FREE Shipping! Code: SAVETIME (orders $115+)
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    Healthy Living — weight loss

    Blog Menu

    How to Increase Muscle & Minimize Fat Gain

    How to Increase Muscle & Minimize Fat Gain

    Originally published on nutrabio.com


     

    You clicked on this article because you want to put on slabs of muscle, right?  Here’s the part that scares people… You need to put yourself in a caloric surplus in order to accomplish that. Yes, the same surplus that causes so many to gain dreaded body fat.  The question becomes, can you effectively increase muscle mass while minimizing fat gain?  To put it simply, yes.  You can increase muscle while minimizing fat gain.  However, there is a balancing act that needs to take place.  So, put your arms out, steady yourself, and let’s jump in. 

    Below in this article will be some of the best tips and tricks to keep your body fat under control while trying to increase muscle mass.  But first, let’s discuss the difference between bulking cycles as they differ significantly. 

    Clean Bulking Vs. Dirty Bulking

    If you’re trying to increase muscle and minimize fat gain, you will want to focus on clean bulking.  What does that mean?  It means keeping your nutrition in check while in a caloric surplus and filling it with healthy macronutrients – clean sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.  Notice how all three macronutrients are included in the previous sentence?  That’s because they are all going to fill a role when trying to increase muscle mass. 

    On the opposite side of the spectrum is dirty bulking.  This approach is where you eat anything and everything in an effort to put on weight (including fast food) – which can lead to massive increases in fat gain. 

    The tips below will fall under the clean bulking method as the last thing you want to do is put on a ton of body fat (you will gain a little during a clean bulk, though) and then spend the next several months on a treadmill trying to lose all of that weight which in the process could strip away some of your hard-earned muscle. 

    Track Your Nutrition

    The goal when trying to increase muscle mass while minimizing fat gain is not allowing your caloric surplus to get away from you.  While you need to eat more than you would to achieve your maintenance level, that doesn’t mean taking a 2,000-calorie maintenance and jumping up to 4,000 calories per day, thinking the almighty Gainz God is going to shine down on you. 

    Take it slow and increase your calories by around 10% and see how you fair after a week.  If you notice you’re gaining weight, but when you check your body fat it’s gone up, back it down a little bit to around a 5% increase in your calories.  Remember, slow and steady will help prevent fat gain.  Strive for 0.5-1.0lb of weight gain each week.  Anything more and you’re potentially adding body fat. 

    At the same time, track your nutrition with something like MyFitnessPal.  You don’t know what you don’t know, and while you may think you’re at a sweet spot with your nutrition, you could either be drastically over or drastically under your calories, which will not provide you the results you’re looking for. 

    Prioritizing Protein

    Protein is your friend.  You need protein in order to help increase muscle mass.  Strive for around 1g per pound of body weight.  Make sure you have protein in every meal and each snack.  Things like steak, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beef, nuts, seeds, legumes, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt, to name a few. 

    Achieving 1g can be difficult for some who aren’t used to eating a lot of protein.  Therefore, it may be wise to consider a protein supplement to help you increase your protein intake without force-feeding yourself. 

    NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate would be a fantastic and clean protein source that is extremely low in carbohydrates while containing zero fat.  This allows you to enjoy a delicious treat while easily increasing your protein intake.  With more than a handful of flavors to choose from, you’ll always have a wide selection to choose from, regardless of what you’re craving. 

    Leverage Your Carbohydrate Intake

    Where a lot of people go wrong is thinking they need to drastically increase their carbs in a bulk.  Not so fast. Instead, what you should do is be specific about when you are consuming your increase in carbs.   

    Leveraging your carbohydrate intake around your training will be your best bet.  Have a carb-filled meal pre-workout (around 60-90 minutes prior) to benefit from the added glycogen and then also post-workout (with a protein powder) to help replenish glycogen and kickstart the recovery process. 

    Keep Healthy Fats In Your Diet

    People tend to shy away from fat as they believe eating it will cause them to experience fat gain.  That’s not always true.  Consuming healthy fats will not only help you feel satiated, but it can also help balance hormones and even boost your testosterone levels (which you would greatly benefit from while bulking). 

    Look at natural sources like fish, steak, nut butter, seeds, and whole nuts.  Add those to your meals and reap the benefits of healthy fats. 

    Train Hard And Heavy

    This is pretty straightforward and one that we aren’t going to spend a lot of time on.  If you want to increase muscle, you need to lift heavy.  Now, that doesn’t mean maxing out each workout.  What it means is, using a weight you can achieve 8-10 repetitions with where the last few reps you’re really pushing yourself.  Going to failure on every set of every exercise is not going to be beneficial. 

    If you wanted to hit some isolation exercises at the end of your workout where you lighten the weight, go for it, but make sure if you’re hitting 15 reps where your muscles are on fire before you put the weight down (you want to make sure you are going to failure if using lighter weights to really break down those muscle fibers). 

    Back Off On The Cardio

    Now is not the time for marathon cardio sessions.  For health and heart benefits, you can still keep some cardio in your routine, but do not be obsessive with it as you’ll be burning off the calories you need to increase muscle mass – which will only force you to eat more food in order to make up for the reduction. 

