5 Tips to Improve Body Composition

February 2, 2024

As we kick off 2024, I imagine many of you have goals to slim down, tone up, or improve performance. Perhaps you have a big race or athletic event you’re planning for 2024?  Fueling your body for optimal performance and recovery should be top priority regardless of your goals.  If you want to perform well, have abundant energy, a stable mood and optimal health, fueling your body with all macronutrients:  protein, carbohydrates and fat is essential.

5 tips to Improve Body Composition by Reducing Fat + Increasing Lean Muscle Mass:

1.      Protein. High quality protein helps to build muscle and keeps you satiated.  To increase lean body mass, aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of IDEAL body weight spread out throughout the day.  Aim for approximately 30 grams of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner along with protein rich snacks.

2.      Lift Weights.  Weight training helps to build lean muscle which helps burn more calories even at rest. Even endurance athletes should make weight training a priority to help maintain lean muscle and prevent injury. To build lean muscle focus on progressive overload:  focus on a comfortable weight with good form that becomes challenging with the last few repetitions.  Then, slowly increase the weight over time to build lean muscle and become stronger.

3.      HIIT training.  High intensity interval training gives you more “bang for your buck!”  HIIT training involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by recovery.  This can be in the form of short sprints, hill intervals, or intervals with weights. HIIT training helps to burn more calories in a shorter period of time, increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise + increases growth hormone and helps build muscle!

4.      Manage Stress. Living in a constant state of stress increases cortisol (the stress hormone), which causes fat storage around the mid-section and stimulates muscle tissue breakdown.  Find a technique to manage stress that feels good to you and fits into your lifestyle such as a warm Epsom salt bath, yoga/meditation, deep breathing, journaling or being in nature with no distractions.

5.      Balance Hormones.  Hormones impact your metabolism and your ability to build and maintain lean body mass. Schedule an annual full hormone panel with your doctor to address any imbalances.