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Eating To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

Mar 15, 2008
Eating to build muscle and lose fat at the same time is tricky, but extremely possible.

If you ask a 100 different people their opinions about what percentage of their daily calorie intake should consist of protein, what percentage carbohydrates, and what percentage fats, you will probably get 100 different answers.

It's no secret that losing body fat and gaining lean muscle is all calorie based. If you continually consume more calories than you burn off in a day, you will store the excess calories as body fat.

To lose body fat, you must create a calorie deficit, meaning you burn off more calories than you consume.

But we need calories just to survive. Where should these calories come from?

The nutritional breakdown I am about to give you is based
on "real world" results, not what is simply written in an out-dated nutrition book.

Results speak for themselves. Not only has this nutritional formula allowed me to stay lean and muscular year round, it has been used by many of my clients to achieve amazing results as well.

To burn body fat and build lean muscle tissue, follow the 50-40-10 rule! Approximately half of your daily calories should come from protein.

Other than water, protein is the most abundant substance in muscle. Protein (amino acids) helps build muscle.

Carbohydrates do not and fats do not. This is why half of your daily calorie amount should be from protein sources. Protein is also the least likely of the 3 nutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) to be converted to body fat.

Aim for approximately a gram to a gram and a half of protein per pound of body weight. If you weigh 200 pounds, try to consume at least 200 grams of protein.

40% of your daily calories should come from complex carbohydrate sources like fresh vegetables, whole grains and cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, or potatoes.

10 % of your daily calories should come from fats.

I often tell my clients to not worry about reaching the fat gram number, that it will be reached without too much trying. After all, fat tastes good and is in almost everything we consume, in one form or another.

There are many variations of this 50-40-10 rule but as a whole, most research has shown this to be a very effective ratio for adding lean muscle tissue to the body while minimizing the amount of fat added.

But to further back up this research, this breakdown of protein, carbs, and fats has produced the best results for myself as well as clients I have trained in person.

So I always go with what works and what has been tested, not some theory in a textbook.

If you want to start eating to build muscle mass and lose unwanted body fat, start following the 50-40-10 rule!
About the Author
Personal trainer and natural bodybuilder Shawn LeBrun shows you how to train and eat in order to gain muscle and lose fat as fast as possible. Visit Shawn Lebrun Fitness to learn how.
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