Everyone wants to lose weight, but rarely do they think about what it actually takes to get a trim yet toned body.
Traditional weight-loss programs encourage us to cut our daily caloric intake while also performing cardio exercises to increase our metabolism. While this can be extremely effective in helping us shed the pounds, it might not be the best approach for those wanting a more toned or muscular body type as this method may cause both fat and muscle loss to occur.
To gain muscle and tone our bodies, we need to focus on our body composition instead of our weight. For that, we need to also incorporate strength training into our regular exercise regime.
If you’re just starting with weight lifting, its best to go slow and slowly build you’re your strength and muscle mass. Going in too fast with too heavy weight can do some serious damage to yourself, making you fall back your fitness goals. Look for a trainer to help teach you correct posture in lifting to ensure that you do not injury yourself.
If you’re not one for the gym, compound exercises that target specific muscle groups in our bodies are also a great way to help us cut the fat and gain the muscle.
In addition, a diet high in protein can also promote overall fat loss while supporting muscle growth. The amino acids in protein are the key building block for muscle growth.
While our bodies naturally produce amino acids, some amino acids cannot be produced in our bodies and can only be obtain from protein. These essential amino acids are: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine.
Not having enough of these essential amino acids in our diets can be pretty detrimental as it can cause negative symptoms such as: slow metabolism, weight gain, low energy, low muscle and bone density, joint pain, poor blood sugar control, slow wound healing, and immunity.
Most body builders will have protein drinks as part of their daily diets to get these essential amino acids to help support their muscle building efforts. However, not all protein supplements are equal.
The most popular type of protein supplement is whey protein which is derived from cow’s milk. This is due to whey protein’s excellent essential amino acid profile and its cost effectiveness.
However, whey protein can be in an issue for some people with lactose intolerance and or vegans and vegetarians.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to whey protein that are vegan friendly and also lactose-free. Soy and Pea protein powder are such popular choices as they are easier to digest and absorb.
Additionally, Soy protein is also a great source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D, if you’re looking for a bit of extra benefits. Pea protein on the other hand, is rich is antioxidants thanks to the phenolic compounds found on its shell and can reduce oxidative stress that your body experiences while working out and improve recovery time from intense work outs.