Teach your Body New Skills to Burn Fat and Gain Muscle

Convention has it that there are three ways to lose weight:

  1. fat loss
  2. dehydration
  3. lean muscle weight loss

Fat loss is the only acceptable route for you. Dehydration is never healthy and losing lean muscle is totally counter to everything that a fitness-oriented lifestyle stands for. According to the same conventional wisdom, fat loss can only be accomplished three ways:

  1. With aerobic exercise
  2. Through reduced caloric intake
  3. Through a combination of the two
bodybuilder that has managed to burn fat and build muscle

There are many ways that fat can be shed. All, to date, suffer from the same persistent problem. How do you lose fat without also losing muscle? See, conventional wisdom is just that, i.e. conventional. Losing fat and gaining muscle requires an unconventional approach. Is there a way to lose fat and, at the same time, increase the amount of muscle tissue you have? Not just for contest bodybuilders, but for anyone? Fitness enthusiasts? Athletes trying to make weight? Even grossly overweight people who have never trained before? Yes; so read on…

Rule 1

Always eat at least five meals a day (maybe even six or seven). Two or three meals simply isn’t often enough. Your blood sugar levels will be controlled (and thus your cravings), you’ll get protein in small amounts throughout the day to support growth and recovery and, most important, the enzymes that store fat will be produced in far smaller amounts, making your body far less capable of storing fat!

Simply, by providing your body with a consistent and frequent supply of calories – life-giving energy – its need to store fat is significantly reduced. Conversely, when you eat infrequently, your body recognizes a fasting situation, and the enzymes are produced in large quantities to ‘swoop down’ on every calorie you consume in order to store it as fat in preparation for the ‘famine’ to come.

Rule 2

Remember the 1-2-3 rule. In each of your five meals, approximately one part of the calories should come from fats, two parts from protein and three parts from carbohydrates. This is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast law. Just keep the fat intake down to a low level (do not eliminate fat as some fat is essential for maintaining good health), consume enough protein to support growth and recovery, and carbohydrates commensurable to your energy output (carbs are your body’s preferred energy fuel source). Remember that protein and carbohydrates both have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories per gram.

Rule 3

When you sit down to eat, ask yourself “What am I going to be doing for the next three hours of my life?” Then, if you’re taking a nap, eat less than the average amount of carbs; if you’re planning on being active, eat more than the average amount of carbs; for average between-meal activities, eat an average sized meal. Always keep your protein intake up to an appropriate level. This simple system ensures that you’ll never put fat on from eating excess calories, or cannibalize your muscles from eating too little.

Rule 4

Another thing to remember whether you’re trying to lose fat or ad lean muscle is to ‘zigzag’ your caloric intake. For example, if you want to lose fat, reduce your calories during the week, but ‘pig out’ on Friday night and Saturday. This will 1) readjust your metabolism upward, 2) support lean tissue building, and 3) give you a psychological lift. Remember, in Rule 1 you learned that your fat storing enzymes were no longer a threat, so you can pig out once in a while! In fact, if you want to put on lean muscle, you must! There is no way you can maximize lean muscle mass while on a calorie-restricted diet.

Rule 5

Your reduced intake of calories makes it almost impossible to get all of the nutrients your body needs to remain healthy and active. So, it’s important to supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals and other carefully selected substances to ensure maximum progress toward your fitness, health and fat loss goals. Also, no matter how hard you try, no matter how good of a cook you are, or where you buy your food, use a good whey protein, some BCAAs and glutamine. These three items will not only build muscle but protect it during sleep and hard training.

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