Health and wellness are central to a person’s ability to thrive. If you don’t have your health, a whole host of issues may follow. Though maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t the easiest adjustment, the benefits are worth the effort.
As you learn to exercise and consume healthy foods, it’s also important to remain mindful of the ways you can maximize your efforts. This is especially true for those who have goals to either burn fat, gain muscle or do both.
When you’re looking to nourish your body and build muscle, consider some of these simple and effective practices to adopt.
1. Prioritize Clean Eating
The 80/20 rule will be the most helpful as you work to clean up your diet. It can be hard to transition from a junk food diet to a clean diet. If you give yourself a cheat meal each week, this can help you maintain a healthy diet. Find fun options to help you consume more clean meals.
Learn how to prepare healthy versions of your favorite foods. If you love tacos and other meals that are akin to Latin cuisine, find healthy ways to make them. Instead of deep-frying your foods, trying stir frying or grilling. If you want a crunch that’s synonymous with fried foods, use an air fryer. It’s still okay to enjoy your beloved slice of pizza. However, the key is to make sure it’s an occasional treat instead of a daily indulgence.
By preparing clean meals that are filled with fresh vegetables, fruits, and legumes, you’ll improve your body’s ability to gain its nutrients as it turns the food into fuel for future workouts.
2. Employ Progressive Overload Training
The process of building muscle mass is a gradual one. It’s best to track your progress by adding an additional five to 10 pounds each week. If you’re using the leg press machine with 100 pounds of weight this week, increase it to either 105 or 110 pounds the following week. As you gradually increase the weight, your body will adjust and your strength and muscles will grow. Remember though, it’s not a race, so do not try to increase the weights too soon. As you progressively increase the weight, your body will be able to handle more.
3. Increase Your Calorie and Protein Intake
Protein is the fuel for building strong muscles. Many nutritionists suggest consuming between 1 and 1.2 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. Depending on how much you weigh, this can prove to be a daunting amount of protein to consume in order to build lean muscle mass.
One of the easiest ways to increase your protein intake involves consuming protein shakes. You can find raw pea protein or iso protein powder to a smoothie in order to get the benefits and increase your intake easily. In addition to protein powders, plenty of foods and vegetables such as beans, chick peas, tofu, seitan have significant protein that you can utilise. Create healthy salads that include nuts, protein-rich vegetables, and more.
In order to live an abundantly healthy life, rest isn’t an experience one can skip. It’s vital to the body’s ability to repair itself. When you lift weights, you’re literally tearing the fibers in order to reshape your body and build muscle. This trauma-inducing experience leads to major gains but still requires a healing/repairing process. This process happens when you take days off from working for a specific muscle group. It also happens when you invest in a high-quality sleep regimen.
5. Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Even when you can lift heavy weights, it’s still important to monitor and maintain proper form and technique. This will decrease your chances of an injury. Plus, when you utilize the right form, you’ll be able to get the most out of the exercise.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s best to lift heavy weights with small, quick reps. Slow and steady controlled reps are best for heavy weights, for you. Do not try to ego lift and try to compete with the person next to you!
Nourishing your body
As you work towards developing the body you desire, know that it won’t happen instantly or overnight. Consistency is one of the most important facets to consider as you work to build a better body. Thankfully, when you show up and see results, it’ll become easier to maintain the healthy habits that nourish your body, build muscles and help your body thrive.
Regina Thomas is a Southern California native who spends her time as a freelance writer and loves cooking at home when she can find the time. Regina loves reading, music, hanging with her friends and family along with her Golden Retriever, Sadie. She loves adventure and living every day to the fullest.