Is it Possible to Lose Fat And Build Muscle at The Same Time?10 September 2019
Weight loss and muscle gain seems like something you can’t possibly accomplish at the same time. Many in the fitness world would argue that you can either choose between focusing on shedding fat or doubling down on your muscle gain meal prep plans.
This is because in order to induce weight loss your body needs to be in a caloric deficit, which forces your body to burn through your existing fat stores for fuel. You need the opposite to gain muscle, as this requires a caloric surplus, in order for you body to have enough energy to repair and build bigger muscles.
So that’s it then, losing fat and building muscle at the same time is out of the question.
Well, actually… no it isn’t! Because if we explore a little deeper, it’s perfectly possible to combine your weight loss and muscle gain goals so that you can accomplish both simultaneously!
“It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!”
Building muscle mass and strength while burning fat is a challenge, but it is perfectly possible with perseverance and dedication.
Works better for beginners
The good news is that if you’re already in a situation where you are carrying excess weight that you’d like to lose, it’s actually going to be easier for you to replace the unwanted fat with lean muscle.
In fact, if you’re a beginner when it comes to working out, then you’re more likely to see faster results for both weight loss and muscle gain. When you first start weight training, your body is highly responsive. This responsiveness means you can build and form new muscle quite quickly. A study from the US Sports Academy showed how overweight beginners managed to lose more than 16 pounds of fat while gaining close to 10 pounds of muscle, over a training period that lasted 14 weeks.
They started with weight to lose, and therefore were able to gain a good amount of muscle while shedding the fat. Because their starting weight was heavier, there was still plenty of stored energy to direct towards muscle growth even when calories were cut.
Essentially, if you’ve never trained with weights before, you’ll find it initially easier to replace unwanted fat with muscle. It’s only once you start gaining lean muscle for a super toned look that you’ll find things get progressively more difficult. Take bodybuilders for example; they’ll be putting far more work into maintaining their muscle mass while preparing for contests.
In order to start losing fat, you need to put yourself in a calorie deficit. This is when you’re taking in less energy from food that your body needs to move, workout, break down and synthesise new muscle, protein etc. Without the extra fuel your body needs from food, it will look to fill the energy gap elsewhere, which just happens to be the fat you’re currently storing.
You can achieve this in a number of ways, from cutting out all that junk food to practising some intermittent fasting. Whichever way you choose, being in a deficit, will mean that you’ll start burning away more fat effectively. It’s essential when it comes to weight loss, because if you’re currently consuming more energy than you’re burning, you’ll never get leaner.
The calorie deficit will also force your body to adapt in other ways, in particular it will induce a decrease in anabolic hormone levels and a further reduction in your rate of protein synthesis. Essentially, the two processes which will have a direct impact on your ability to create new muscle proteins. This is where many people tend to make mistakes, which result in impaired muscle building and accelerated muscle loss.
Now, if you want to gain muscle while shredding the fat, you’ll need plenty of protein. Get yourself a muscle gain meal prep plan together that packs in plenty of protein. When you combine this with lifting weights, it will work wonders for helping your body build strong, lean muscle while you burn away the fat.
Making sure that you’re eating enough protein as part of your muscle gain meal prep is absolutely essential. It’s the most important thing you can do when you want to build muscle and lose fat.
Studies have shown that those who train on a protein-rich diet, which means consuming around one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, will see better results as they convert fat into lean muscle. Of course the training also needs to be as intense as possible, which means lifting weights and doing HIIT throughout each week.
Weight loss and muscle gain
When you combine intense training with high-protein muscle gain meal prep, it’s perfectly possible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. Even when you put yourself in a calorie deficit, a higher protein intake plus weight training will allow you to build muscle. Or at the very least retain the muscle you have while shredding the fat.
Keep in mind, that losing fat and gaining muscle at the same rate is rare, unless you’re overweight before you start, returning to exercise or you’ve just got great genetics etc. So don’t expect to gain muscle at as fast a rate as you burn fat, but it is still achievable to do both. You might see things promising that you be able to replace every pound of fat lost with one pound of muscle. But most will be able to gain a small amount of muscle while losing a larger amount of fat, which is perfectly normal.
As mentioned, if you’re returning to exercise and you usually lift weights, then you’ll be able to build muscle back faster, and lose fat simultaneously. This is because of your body’s natural muscle memory kicking in. If you’ve been in shape in the past, then muscle lost can be re-built more quickly, when compared to initially building it in an untrained state.
If you are looking to lose weight and build muscle, cut back on your usual calorie intake and choose our 28-day muscle gain meal plan instead. This way you can train hard at the gym and ensure you’re getting expertly crafted meals that are full of all the protein you need to succeed.