Can I Build Muscle & Lose Weight at The Same Time?

It may seem like muscle gain goals and weight loss goals could never be part of the same fitness plan – but you’d be wrong. It’s perfectly possible to achieve both, as long you practice discipline and perseverance, before long you can gain strong lean muscle while burning body fat away.

Accomplishing both of these things at the same time is not easy, because to trigger weight loss you need to place yourself into a caloric deficit as this encourages your body to burn existing fat stores for fuel. In order to see some strong muscle gain results though, you need to be in a caloric surplus, which gives you more energy to repair and build muscle tissue.

Thankfully, it’s still possible to combine these two principles in a way so that you can gain muscle mass and lose body fat too. Keep in mind that it’s unlikely you’ll be doing both at the same rate, and that’s fine. Muscle gain is always going to take longer than losing fat, but by following some key steps, you can achieve both…

Fuel your body right

Giving your body everything it needs in terms of the right nutritional intake is of course critical to your success, whether it’s weight loss or muscle gain, or both. Regardless of how often you lift weights and exercise, having fresh nutritional balanced meal plans can really help you hit your goals. 

Speaking of nutrition, it’s essential that you pack plenty of protein into your daily meal plans. Cutting calories is of course important for shedding fat, but try to keep your protein intake strong, as it works as a powerful nutritional stimulus for building and maintaining muscle. 

Consuming enough protein will also help you feel more full, for far longer. Meaning you’ll be less tempted to snack. Even when eaten in excess, it’s the least likely nutrient to be stored as fat. How much you need to consume depends on a few factors, but generally speaking, you should consume between 0.4 to 0.55 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight for every meal.

Get some soothing sleep

Not getting enough sound shut-eye is seriously going to put a stop to any progress you make building muscle and losing fat. Even if you exercise regularly and stick to your protein filled nutritional diet, a constant lack of good sleep will prevent your body from repairing and recovering the way it needs to.

If you don’t dedicate time for quality sleep, your metabolism simply won’t function properly. This is because your nightly hormones will be affected. You’ll produce more ghrelin hormone, which encourages you to eat, and less leptin hormone, which tells you that you’re eating too much. Sleep deprivation is a sure-fire way to sabotage your waistline and stop your muscle building in its tracks. Always aim for around 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night in order to lose that fat and build bigger, stronger muscles.

Train using strength, resistance and weights 

Regular exercise is always beneficial, as it can tone your body and boost your mindset too as you release all those feel-good endorphins when you workout. For shedding fat and building muscle though it’s important to focus on the right kinds of exercises while you train. 

Focusing on strength and resistance training, using the appropriate weights, while consuming plenty of protein will work wonders for your goals. When it comes to strength training, the best exercises to focus on are squats, deadlifts, chest presses, bent-over rows and shoulder presses. As all these are what’s known as compound movements, which really work your whole body well. 

Resistance training works to stimulate the process of muscle protein synthesis, which is when your muscle tissue gets repaired. Providing you have consumed enough protein, this repair process will ensure your muscles heal and grow back bigger. When it comes to the weights you exercise with, it’s  important to make sure that your workouts are challenging you. 

So, test whether you can do over 20 reps without losing your form. If you can, this means you need to increase the weight so that you can’t do over 10 to 15 reps without eventually losing good form. If you struggle to do just 4 or 5 reps, then you need to decrease the amount you’re lifting. Sets of 10 to 15 reps lasting for around 30 to 45 seconds are ideal for allowing your muscle fibers to get the full resistance necessary to start the muscle building process.

Get more information on our meal prep plans.