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Health • 18 September 2020 • 3 min

Exercise strategies for weight loss and muscle gain (plus, fitness guru Jo-Leigh Morris’ tips)

By Zinzino

Most fitness goals center around that sweet spot of weight loss/muscle gain where the work you’re doing on the mat or in the gym helps redefine muscles, while working on your weight. It’s disappointing to jump on the scales and see the number hasn’t budged. If anything, it’ll go up with muscle development.

But, get this: You don’t have to choose between losing weight and gaining muscle (and tone). The trick is to find workouts that help strengthen the body and increase muscle mass, while making adjustments in your diet to lose weight.

Developing muscle helps stoke your metabolism. Muscle helps to increase your strength, reduce injury risk, and improve overall health. It also burns more calories than fat tissue, so your body is still at work while you’re resting.

Work on your abs, while you lose weight.

Strength training before cardio

Implement strength training into your week at least 2-3 times. To maintain your muscles, two sessions is enough but to hone and grow them, aim for three weight training workouts. Add your cardio exercise around strength building. It should never replace it.

As for your cardio sessions, keep them short and sweet, fast and high impact. For example, repeated sprints on a treadmill, elliptical or bike.

Not a ‘gym’ person? Use the 10,000 steps a day metric to help take care of your physical health. For weight maintenance, aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day. If weight loss is your goal, go for 60 minutes. This helps to promote energy deficit.

Exercise tips from Jo-Leigh Morris

Pilates and Barre instructor Jo-Leigh Morris encourages her clients to think about balance and consistency. She says it’s about getting the fundamentals of lifting technique right and fusing pilates, yoga or barre to increase core strength, body alignment and mobility.

Jo debunks a myth many women share: that lifting will make you bulky. It won’t! Don’t be afraid to lift heavy, and remember, body transformations don’t just happen in the gym. Strike the balance of training, nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset – and be consistent about all these elements.

Focus on building habits as once they’re integrated in your daily routine, they become a lot easier to maintain. Break everything down, keep it simple and find an exercise style that works for you. If you enjoy it, you’re on the right path. There are no shortcuts.

You can view Jo-Leigh’s YouTube page here for some at-home workouts

Schedule rest days

Your muscles need time and rest to grow. It’s important to also schedule one or two days off so you get enough rest each week.

Keep in mind your style of working out. If you focus on resistance training for four days in a row, consider dividing the sessions into specific areas such as upper and lower body.  But if you exercise more sporadically (and not necessarily one day after the next), exercise the whole body every time, with a focus on large muscle groups.

Eat more protein in every meal

To gain muscle while losing fat, add more protein to your diet. Aim to include 20-40 grams of protein in every meal (even more if you’re vegan or vegetarian). Proteins are the building blocks of your muscles, so look to include foods such as eggs, fish, chicken breast, lean beef, quinoa, lentils, oats, lean dairy products such as yogurt and milk and whey, pea and oat proteins.


Leverage a meal replacement

Drastic results might lead to weight loss, but not muscle development. Stick to a moderate approach and start by cutting 500 calories from your diet at a time. An effective way to do this is by using Zinzino’s LeanShake.

With Zinzino’s fiber blend, proteins and over 25 vitamins and minerals, it’s one of the easiest ways of consuming all the essential nutrients, while reducing calories. One serving is just 231 calories.

Replace two meals per day with LeanShake’s Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla or Berry flavors to lose weight1. Once you’re happy with your progress and weight, switch to one meal replacement shake per day for weight management.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1. Substituting two daily meals of an energy restricted diet with meal replacements

Substituting two daily meals of an energy restricted diet with meal replacements contributes to weight loss. In order to bear the claim, a food should comply with specifications laid down in Directive 96/8/EC in relation to food products under Article 1(2)(b) of that Directive. In order to achieve the claimed effect, two meals should be substituted with meal replacements daily.