Many women wonder how to lose weight and gain muscle, and they may find it refreshing that the weight loss process is only a temporary condition. Through the efforts of proper nutrition, raising metabolism levels, and a consistent strength training program, desirable results can be achieved.
Losing weight and gaining muscle requires the cardiovascular component of fitness, where the body goes through a conditioning process to burn body fat. Weight loss occurs during this cycle, while muscles are being strengthened and protected.
Two of the most important factors for weight loss and muscle gain are proper nutrition and strength training activities. A muscle endurance program partnered with a higher protein and controlled carbohydrate diet will produce the most effective results.
Strength training, or weight bearing activity, enhances:
- muscle strength
- muscle endurance
All three of these components are needed to develop proper body composition. Flexibility allows the joints to move in full range of motion and to recover without injury, and muscle strength is the muscle working against resistance. When the muscle is able to perform weight bearing activities over and over without becoming exhausted, the process for weight loss and muscle building will occur.
A productive strength training program should be utilized four times a week, in combination with a cardio exercise program two days a week, for a period of four consecutive weeks. If executed properly, this six day fitness program will strengthen and build muscles while reducing body fat.
The strength training schedule should alternate exercises for upper and lower body every other day. Monday and Wednesday should consist of three upper body weight or strength training exercises. Each exercise should be performed by using the repetition method. Sets of twelve,twelve, and twenty-four reps with a minute break in between sets are standard. Tuesday and Friday should consist of three lower body weight or strength training activities and two separate stomach exercises, utilizing the same repetition method. Thursday and Saturday should be geared towards a forty-five minute cardio activity of choice provided that it includes enough intensity to elevate the heart rate.
By elevating the heart rate during the weight bearing and strength training activities to approximately sixty to eighty percent, maximum calories will be burned in the weight loss cycle.
Nutritional Diet Plan
The diet plan for the four week program concentrates primarily on caloric intake and carbohydrate control. The following is a weekly breakdown of recommended calorie and carbohydrate levels:
WEEK ONE WEEKS TWO TO FOUR WEEKS FIVE AND SIX
1200 calories 1500 calories 1750 calories
100 carbohydrates 140 carbohydrates 160 carbohydrates
Through the process of following a higher protein diet (45 to 50 percent) and limiting the carbohydrate intake to (30 percent) with the focus on healthy carbohydrates and unlimited vegetables, the body will access stored fat cells for energy while allowing the muscles to get stronger.
It is further recommended that after every four week exercise cycle, the calorie intake level be increased to 1750 calories per day to allow for metabolic recovery. This routine should be utilized for one to two weeks at a time. Metabolism is the most important factor in the weight loss process, and it is vital for it to function at a high productive level.
When the muscles are functioning at a high endurance level and food intake is in balance with the metabolism level, weight loss will take effect and muscles will become stronger.