Do you want to lose fat and gain muscle? Maybe you want to run marathons, or perhaps you're just looking to be healthy enough to play with your kids in the backyard. 

Regardless of what you want your body to do for you, learning how athletes stay lean and implementing their ideas into your own life can help you meet your own goals. The key is understanding what they do. 

Athletes Count Their Macros

Athletes skip counting calories in favor of tracking their macros instead. Counting macros, which include protein, carbs, and fat, helps athletes achieve good metabolic health

Metabolism is responsible for generating energy and helping a person process it. Counting how much protein and fat you eat, as well as how many carbohydrates you consume, helps you to lose stubborn pockets of fat, maintain lean muscle mass, and feel fuller for longer.

Athletes Make Their Own Meals

Healthy restaurants are popping up all over the globe, but that doesn't mean that you should eat at them all the time. 

Athletes understand that the best thing you can do for your body is to know exactly what goes into it, which means making your own meals 99% of the time. 

Skip the protein bowls and high-calorie smoothies in favor of yummy recipes that you can make in your own kitchen. Use meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy oils and seasonings to keep meals delicious and healthy. 

Don't forget to keep bottled water and an apple or some almonds on you for those afternoon slumps. 

Athletes Do Strength Training

If you want to gain lean muscle, you need to strength train like athletes do. Endurance athletes are especially adept at strength training. Just think of the muscle someone needs to do long-distance running, for example. 

Many people worry about gaining weight when they build muscle, but as long as you still get plenty of cardiovascular exercises as well, you will simply burn body fat and gain lean muscle, which often keeps your weight the same. 

Athletes Use Supplements

Athletes understand that no matter how well they eat, the workouts they put their bodies through will take a lot out of them. Some athletes need supplements in addition to their good nutrition habits. There are several common supplements for athletes.

B Vitamins: Metabolizes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the body.

Iron: Increases endurance and energy, especially in women.

Calcium and Vitamin D: Create healthier bones, help to maintain muscle mass, and reduce the risk of fractures.

Coenzyme Q10: Decreases fatigue.

Creatine: Increases muscle mass and improves strength.

Athletes Get Plenty of Sleep

Athletes put a lot of strain on their bodies, creating minor strains and minuscule muscle tears practically every time they work out. During sleep, the body repairs these issues, which means getting enough shut-eye every night is essential

Missing out on even 30 minutes per night can increase your risk of gaining fat and losing muscle mass. Avoid late nights with friends in favor of a good book and plenty of good sleep to keep your body lean. 

Athletes Adjust Their Routines 

Bodies adapt to the foods and workouts that you give to them. Over time, they'll hit a plateau and cause you to stop gaining muscle mass or losing fat. 

Athletes switch up their routines to keep their bodies from falling victim to ongoing plateaus. This means increasing one nutrient while decreasing another, switching from weight training to cardio, or making other changes to their routine every few weeks or months.

Consider talking to your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise routine, especially if you have any underlying conditions. 

Doing so ensures that you are safe and healthy while you are on your journey to a leaner and stronger body, not to mention a happier and healthier mind. Remember, it is never too late to start treating yourself with more kindness.


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