What diet can help you build muscle and burn fat?

Exercise and diet are the most important factors to successful long term weight loss - but is it also enough to help build muscle while burning fat?

Regardless of if you use calorie deficit, low-sugar, intermittent fasting, or other diet methods, you can hope to see results fairly quickly short-term, but the problem is that a decrease in calories (or more precisely, protein) is oftentimes accompanied by a decrease in muscle mass as well!

The prospect of losing hard-earned muscle gains after extensive exercise can be rather discouraging, so it's important to make sure you design your meals accordingly to ensure you're getting enough protein before or after strength training to avoid muscle loss.

Eating right is more important than how much you eat
While best practices change with new research, the current consensus is that you should be reducing carb intake while increasing the amount of protein and vegetables consumed.

For example, you can try cutting your carbs in half while increasing muscle-building protein and high-fiber vegetables to make sure food makes its way through your body efficiently and effectively. Avoid starving yourself, because this more often than not can result in binge eating afterwards out of hunger, wiping away your progress!

How should I adjust my diet?

Rest day:
- Half a portion of carbs, 5 portions of protein, 2 portions of vegetables, 2 portions of high-fiber fruit
- Eat dinner before 7Pm and refrain from eating afterwards
- Avoid carbs at dinner, or overseasoning your food. In addition, fried foods, highly processed foods, and those high in sugar - should be avoided

Exercise day: 
- Eat a simple snack at least 30 minutes to 2 hours before exercising
- Prioritize easily digestible foods or liquids - foods like rice or meat that take more time to digest should be avoided before exercise
- Try to refuel your body with protein within 30 minutes of exercise

What are some examples of easily digestible foods?

Soymilk, kiwi, eggs, pudding, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bananas are just a small sampling of options!

As they say, abs are made in the kitchen! The fact of the matter is that it's a lot easier to gain calories through eating than burning it off through exercise, so what you eat really makes a difference.

That said, creating a caloric deficit through diet doesn't have the same effects on your body as exercise, so formulating a data-based training plan using body composition is still very important!