    That being said, at least keeping some cardio in your plan will further help you minimize fat gain while you bulk.  Just make sure your calories at the end of the day are still around 10% higher than your maintenance. 

    Get Enough Sleep

    This section is incredibly important.  If you want to see any changes to your physique, you need proper rest and recovery.  You should strive for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night.  Should you fall short, it could dramatically stall your progress.   

    Make sleep a priority and change around your schedule to allow for proper rest if you truly want to increase muscle mass.

    Avoid These 5 Weight Loss Mistakes

    Avoid These 5 Weight Loss Mistakes

    Originally published by Matt Weik on nutrabio.com



    When it comes to weight loss habits, it seems like everyone has their own quirks.  Some make sense, and some have no scientific backing whatsoever.  That being said, some weight loss habits start with good intentions but go south incredibly fast.

    This article will look at five weight loss habits that could be stalling your results and what you can do to fix each.

    Setting Unachievable Goals

    Setting goals is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable, stay on track, and look at measurable milestones.  Writing down both short and long-term goals and putting them somewhere you’ll see them every day is a great reminder to keep pushing forward towards your end goal.

    Things go awry with your weight loss habits when you start off by setting unachievable and unrealistic goals.  You can, in a healthy manner, lose anywhere from 1-2 pounds of body weight a week.  If you are extremely heavy, you may see even more (but it tends to be a lot of water weight).  Thinking you can lose 50 pounds in a single month is not realistic.

    Allow your short-term goals to align with your long-term goals.  In fact, what you should do is reverse engineer your long-term goals.  If you want to lose 10 pounds in two months, reverse engineer it and develop a weekly (short-term) weight loss goal.  If you factor two months is around eight weeks, that means you would need to lose around 1.25lbs each week – which is within the healthy weekly weight loss range.

    Don’t go crazy with your goals.  Keep them straightforward and achievable, so you don’t set yourself up for failure before you even get started and wind up frustrated.

    Dropping Your Calories Too Low

    In order to lose weight, you need to put yourself in a daily caloric deficit.  This means consuming fewer calories than what is required to maintain your current body weight.  One of the common weight loss habits you may see or have even experienced is drastically dropping your daily calories.

    If your maintenance is at 2,000 calories, try to eliminate 250-500 calories per day, or simply reduce your intake by around 20%.  When you drop your calories too quickly, your body is going to shift into survival mode as it believes you are starving, and for self-preservation, it will hold onto and store any food you consume.

    Dropping your calories too quickly will also destroy your metabolism and cause it to slow down to conserve energy and calories.  It doesn’t want to be in a fat-burning mode because it thinks you’re in starvation mode.  Ease into reducing your calories, and don’t drop them too quickly.  Only make a change when you plateau and aren’t seeing the scale decrease after a week

    Not Getting Enough Sleep

    One of the weight loss habits that not many people think about or consider is your sleep quality.  How much sleep are you getting each night?  If you’re not getting a minimum of seven hours, you could be stalling your weight loss progress.

    Why would sleep even matter?  After all, you’re not even up and moving, which means you aren’t burning calories, right?  While that is true, sleep is what helps regulate various hormones in your body.  One, in particular, is cortisol. 

    When cortisol levels increase, it can turn on the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and cause you to become “hangry” almost all of the time.  Additionally, high levels of cortisol can also cause your body to store more body fat.  Therefore, sleep is necessary to help keep cortisol levels under control while also helping you recover and provide you with energy to get you through the day.

    Eliminating And Focusing On Food You Enjoy

    Have you tried a fad diet that forced you to eliminate a certain food or macronutrient you enjoy?  How did that diet work out for you?  Probably not very well, right?  That’s because it’s not sustainable.  Eliminating foods will only cause you to crave them and focus on them more – we tend to want what we can’t have.

    Should you find yourself craving food all of the time, you are more likely to binge and fall off the wagon.  When it comes to weight loss habits, you want to allow for some flexibility.  What that means is, everything in moderation so long as it fits within your daily caloric and macronutrient requirements. 

    You shouldn’t have to say no to all of those delicious treats if you work them into your nutrition plan every once in a while.  It’s about a healthy lifestyle, balance, and changing habits, not about eliminating some of life’s joys.

    Doing Too Much, Too Quickly

    The old saying, “If a little is great, more must be better” is implemented into many weight loss habits – such as cardio.  People think that going from zero to 100 is a good idea.  It’s not.

    Your body is the world’s most powerful computer.  It adapts and changes exceptionally quickly.  When you do cardio, your body will adjust and make improvements to be more efficient. 

    If you start doing cardio for an hour, and your body makes the necessary changes, what do you think will happen next?  You’re going to need to do even more cardio in order to achieve the same results.  Most people don’t have hours to spare each day to do cardio (nor do they want to do that much), so it would be wise to start with 15-20 minutes per day and work your way up from there.

