Regardless of how long you have been overweight, it is possible to acquire a lean, muscular physique. The process involves a comprehensive change in your lifestyle. You must begin to burn more calories than you consume, by exercising more and changing your eating habits. For these changes to be lasting, it is important to make them gradually. Consult with your health care provider before beginning a diet or exercise program.
Things You'll Need
- Gym strength training equipment
Reduce the amount of calories in your diet. Keep detailed records for two weeks of how many calories you consume. Be sure to include calories from beverages as well as foods. Calculate the average amount of calories you consume daily. For your weight loss to be safe and permanent, you should lose between one and two pounds a week, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 calories, you will lose one pound each week.
Increase your level of physical activity. By becoming more physically active, you will burn more calories. You can become more physically active by adopting habits such as parking your car farther from your destination, walking up stairs instead of using elevators, and performing more household chores. An aerobic workout program is also an effective way to burn calories. An exercise is considered aerobic when you maintain your heart rate in a target zone for at least 20 minutes. According to The American College of Sports Medicine, if you are healthy and under 65, you should perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, five days a week. Because you are trying to burn fat, you should increase that amount to between 60 minutes and 90 minutes. Examples of aerobic exercises are running, jogging, riding a stationary bike and walking briskly. The Mayo Clinic states that a 200-pound individual, jogging at five miles per hour, burns 728 calories in one hour.
Perform strength training exercises at least three days each week. While you are reducing your body fat, strength training will increase your muscle mass. The end result is that your muscles become more visible. Train all your major muscle groups each time you workout. Make sure that you give each muscle group at least 24 hours to recover between workouts. As you increase your lean muscle mass, you will increase your basal metabolism. A higher basal metabolism increases the amount of calories you burn at rest.
Consume adequate amounts of complete proteins on a daily basis. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Complete proteins have all the essential amino acids required to form a complete protein molecule. Examples of complete proteins are whey, soy, fish, poultry and beef. According to The National Strength and Conditioning(NSCA), an individual training intensely needs between 1.5 grams to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Tips & Warnings
- Consult with a certified fitness professional to determine a strength training program that suits your fitness level and goals.
- Consume plenty of complex carbohydrates for energy. Examples of complex carbohydrates are fresh fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice, legumes, nuts and fat-reduced dairy products.
- Always ask for the assistance of a qualified spotter when you lift free weights.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
How to Get Ripped Muscles in Four Weeks
A lean, ripped look takes serious gym time and dietary dedication. How much progress you make in four weeks depends on the...