How to lose fat, gain muscle and stay healthy
We all know that starving ourselves to lose weight is unhealthy. But knowing how to lose fat and gain muscle in a healthy way somehow seems a lot harder to wrap our brains around. And we’ve all been there: we set ourselves a goal and a deadline and we become so obsessed with achieving it that we fall for fads and miracle products, and in the process neglect our health and wellbeing.
When I was modelling in my late teens and early 20s, I would spend countless hours at the gym, eating only boiled chicken and broccoli, and obsessing over my weight. I may have been skinny, but I was also miserable and exhausted. I had the knowledge to get myself strong and happy – but I had to make the smart decision to put it to use.
Now let me help you reach your goals the HEALTHY way!
The two keys to burning fat
The two main components to burning fat are diet and exercise. Sure, it’d be great if those fad diets actually worked, but it all comes back to the cold, hard facts eventually. To lose excess fat we need to have a calorie deficit so our bodies can turn to burning fat for fuel, rather than just the food we eat. A regular exercise regimen will kickstart the fat burn, tone your body and increase muscle strength and endurance. And in order for our body to get what it needs to replenish, repair and build muscles, the food we eat must be healthy and nutritious.
Makes good sense. So why do so many of us get it so wrong? Problems arise when we take either of these components too far – either by not eating enough (and not healthy enough) or exercising too much. This puts our body under stress and can have an adverse effect on health.
The fit way to lose fat
Emily Skye FIT is a fad-free zone, helping you get into a healthy and balanced routine – and reach your fat loss and muscle gain goals safely.
Your meal plan is designed by my team of dietitians to work in tandem with your workouts, ensuring you don’t run out of puff half-way through, but also so you’re not taking in more energy than you need.
If your goal is set to Weight Loss, this meal plan is lower in carbohydrates to help you stay lean, while keeping you satisfied and nourished. If you select Strength & Tone, your meal plan has increased carbohydrates to match the intensity of your training.
As for your FIT training, my workouts are a mix of HIIT and weight and resistance work. High-intensity interval training is heart-pumping cardio that burns more calories in less time, giving you a lean, defined physique. Weighted and resistance-based training then builds your muscles to give you maximum definition and strength. And the great thing about adding muscle is it then helps your body burn even more fat, even when you’re not training.
3 tips to get lean, strong & healthy
So you’ve made the decision: that excess fat has to go. And you wouldn’t mind toning those muscles, either! These three tips will help you take a healthy, common-sense approach.
1. Fuel your body with enough food
Don’t cut your calories so much that you are depriving your body of what it needs to function properly. Sure, it’s great to reduce the amount of dense calorie foods if you want to lose body fat. But don’t starve yourself! You still need to be eating enough to provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to do necessary things like cell repairing, building lean muscle, and fuelling you through workouts and daily activities. One of the first signs that you’re not fuelling your body with enough food is feeling tired and low energy – and no drive to continue towards your fitness goal!
2. Take rest days and recover
Your FIT planner includes two days to stretch, rest and recover. During any regular exercise regimen, it is so important to give your body the rest it needs. Don’t be tempted to over-train and skip recovery time just because you want to reach your goal faster – because you’ll run your body into the ground before you even catch sight of the finish line. If your goal is to reduce the size of your waist, don’t do day after day of ab and core work. Instead, use active recovery and walk or jog on days in between targeted workouts. If you’re strength training, your muscles NEED that rest time to repair and grow. Whatever training you’re doing, set aside at least one day a week to give your body a rest.
3. Get quality sleep
Tired from all the exercise you’re doing? Great! Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for our muscles to repair and rebuild from the strain they’ve endured during the day. Allow a good 7-10 hours sleep each night so your body can get busy doing its essential maintenance work, and you can get the most out of the following day.
Personal trainer • Founder
Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.
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