1. Exercise regularlyTo maintain your muscle mass, regular exercise combined with consuming adequate amounts of protein is a must. Aerobic exercise helps to increase your energy expenditure and create a calorie deficit, whilst resistance training helps to maintain or increase your muscle mass and calorie burning potential. In the early stages of your diet and exercise programme, the scales might not say you are losing much weight, but the mirror will show you how your body is changing.
Aim to complete three resistance-training sessions per week (Carry a load to build up your arms, legs, core, and more ( visit here for details) and gradually add cardiovascular training (such as running, cycling, or aerobics 2-3 times per week) to your program to further increase your calorie deficit.
2. Eat five or six meals a daySkipping meals is not an effective way to lose fat as you body starts to breakdown muscle tissue for energy and you lose muscle mass alongside fat mass. Missing meals actually slows your metabolic rate through the loss of muscle mass, leading to a drop in blood sugar levels, mood and concentration and makes you want a sweet snack. Rather than eating 2-3 big meals a day, eating little and often helps to take the edge off hunger and ultimately means you will eat less. A popular approach is to use supplements such as Promax as a mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon snack. Also use it around breakfast, lunch and dinner to achieve protein targets throughout the day.
3. Include protein in every mealThe beneficial effects of protein intake peak only for a short period of time, so consuming repeated small doses of protein 5-6 times a day can help you can optimize the rate of muscle recovery, rebuilding and growth. You can use high quality products such as Promax at any time of the day to raise the protein content of your diet and help to maintain muscle mass. Try having it as a shake at breakfast, adding it to your cereal, or mixing it with yoghurt for a quick and easy protein rich bedtime snack to help combat muscle breakdown at night.
4. Take protein after exerciseTaking protein immediately after exercise can help you meet your daily need whilst supporting the recovery process. The optimal amount of protein you should consume after training is not exactly known, but studies have shown that protein uptake by the muscle increases dramatically up to a 20g serving, and there is still a trend for increased protein synthesis when consuming between 20g - 40 g (Tipton et al, 2009). Above this no further effect is seen.
5. Use creatine for extra muscle size and strengthCreatine is a non-essential dietary compound that is found naturally in foods like meat and fish. It is also produced in small quantities (~1g) within the body (liver) and stored in our muscle cells, where it is used to power high intensity muscle contractions. With the limited supply available, creatine supplementation has been shown to be safe and effective, and remains one of the world's most popular sports nutrition nutrients. Supplementing 3g of creatine daily has been shown to; increase effort and strength during short-term, high-intensity activity and therefore has a beneficial impact on increasing lifting volume and overall performance.
6. Don't neglect the essential fatsAlthough too much fat in your diet isn't healthy, some fat is essential for everyday health as it can affect the function of your hormones. High-fat, cold-water fish are rich in the long-chain Omega 3 fats which are essential for good health. Foods like avocados, nuts and olive oil contain primarily monounsaturated fat, which is another type of 'good' fat, and should be eaten on a regular basis.
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