One of the biggest mistakes by people who are looking to improve their health is to simply use their weight to gauge their overall health. If you want to live a healthier life, might as well look into your body composition. Health experts make use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine whether or not you have too much body fats in your body relative to your height.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy BMI range for adults is 18.5 to 24.9. On the other hand, a BMI of 24.9 up to 29.9 is classified as overweight while anything higher is considered obese.
Based on recent numbers from WHO, an estimated 1.5 billion adults aged 20 and over are either obese or overweight. It has been established by medical experts that being overweight and obese has its drawbacks. It can increase the chances of developing cardiovascular conditions from hypertension to coronary heart disease. And also, you can develop other problems such as type 2 diabetes and even osteoarthritis.
Losing weight along with your muscle mass is a counter-intuitive approach. Instead, you want to lose excess body fats while maintaining (or increasing) your healthy muscle mass.
How do you lose body fats without hurting your gains? First, let's discuss calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is achieved when you consume fewer calories than the amount of calories that you burn.
Calorie expenditure depends on a number of factors. It depends on your basal metabolic rate or how much calories your body burns to maintain normal functions of your body. On top of that, you also have to account for the calories burned via exercise and daily activities. If you eat less than what your body burns daily, you create a calorie deficit that can decrease your weight.
However, it isn't as straightforward as you think. There is a chance that your body is going to lose your muscle mass. This happens when your body doesn’t have enough protein to maintain your muscle mass. To solve this dilemma, you will have to know how much protein you are consuming every day.
Next, counting your macros is not just simple calorie counting. You will have to know how much protein you are taking daily. As a good rule of thumb, you want to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your target weight. If you wish to weigh 150 pounds, you want to consume 150 grams of protein throughout the day. This will ensure that you have enough supply of amino acids to maintain muscle mass and lose fat in the process.
You also want to distribute you protein intake throughout the day to make sure that there are no instances wherein your body catabolizes your muscle mass.
Though it is important to watch out what you eat, exercise plays an important role in building muscles and burning fats. By having more muscles, you get to burn more calories even when you are at rest. But of course, you need to have the right approach in your workouts to maximize the results.
One of the appeals of HIIT or high intensity interval training is that it can be completed in just a few minutes. Also, HIIT allows you to burn calories even if you are already at rest. Not only does it help in burning body fats, but it can also help improve your cardio. The concept of HIIT has been around for decades as runners alternate sprints and jogging.
To effectively do HIIT, the intense part of the workout needs to reach 80% of the person's heart rate capacity for one to five minutes. Apart from burning fats, interval training helps improve VO2 max, which is a measure of the body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise.
One of the biggest mistakes of people going to the gym or doing their home workout is that they refuse to do resistance training because they think that they’ll “get heavy”. Resistance training has its perks because it can help in muscle building which can also speed up the burning of calories and therefore shed your body fat faster.
However, what type of resistance training should you be doing? Between doing bicep curls and squats, the latter burns more calories and builds larger muscle. As a rule of thumb, work on large muscle groups.
Next, how much weights should you be doing? According to one study, there is the right amount of intensity if you wish to drive optimum hormonal response. When it comes to doing resistance training, 6 sets of three repetitions on a 90% 1 rep max give the best growth hormone and IGF-1 response from the body post-workout. This hormonal response will help you build muscles more efficiently.
In 2020, the kettlebell is one of the most popular workout equipment used by people during the quarantine. And why not? Kettlebells have been used by Russian athletes and soldiers for decades. It’s easy to store, functional, and you can get creative with it.
It has been developed by a Russian Doctor named Vladislav Kraevsky as early as the 1800s. It was designed for Olympic weight training as it engages your core and allows you to work the entire body.
Kettlebells can help burn a significant amount of calories. Swings, snatches, cleans, squats, and other kettlebell exercises allow users to burn around 20 calories per minute.
Lowering your body fats won’t happen in an instant. It’s something that you won’t see after a week. Regardless of the workout and the diet that you are going to choose, make sure that it is something sustainable. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away. Just be sure to be mindful of what you eat and stay active. Make it a habit to make sure that you chip away on your body fats in a consistent manner.