So many of my personal training clients have asked me over the years: "Can I burn fat and build muscle at the same time?" The answer is yes.
When you have increased muscle mass, your resting metabolic rate is raised, so you burn more fat 24 hours a day, turning your body into a fat burning furnace. Contrast muscle building exercises with cardio exercises, which don't have such a prolonged afterburn effect. Cardio exercise is great for building a strong heart and lungs, but not for building muscle. Make sure you include both in your fitness regime.
Walking is a great way to get fit, and it's free too. Get into the habit of walking more: don't use your car for short journeys, and if you use public transport get off one tube stop before your normal stop and walk the rest. London is set to become a lot less polluted once the right policies are put in place, so you'll be able to breathe cleaner air as you get more familiar with our capital on foot. For a snapshot of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the world, check out this blog post. As a personal trainer in London, I take a keen interest in all things which influence the health and wellbeing of my clients, as you will see from this website.
Don't like going to the gym, or don't have time? Work-out at home with your favourite music or DVD to entertain you. Check out this bodyweight workout for legs. My personal training clients in London receive exercise homework to do between our sessions.
Have you fallen victim to starvation diet scams where you only drink shakes, or take pills?
The biggest mistake that overweight people make when they try to lose excess body fat is to try and diet it off by radically restricting their calorie intake in order to create a calorie deficit. The problem with this is that they deprive themselves of essential nutrients for health and muscle-growth, and put the body in 'starvation mode' which causes your resting metabolic rate to slow to a crawl and hoard fat.
The healthiest way to create an effective calorie deficit (one that burns excess body fat without compromising muscle-tissue or energy levels) is not to restrict your calorie intake to starvation levels, but to raise your resting metabolic rate (the calories you burn from just maintaining your normal body functions) by building more muscle which then act as a furnace to burn fat. And to build more muscle, you need to combine intensive workouts with more protein consumption.
If you're overweight, your calorie deficit should come from burning excess body-fat, while eating plently of protein to give your body the building blocks to put on lean muscle. This means eating foods like lean steak, salmon, chicken, and natural yoghurt to build muscle tissue, and moderate quantities of carbs to fuel your workouts. Remember, not all calories are the same when it comes to the body's use of those calories. Calories from processed sugary foods convert easily into excess body fat, whereas calories from protein are used for muscle growth and repair and a whole range of other crucial physiological functions.
If you're underweight, you're likely to be too low in muscle mass, and too high in hidden and unhealthy visceral fat around your organs. A small caloric surplus (more calories in than calories burnt off) created by more protein intake, when combined with intensive muscle-building exercise, is your key to a more lean and muscluar physique. The surplus protein calories will be used for muscle growth, which will raise your resting metabolic rate, and cause you to burn the toxic visceral body-fat and keep you lean and toned.
Have you heard of 'skinny-fat syndrome'? This is where you appear skinny, but your body-fat percentage is too high. In other words your body composition is too much fat and too little muscle. Rather than dieting down, you need to build yourself up, which means eating more protein, vegetables, and 'good fats' to enable your body to build new muscle.
So, you've probably got the message now that if your goal is to get toned and fit, you need to pay equal attention to exercise and healthy eating. You can't out-train a bad diet of junk food and ready-meals and sugary snacks. Fitness4London.com will give you the guidance you need to make regular exercise and healthy eating a natural part of your everyday life. The sooner you cut junk food out of your life, the sooner you'll achieve the lean and healthy body you desire. I include sugary breakfast cereals as junk food too!
If you need a personal trainer in London to come to your home, get in touch. I have personal training clients all over London, and I can travel within zones 1-3.
Imagine how great you'll feel when a healthy lifestyle becomes second nature to you. Fitness4London.com will help you integrate all the key elements of regular exercise and healthy eating into your daily routine. That's the key! Once it becomes a habit, you no longer have to struggle with it.
The recipes, tips and articles throughout this website will give you plenty of healthy eating ideas, and the exercises on This Week's Exercise page will ensure your workouts are always fresh and varied. Don't get stuck in a rut of doing the same exercise routine for months on end, or you'll stop making progress.
And if you're looking for a personal trainer in London who will advise you on what to eat (and what not to eat!) as well as how best to exercise to get that toned body, click on the link now.
To achieve a toned body, you need to consume moderate portions of high-quality protein every 3 hours. This gives your muscles the building blocks they need to repair and grow between workouts. Between meals, try Maximuscle's excellent range of protein supplements, and take the guesswork out of your nutrition. Just click on any Maximuscle banner on this site.
I recommend Maximuscle's leading protein powder, Promax. It's top quality whey protein, and it is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. See also their ready-mixed Maximilk, in a handy pack of one portion, ready to drink. And for a healthy snack between meals, try the Promax Meal Bars, which provide 21g of top quality protein, low carb and high fibre.
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