3 Tips to Build Muscle Mass, Burn More Fat

Burn more fat by building muscle mass and leaning out your body for good. You can't stop working out when you reach your fat loss and weight loss goals. Body fat control and weight management is a never ending process.

Client Q: I used to have a pretty muscular body when I was younger...now at age 41, because I haven't been exercising, alot of my muscles have turned into fat. What can I do to change my body?

Mark's A: Muscle never changes into body fat. Muscle is metabolically active tissue and fat is inactive.

You don't need to eat as much at age 41 as you did at age 20 or 30. This sounds simple but many people fall into this eating trap. And, if you are not exercising, you are hit with a double dose of bad news. First, you will gain weight and body fat.

And, because you have been inactive, your muscles have lost mass (atrophy). And, your fat cells were still there although they had shrunk. So, now the fat cells are taking over.

In your early thirties, you can begin to lose as much as one-half pound of muscle each year. Inactivity will make this problem even worse. Remember, muscle mass speeds up your metabolism because your body has to work harder to maintain muscle mass (interpretation: your metabolism has slowed down). So, you begin to lose muscle mass and gain body fat.

Although the primary cause of weight gain is due to consistent daily calorie surpluses (eat more calories than you burn), you can burn more calories if you keep your metabolism active with proper nutrition and exercise.

Here are 3 things you can start doing to build and preserve muscle mass and burn more fat:

1. Exercise regularly to build muscle mass and burn fat. Tough, smart workouts are mandatory to change your body. Total body fat loss is the key to burning more fat and transforming your body. To lose weight and keep it off, you must make a major commitment to strength training (3 days a week).

Not only will your body's composition improve (less fat, more muscle), it will improve your overall health.

Muscle mass can be maintained/increased (and body fat decreased) throughout your life with regular strength training. Muscle mass will help you burn more calories during the day and at rest. Strength training also helps to keep your bones strong.

Strength training should be tailored to your body type. We all have a body type due to heredity and lifestyle choices. A fitness assessment is important because a personal trainer identifies postural weaknesses and muscle imbalances. The fitness program is then tailored to fit your needs. Without this assessment, you are "shooting in the dark."

Your cardio exercise should aid in your fat loss and not waste away your precious muscle mass. Your cardio exercise should:

--Improve heart health
--Burn calories (during and after your workout)
--Burn fat
--Spare muscle mass

Keep your interval cardio workouts at about 20 minutes per session. That's all it takes to help you reach your goals. And, it will keep you from the boredom and muscle-wasting that's built into long cardio sessions.

Intense interval cardio workouts will increase your body's growth hormone. Research has also proven that the benefits of anaerobic exercise (like sprint interval cardio) is superior to aerobic exercise for fitness and heart health.

2. Eat healthy, managed meals. Help control your hunger during the day so you don't overeat when you do eat. Do this by eating small meals every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism ramped up.

Another way to control your hunger pangs is to eat protein with every meal. Research has proven that protein keeps blood sugar levels more steady and helps you feel fuller for a longer period (slower digestion). Protein also keeps the hunger hormone (ghrelin) in check so your hunger doesn't spike so high.

If you feel fuller for longer periods, you will eat less and you won't binge eat if your hunger pangs not out-of-control when you do eat.

Get a meal plan filled with whole, natural foods that you enjoy. You are more likely to maintain something that you enjoy.

3. Take care of your body by reducing stress and sleeping adequately. A certain amount of stress and tension helps you take on challenges and perform better. Too much stress (left unchecked) over a prolonged period is not good and it causes health problems and affects metabolism. Also, some people respond to stress better than others. One person might crumble under the same workload that causes another person to thrive.

Your body's normal state (homeostasis) is changed by stress. The hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are secreted in response to a stressful situation. The "fight or flight" response to stress is intended to give you the energy to take on or run away from a particular situation. Stressful situations that go on for months or years signals to your body that the normal state includes excessive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol.

As it relates to metabolism, adrenaline makes your fat cells more efficient at turning fat into energy and speeds up metabolism. On the other hand, cortisol increases the amount of glucose in your blood and creates more energy. If you are consistently inactive, this excess adrenaline and cortisol builds up. Unused excess energy will be stored as fat.

Chronic stress or stress with no end in sight has major health implications. Adrenaline will continue to be secreted but your body and fat cells will build up a tolerance to it.

Research recommends that you need to sleep 7-8 hours per night for your body and metabolism to work right.

Its never too late to start a strength and conditioning program. Don't let your muscles continue to shrink and your health worsen due to inactivity.

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Program and start shaping your body faster!

About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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