It’s no secret that when it comes to gaining muscle, protein is the most important aspect of your diet. Not only do the amino acids in protein build muscle, but recent research shows that they also make you feel more full than foods with high carbs and fat. This means that you can effectively gain muscle and lose fat at the same time by maintaining a high protein diet. There is no need to first ‘bulk up’ with high calorie carb intensive food and then slim down once the muscle is built. Contrary to popular belief you can do both at the same time.
Building muscle and losing fat forms a positive feedback after a while, as increasing amounts of muscle tissue require more energy than fat cells, so your metabolism will speed up. This means you will lose fat naturally by gaining muscle. So you should try to shift your gym routine more toward the free weight section rather than the cardio area. Cardio is still important, but you may want to focus on interval training, rather than endurance style cardio. This is because interval training boosts the lactic acid limit and increases your weight lifting performance.
The great part about a high protein diet is that it doesn’t really matter if you ‘overdose’ on protein. The body will simply expel any excess protein as urine. You should only be concerned with consuming excessive amounts of protein if you have kidney problems, as high amounts of protein can place a strain on kidney function.
For healthy and natural sources of protein look to foods such as lean meat, chicken, fish, egg whites, no fat milk and yoghurt, tofu and kidney beans. These should be consumed in small parcels equally spaced throughout the day. If you feel you haven’t had enough protein one day you can choose to drink some in the form of a protein shake.