Losing weight is not your only goal as you improve fitness and look for better muscle definition. Scales never show the full story: you want to burn fat and drop inches around your waist. As you do that, growth will happen elsewhere: around your arms, legs, and chest particularly. Your weight might even increase while you are working out regularly.
Here are some pointers for getting the most out of your workout and keeping a proper perspective on the process.
Lose Weight the Healthy Way
It can be tempting to try and cut calories drastically to shed fat around your middle, but here is the reality: your body will rob energy from muscle before taking it from your spare tire. That is bad news for a number of reasons.
Firstly, muscle tone keeps you safe against injury and makes you feel more capable of doing everything you need to do in a day. If your body is taking its energy from muscle that is a sign of poor nutrition, something every system will suffer for. You will be unable to think clearly, sleep right, or maintain balanced moods. Your circulation will suffer and all of your organs likewise. Thirdly, strong muscles are the key to a higher metabolic rate. Good metabolism is what burns fat in the first place, so working out to build muscle is critical to weight loss success.
A body building routine is a fat-burning routine at the same time, but if you can maintain lean muscle mass your body will also continue to burn more fat at rest. Studies show that just getting your heart rate up without building muscle does not do nearly as much good for your metabolic rate because results are fleeting.
They stop as soon as your heart rate returns to normal, but muscles just keep working to burn fat. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, and take a vitamin supplement if you need to. Avoid fatty foods and simple carbohydrates but consume good fats from fish, chicken, avocados, and oils like flaxseed and olive.
The best workout routines keep you motivated to come back for another day of sweating and probably pain. If you don’t like exercise to start with, it can’t get boring. Boredom is your nemesis. Yes: there is going to be some discomfort periodically, particularly as you increase weights or make slow, small movements which create the burn you are looking for. Here are some tips to keep boredom at bay.
Choose activities you enjoy. You do not necessarily have to select a bodybuilding-style workout to enlarge your muscle mass or ever pick up a weight. Try sports which automatically tax your muscles but switch back and forth from ones which rely on arms to those which do more for your legs (swimming plus running or tennis, plus soccer, if you can switch between hands).
If you take this route, alternate sports so you rest the pertinent muscle groups. It is best if you take a full day off to rest everything every week. Another benefit of this tactic is that you can socialize while working out and someone is relying on you to make it to the game. These factors motivate continued participation.
If you are going to take the full body building challenge, then remember to do the same thing: rest muscle groups by alternating. Choose a wide selection of moves you can do to increase the size of every potential muscle in your legs, arms, back, shoulders, and stomach. This way you do not have to repeat yourself constantly. Tackle boredom by being clever about your workout routine, switching between poses without losing the efficacy of a move. For instance, if triceps extensions are easier when you lie down than when you are standing, add more weight to the horizontal position.
Many experts say you can’t cut back on the weight and do more repetitions to make up for the change. You need the weight even if that means you are capable of repeating a move fewer times. Do it until you can’t do it anymore. When you can complete the entire series of repetitions without really feeling uncomfortable, you know it is time to add a pound or two. Always support your core along the way.