Try as they might, there’s no denying that many Americans are struggling to lose weight. More than one in three adults is considered to be obese and 54 percent of U.S. adults are currently trying to reduce their weight.
The World Health Organization defines obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30. Having a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is considered overweight.
When it comes to losing weight, 50 percent of Americans say they’re unsuccessful because they don’t have enough self-discipline. Some try to set a workout calendar, but can easy get distracted when it comes time to workout. Some try to set up a meal plan, but might lack the time to cook healthy meals for themselves.
Whatever the reason for the wheels falling off when it comes to weight loss, it’s important to set parameters and stick to them. While it may be hard to believe, it is possible to build muscle and lose body fat the same time. Unrealistic expectations might have you believe otherwise, but it is indeed possible.
When it comes to gaining muscle, a mature adult can gain as many as 15 pounds of muscle a year. In reality, most only gain about five; an average of 1.25 per month. Broken down further, that’s only about 100 extra calories a day, which means you’re not stuffing yourself just to bulk up.
Losing fat can be done at a faster rate than that needed to build muscle. Simply put, you lose body fat when you consume fewer calories than you burn off. For the average person working on weight loss, eating 400 fewer calories a day than what they burn off can help them lose a pound of fat a week and as many as 52 pounds of fat a year.
It is possible to build muscle and burn fat and it can be done by sticking to a plan like this:
- Consume enough calories to give yourself nutrition, but not so many that you gain fat. A calorie calculator can give you a good idea of what your daily caloric intake should be based on your metabolism.
- Get proper nutrition: That means filling your body with unprocessed or barely processed foods and plenty of fresh vegetables. Also add whole grains and try to cut out simple carbs such as alcohol and sugar. Ditch those and fill up on good fats such as nuts and avocados.
- Pack On The Protein: A good rule of them for getting more protein is 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, taken in several portions throughout the day. The last thing you want is your body burning muscle between meals and that can be detrimental to your progress.
- Do Weight Workouts: A personal trainer can come up with a personalized workout plan to lose weight and set a workout calendar. If you don’t want to go that route, you can search online and create a workout plan of your own that’s going to help you achieve your goals.
- Cardio: Cardio doesn’t burn muscle, but it will help get you into shape and will help you lose fat and build muscle at the same time.
It should be noted that the plan mentioned above isn’t for everyone and if nothing else, consulting a healthy lifestyle coach can help you come up with a realistic workable plan. Workout plans and specialty diets can be very effective for some people, but none of them are one size fits all. If another healthy eating/workout plan works better or is more manageable, than so be.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle when it comes to weight loss is staying the course. Approximately 80 percent of dieters are trying to lose weight on their own. In a 2016 Mintel Diet Trends Survey, 70 percent of respondents agreed that a strong support system is essential to achieving diet goals. So if a weight loss plan is in your future, find a workable plan, get a supportive cast of people around you and do what you need to in order to turn your goals into reality.