When it comes to fat loss, most people embark on a program of cardio and dieting. Strength training is just an afterthought. Strength training, however, can burn just as much, if not more, fat than cardio. Why is it that people focus on cardio as they’re primary fat burner?
For one thing cardio does shrink you down. But it does just that: it shrinks down both your fat and muscle. You end skinny and soft. Bodybuilders, however, want to retain or even build muscle while burning off fat. Why? A larger engine burns more fuel. Larger muscles burn more calories and more fat.
Fitness means being able to perform physical activity. It also means having the energy and strength to feel as good as possible. Getting more fit, even a little bit, can improve your health.
Exercise is about more than keeping in shape. It also can help with your emotional and mental health. Exercise can help you improve your self-esteem, keep your mind off problems, and give you a sense of control. In general, people who are fit have less anxiety, depression, and stress than people who are not active.
Research suggests that exercise can help specific mental health problems. Exercise may help prevent depression from coming back (relapse) and improve symptoms of mild depression.
Lose Belly Fat
Your diet should contain an absurd number of veggies if you’re looking to melt away fat—broccoli being one of them. “When it comes to vegetables, which are very important, I would definitely throw broccoli as number one,” says White. Broccoli is low in calories and high in fiber, which means it’s going to fill you up, keep you full and stop any unnecessary, craving-driven eating later. One cup of the green stuff contains close to 3 grams of fiber for a measly 30 calories. It’s also an excellent source of iron, calcium and vitamin C, which will encourage greater blood flow to the muscles, support healthy bones, and increase immunity.Portable and gut-friendly, keeping greek yogurt on hand is going to help rid you of those unwanted love handles. From a quick snack—pair it with fresh fruit or nuts—to a smoothie enhancer or sour cream substitute, greek yogurt is very versatile when it comes to daily usage, making it an easy addition to your diet if it’s not a staple already. “It’s high in protein, and a good source of vitamin D and calcium to help rebuild the bones. Especially if you get the plain variety it’s very low in sugar—it’s a great snack for fat loss,” says White. The key here is to avoid pre-flavored varieties. Fruit on the bottom versions pack in an unsightly amount of sugar that may actually inhibit weight loss and potentially contribute to your fat deposits. A seven ounce serving contains a whopping 18 grams of protein on average and also provides healthy gut bacteria to keep your belly feeling good and digestion regular.
The majority of adults in the United States take one or more dietary supplements either every day or occasionally. Today’s dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbals and botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and many other products. Dietary supplements come in a variety of forms: traditional tablets, capsules, and powders, as well as drinks and energy bars. Popular supplements include vitamins D and E; minerals like calcium and iron; herbs such as echinacea and garlic; and specialty products like glucosamine, probiotics, and fish oils.All products labeled as a dietary supplement carry a Supplement Facts panel that lists the contents, amount of active ingredients per serving, and other added ingredients (like fillers, binders, and flavorings). The manufacturer suggests the serving size, but you or your health care provider might decide that a different amount is more appropriate for you.Scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing some health conditions. For example, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping bones strong and reducing bone loss; folic acid decreases the risk of certain birth defects; and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils might help some people with heart disease. Other supplements need more study to determine their value. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not determine whether dietary supplements are effective before they are marketed.
Body Building Diet
Bodybuilding diets are constantly changing due to the increase of your muscle mass as well as the changing difficulty in your workouts.
If you increase your muscle mass and/or the time you spend weight training, you have to eat more. If you lose muscle and/or if you lessen the intensity level of your training, you need to eat less.
So how do you know if you’re building or losing lean muscle mass?
You measure of course. There are two main means that would work very well. The first is the good ole scale that sits gathering dust in the corner of your bathroom. You should monitor your weight to see if your goal to build lean muscle is causing an increase in bodyweight.
If the scale shows that your weight is staying the same (or going down) then it’s time to look at your diet and make healthy changes to create a high calorie bodybuilding diet.
If your weight is increasing, is it muscle mass or fat mass? If your stomach is getting larger then you might be eating too much. You can expect to put on some bodyfat when trying to put build muscle (especially if you’re eating a high calorie diet), but you want to monitor to make sure that dreaded fat percentage isn’t increasing too much.
Another good tool to track your progress is a set of body fat calipers. Using calipers every two weeks will provide you an idea of exactly what is happening. If your lean body mass is going down, you might want to increase the amount of calories that you eat. On the contrary, if body fat is increasing, you might want to decrease your food consumption. Finding the sweet spot where you can gain muscle without fat is every bodybuilder’s dream.
All good gyms will have a set of calipers and as long as the same person does the measurements every time you should be able to get a true reading as to what exactly is happening. Once you have obtained the amount of total millimeters and your bodyweight, the chart that comes with the calipers will show what your bodyfat percentage is.
Now comes the clever bit. If you take your bodyweight in pounds and times it by the bodyfat percentage, then you will be able to figure out your total level of bodyfat. Then you subtract this number from the total bodyweight and that will give you a figure for your fat free mass. The figure is not all muscle (technically it includes internal organs, bones etc.) but we’ll use the figure as muscle for our calculations.
The two figures you have just worked out (total bodyfat and fat free mass) should be written down and kept. Then next time you have your measurements done you can compare the two and see if your bodyfat percentage has gone up.
You will find that if your food intake is right, then with proper amount of exercise, your fat free mass will go up and your total body fat will go down. But if you’re not eating enough, you will find that your fat free mass (muscle) is going down and your body fat goes up, which is definitely not what you want!