If having more muscle vs fat is your goal, making healthy lifestyle changes can help you get there. Regardless of how much you weigh, your muscle and fat ratio is what keeps your chronic disease risks low and helps you look and feel your best. There are several tips and tricks that make it easier to reach your weight goals and build the muscular physique you desire.
- 1 Ways to Burn Body Fat
- 2 Reduce Your Calorie Intake
- 3 Eat Fat-Burning Foods
- 4 Avoid Certain Foods
- 5 Count Calories
- 6 Increase Activities of Daily Living
- 7 Drink More Water
- 8 Sleep More
- 9 Increase Cardiovascular Exercise
- 10 Increase Muscle vs Fat
- 11 Choose Strength Exercises
- 12 Make Dietary Changes
- 13 The Best Way to Increase Your Muscle vs. Fat Ratio and Get Fit Fast!
Ways to Burn Body Fat
There are several things you can do to enhance your body’s fat burning ability.
Reduce Your Calorie Intake
One pound of fat vs. muscle equals about 3,500 calories. So, to lose 1 pound of fat you’d have to expend 3,500 more calories than you consume. If fat loss is your goal, trying the following:
- Eat 250 fewer calories than you burn off each day to lose 1/2 poundper week
- Eat 500 fewer calories than you expend daily to lose 1 poundeach week
- Eat 750 fewer calories than you burn off each day to drop 1 1/2 poundsper week
- Eat 1,000 fewer calories than you expend daily to lose 2 poundseach week
Dropping body weight and fat at a rate of 1-2 pounds weekly is safe and effective when you want to keep the weight off long term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Keep in mind that fat vs. muscle weights are different. Muscle weighs more than fat as it’s denser. So if you begin a new muscle building program for fat loss, the scale might not reflect lost inches – at least not right away.
Eat Fat-Burning Foods
Add fat-burning foods to each meal plan when you desire more muscle compared to fat. Examples of foods that aid in fat-burning include berries, nuts, seeds, whey protein, green tea, coffee, fish, chicken, legumes, avocados, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and other plant foods rich in fiber.
Are you wondering what these fat-burning foods have in common? They are either loaded with fiber, high in protein, low in calories (high in water content), or rich in heart-healthy plant fats.
Avoid Certain Foods
Choosing fat-burning foods isn’t the only way to increase your muscle vs. fat ratio. Knowing which foods to steer clear of for fat loss increases your chance of success – especially long term. Avoid the following foods whenever possible (steer clear of them entirely if you can) to burn fat fast and improve your muscle vs. fat ratio:
- Other sugary drinks
- Fried foods
- Baked goods
- Ice cream
- Fried foods
- Fatty cuts of red meat
- Processed meats
- Other processed foods
- White bread and white rice
- Other refined grains
- Macaroni and cheese
- Fast foods
Sometimes all it takes to increase muscle vs. fat volume is to cut most or all of these foods. After doing so, watch excess body fat melt off!
Counting calories helps you reduce your current intake by 500 (or more if you’d like) calories each day. Try a calorie-counting app, such as MyFitnessPal or FatSecret, to help you stay on track with daily energy goals. For weight and fat loss, most men require about 1,500-1,800 calories per day. Your personalized fat-loss calorie goal depends on your usual intake and how active you are.
Increase Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living are the calories your burn in addition to workouts. For example, doing yard work, cleaning floors or windows, painting the house, and playing ball with your kids can significantly increase your calorie expenditure. Even using a standing desk at work helps you burn additional calories throughout the day when you have a desk job.
Make it a point to take the stairs vs. the elevator whenever possible, walk your dog an extra 10 minutes daily, or do fun outdoor activities with your kids as often as you can!
Drink More Water
Drinking more water helps increase your body’s metabolism and keeps you full longer. It’s a good way to boost satiety without extra calories. Men require about 16 cups of fluids each day. Carry water (use water bottles) with you throughout the day and drink as often as you can –especially before meals. Studies show that doing so often decreases the amount of food you eat at meal time.
Sleeping more (if you’re usually sleep deprived) can enhance fat loss for numerous reasons. It may give you more energy throughout the day to burn additional calories through physical activity. And, because sleep deprivation affects your body’s appetite hormones, getting a good night’s sleep can keep hunger under control. Try to get about 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Increase Cardiovascular Exercise
You’ll burn a significant number of calories doing any form of exercise, but cardiovascular workouts help you expend more calories per hour vs. weightlifting. For example, if you weigh 185 pounds you might burn 133-266 calories in 30 minutes weightlifting, but expend 355-444 calories in 30 minutes jogging at a pace of 5-6 miles per hour.
