There are thousands of different ways – all kinds of routines, regimens, and diets, such as HIT, Cross Fit, the keto diet, the egg diet, and so on and on – to lose weight and increase muscle mass. However, not all of them are ideal for effective weight loss and increased muscle mass.
No one wants to waste time and effort and sweat on anything less than the most effective to achieve effective weight loss and fitness. We all, understandably, want the most bang for our workout buck.
Really, though, if you just keep in mind and put into practice these three keys you’ll be able to achieve effective weight loss, as well as increasing muscle mass, and boosting your metabolism.
All essential for fitness and better health.
Weight Training with Compound Movements
Getting the most bang for your workout buck, getting the best results for effective weight loss and increased muscle mass, means weight training (resistance training).
That doesn’t mean, however, spending hours in the gym every day pumping iron and grunting like a top-flight bodybuilder. But for maximal results, you will need to incorporate some weight training into your fitness regimen.
And here’s why . . .
- Weight/strength/resistance training helps to improve your glucose tolerance and insulin receptor sensitivity (which are critical for avoiding diabetes).
- It helps you lose fat and add muscle mass (which means a higher metabolism because muscle burns more calories).
- It improves bone density (a concern for women and older people).
- For some time after a workout, your metabolism stays in high gear and continues to burn calories and fat.
But you won’t get those benefits doing dumbbell curls and leg extensions.
Nope, you have to do the more taxing big compound movements like deadlifts, squats, bench presses, pull-ups, bent-over rows, and overhead presses. These are the exercises that work the most muscle and have the most metabolic, muscle, and fat-loss benefits.
These exercises work more and bigger muscles and, as a result, burn more calories than the easier isolation exercises.
Although most of the calories burned during a strenuous workout with compound exercises come from carbs, fat is burned later. When you work out this way, your metabolism is revved up and stays elevated for up to 48 hours after the workout. That’s the critical time when the fat burning takes place.
Compound movements are the best for building muscle. “But,” you say, “I just want to lose weight, not build muscle and get all bulked up.”
The thing is, though, effective weight loss really isn’t your goal – it’s fat loss. And increasing muscle mass (although the bathroom scales may not show much of a change) will help you get rid of fat. Basically, increasing muscle mass turns your body into a fat-burning machine because muscle requires a much larger energy expenditure for maintenance.
Finally – and this is going to sound completely counterintuitive – if you want to lose body fat, you’ve got to eat enough.
Your body is designed for survival, and so a large caloric deficit for an extended period will send it into famine mode. Your body will then burn muscle and conserve fat in order to ensure your survival.
If you starve yourself, you will lose weight, but it will be muscle mass—and you will likely have more fat in relation to muscle than when you started out. The trick is to eat several small meals throughout the day so your body won’t think it’s being starved.
Better Fitness and Effective Weight Loss with Burst Training
Of course, you’re not interested in becoming a competitive bodybuilder or powerlifter, so lifting weights isn’t the only thing you want to do. There’s always some form of cardio you can do for heart health – treadmill, jogging, or whatever.
But do you really want to beat your joints up, actually slow down your metabolism, and catabolize muscle? Extended cardio can do all those things.
Instead, you should consider burst training . . .
Burst training involves brief, intense periods of exercise alternated with brief rest periods. The idea is to get your heart rate up to above 90% of its maximum . . . and then give it a short rest . . . and then do it again.
This kind of exercise is said to be the most effective way to burn fat and lose weight. Its effectiveness lies chiefly in the fact that it promotes the production of anabolic hormones – those hormones that help you lose fat and build muscle, as well as decreasing inflammation. Your body also adapts to the stress so that your general overall fitness improves.
Some effective burst-training protocols and exercises include . . .
- Sprints alternated with walking – Who are the leanest, best built of all Olympic athletes? The sprinters because all of their training is burst training.
- Squats – Although weight training, squatting increases heart and respiratory rates and so can be included in burst training.
Boost Metabolism the Easy Way for Effective Weight Loss
Your metabolism is basically the rate at which your body converts fuel (food) into energy and burns calories. It largely determines how easily you gain or lose weight and is an important factor in the risk for developing chronic conditions such as diabetes.
The thing to be aware of is that the metabolic process is not going on just when you are active. It’s still taking place when you are resting or sleeping because your body still has to carry out basic functions like breathing, circulating blood, and repairing cells. The amount of energy, the number of calories, your body uses to perform these basic functions is basal metabolic rate.
Now, metabolic rate isn’t the whole story for effective weight loss and is determined in part by factors out of your control, such as age, sex, genetics, and body size.
In addition to exercising and working out, you also need to do the small, easy things that will up your metabolic rate. Even small steps and seemingly insignificant adjustments can have a cumulative metabolic effect to result in effective weight loss and health benefits over time.
Here are a few things you can do to boost your metabolism easily and naturally . . .
Sit Less and Stand More
Sitting for extended periods is now being called the “new smoking.” It can affect both your physical and psychological health in adverse ways.
So if you have a sedentary job, just stand up and move around every now and then. Standing for an extended period burns 174 more calories than sitting – and it is much better for your abdominal muscles, lower back, and hip flexors.
Get Plenty of Protein at Each Meal
Consuming enough protein can elevate metabolism for anywhere from a few to several hours. It takes energy to digest food, but more to digest protein.
n fact, when your body digests protein, your metabolism is boosted 15-30%, but only 5-10% for carbs and 3% for fat. Also, consuming sufficient protein helps you eat less – often as much as 400+ fewer calories each day for people who eat a diet of 30% protein.
Drink Plenty of Cold Water
You know you should avoid sugary drinks and drink water instead, but the temperature also matters.
Drinking water instead of soda not only allows you to take in fewer calories, but you also burn more calories, with a metabolic boost of up to 10-30% for about an hour when you drink 17 ounces of water. And if you drink cold water, your body uses even more energy because it has to heat up the cold water.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Many studies have linked insufficient sleep with obesity and a higher risk of developing diabetes. Simply put, sleep deprivation adversely affects your metabolic rate, which then often results in weight gain and certain chronic health conditions.
In addition, getting plenty of sleep can help you feel less hungry and avoid overeating. Lack of sleep increases production of the hormone ghrelin, which causes you to feel hungry, and while you sleep, your body produces the hormone leptin, which regulates the feeling of fullness.
Putting It All Together for Effective Weight Loss and Increased Muscle Mass
It’s pretty simple really. Just use these three keys to unlock the door to fat loss, more muscle, better health, and more energy:
- Weight training with compound movements
- Burst training
- Boosting metabolism with small, easy things