronutrient ratios is making sure you hit minimum thresholds of each macronutrient. Once you know youre getting enough protein, carbs, and fat to retain muscle, maintain activity levels, and manage your hormones, then you have more freedom to add to your macros as you see fit.

For this article, weve spoken to a PhD in Sports Nutrition and a sports dietitian to learn the long and short of:

So lets start with the most popular question on the internet: how fast can I lose fat?

Editors note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldnt take the place of advice and/or supervision from a medical professional. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Speak with your physician if you have any concerns.

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Stay Away From Sunbeds

While its tempting to hop on a sunbed to hide any imperfections under a glowing tan, the ultraviolet light that you are exposed to on a sunbed can significantly damage your skin. Over time it can cause your skin to look old, wrinkled and leathery, but there is an even more serious danger than accelerated ageing. Sunbeds can damage the DNA of your skin, which may lead to skin cancer including malignant melanoma, the most fatal type of the disease. Opt for fake tan if you want to achieve a safe golden look, there are now a number of spray tans that can last over one week that wont damage your skin at all.

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.

Body recomposition requires a different approach to health and fitness than the typical weight-loss mindset.

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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.

Read more: The best body composition scales for 2020

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Refeed Rather Than Cheat

When calories get low, there’s almost always a moment when you really feel like you’re hungry all the time and weight loss is not keeping up. When this happens, it’s time for a “refeed.” It’s not to be confused with a “cheat meal,” which is one of those carb-and-fat bloodbaths I warned about earlier.

A refeed is just a single high-carb meal, often double or triple what you’d eat in a sitting. Especially when eaten 2-3 hours before bed, this approach raises levels of the appetite-controlling hormone leptin, and also heads off metabolic slow-down. Plenty of people consider this the key to successful dieting.

Let’s be clear about one thing, though: It still only works if you’re consistent with what you do the rest of the week. And before you reach for that bag of sugar, I’ll add that I still like to focus on slow or medium-digesting carbs for a refeed.

*Creatine while cutting? Yep! It’s been shown to help maintain strength and muscle while dieting. Take 5 grans per day, every day. **

Increase The Intensity Of Your Workouts

How to lose weight and build muscle fast

Losing weight as you age isn’t always about how much time you’re spending at the gym, but what you’re doing while you’re there. If you’re frustrated with your rate of weight loss, try adding some high-intensity interval training to your routine a review of research published in the Journal of Obesity reveals that it’s a more effective means of improving overall fitness, increasing lean muscle, and improving insulin sensitivity than traditional aerobic exercise.

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Benefits Of A Whole Food Diet

In a 2014 analysis by Yale University, they concluded that a diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables or other high-fiber foods like whole grains and nuts is really important in maintaining good long-term health and preventing health problems like diabetes and cancers. These kinds of foods also help our bodies to cope and control the effects of inflammation.

In fact, one review from 2019 stated that diets high in plant foods could potentially prevent several million premature deaths each year if adopted globally. This is a big endorsement for a whole food diet.

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