Did you know that more than one-third of Americans have obesity?
Our cravings for unhealthy food and inactive lifestyles are taking a toll. And, the problems don't stop at an expanding waistline.
Obesity can contribute to the development of deadly diseases like diabetes, and it can damage your heart. Adults who are overweight are also more likely to experience common and worry conditions like sleep apnea, depression, and even cancer.
Whether you've put on a few pounds since the start of the pandemic or have struggled with weight management your whole life, don't miss this opportunity to turn things around. There's still time!
Read on to learn how to turn fat into muscle, start slimming down, and take control of your health.
How To Get Rid of Fat
If you're struggling with excess weight and hoping to change your physical appearance and overall health, you'll need to focus on two goals: building muscle and eliminating fat.
And, while losing that spare tire might sound like it will require a bit of starvation, nothing could be further from the truth.
To get rid of fat, you need to burn it away through exercise, and stop contributing to the problem by eliminating unhealthy food from your diet.
So, the first order of business is to take an honest look at your diet. You can also keep a journal of what you're eating, helping you get an accurate idea of how many calories you need to cut. Then, try making some healthy substitutions for foods you might enjoy, but know aren't good for you.
Giving your body more protein, vegetables, and healthy fats can also help with weight loss, especially if you cut back on carbohydrates and processed foods at the same time.
Once you've established a healthy diet, it's time to turn your focus to exercise.
How To Turn Fat Into Muscle
When you start offering your body healthy fuel for exercise, you'll naturally start to slim down. But, diet alone won't help convert the leftover wiggle and jiggle into lean, firm muscles.
This is where the importance of exercising comes into play.
There are four main types of exercise: strength training, stretching, balance, and cardio. And, if you're hoping to transform your body, you'll need to do all of them.
If that sounds like too much to take on, don't panic! Some of these tasks are as simple as joining a yoga class once a week or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
Then, once you've tackled the easy exercise types, it's time to hit the gym and focus on strength.
Muscle Building Tips
You've cleaned up your diet, you're working out regularly, and now you're ready to start seeing some results. But, to get that cut, muscular body that everyone strives for, you'll have to bulk up a bit.
Building muscle can actually mean gaining weight, as this firm fibrous tissue weighs more than fat cells. So, during this part of your journey, it's important to use how you look and feel, and how your clothing fits as a marker for progress, rather than the scale.
The best way to build muscle is through regular strength training, like lifting weights.
If possible, opt for compound exercises that help you engage more than one muscle group. And, if you aren't very strong to start with, try using a low amount of weight but repeating the exercise for more "reps" or repetitions.
As you keep building muscle, you'll want to up the cardio with exercises like interval training to help keep your calorie deficit going, and help peel away the last layers of fat to reveal your newly built muscles beneath.
You will also need to offer your body more and more protein as you become leaner. This is especially important after a workout when your body will be looking for fuel.
Eating carbs and sugar will cancel out the effects of your hard work, while eating healthy fats and protein will encourage your body to burn its own stored fat, helping you look and feel better.
Other Essential Tips for Weight Loss and Muscle Growth
While you're working hard to get your body on the right track, be sure to get plenty of rest. Maintaining a healthy sleep cycle supports muscle growth and will help you recover from workouts faster.
It's also vital to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough can cause your body to retain water, making you look and feel bloated. It can also leave you feeling drained rather than energized after exercise.
Track your progress by taking regular pictures of how your body looks, and how your clothing fits. That way, when you're having a tough day, you can look at all your hard work and feel encouraged, rather than defeated. You can also keep a journal of how you are feeling each day to help identify elements in your diet and exercise plan that are working well.
Don't give in to temptation. Our friends and family members mean well but aren't always good influences. Skipping the snack at work or sipping sparkling water instead of beer when you're out with friends is perfectly normal - and the small sacrifice will be worth it in the end.
Check out the rest of our blog for more health and fitness tips!
Say Goodbye To Stubborn Fat
Now that you've learned how to turn fat into muscle, it's time to take action!
Start with an honest self-assessment. What could you improve about your diet and lifestyle?
Once you know the changes that need to be made, start slowly substituting bad habits for good ones. And, try to be patient with yourself along the way. You're guaranteed to struggle or even cheat at some point, but you can always pick up where you left off the very next day.
Ready to take the plunge? Support your new healthy diet and exercise plan by using nutritional supplements that support weight management.
That way, you know that you're getting all the nutrition that you need while slowly blasting away that belly fat!