The Best Way To Increase Muscle and Lose Fat – Part One

May 24, 2011
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If you are like many of us, then you must also struggle with either losing fat, gaining muscle, or a little bit of both.  There are a number of reasons why you are struggling with this and hopefully this article will give you a starting point to help you understand this and achieve your fitness goals.  The problem can be divided into three different reasons: Diet, Workout and your Psychological outlook on your goals.  This is the first article on this topic and it will deal mainly with the dietary aspects of gaining muscle and losing fat.  The next few posts will deal with the workout and the psychological aspects of gaining muscle and losing fat.There are a number of different thoughts about diets for weight loss.  Just look at all of the fad diets on the market.  Some of these diets have some sound nutrition and dietary principles and others are just crazy.  You have to figure out which diet is good and which is bad.
A good diet is very obvious, one that is full of fruits and vegetables, lean meat and complex carbohydrates.  To gain or retain the muscle you desire your diet has to be at its optimum and you need to have adequate protein intake.  I must specify lean protein.  You could eat a lot of fatty beef, but the fat will just do harm to the arteries and blood pressure however, it’s good to have a nice steak when your desires are high.  I would choose sirloin cuts or tenderloin cuts as those seem to be the best lean protein in regards to steaks.  However, I am a firm believer that you need to alternate your sources of proteins with fish, chicken, turkey, etc…  You can even go exotic and try buffalo or ostrich, both of these are great protein sources with very little fat.

As far as fruits and vegetables, you must just eat as many of the green leafy vegetables as you can as that will help the digestive system especially with the increase in protein.  They will definitely help your digestive system stay regular.  Furthermore, the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables are beneficial to all aspects of cellular life and some experts believe they can help with cancer prevention.  Therefore, try to eat a fruit or vegetable with just about every meal.

Carbohydrates are a tough issue with many people.  There are so many choices with carbohydrates that anyone can get confused rather quickly and suffer with carbohydrate overload.  So let’s breakdown the carbohydrates into their two forms.  Simple carbohydrates and Complex carbohydrates.  Simple carbohydrates are basically simple sugars.  This is the typical white sugar at the dinner table and is needed for quick energy for the body.  The problem with simple sugars is that they are easily digestible and if you do not use them rather quickly by burning calories they get stored rather quickly in the body.  These sugars are not desirable unless you are going to consume them right before a workout.  In that scenario they will be used quickly for fuel and therefore allow a better workout because of the boost in energy.  Checkout Gatorade and you can see why it is an energy drink for athletes during a game or with exercise.  However, it should not be a post-workout drink, because you do not need the energy after the exercise but before the exercise or during the exercise.  Sugar is also in a lot of processed foods for flavor and in baking for the sweetness.  As you may notice, diets high in processed food and high in sweets will tend to lead to a lot of weight gain.  This is true because the calories you would be consuming would need to be used up quickly or stored as fat.  Since you cannot readily exercise all day long while you are consuming this type of carbohydrate it will be stored for later, typically as fat.  These carbohydrates are sugar, white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc…

Complex carbohydrates are the most recommended carbohydrates for weight loss and workouts because your body actually BURNS CALORIES to digest these carbohydrates.  These are not simple carbohydrates and therefore are complex and have to be broken down into simple sugars for energy.  As you may have deduced if you take a complex carbohydrate and slowly digest it over time and therefore slowly release the simple sugar in your body, then you will utilize the broken down simple sugaar over time and lead to a steady release of energy for use and reduce the likelihood of storing sugar and subsequently fat.  Also, that slow release of energy will keep your energy levels at a steady rate and decrease the incidence of burnout throughout the day.  These carbohydrates are the typical non-white carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc…

Finally, everyone has to put these dietary tips to work for them in their own way.  Your body makeup and how you utilize food is different from the next person and therefore everyone has to individualize their diet to utilize the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables to achieve their weight loss goals.  Some people are carbohydrate sensitive and store a lot of weight with very little carbohydrates, while others can eat a lot of carbohydrates and it doesn’t ever seem to impact their waistline.  I recommend to consume about 0.5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight with as many vegetables as you can stand.  In regards to fruit and carbohydrates, this is mainly individualized due to the sensitivity factor of your body.  Experiment with these to find the right breakdown for your goals.  Keep in mind that fruit has a significant amount of simple sugars in them as that is what makes them sweet and therefore are categorized as simple sugars.

There you have it the first part in the series on the best way to increase muscle and lose fat.  Keep checking back for the next part in the series.

For what it’s worth,
Dr. B

 

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One Response to The Best Way To Increase Muscle and Lose Fat – Part One

  1. John Casto on September 26, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Sinova,

    Dr.B really laid down some truth on this post, keep it coming I find your content to be great. Most fitness blogs keep it short, but you really let the doc expand on this one!

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