The most important part of changing your body, no matter if you want to build muscle or lose weight, is your diet. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
You can work out for as much as you want, you can get 20 hours of weightlifting per week, but you won’t build any muscle without sufficient protein and calories. On the flipside, doing marathons on a weekly basis won’t help you lose weight if your diet is not up to speed.
However, your diet can also be perfect, but without working out, you won’t really see much progress. You want your workouts to be as efficient and as intense as possible. For that, you need fuel, and the right kind of fuel at that.
Have a good breakfast
- Do you want to lose fat, and get toned? Then eat breakfast.
- Do you want to build muscle? Then eat breakfast.
This may sound paradoxical, but the truth of the matter is that a big breakfast gives your metabolism a nice jumpstart for the entire day. Furthermore, it will give you more energy, and in turn more willpower, that you can use to resist cravings and sweets.
For muscle building it’s quite obvious – you get some extra calories in during the day. Just remember to keep that breakfast rich in protein and fats. The important point here is that eating breakfast will give you the energy you need to go hard in the gym or on your route.
And eating breakfast is useful even if you work out in the evenings. Getting a good start in your day, boosting your metabolism and energy levels, all of this will stay with you until you go to bed.
Eat multiple meals through the day
When losing weight, eating 4 to 5 meals a day means you can resist cravings, as well as keep your hunger under control. Eating this many times per day will help save you from binging on your dinner because you were starving.
On the other hand, if you want to gain some muscle and weight, it’s easier to spread out your meals and eat five small ones, then one huge one.
Five meals per day put you in a strange sweet spot as far as appetite is concerned. While you will be peckish through the day, you won’t feel the need to binge.
Furthermore, it makes your workouts easier. By eating a couple of meals per day, you won’t really need to take big breaks between your meals and your workouts. Since you won’t feel stuffed, you can get moving almost as soon as you leave the table.
Drink enough water
What many people forget is just how important water actually is. We are 60% water, and it shows when you are dehydrated. Not taking in enough water means you will feel tired and sluggish through the day. This can make every workout you do a chore.
The recommended amount is eight glasses of water per day, but you can (and should) drink more if you work out and sweat a lot. This is especially important during the summer, or in general if you live in a hot and humid place (read more about hydration here).
An interesting benefit to drinking lots of water is that you can kind of trick your body and curve your appetite. Filing up your stomach with good old H20 can prevent cravings and keep you sane until you get used to your diet.
A tip for you: Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee
Learn how to adapt
We all lead busy lives, and it’s a simple fact that it’s very hard to find the time to cook, eat, and workout. Still, if you are dedicated to your goal, that is exactly the thing you need to do. You need to learn how to adapt.
For instance, let’s say you don’t have the time to cook. Then, you should either order healthy take out (like grilled chicken breast and rice), or you can contact a company like MyMuscleChef, who will deliver to your door healthy and workout-friendly meals. On the other hand, you can always get a couple of protein bars and bring them with you to work.
As far as working out is concerned, maybe invest in a home gym? Or, if you feel you lack the energy to workout after work, why not go in the morning? Get up early and hit the weights.
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Getting lean and putting on muscle is difficult, but rewarding. And in order to maximize your results, you should watch your water intake, try to eat more meals throughout the day, have a big breakfast, and most important of all, learn how to adapt to your circumstances.