When people set their minds to starting a new diet and workout program, they sometimes do not think about what they are looking for in terms of results. Often people will want to achieve every possible benefit–improved health, a muscular body, and a more slender look.

Unless the diet and workout is a hybrid of approaches, however, it may be difficult to obtain all of these desired goals. Different types of diets and workouts can run contrary to someone’s goals. Here is a look at three different types of workout goals, and how to achieve the best results.

Improved Health

For improved health, the best approach is one that is varied. A workout that has a regular cardiovascular component is important, but there should also be a weight-training component. Different studies discuss how weight-training benefits a person’s health in different ways, from weight loss, to strength of bones, to decreasing the risk of diabetes.

Weight-training does not need to be too aggressive, but should be substantial enough to help with some weight-loss, and improved strength. The weight-training aspect should allow for days off and time for the muscles to recuperate to avoid injury. Mixing weight training with running or stair climbing ensures that the body is working in as many ways as possible.

Determining what a healthy diet is can be difficult with so much information from new articles and books which sometimes have opposing views. There are, however, certain areas of diet where there is consensus. Avoiding processed foods and sugars completely is a quick way to improve someone’s health. While both paleo and vegan diets disagree regarding proteins, they both praise vegetables, particularly leafy green vegetables. By cutting out junk foods and improving the intake of vegetables, a person’s health should improve. Using fundamental good health, a person can then decide on how to optimize their diet further.

Building Muscle

For a muscular body, a person should tailor their diet and exercise toward a high-protein diet and an intense weight-training program. The goal is to reduce body fat and build muscle.

An intense workout should emphasize the use of heavy weights. Low weight and high repetitions will not necessarily lead to a defined body. Lifting heavy weights will make the body muscular, and on its own, will not make the body bulky.

A person should instead use their diet to control the size or bulkiness of their body. A high-protein diet is essential for muscle development. For vegans, they will need to use protein supplements to ensure they can meet their targets.

A paleo diet is great for making the body lean. Sometimes, however, the paleo diet may make the body appear too thin because it is difficult to consume a high amount of calories. To add size, a person may look to break from paleo and add high amounts of dairy to their diet.

Weight Loss

Increasing someone’s exercise output will ensure progress toward weight loss. To be as efficient as possible, a workout should burn many calories. While people seeking weight loss often focus on plenty of cardio, it is better to incorporate weight lifting exercises. As mentioned under the building muscle category, lifting weights should not make the body bulky unless the diet focuses on high caloric intake.

Two popular and effective ways of losing weight are paleo and calorie limiting diets. The paleo diet works by removing sugars, both refined and as carbohydrates. Eliminating these sugars, processed foods, breads, grains, and diary, helps a person achieve weight loss.

Another effective method for weight loss is limiting the amount of daily calories. Different websites and applications have tools for keeping track of calorie consumption. On these websites, a person can set their target weight. An ideal program will gradually cut the daily calorie limit.

Everyone can achieve their goals with greater ease when they specifically define what they want. When a person knows what they want, they have a better chance at success. Once they achieve their goals, a person can set new goals, and modify their workout and diet accordingly.