How do you know when you should bulk vs. when you should cut?
Are you a healthy body weight? What are your long term goals? Are you training for an event, or gene...
| October 14, 2021
By Trevor Mah
Read time: 3 min.
Fat loss is one of the most common goals for people. There are many marketing ploys out there, fad diets, and gimmicks that can confuse people on what actually works. Regardless of your approach in diet and lifestyle, there are essential methods to be consistent with to ensure the best outcome. Remember that with everything, consistency is key.
Performing workouts that burn more calories than you consume with your diet will always be an underlying balance in weight loss. While you can somewhat approximate the amount of calories you burn in some workouts, there are too many factors throughout your 24 hour day to truly know the exact number of calories burned. However, you can control the amount of calories you consume. Ensuring you have enough calories to meet your daily needs including your workouts, you’ll feel better and allow your body to create the proper metabolic disturbance that ultimately leads to an elevated metabolic rate long after you’re done working out.
Lean muscle mass, and I really emphasize lean, boosts your metabolic rate. That is, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Ensuring your workouts are geared towards adding muscle, while having a diet with quality protein allows you to develop a physique and burn fat. When in doubt, look for workouts to add lean muscle.
For beginners especially, gaining muscle means you must learn to lift properly and effectively. While this is an extensive topic on it’s own, your body will adapt most efficiently to gaining muscle through compound (multi-joint) lifts such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, etc. Learning proper technique is never a bad thing, and it will only help you get better at lifting in general. What you get out of an exercise is directly related to how well it is performed.
When done right, adding extra weight, going a little faster, and resisting temptation at the right times can add up. For exercise, more is not always better as consistency with workouts will win out at the end. Not using adequate weights to elicit the right responses will also just waste your time. A strong commitment to avoiding bad temptations such as eating out can also prevent avoidable damage to your goals. While nailing this down will take some time, finding a coach that can help you along with this will definitely help. They can keep an eye out on when you are pushing yourself too much. For example, if your form is starting to slip when adding weight, or when you seem to be “off” during the day. Finding the balance in your life so that you are seeing results without suffering is something to strive for.
If you are working hard, then you should equally take the time to rest just as hard. All your actual weight loss occurs when you are at rest. That means your sleep should be high quality so that your body does its magic (well, it’s really just hormones but that’s a different topic) and you are able to take on each day better than the last. Highly stressed people will struggle to lose weight. In fact, they are likely to actually gain weight during fat loss programs.
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