Burning fat & building muscles can become a tedious task and no matter what you do it’s to no avail. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Both of these goals have requirements that need to be met for you to benefit from them constantly. Below we will be discussing key factors that are essential for both burning fat & building muscle without fail.
Let’s start with burning fat. What causes your body to burn fat? A single pound of fat, which is roughly 3,500 calories. If you are in a caloric deficit of a total of 3,500 per week. You burn off one pound of fat. The key here is the “deficit”. Your body needs to have a deficit of 3,500 calories throughout the week than its maintenance calories to burn a single pound of fat per week.
Now, let’s get into what key factors determine how fast you can actually burn fat.
To burn fat, you need a calorie deficit from either your diet or you need to burn enough calories per day. Your calories in have to be less than calories out at the end of the day to burn fat. What that means is, if you eat more than you burn every day, you will gain weight. So, it would only make sense that if you eat less then you burn.
You will lose weight in the form of fat. However, there is a limit to how less you can eat before the body enters into starvation mode and starts prioritizing to store fat, which is the complete opposite of what you want. That is why, whatever your maintenance calories are. It’s always best to stay within a range of 100-500 calories deficit to lose weight in a healthy and safe way.
Honesty is an extremely important factor when it comes to both burning fat & building muscle. If you underestimate how much fat you have to lose and without any idea of what a body fat percentage is. Assess randomly what body fat you are and how much you need to lose. You can end up disappointed when you do not lose the amount of fat you thought you would. That’s why it is important to keep an open mind and realize that you might have more fat to lose than you think you do. This allows you to have realistic expectations and better understand the timeline you need to lose the desired fat.
Patience is a virtue as far as burning fat & building muscle are concerned. Most people fail due to impatience. If you cannot go on a proper diet and follow a proper training program, and be patient for the results. You will end up going on starvation diets thinking you wont gain the weight back later after you lose it. Truth is, you might lose weight, but not without your body entering starvation mode.
So, the next time you decide to have a “normal” meal, the body will try its best to store it as fat and if that isn’t enough. The levels of hunger hormone sent to your brain by your stomach will drastically increase after every meal. This will result in eating disorders like a binge eating disorder which will make you regain the weight lost. Starvation can also bring a plethora of other health complications along with just disorders and weight gain. Such as
Decreased energy levels and productivity
Being patient serves not only as a realistic measure when trying to lose fat. It allows you to be consistent while giving your body the time to adjust to the dietary changes that you have implemented, which decreases the body’s set point. To know more about what a set point is, you can refer to Binge eating & Set point
Take the Weight scale for what it is
The weight scale is an excellent tool when it comes to determining what your median weight is throughout the week. However, people use it in a way that is harmful to their mental health. You can step on the scale every morning before you eat every single day. However, the scale does not account for muscle or fat. So your weight staying constant or fluctuating does not mean you are not losing fat or gaining fat or muscle.
It’s just your overall weight. Calculate it everyday first thing in the morning. Track it for a week and the amount that was constant throughout the week is your median weight. That is your actual weight. So, instead of focusing on the fluctuations in weight, focus on the median.
Now, let’s talk about building muscles and the key factors that determine their growth.
- Muscle Tension & Damage
To build muscles. You need to stimulate the muscles. So you can’t just move your arms around and build biceps, for example. You need to properly train them with weights or resistance of some sort. There needs to be constant tension on the muscles you want to grow. The more tension that is placed on a muscle, the more muscle damage will occur. This damage, when repaired by the body during your sleep, will allow your muscles to grow back bigger and stronger.
Sleep is essential when trying to build muscles. Your muscles only grow when you are sleeping. Hence, a bad sleep schedule can ruin your potential muscle gains to the point of you not building any muscle at all. The only time your body builds muscle after you have caused muscle damage from training is after you are asleep.
A recommended sleep cycle is at-least 8 hours a day for optimal muscle growth. Three of the main core factors that affect your muscle building potential are diet, sleep and training.
Apart from muscle tension and damage. Progressive overload is another necessity when it comes to building muscle. Your muscles can get used to a movement when you get stronger. So, to constantly keep growing them. You need to constantly challenge the muscles. You can do that through progressive overload, which can be done in two ways. Either by placing your muscle under more time under tension (To know about TUT training) or by increasing the weights that you lift.
Practice proper form. If you do not practice the proper form while training, Your body will compensate for the weak muscles that you are trying to build and you won’t get anywhere. The muscle damage that needs to occur due to the tension placed on the muscle has to be done in proper form. If you just swing a weight that is too heavy for you instead of properly doing a bicep curl or a shoulder press. You will not only injure yourself, but your whole body will compensate for the swing. This takes tension away from the muscles and places it on the whole day, which results in little to non-existent muscle development.