How to Transform from Skinny to Muscular

 March 1, 2017|  Lauren

#1 Use the 80/20 Rule

When it comes to dieting and your workout follow the 80/20 rule. That means 80% of the time both your workouts and diet should be full on, no excuses! Workouts should be given full attention, performed with intensity and drive, which means you don’t just show up to the gym, throw around some dumbbells and work your mouth more than you do your muscles! Make sure you have a proper workout program that focuses on developing all muscle groups and is built for you. In addition to the weights you also need to have a cardio component – aerobic exercise will help contribute not only to your health long-term but will also help burn calories, contributing to your caloric deficit.
As for your diet, this means following a reduced calorie diet that is high in protein, moderate in fat and low in carbs. In order to lose weight you must reduce your calorie intake by at least 500 calories per day. That means if you’re currently eating 1700 calories to maintain your weight you must eat 1200 calories to lose weight. But it’s not just about eating less; you also need to make sure you’re eating the right macronutrients to ensure muscle building and fat burning!
The remaining 20% of the time allow for rest and a few indulgences. Consistently following your workout and your diet will provide you with the best result, but allowing for a few off days and treats along the way will not only keep you happier, you’re also more likely not to cheat the rest of time!

#2 Change Your Mindset

You will not get anywhere without a positive mindset for change. Following a healthy diet and consistent workout are not just something you do for now, it has to be something you do all the time! It’s a lifestyle choice. That means you need to make a commitment to change– don’t think of working out and dieting as something forced, negative or something short-term! This is a lifestyle change for the long-run, find your motivation to change and continue to remind yourself of this.
This means, find things that make you happy during your pursuit for change. If you’re not motivated to work out on your own find a coach, a workout partner or take a class you enjoy. Not happy with your diet, find recipes and foods you like that fit within your macronutrient needs. The key is consistency and progress. If you can’t find motivation here you will fail in the long run.

#3 Set Realistic Goals

Goals are essential when it comes to transformation. Goals keep you moving forward and keep you focused, but the key is to set realistic goals that keep you progressing. Don’t set unachievable goals, set SMART goals – that is specific, measurable, achievable realistic and time based. Don’t set a goal like – I want a six pack next year. Set a goal like I will lose 10 kilos by May of next year by following a calorie reduced diet and working out 5 times per week with a trainer.
Additionally, consider breaking bigger goals into smaller goals. With each smaller goal make a plan to get there. After you complete each smaller goal, reward yourself for your achievement but also don’t be afraid to evaluate your progress. Evaluation will help you to get better and progress further on the next part of your journey. Aim for progression not perfection!

#4 Understand Knowledge is Power

If this is the first time you have decided to commit to a healthy diet or follow an exercise program, you will need to spend some time educating yourself. The more knowledgeable you are about nutrition, fitness and your body the better equipped you will be to make better choices and stick to your plan.
Understanding why you can only eat a certain amount of carbs, need to get in protein with every meal, or why you need to train with compound movements to burn more calories, isn’t simply reading a few articles on the internet, following your favorite Instagram fitness stars or following exactly what your trainer says, it’s about understanding your body and your triggers.
Use a fitness app, or fitness tracker to record your food intakes, how many calories you’re burning and if what you’re doing is making a difference. Over time you will start to understand your body and your needs and will be able to gage if you’re doing enough to make change happen.

#5 Workout with Progression

In order to really see a change in your body you need to follow a proper workout program that is designed to your specific needs and goals. You also need to consider that the program you use must change every 4 to 6 weeks in order to keep progressing. Eventually your body will plateau at which point you will stop seeing results and will need to make a change in order to keep going. Progress in your workouts includes lifting more weights, performing different rep ranges, increasing intensity, volume and using different types of movements including compound and isolation exercises, but also exercises that challenge you in different ways like functional training versus strength training.
When first beginning a workout program, enroll the help of a professional to design a program that will suit your goal, experiences and activity level. Also, a professional trainer can help to ensure your form is correct. Learning the correct form will ensure lesser chance of injury, and better results!

#6 Diet is Paramount

Changing your mindset, setting realistic goals and following a consistent workout may seem like a lot of work toward your transformation, but without really changing your diet you will not make any significant changes. The food you put into your body will make a big difference in your outcomes if you’re not eating the right foods. It’s not just about eating less.
Following a high protein diet that provides at least 40% of your daily calories, along with 30% or less carbs and fat will help ensure you’re transforming your body composition! That means you will start to burn off more fat and build more muscle. And the leaner and more muscular you are the greater your metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn and use up the food you’re putting into your body more efficiently.
Build your diet using whole, fresh foods, include plenty of fresh vegetables, some fruit, plenty of lean proteins such as chicken, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, beef, non-fat dairy, whole eggs and healthy fats such as avocadoes, nuts, seeds, olive oil and coconut oil.

#7 Leave the Hard Work to the Experts

One of the toughest things about starting any transformation is getting started. If you’re not sure how to build your diet, not sure how many calories you need or are too busy to even consider meal prep – consider enlisting the help of an expert. The Fuel Up Athlete Transformation Prep delivers not just 8-weeks of pre-built meal plans but also provide solid workout programs from top fitness experts to help guide you along your transformation. Leave the hard work to Fuel Up – we will plan, prep, portion and deliver your meals directly to your door step! Get started now — go to

 March 1, 2017 | Lauren

About the Author

Lauren Jacobsen is the Director of Nutrition for Kcal Brands and the Head of Fuel Up. Lauren has over 15 years of experience in nutrition and supplementation focused on physique athlete development. Lauren is also a former IFBB competitive figure athlete, and long time contributor to fitness magazines worldwide.

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