Choose a high protein brekkie - Women's Health & Fitness

4. Choose a high protein brekkie
The common ‘girl brekkie’ of cereal and fruit is a doozy despite its low fat count (and the fact that women’s fuel usage comprises a greater proportion of carbs than men’s).

Here’s the thing. To grow muscle the broad brush rule is that you can’t be in a caloric deficit and build muscle – which is why people tend to focus on fat loss or muscle gain in turn.

You’ll at least need to ‘eat back’ what you burn, if not clock a slight energy intake surplus. But here’s the clincher: macronutrient ratio counts. While 40 per cent carbs, 40 per cent protein and 20 per cent fat should favour muscle, if you’re in a caloric surplus, 80 per cent carbs, 10 per cent protein and 10 per cent good fats is more likely to add body fat. Protein – and its constituent amino acids – is like a muscle house brick; if you don’t take in enough to repair your muscles, not only will you not develop ‘tone’, your body will tuck into existing muscle for protein. Also ensure your carbs are low-GI to control secretion of insulin, which promotes fat storage. (Calc your percentages once you’ve got your TDEE.)