Strength training is one of the most effective ways to build muscle and lose fat. Many people assume that strength training lends to weight gain and a bulkier appearance. But muscle building increases your metabolism and allows your body to burn more calories in a resting state.
Muscle takes up less room on your body than fat due to its density, and improves your muscle tone to combat loose pockets of skin as you continue to slim down. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before starting a fitness plan and pursuing your weight-loss goals. For the best results, your fitness routine should be combined with good nutrition, stress management, and plenty of quality sleep every night.
Try these easy ways to build muscle and get even closer to your goal weight!
Eat the right pre-workout foods
Fuel up with complex carbs within an hour of starting your strength training routine. Choose foods such as bananas, whole grains, and yogurt with fruit. These foods lend to muscle building, and will supply your body with the sustained energy it needs to have a productive workout.
Refuel with the right post-workout foods
Muscle building happens during rest and recovery — not actually during your workout. So it’s important to allow your body to repair properly. Consume meals high in protein following your workouts to recover and re-energize while building muscle at the same time. These foods increase your metabolism so you can continue burning fat and building muscle while in a resting state. Eat Greek yogurt, turkey, or tuna — all of which are high in protein and lend to higher muscle mass.
Eat when you’re hungry
Skipping meals and limiting yourself to small portions will drain your body’s energy levels and hinder your weight-loss efforts. When you’re hungry, your body burns muscle instead of fat to sustain your energy levels. Snack on healthy foods whenever you feel hungry, increase your protein intake, and stay away from simple, refined carbs on days you’re not exercising to maintain your results.
Increase your intensity level
Challenge yourself during every workout to see accelerated muscle-building and weight-loss results. Add more reps or circuits to your routine, or swap out single-joint exercises for total body movement exercises. For example, if you’ve only been doing leg curls or bicep curls, start doing squats, deadlifts, and plank movements to work more muscle groups.
Shorten your workout
Since you’re increasing the intensity of your workouts to burn more fat and build more muscle, you must also shorten your workouts to avoid overtraining. Even aerobic cardio workouts like jogging can be shortened and made more intense by running faster or choosing a route that includes steep hills. Plus, shorter workouts allow you to stay more focused on your routine since they take up less time.
Get enough sleep
Sleep helps regulate your hormones, stress, and overall bodily function — all of which drive weight loss and good health in general. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of quality sleep every night so your body can recover and repair itself as needed. Avoid exercising on days you’re lacking sleep to lower the risk of injury, especially since you won’t have the energy levels needed to complete a safe, productive workout.
Take wellness supplements
Talk to your doctor about wellness supplements that can help you build muscle and boost your metabolism. For instance, our Metabolic Energy Kit delivers over eight hours of thermogenic energy, while Pro-Trim increases energy and fat oxidation to drive weight loss and calorie burning.
Need help losing weight and meeting your health goals? Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers deliver customized plans, complete with personalized supplements and consistent support to help you reach your goal and maintain it. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on July 7, 2017