Many of us are in search of optimal health while at the same time controlling our body fat percentages. This difficult two-part quandary must be addressed in two different ways. First and foremost you must recognize “ what are my eating patterns”?
Some of us become fat by over eating but most of us become fat by incorrect eating habits and choices. So what’s the first thing we do? Should I cut back on the amount of food that I eat in order to lose fat? Important: Unfortunately, when you restrict your calories below your required amount (like most diets or irregular meals accomplish), your body begins to produce an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. This enzyme actually increases your ability to store fat (not want you want!). By starving yourself to lose weight, you are actually deteriorating lean muscle tissue on your body. The reason for this lies in our ‘evolution’. Our bodies were designed to store fat during the summer time when food was plentiful, so that we could live off our accumulated fat cells during the long harsh winters and during other bouts of famine. This is not a particularly effective system these days considering how plentiful our food supplies are at all times.
The other complicated variable is “ how can I exercise to burn the most amount of fat and build a reasonable amount of lean muscle tissue”?
You may not initially have a goal to build muscle tissue but here is the reality: one pound of muscle tissue can burn up to 70 calories a day. Since fat is burned inside the muscle cell, increasing the amount of muscle tissue on your body will ultimately increase the size of your fat burning furnace (your metabolism).
So by losing lean muscle tissue (by starving yourself), you can see how devastating this is to your bodies physiology if you are concerned about losing fat. Losing lean muscle tissue causes the fat burning furnace to slow down (your metabolism) and you are being detrimental to the cause. There is no other way around it: the key to long-term fat loss is to build lean muscle tissue.
You cannot build quality muscle without engaging in weight bearing (resistant) exercise. Muscle fibers must be stressed so that they increase in size and strength. In order for a muscle to recover and rebuild itself it must be in a positive nitrogen state (this means you have to eat properly post-exercise and during the day; this means you must be receiving the recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein). Having a steady flow of amino acids to the muscle creates this state of recovery and development. Muscle tissue is comprised of amino acids, and amino acids contain about 16% nitrogen. Amino acids are the ‘building blocks of protein’ and are the absolute essentials of life. Muscle tissue is best serviced by a constant trickle down of amino acids. Think of it this way; when you were a baby your mother fed you every 2 to 3 hours (6 feedings per day). If you applied these eating habits now you would enable your body’s metabolism to be at its optimal level.
In summation, exercise regularly (resistance and aerobic training) and eat well-portioned frequent meals. Other factors you will want to research are the amount of fat/ carbohydrates / proteins that you will want to intake during a day and at what times. Also, what are ‘smart or essential fats’; the best time to eat carbohydrates (relating to the glycemic index); and how much protein should I take during the course of a day for my type of training and body weight.
Exercise + Proper Nutrition = Maximum Results
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