Studies show that getting at least 45 minutes of aerobic exercise in most days of the week can reduce abdominal fat and improve overall fat and muscle ratios. Examples of cardiovascular workouts to choose from include jogging, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, stair climbing, using an elliptical machine, playing basketball, and playing soccer.
Increase Muscle vs Fat
Building muscle involves regular exercise – especially strength training. Cardiovascular workouts help build or maintain muscle mass too, but strength training is the best way to achieve the lean physique you desire. It helps improve your muscle vs. fat ratio, especially when combined with regular aerobic workouts. To effectively build muscle mass, which increases your metabolism to accelerate fat burning, try the following:
Choose Strength Exercises
Lower body strength training: dumbbell squats, alternating dumbbell lunges, walking dumbbell lunges, box step-ups, one-legged squats, squat kicks, squat to reverse leg lifts, and standing dumbbell calf raises.
Upper body strength training: pushups, dumbbell chest press, dumbbell flys, dumbbell biceps curls or lateral biceps curls, hammer curls, dumbbell triceps kickbacks, dumbbell triceps extensions, triceps chair dips, triceps pushups, standing shoulder press, bent-over rows, bent-over reverse flys, single-armed rows, upright rows, lateral raises, front raises, and back extensions.
Full body strength training: squat to press, squat to medicine ball throw, dumbbell or barbell deadlifts, renegade rows, planks, squat to lateral or front raises, lunges with biceps curls, squats with biceps curls, squats with triceps kickbacks, power cleans, and squats with medicine ball slams.
Aerobic and power exercises: rope jumping, burpees, box jumps, squat jumps, alternating jumping lunges, bear crawls, plyo pushups, mountain climbers, and plank jacks.
Abdominal strength training: sit-ups, Russian twists, traditional crunches, leg raises, V-ups, and bicycle crunches.
For best results, combine aerobic exercise with strength training during the same workouts. Try circuit training by doing one strength exercise for 30-60 seconds and switching to the next exercise without resting between sets.
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Make Dietary Changes
Eating right is just as important as strength training for muscle building in men. Consume a good balance of carbohydrates plus protein before and after workouts to enhance lean mass gains. Examples of effective pre- and post-workout fuel include:
- A protein shake plus fruit
- A tuna or egg sandwich
- A peanut butter sandwich with bananas
- Greek yogurt with fruit or granola plus nuts
- A protein bar
A well-balanced, post-workout meal for muscle building includes a protein (chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, etc.), non-starchy vegetables, and fiber-rich starches – including brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, quinoa, black beans, other legumes, peas, corn, or sweet potatoes. Add in a healthy fat too – such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, or seeds.
Consider taking muscle building supplements for men, such as whey protein shakes, creatine, and L-citrulline.
To maximize muscle building, the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s position stand is:
- Ingest 6 – 1.0 gramsof protein per pound of your body weight daily for muscle building.
- Consume 0 – 1.4 gramsof protein per pound of weight daily to retain muscle mass during periods of calorie restriction for fat loss.
In other words, a slightly higher protein intake helps prevent lean muscle loss associated with calorie reduction during weight loss. Regular weight training (most days of the week) helps too!
The Best Way to Increase Your Muscle vs. Fat Ratio and Get Fit Fast!
To build muscle vs. fat and improve your muscle to fat ratio, it’s important to find the right balance of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, sleep/wake cycles, healthy eating patterns, and dietary supplements.
That’s why the Fitter Healthier Dad program is here to help you. It shows you exactly what to do to build more muscle vs. fat, boost your energy, and get fit fast. The plan offers you social support to keep you motivated.
It’s designed for busy men over 40 seeking a muscular physique with just the right proportions. In just four weeks of following the Fitter Healthier Dad program you’ll boost muscle mass, drop fat, reduce your chronic disease risks, and look and feel your best.
Sign up for the Fitter Healthier Dad free 12-minute at-home, fat-burning/muscle-building workout to get started today without worrying about an expensive gym equipment! Doing so helps you become the best possible version of yourself!