To lose weight, sometimes you have to think outside the box. Following the same tired old calorie counting energy restriction diets just doesn’t work when it comes to looking better. In fact those who undertake frequent low calories diets end up gaining fat and looking worse. But some people never learn and no matter how hard you try you cannot convince most people that counting calories just simple does not work when it comes to sustainable weight loss.
Skeletal Muscle Is Key
The trick to losing weight is to gain weight. More precisely the trick to losing fat is to gain muscle. The problem with calorie counting low energy diets is they cause a loss of skeletal muscle. This lowers resting metabolic rate, and as a result the amount of calories needed to maintain weight is lowered. When normal eating resumes, the old level of normal eating is now too high, and as a result fat begins to re-accumulate at an accelerated rate.
So Gain Some Muscle
If the cause post-diet fat gain is reductions in skeletal muscle, the solution is to gain skeletal muscle. If we reverse the process and gain some muscle, the resting metabolic rate goes up. Now we require more calories to maintain body weight and so normal eating causes fat loss. So the trick to weight loss is firstly not to count calories and but to train to add skeletal muscle. Going to the gym and lifting weight and eating a healthy diet therefore seems a reasonable option.
Save Time, Lift Big
Bicep curls and crunches are a waste of time if you want to gain musle Muscle growth is stimulated most quickly by the large compound lifts. Squats, deadlifts, chin ups and bench press train large muscle groups over multiple joints. This stimulates the most muscle growth because fibre requirement is highest and hormonal response greatest to these sorts of exercises. So dont waste time isolating muscle groups, do the main compound exercises only.
Protein Builds Muscle, It Also Increases Satiety
If you lift weight, your requirement for protein will increase. This is because the turnover of nitrogen in the body increases as skeletal muscle growth is stimulated. Eating more protein is therefore essential if skeletal muscle gain is a goal. The benefits of high protein diets are however, more than just muscle growth. High protein diets have been shown to increase satiety which makes it less likely that low quality junk food will be consumed.
But What Should I Eat?
If you want to build muscle, lose fat and look better, you need to eat clean. That means you need to eat high quality foods rich in micronutrients and low in sugars, trans fats and other toxins. Eating good quality proteins is important, as this increase satiety and improves nitrogen retention, allowing muscle growth and preventing overeating. But alongside this plenty of antioxidant rich plant foods, whole grains, and other unprocessed unadulterated foods should be consumed.