It can be quite discouraging to see the unsightly effects that months or years of neglect can have on one’s body. The good news, though, is that it usually takes much longer to gain all that fat than it does to burn it off — if the proper tips, and a healthy dose of dedication, are generously applied.
Keep the following four tips in mind to help burn that fat and build up muscle.
Tip 1: Exercise in the Morning to Burn More Fat
A frequently asked question is about the proper time to exercise: Is morning or evening best? Generally speaking, exercise is exercise, so the same number of calories are burned during a workout, regardless of the time of day.
With that said, however, the source of the calories burned does vary based on when a person exercises. Research indicates that exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat-sourced calories than does exercising on a full stomach.
A Kansas State University study of eight, physically fit individuals, aged 21 to 27 years old, investigated this very topic. What they found was that, although the number of calories burned were the same whether exercising in a fed or fasted state, those who exercised after fasting actually burned more fat than those who didn’t.
Fat loss is not the only benefit to morning exercise. Knocking out cardio in the morning is a great way to set the tone and boost metabolism throughout the day.
Plus, some find that it’s easier to exercise in the morning because the day hasn’t had it’s chance to distract them yet.
Ultimately, there is a lot of flexibility in when a person can or should exercise. Just remembering to exercise, regardless of the time of day, is the important part. The timing of workouts can be shifted around based on a person’t personal preference, and there are still physical and mental benefits to be had.
Tip 2: Burn More Fat by Properly Timing Meals
A person’s ability to burn fat is highly dependent on not only what he or she eats, but also when he or she eats it. If exercise is performed in the morning, it should be done just after waking and on an empty stomach. Also, taking a diet or energy supplement with caffeine before beginning is helpful, as caffeine helps to mobilize fat to be used for energy, according to research.
If exercise is performed later on in the day, then meals should be timed accordingly, and simple carbohydrate consumption should be avoided.
Also, it’s best to ensure sufficient time, about two to three hours, between a pre-workout meal and the workout
, and the meal should consist of foods low in high-glycemic carbs. This helps to maximize fat burn and reduce insulin spikes.
The post-workout meal should also consist of low-glycemic foods. This helps to maintain healthy levels of glucagon and insulin in the blood stream, which also helps to burn fat.
The two hour gap for a pre-workout meal, and ensuring that pre- and post-workout meals consist of low-glycemic foods, helps to ensure that the most possible fat is burned and that energy levels remain consistent instead of crashing.
Tip 3: Build More Muscle by Minimizing Cardio
To strike a balance between muscle gain and boosting cardiovascular health, it’s best to stick with low- to moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise.
While it may sound counterintuitive, performing high-intensity cardio, while great for heart health, actually burns muscle as well as fat, so it is not desirable when trying to boost muscle mass.
Low- to moderate-intensity cardio means aiming for around 60 percent of the maximum healthy heart range as opposed to the 70 or 80 percent range.
Tip 4: Build More Muscle by Timing Meals Properly
To build muscle, high-quality protein is need throughout the day, especially before and after workouts. Also, consuming sufficient high-quality calories helps to provide enough fuel for the workouts.
Unlike the method for effectively burning fat, consumption of proteins at the start of the day and before a workout is recommended. An easy way to do this is by drinking an easy-to-prepare protein supplement shake.
If evening workouts are preferred or are more convenient, the same basic rules apply: eat meals consisting of quality calories, essential fats, and complex carbohydrates prior to the workout.
According to research conducted by Tipton, consuming 30 grams of whey protein before and after a workout can boost protein synthesis by up to four times the normal amount.
The timing of pre- and post-workout protein supplement drink consumption is also important. Other research shows that immediately consuming a protein shake after a workout is more beneficial than consuming one much later after a workout.
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