    An Effective Way To Speed Up Your Results

    When you combine a solid workout plan that includes weight training and cardio with a clean nutrition plan that incorporates a supportive supplement regimen, you can fast-track your results.  By implementing NutraBio Thermo Fuel V9 into the fold, you can support fat metabolism, thermogenesis, a reduction in appetite, energy production, and mental focus.

    Establish healthy weight loss habits and allow NutraBio to help you cross the finish line.  Achieving your weight loss goals has never been easier!

    Lose Weight Without Hating Your Body! By Lynette Marie

    Lose Weight Without Hating Your Body! By Lynette Marie

    There seems to be a great divide on social media when it comes to weight loss:⁣

    1. “Weight loss is TOXIC! Dieting is a sign that you hate yourself & you should stop that. Eat everything you want, only workout if you feel like it, and just love your body as is!”⁣

    2. “Nothing is better than FIT! Skipping a single workout means you’ve failed. Not hitting your macros on the nose means you’ve failed. Food is fuel, nothing more. No excuses. WORK. HARDER.”⁣

    We often struggle to find the middle ground between these two schools of thought.⁣

    And I get it: I used to diet HARD, feel restricted, get upset, and think “I shouldn’t have to do this. This is so unhealthy. I should just be FREE. Tracking food is SO disordered! Im done!”⁣

    Then I’d let myself go: stop tracking my nutrition, slow down on workouts, eat anything I wanted (& then some), claiming that any restraint of any kind was “restriction”… but then a few months later, I’d realized I’d gained 10 pounds, feel really unhealthy and lethargic, dislike my body, and get back on some sort of strict diet.⁣

    And for a while - hating my body DID fuel my diets. I had a terrible relationship with my body, and so I forced dieting upon it in order to lose weight.⁣

    But within the last few years, something has changed - I genuinely love my body. Bigger or smaller, I have so much love and respect for it.⁣

    Sometimes, I choose to lose a few pounds. I know this will be hard for some people to believe, but it truly is NOT out of hate for my body - just preference. Lynette at 155 pounds is awesome. Lynette at 148 pounds is also awesome. The latter just fits into my jeans a little better 😉 And I prefer that.⁣

    But by NO MEANS do I hate me a few pounds heavier.⁣

    Weight loss does not have to mean you hate your body any more than choosing NOT to lose weight must mean you love your body. Your love for your body is a separate journey - not defined by weight loss or the lack thereof.⁣

    You can love something and still want to change it or improve it.⁣

    Have you ever felt guilty for wanting to lose weight?

     


     

    Stay connected with Lynette on

    Want to be featured as an "Everyday ICON?" Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on IG or Facebook!

    Mark Lost 100 lbs With These 8 Simple Rules

    Mark Lost 100 lbs With These 8 Simple Rules

    Follow Mark on Instagram @marksmellybell

    Mark Bell is a dedicated athlete, entrepreneur, and family man. After suffering from a major injury, Mark decided that it was time begin his next chapter and make a change. Fast forward to today, Mark has lost over 100 pounds and completely transformed his life by following these 8 simple rules, and you can too!

    1. WALK -
    Move! At least 3x/day. During your lunch break? Instead of that smoke break, maybe it’s 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back.


    2. FASTING
    I recommend, if you’re new to fasting to do it every other day! Just want you to adapt to the feeling of being hungry.


    3. MEAL PREP - personally, I’m not a fan of prepping my meals but that’s why I use @iconmeals. I’m less likely to cheat or make bad decisions when food is already prepared. Side effect: less money spent out at the bar or restaurant.


    4. EAT VEGGIES - “but but but people’s Coach, you said veggies are bad!” No no no. I think that people too heavily rely on them for nutrition, BUT if you’re in a caloric deficit and HUNGRY you’re less likely to reach for chocolate if you’re stuffed to the gills with heavy green veggies. It will fill you up. My only caveat to this, you must finish your protein before you finish your veggies... I don’t wanna hear “I’m too full to finish this chicken”


    5. KEEP PROTEIN HIGH — I personally choose protein leveraging. Example: before my meal, I’ll enjoy some protein like a chicken breast before my actual meal. I’m less likely to binge on the fun stuff like carbs or fats because I’m full. Every person should be getting 1g/ per pound of body weight MINIMUM.


    6. CUT CALORIE DRINKS - smoothies, juices, etc are marketed as “healthy” when all too often they are pumped with processed sugar, etc. People will rely on these and ignore protein & proper nutrient from other sources of foods. Ditch the juice and drink some water. I use @drinklmnt in my water to ensure I have enough electrolytes so I’m hydrated during my workouts.


    7. KEEP IT SIMPLE - keep your habits so simple, so easy that they are hard to say no to. Example: pop on the stair master for 5 minutes before and after my workout. That’s simple enough, right? Simple = repeatable. Compliance is the science!


    8. OCCUPY YOUR MIND — get after something you love to do. A hobby like lifting is something I’ve been doing since I was 12. So it’s my go-to

    --

    Stay connected with Mark on

    IG: @marksmellybell
    Facebook: @marksmellybell
    YouTube: Mark Smelly Bell
    Website: https://markbellslingshot.com/