Nowadays, men and women alike are getting more self-conscious about their body size. The relationship between a well-toned physique and self-esteem is directly proportional to one another. An obese person is often perceived as an individual who lacks discipline. As a result, he is often discriminated against thus losing his confidence in the process. This is why going to the gym is now hyped all over the world, most especially in developed countries like the United States.
According to The Statistics Portal, there are more than 54 million people in 2014 who signed up for a gym membership in America. They are enrolled in one of the 30,500 gym clubs based around the United States. A membership usually costs around $58, but the member only goes an average of two times per week to train. 67% of these gym members never actually step into the gym so one can just imagine the amount of money being put to waste.
Of course, a toned body is not merely linked to having a good image. It is not just about looking good and wearing the clothes that they want. They also have to understand that their bodies will eventually thank them for losing weight. Being healthy is the new sexy.
Apart from the costly and time-consuming gym habits, one can lose weight and gain muscle fast by trying some safe, tested, and proven alternatives. While going to the gym is ideal, sometimes you might not be able to get the satisfying results that you desire. Your busy schedule might get in the way of making time for the gym. Below are some ways you can lose weight and gain muscle while saving money on the gym bill.
1. Go Easy on Carbs
Carbohydrates are essential to the body as they transform into glucose. Glucose is known as the powerhouse of energy. However, when this energy goes unused, you may exceed the number of daily calories that your body needs, leading to weight gain. It can also result in elevated blood sugar and diabetes in the long run. Cutting down on carbohydrates does not mean eliminating them entirely from your system. It just means you have to stick to a plan and choose what types of carbohydrates you are going to consume.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated in 2008 that refined grains are the culprit to weight gain like white bread, pasta, pastries, and cakes—the usual American staples. Whole grains and legumes are more acceptable as they are packed with carbohydrates rich in fiber. Quinoa is widely accepted as a great substitute for rice. The Institute of Medicine recommends a limit of 358 carbohydrate-grams a day and going beyond that is not good for the body.
The best tip on how to lose weight and gain muscle is to trim down on carbohydrates and load yourself up with protein-packed food instead. Skip the rice during breakfast. Replace it with healthy fats. Stay away from sugary bagels or pancakes. Opt for a breakfast sandwich composed of whole-wheat bread, mashed avocado, and egg.
2. Do Parkour
If you are familiar with the famous video game Assassin’s Creed, you already have an idea about what parkour is all about. The legendary combination of moves included in this art of fitness range from a series of high jumps, swings, climbs, and rolls. Popularized by Sebastien Foucan, a parkour icon, this discipline is now one of the trusted fields when it comes to muscle building and weight loss.
Unlike boring gym equipment and routines, parkour offers countless exciting ways to lose weight fast. While the majority of parkour enthusiasts are men, women are also getting the hang of this discipline. The benefits include the opportunity for a sudden image transformation — the image that women are strong, powerful, and well toned.
In doing parkour, one has to acquire bodyweight skills that are above average. You are required to do your basic push-ups, squats, and pull-ups without being lazy or mediocre. The routine involved in it entails a lot of jumping too. With appropriate training and a determined disposition, the burden of never-ending lunges, jump exercises, and other plyometrics will be lessened in due course.
Two additional elements are also necessary when a person decides to do parkour. Flexibility and balance are often given lesser importance when it comes to other fitness programs. This is to steer yourself clear of future injuries. As a result, proper stretching of the shoulder-spinal areas and muscle warm-up routines should be given the attention that they deserve. Focusing on the body’s equilibrium is also emphasized as you are asked to do many climbing, swinging, and hanging drills by your trainer.
Because this workout uses the entire body, it can contribute significantly to shaping your figure and regulating your weight. At the same time, you can develop your core strength and shed unnecessary fat while obtaining ideal muscle gain. Following this rigorous training will give you satisfying results when done thrice a week in as fast as three months.
3. Load Up on Whey Proteins
After asking the question of how to lose weight and gain muscle, most people throw a follow-up question: Is it possible to do both simultaneously? It is possible. By playing around with your calorie intake and alternating it with a weight training program of your choice, you can lose weight while gaining muscles at the same time. This becomes more effective when you concentrate on losing weight first before proceeding to developing a well-toned muscled body.
As mentioned earlier, carbohydrates should come from foods that are rich in fiber. These are unprocessed grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and other kinds of whole grains. Protein-rich food, beef, and other red meats may be included moderately in your diet. White meat such as salmon and tuna are packed with Omega-3 acids that work great for the heart. Poultry like turkey, eggs, chicken are also great sources of muscle-building components.
There is a misconception among many people that fats need to be eliminated from one’s meal plan when trying to lose weight and body fat. However, this is not an ideal game plan for how to lose weight and gain muscle. Your body needs the good kind of fats for it to function. Remember how gasoline fuels a machine to operate? Good fats also work as firewood that allows your body to function well.
Consult a dietician regarding this step. Identify what fats help in hastening your metabolism like olive oil and fish oil. Cut your intake of dairy products and sugar-laden fruits. Anything dairy is beneficial because of the calcium and magnesium while fruits are also loaded with antioxidants and other essential minerals. However, these simple carbohydrates are also notoriously known to hamper fat loss.
