One factor in reducing body fat is to develop lean muscle that burns calories, gives your body a sleek appearance and creates a structurally sound support system for your skeleten and internal organs. And while those factors may sound more medical than sexy, lean muscle is nothing if not sexy.
Strength training or weight training has two different objectives – mass with or without strength and lean muscle strength without bulk. These goals are accomplished using two very distinct and different training styles. Those who are after a bulky Mr. Universe appearance may not be as strong as the weight lifter whose goal is strength. And the individual who is after lean muscle mass may not be as bulky as Mr. Universe or as strong as the weight lifter. But each of these individuals has goals which are both attainable and admirable when they fit your lifestyle and ambitions.
Lean muscle will also be achieved through specific nutritional intake that reduces the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Carbs trigger the release of insulin to usher the blood sugar from carb metabolism into the cells for energy. Unfortunately, insulin also increases the amount of fat that is produced in the body and reduces the amount of fat the body burns for fuel. A diet high in carbs will also trigger carb cravings which just increases the cycle of carbs, blood sugar, insulin and fat.
Foods that help you build lean muscle include fatty fish, like salmon; green leafy vegetables; greek yogurt high in protein; sweet potatoes which have a low glycemic index and keep your blood sugar stable; eggs are high in protein; and almonds which are high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Including each of these foods into your nutritional plan can help to increase the fat burning potential of your body and reduce your overall fat, beyond the amount lost just by reducing overall calories.
In the gym it’s important to reduce the amount of weight you’re using to lift and increase the repetitions. This gentle shift will increase strength and lean muscle without building bulk. Kettlebell exercises will work the body through several large muscle groups and are often done in higher number of repetitions with lower weights. Resistance bands, dumbbells and even machines can be used to accommodate your needs. You only have to stay focused on your goals and be sure that how you are working out meets what you want to achieve.
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