Many people are under the impression that taking part in strength workouts and lifting weights will make them gain weight, because they see the number going up on the scale each week. However, this is not the case. Workouts in which you work to build muscle can not only help you tone your body, but lose weight as well.
More muscle translates to more calories burned
In order to reach your goal weight, you must first increase your metabolism. While doing aerobic exercises and eating right can help with this, building up muscle is what really increases your rate of metabolism. This rate will be raised while exercising and will continue to be at a higher level long after the activity has been completed, according to FitDay.
One pound of muscle can burn up to 20 calories per day, while a pound of fat only burns about five calories, noted FitDay. If you're not building up muscle, you begin to lose your ability to burn calories. If you notice the number staying the same or going up on that scale, it may not be because you're gaining fat, you may be gaining muscle. According to FitSugar, muscle tissue is more dense than fat tissue. Therefore, it takes up less space. Women's Health Magazine explained that if you add one pound of muscle, your body burns up to an additional 50 calories per day to keep that muscle alive. If you amp up that number to six pounds of muscle, you'll be burning an average of 300 calories each day, just by sitting there.
The best protein for muscle growth
Protein is essential for the development of muscle. According to Active.com, protein aids in the repair of exercise-induced damage to muscle fibers. When you lift weights or participate in strength training exercises, you're breaking down muscle. Therefore, your body requires a fresh infusion of amino acids, commonly found in protein, to repair and build that muscle.
A meal replacement shake is a great way to go about getting in your daily dose of post-workout protein. Naturade 100% Whey is a protein powder packed with essential amino acids that your body needs. These amino acids have been said to support athletic performance and recovery, and even may work to boost your immune health.
Studies have shown that whey protein may aid in the growth and development of muscle. According to a study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, a group of men took part in resistance training over a 10-week period and were given whey protein, while another group was only given a placebo. Those who had consumed the whey protein showed greater increases in fat-free mass and muscle strength.
Other protein-packed snacks for after your workout
Alongside protein powders, what you consume after you have finished exercising can also have an effect on muscle growth. A post-workout snack can give you the stamina and energy your body needs to repair muscle tissue. Fitness Magazine recommended yogurt and fresh berries. Low-fat yogurt can contain nearly fifteen grams of protein and the berries have plenty of antioxidants and carbohydrate-driven energy. You could also opt for peanut butter and banana slices on rice cakes or tuna on whole wheat for an extra boost of protein.