This is it, you have decided you are ready to lose the fat and gain muscle. You have decided today is the day you are starting a new you. You have scrolled through your social media and decided you want to look like those lean and flexing beasts. Hyped and wanting to be ripped and defined. You want people on the beach to swoon and people to be inspired by you as they scroll through Instagram. However, there remains the little problem of having more fat than muscle.
THE KEY TO LOSING FAT
You will need to begin with fat burning as a priority to go from obese to a chiseled body of a Greek god. This means avoiding important mistakes as well as using a diet and exercise program that works for you.
Let’s start with what not to do to lose fat and build muscle…
Top 5 Mistakes to Lose Fat and Build Muscle
1. Burning without pumping
Typically, the standard advice to get from overweight to ripped is to burn fat first and build muscle later, but ‘standard’ may not be for you. You want to turn your existing situation as an overweight beginner to your advantage.
It is easy to see where people giving that advice are coming from. It’s naturally difficult for a human to lose fat and at the same time grow muscle. To lose fat requires a calorie deficit while building muscle requires extra calories. However, if you are overweight, to begin with, you have the surplus of ‘building material’ already. This means that you should be pumping with all your might. Now is the best time to get that fat burning and gain muscle to replace it at the same time.
A study on insulin resistance demonstrated this. The study showed that overweight participants who started resistance training as opposed to a more cardio-focused approach managed to lose about 16 pounds of fat. What replaced it? Approximately 10 pounds of muscle instead. The proportion will be different in different individuals, but such an encouraging result is possible when you are on the big side to begin with.
So, strange as it sounds, don’t let all that fat go to waste.
2. Only working out at a gym
A gym is a great place to get your plan in motion. It can be quite motivating to watch others on the same journey as you. Most gyms have trainers available and will give the first session for free.
However, the gym isn’t the only place to work out at.
Equally beneficial, working out outside has many benefits other than just a good sweat sesh. Besides all the fresh air and the natural elements, a good dose of vitamin D is a huge plus. Check out parks and other outdoor facilities in your area. There are bike paths, walking & hiking paths, and even outside exercise areas. Check out your local Parks & Recreation Department for some really great ideas all year round.
Another option is setting up a home exercise area. Luckily, you don’t need a lot. What you want are dumbbells, an elastic band, and a treadmill or elliptical. You don’t need much cardio equipment. The treadmill or eliptical can boost your strength training just fine. You’ll want a treadmill that inclines so you can sprint, therefore, really getting all those fat-burning cardio benefits.
With all your equipment within easy reach, you’ll be pushing your body to its limits, which when you are a beginner may not actually be all that far.
Be Careful. Injuries are common for bodybuilders. This is an unfortunate fact proven by research, so please …be very careful.
When you are starting out with the weights, you are at risk of doing serious damage to yourself. This is because your fat burning and muscle building efforts should be intense. Chances are this level of workout is very different from your past levels of fitness. Rule #1 is to be sure you are using correct form. Your body may be weak, so you will need to take extra care to avoid injuring yourself.
3. Fearing fat and carbs will not help to lose fat
For quite a few years, sources on healthy diets have been demonizing fat. It all boiled down to ‘You want to lose weight? Cut out the fat!’ And many people are still stuck in this limited mindset.
With the rise of the keto diet popularity, it is clear proof that eating fat can be good for you. Moreover, it can help you to burn excess fat from your body.
It’s the same thing with carbs. Ironically, the very same keto diet that redeemed fat is leading the case against carbs. But in truth, for maximum fat burning and muscle building, you need both. Along with a few extra servings of protein on top of it. It really is that simple.
IT IS ALL ABOUT BALANCE
Achieving the correct balance of these three essential macronutrients is key to rapid and effective fat loss and muscle growth. You can try playing around with weirdly restrictive diets when your body has burned through its fat storage and you have gained some muscle mass. However, remember that your brain mainly runs on carbs. As folks from Harvard explain, fats are essential for vitamin absorption and other processes in your life depend on them.
You must have a diet that includes fats, proteins, and carbs so that you can fuel your transformation. To lose the excess weight you have now it is necessary to cut calories, not to exclude food groups. Use nutrition calculators to plan a properly balanced diet.
4. Overvaluing supplements to lose fat and build muscle
Supplements can help you achieve your goals faster, but they are not some kind of magic pill that can melt 20 pounds of fat in two weeks. Understanding that is the first step to making good use of supplements and maximizing their benefits.
People often place too much stock in the effects of these products and fail to put adequate effort into their exercise and diet. By failing to do work you are wasting time and money because you won’t achieve anything worthwhile.
A supplement is exactly that, it is supposed to ‘supplement’.
