1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

How to Build a Lean Body

5 Steps to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

By

Updated May 28, 2014

How to Build a Lean Body

Build lean muscle

Katrina Wittkamp/Getty Images

This article is part of my e-course 6 Weeks to a Better Body. Sign up for the email class or follow it online to change the way you look and feel. You can also incorporate these tips into your own weight loss program.

The key to a lean, tight body is muscle. Over the past few weeks, the focus of the Better Body program has been to monitor your calorie count and improve daily habits. This week, the focus is on building healthy strong muscle, including your heart.

5 Ways to Build a Lean Body

  1. Add HIIT. High intensity interval training is a great way to burn body fat in a short period of time. Is it easy? No. But it is effective. If you are healthy enough for vigorous physical activity, incorporate one high intensity workout into your schedule this week. As your level of fitness improves, try to add one or two more sessions to your schedule each week.

  2. Do strength training. No, you don't need to become a body builder, but when you created your balanced workout program last week, you should have incorporated at least 2-3 days of body weight or weight lifting activities to build muscle. Make sure those workouts stay a priority.

  3. Learn to make smoothies. After you complete your workout, be sure that you refuel effectively. A smoothie is a great way to do that, as long as you keep the calorie count in check and include plenty of healthy protein.

  4. Eat more protein. Do you eat protein at every meal and with each snack? You should. Protein will help you build muscle and maintain a healthy metabolism. This week, spend some time figuring out how much you need and how to get it. Then, when you do your weekly meal planning, be sure that you are getting enough each day.

  5. Eat more fish. Why fish? A tuna steak, salmon filet, and many other sources contain healthy doses of omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to good heart health. Most fish is also packed with protein. Grill a filet, broil a steak, add it to salad or find your own favorite recipe to incorporate more fish into your diet.

Don't forget to keep tracking your food intake and activity level. Next week, we'll focus on motivation. Congratulations for sticking with the program!

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.