Want to lose weight? Learn to gain muscles first! Diets are among us!
You can find them everywhere, from newspaper to youtube, from socials to health mags. You recognize them easily: a list of foods divided by meals. They may seem attractive at a first glance as they offer a turn-key weight loss for everyone. The leit-motiv of these list-based weight loss solutions is always the same: cutting on food. From cutting plain calories to reducing only some macronutrients intake or specific kind of foods. In few words cutting is the key. The problem with this approach is that a loss always leads to a gain at some point. A diet cannot last forever and in time people will regain every single ounce lost in their diets. Ask around. The vast majority of dieting people experienced a rebound after their diet. That’s a major issue, because of it people lose confidence in their ability to control their weight.
What to do then? A solution may come from balancing fat losses with muscle gains
In short by shifting the focus from the weight in itself to the quality of the mass that conveys this weight. Today this practice is known as body recomposition and it’s focused on being fit rather than being slim. Body recomposition is a great way to lose fats while becoming fit, thus obtaining an overall good physical shape avoiding the losing of lean mass that experiences every dieting person on the one hand and not slowing down of metabolism on the other. Both being major causes of weight gainings after a diet. Many studies points to the fact that this approach to weight loss (but more correctly we must speak of weight control) is particularly effective in overweight and untrained people: the typical part of population that starts a low calorie weight loss program. In fact Muscle gaining is particularly easy for the beginners at the gym as every bodybuilder knows and also fat loss is faster at the start of every weight control effort.
But how it works?
Body recomposition uses a mix of different training and dieting practices and needs a constant attention on how the body responds to it, to eventually perform some variation to the routines. Essentially there are three main focuses on this practice: a slight caloric deficit, a proper protein intake and a strength training program. The overall success depends on the success on all three of them.
- First, to achieve a fat loss some calorie intake reduction it’s part of the journey. When practicing with body recomposition this reduction must be slighter than in traditional weight loss regime. Many sources recommends to cut not more than 500 calories below your maintenance everyday. Others do a calories cycling, by reducing more dramatically calories intake in days without scheduled exercises and eating more in days in which they workout. In both cases the result is a calorie deficit on a weekly basis.
- Second, to ensure the body has the “bricks” to build muscles it’s important to eat an adequate amount of good proteins. A study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA, shows that caseins are the best performing proteins in these weight control programs. Typically it’s advised to eat 0,8 to 1 grams of proteins per lb. of bodyweight.
- The third factor, training, is the “engine” that processes the previous two practices into a real change in body composition. How this change is achieved? By providing the muscles a stimulus to grow with a resistance training progressively harder. Basically a workout similar to those used by bodybuilders at the gym to increase their body masses. This include progressive overloads and increasing numbers of repetitions during workouts.
Briefly, while reducing the amount of energy that the body receive from food it’s forced to use the one it has stored in form of fat. The problem is that hungry bodies use the proteins of muscles to produce energy, so the second factor enters into play. By eating a good amount of protein the body never really goes into a protein deficiency and muscles will not decrease providing the calorie deficit is not too large and with
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