After losing a significant amount of weight, you are now ready to shift your focus to developing your muscles. At this point, you might need a little help from whey protein add-ons. Whey proteins are ideally the best food supplements when wanting to gain muscle. They possess a lot of amino acids. Apart from that, they are also easy to prepare and faster to digest.
Most of the time, men are prone to using it for fast muscle development. This happens mostly when they are bodybuilding. Whey protein add-ons come in many forms nowadays. Some are taken as pills, but many come in powdered bulks. Protein shakes, for example, are consumed after a simple 30-minute cardio or mixed directly in the person’s meals.
The effectiveness of whey proteins also depends heavily on the time when it is taken. Drinking a protein shake during breakfast after having a good night’s sleep is a great way to start your mornings. This gives you the energy to keep you up throughout the day. It should be consumed after any fitness training to immediately signal your body to repair and rebuild sore muscles. Finally, for a perfect cap to your night, another glass is recommended before dozing off.
4. Catch up on Some Sleep
We understand that you have to juggle your time between career and personal responsibilities. Being busy is the new social status of today’s generation. It is already becoming glorified. Losing hours of sleep either over job overtimes or extra hours spent at the gym may sound fancy. It is best to learn when to slow down and give yourself the break that you deserve.
Contrary to a popular notion that sleeping makes you gain weight, it is not true. Sleep is not really for the weak. Ever wondered why you are eating less than your friend, training harder, and doing everything precisely the same and yet his results are still better than yours? It might be because his sleeping habits are in better shape than yours. Getting a good night’s rest is a huge factor on how your body responds to your mental, emotional, and physical needs.
Annals of Internal Medicine released a study stating that not getting enough sleep can ruin the effects of even the best diet plans. Losing sleep results in setbacks such as being hungrier all the time. It also produces cravings for salty and fatty foods, which negatively impact your dieting efforts. Sleep-shortage also means having a less energy to perform well in your exercises.
Another reason why fewer hours of sleep deter your body’s ability to gain muscle is that it blocks protein synthesis. When your body cannot build muscle, it results in continuous muscle loss and makes you prone to muscle damage. Your cortisol levels also spike. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress and weight gain. You can just imagine how staying up late for a few extra hours creates that internal war of confusion among your brain and the rest of your body.
5. Fire It Up With Chili
Spicing up your diet with chili peppers is another guaranteed way to lose weight. People put chili in to add flavor to their food, and this worries many that it may lead to eating more food than one should. However, chili contains capsaicin and this is the chemical that gives off that hot and burning sensation in your mouth. This is also responsible for releasing adrenaline. When it is released in the bloodstream, it results in the breakdown of fats.
Technically speaking, “spicy” isn’t a flavor. Unlike the other taste buds located on your tongue, this pseudo-flavor category is appropriately classified as a pain elicitor. This answers the question of why some people cannot eat spicy food while some love munching on them. People with low pain tolerance desist the feeling of any stinging, throbbing, and burning that eating chili-enhanced food gives off. This is not a problem anymore.
Dietary supplement companies are getting more creative in incorporating capsaicin to people’s diets. It has been 10 years since dietary supplements containing capsaicin were released onto the market. Even if you are not fond of eating spicy food, you can still get your daily dosage of capsaicin just by swallowing a pill or two every after meals. It is one of the most efficient alternatives to adding chili directly to your food.
For people who can endure a bit of spice, they can mix it up in their usual morning coffee or protein shakes. This is a great combination when you are learning the ropes of how to lose weight and gain muscle. Chili lollipops, peppery chocolates, and low-fat yogurt spiced with chili are just some of the trending desserts of today. The mild sweetness balances off the tangy flavor of chili. To sum it up, there are many ways to enjoy it without the hurting your tongue.
6. Train During Spare Hours
It is tempting to slack off once you have reached home. After a long day at work, all you need is to grab your comfort dinner, stay on your couch, and watch television. Giving yourself a good 30-minute muscle workout before sleeping is one of the best ways on how to lose weight and gain muscle. This habit contributes to a good night rest, and because your cells are repaired while you are sleeping, it helps in your goal to develop muscles too.
Here is a simple home workout which you can perform daily. Start off with a good two sets of rocket jumps, giving it a 30-repetition for each set. This should be followed by a low-key squat. To do this, you should stand and spread your feet apart from each other and lightly bend your knee and slowly pull yourself down until you have reached the correct angle. Finish your workout with two sets of burpees.
There are several ways on how to lose weight and gain muscle fast. Our body is physiologically wired to differ from one another. While some tips may work for others, it will not necessarily work for you. How your body reacts from certain workouts, meal plans, and dietary supplements change as you age. It is important to know what works for you and what you truly need.
When it comes to weight loss and muscle building, your safety should come first before anything else. It is advisable and wise to consult your physician before deciding on what method of weight management you are going to follow. Many people have physical conditions that prohibit them from extreme workouts. Some have allergic reactions to certain foods. Book an appointment with your doctor first before shedding off those unwanted fats.
Losing weight and having a nicely-toned body look good on a person with real confidence. It pays well to have an attractive physique. Heads will turn for you, and it will say something about how you take care of yourself. The way you carry yourself all throughout the day leaves a greater impact on people. Looking good is also feeling good.