Muscle uses calories to maintain. When you workout through strength training (lifting weights) you are telling your body to keep that muscle and burn body fat instead as fuel.
This is also how we increase our metabolism. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn just while sitting and watching TV for example (Recently I’ve been watching Manifest on Netflix and Outlander. Not sure how I missed the memo on Outlander but definitely see how people were obsessed!!! I love that time period as well! Okay I digress….When you do a strength training based workout, you are not only burning calories during the workout, but you are also burning calories throughout our day! (Quick note on cardio: when you do cardio such as running for 30 minutes, you are only burning calories during the run).
When we start lifting weights and then we start to progress, we can then increase our weight because we are getting stronger (building muscle through progressive overload) we are burning more and more fat and it’s the number one thing, in my opinion you can do to start losing fat and tone those muscles! Tone is when we build muscle and then burn fat.
Through strength training our bodies are constantly forced to adapt by building muscle.
However, it is true what they say…. you can’t outwork a bad diet. If you are looking to lose weight, start with strength training and focus on that for a few weeks! Beginners do have the ability to build muscle and burn fat, so take advantage of that!!! Jealous of you beginners! If you have been working out for a while, unfortunately, you do for the most part need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight if that is your goal. If your goal is to gain muscle, then fuel your body with food and think of food as fuel!!! Don’t be scared! If you eat a lot of food one day, then hit the gym and think of all that food fueling your body and muscles!
When you start working out, you’ll start to feel stronger and you will naturally want to start eating a bit healthier and making healthier choices, because you will start to FEEL results and then you will SEE results!
CLEAN EATING TIPS:
**Think about adding things into your diet, NOT taking them away. For example, adding more veggies to each meal or focusing on having 20g of protein at each meal vs. “I’m not going to eat any sugar,” Or I’m not eating pasta.” When you focus on adding things into your diet, the other things will start to diminish and you won’t even notice because you are focusing on the good stuff!
You can also think of things you can swap: For example, choose some flavored seltzer water or Zevia’s instead of soda! You will still get that carbonation without all the sugar! What else would you like to swap out? Milk chocolate for dark chocolate is another great one!
How Do I Build Lean Muscle?
The most straight to the point advice when wanting to build lean muscle is to start with compound lifts. Compounds lifts = Squats, deadlifts, rows and overhead presses. These will hit multiple muscles at once, plus you can move a lot of weight with these! You will get the most out of these exercises. Focus on these and then start to incorporate more isolated exercises into your workout.
For beginners, try to workout 2-3 days a week doing a full body workout with a rest day in-between. Stick to rep ranges from 5-10. More isolated exercises you can do 10-15 reps. Focus on this for 4-6 weeks before switching things up!