Supplementation ‘adds to’ your program. It cannot replace any of it. They can improve your already good results. They obviously work for some people and may work for you too, so it’s worth a try. However, do not give them priority over nor use them to replace your diet and exercise program. To get ripped and burn fat you need to work out and eat well. Supplements can never be any more than a useful bonus if used correctly.
5. Going for all or nothing
Want to know who your number one enemy is in the task of burning fat and getting ripped?
Well, technically, your mind is.
The biggest mistake you can make when starting your body transformation is focusing with such intensity that you only see it in black and white. Such an overly obsessive attitude often results in people giving up completely. Should they falter on even a tiny part, they feel as though it was all for nothing.
Didn’t get that early morning workout? Skip daily training altogether.
Eat a doughnut with coffee at the office? May as well give up on your calorie count for the day.
Let’s face facts, these are nothing but excuses and poor ones at that. You can’t give up on your program because of some little thing that alters your plans. Instead, get your workout later in the day or do another set of reps to make up for that doughnut.
Succeeding with fat loss and bodybuilding take as much effort in the mind as it does the body. Life happens and routines fail at times. The answer is To Not Give Up!
Now let’s look at common muscle building mistakes. You need to avoid these additionally in order to get the maximum benefits from your new strength training workouts.
Fast Fat Loss Diet Plan for Your First Weeks
To achieve maximum fat loss yet at the same time grow your muscles as much as possible, you need to cut your calories as much as you can. The ‘as much as possible’ is the tricky part here. Your health is on the line, so if you feel faint because of hunger and drop a barbell on yourself, you need to rethink your meal plan. Keep your calories to a level where you feel comfortable. A level that allows you to function without feeling irritable or foggy.
Decide on how many calories that means for you personally. You can find out by going here. Then plan your meals using this ratio:
- 35% protein
- 45% carbs
- 20% fat
Now start working on healthy fat-burning meals.
Your daily meal plan for the first week of weight training should look something like this:
- Breakfast of a hard-boiled egg, with a banana and ½ cup of oat bran.
- A cup of cottage cheese and a pot of unsweetened yogurt with some flaxseed powder and a serving of fruit.
- A bowl of salad with spinach, roasted chicken breast, mushrooms and carrots, seasoned by balsamic vinegar.
- Light snack of fruits and nuts pre- or post- workout. Consider making a smoothie and adding some protein powder.
- Grilled salmon with brown rice and veggies.
- If you need to eat again later at night stick to something light, like cottage cheese with fresh veggies.
As you can see, you should go for multiple small meals instead of three big ones. This is usually the best strategy to get ripped because they need to refuel their bodies consistently.
Fat-Burning Muscle-Building Workout Plan from Hell
Day 1: Chest and Back
- Dumbbell bench press
- Hang snatch
- Bent over barbell row
- Barbell incline bench press
- Light-to-medium jog
Day 3: Legs
- Barbell squat
- Split squat
- Butt lifts (bridge position)
- Barbell step-up
- Romanian deadlift
- Light-to-medium jog
Day 5: Arms and Shoulders
- Barbell deadlift
- Push press
- Smith machine shrug
- Incline dumbbell curl
- Front dumbbell raise
- Triceps dip
- Light-to-medium jog
Days 2 & 4 & 6: HIIT cardio of your choice
Be sure to mix up cardio exercises in order to keep things fresh. Feel free to replace a jog with some other kind of cardio activity.
As for the weight exercises, aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps each. If at first, this is too much it’s fine. Go to what is called, ‘failure’. Failure means you just can not do that last rep. Ironically, it is far from ‘failure’. This means you are at the weight and reps you should be at. In the end, your muscles will be screaming at you and you’ll watch all that fat melting off.
CHANGE TO LOSE FAT & BUILD MUSCLE
Once you progress more, you should diversify your weight training days. The exact set of exercises doesn’t matter all that much as long as you get a good workout.
Once you start seeing your weight plateau, you can amp up the cardio if your weight loss doesn’t come as fast as it should. However, do remember that that fat layer trapped under your skin took years to form. It would be incredibly naïve to hope that it disappears in a couple of months.
If you’ve only just started your resistance training, you have a great opportunity to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time. But this will only work if you are efficient and consistent.
Make the most out of this time and get results that will motivate you, by lifting weights right away. Don’t waste your time on only performing a cardio-intense fat burning phase. You need to work on both to get both, and you can do this now with a low-calorie diet and a workout that will whip your body into shape.
About the author
I’m Agatha Singer, a work-from-home mom of two little nuggets. My interests range from the latest business management trends to healthy living and adventurous traveling. I always stay open to new ideas and expertise to make my writings handy and captivating for you. I’ll be happy to see you on my blog: http://agsinger.com/.
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