muscle tone

Replacing Fat with Muscle Tone: Getting Started

Nutrition and exercise are equally important. The only way to lose fat and keep it off is to change your lifestyle habits. Not the even best workout program can compensate for bad eating.

Beware of cookie-cutter diets. They are a recipe for failure. This explains why over 95 percent of dieters regain the lost weight within one to five years.

What you need is a healthy diet combined strength training and high-intensity cardio. This way, you’ll torch fat and build muscle tone. At the same time, your metabolism will go through the roof.

Getting started is the hardest part. Here are some tips to help you out:

Ditch the Junk

Your daily meals should consist of whole foods. Forget about sugar, refined oils, and frozen dinners. Store-bought cookies, cake, soda, and potato chips have no place in a balanced diet.

As a rule of thumb, avoid any foods with five or more ingredients. Whole foods have just one ingredient.

Let’s take oranges, for instance. These fruits don’t even need a label. The same goes for fish, lean meat, grains, and vegetables.

Load up on whole, natural foods and keep your meals simple.

Watch Out for Hidden Sugars

Check food labels for coconut sugar, fructose, dextrose, and molasses. Watch out for rice syrup, agave syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup. These ingredients are nothing but sugar in disguise.

Believe it or not, there are 61 different names for sugar. This harmful ingredient puts you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, insulin resistance, and weight gain. It also affects your hormone levels and adds empty calories to your diet.

If you have a sweet tooth, seek healthy sugar substitutes. Cinnamon, stevia, vanilla essence, and fruit purées are an excellent choice.

Be aware that honey contains fructose, which is just another sugar. Use it in moderation or replace it with stevia until you reach the desired weight.

Increase Your Protein Intake

Protein is the most important nutrient for weight loss. It not only speeds up your metabolism but also reduces body fat levels and boosts muscle growth.

A high-protein diet can help you get leaner, stronger, and fitter. When combined with exercise, it increases muscle tone and energy expenditure.

Get your protein from fish, poultry, quinoa, tofu, and leafy greens. Eat small amounts of nuts and seeds between meals. Consume at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight daily.

Lift Heavy to Build Muscle Tone

Lifting weights will improve your muscle-to-fat ratio and help you burn more calories at rest. It also increases fat breakdown and lowers insulin sensitivity, leading to faster weight loss.

Strength exercises should account for at least 80 percent of your workout. Focus on compound movements, such as the bench press and squat. Add deadlifts, shoulder presses, and push-ups to your training routine.

End your workouts with high-intensity training. This will boost your metabolism, so you’ll keep burning calories after leaving the gym. Tabata, HIIT, and bodyweight cardio exercises should come first on your list.

Wrapping Up

Just like everything else, weight loss takes hard work and discipline. Simply walking on the treadmill won’t do the trick.

Commit to regular exercise and choose your foods wisely. Lift weights three to five times a week, eat clean, and get proper rest. Diet alone won’t increase muscle tone.

Remember that it’s never too late to build the body you’re after. Check out our site for some great healthy eating tips.

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