The biggest factor in a diet is calories in versus calories out; your total calories will determine if you lose or gain weight. Eating too many calories will lead to fat gain. But if you don’t eat enough calories you will not gain lean muscle. Setting a target calorie intake and counting the amount of calories you eat each day is vital to losing fat and gaining lean muscle.
While your total caloric intake is the most important diet factor, the ratio of protein to carbs to fat can dictate whether the weight you gain/lose is muscle or fat. A diet that contains 80% of calories from carbs, 10% from protein, and 10% from fat will produce different results than a diet containing 40% of calories from carbs, 40% from protein, and 20% from fat.
You should drink plenty of water every day. Try to drink at least eight glasses (or 64 oz.) of water per day. The benefits drinking water provides are optimal hydration as well as a feeling of “fullness” without added calories. Sometimes people will mistake thirst for hunger. Because of this, staying hydrated can also prevent overeating.
Choose fresh, wholesome foods over pre-packaged, processed foods. Packaged foods are loaded with preservatives, especially sodium and saturated fats, and often have high amounts of sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup. You will be amazed at how fast you can lose fat just by packing meals from home rather than purchasing fast food or packaged foods. You also will save a lot of money!
Insulin is the “storage” hormone. When it is secreted fat burning is blunted. By controlling insulin secretion by choosing low GI carbs you can decrease fat gain/increase fat loss. Stable blood sugar levels also improve energy levels and ones mood. All of our diets as based around insulin control, leading to leaner muscle gains with little to no fat gain.
In order to gain lean muscle you need to eat enough protein to sustain the creation of new muscle proteins. You may not be used to eating the amount of protein our prescribed diet recommends, but once you get into the groove you should not have any problems and will enjoy how full and satisfied you feel.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vital to the proper functioning on your body. Dietary fats got a bad rap due to the diet fads of the 80’s and 90’s, which promoted eating as little fat as possible, but in reality EFAs are needed by the body and are part of a healthy diet. Eating fats does not equate to getting fat. In fact, most EFAs help support the fat burning process and maintaining a lean body. Do not be scared to eat good fats. EFAs are not the enemy. Also, be sure to supplement with a QUALITY EFA product, such as Scivation Essential FA.