Want to swap your fat for muscle? Trainer and high performance manager of Oakleigh Chargers Football Club Ben Sharpe and director of MP Studio Luke Archer share their lifestyle tips to help you lean out.
1. Get enough shut-eye: aim for 7.5 to nine hours of sleep per night for optimal recovery and hormonal balance.
2. Office know-how: manage your stress levels, increase your calorie burn and reduce your chances of muscle wastage by going for regular walks throughout the day, or asking the boss for a stand-up desk. “If a person is sitting at a desk all day, their energy requirements are much less than someone who has a physically demanding job,” says Archer. “We generally switch off our muscles, sit back, slump or have no need to use our muscles. And which group of muscles do we switch off most? The glutes – which are the largest muscles in the body.”
3. Eat well, eat often: eating smaller meals more often will aid in boosting the metabolism, while plant foods are important to insulin sensitivity. “The more your plate looks like a rainbow of colorful fruit and vegetables at every meal, the faster your results will come,” says Archer.
4. Hydrate: drinking cold water regularly throughout the day can boost your metabolic rate by up to 30 per cent according to Archer. “Our body is made up of 70 to 80 per cent water – so it’s no wonder we need it so often to function properly,” he says.
5. Prioritise strength-based training: your lean muscle mass has the greatest impact on your ability to burn fat, so be sure to incorporate three to four full-body weight sessions per week. A weighted circuit with lower loads, higher reps and limited rest will keep the heart rate elevated to increase muscular endurance while burning body fat.
NEXT: Working out but not seeing results? Here are 10 ways to boost your calorie burn at the gym.