Many people don’t believe in the possibility of losing fat while building muscle at the same time. It’s largely held that you need to work on one before you can work on the other.
However, it’s all about eating right and exercising right. With proper training, you can be well on your way to achieving the body of your dreams.
Aim to Lose Fat and Not to Lose Weight
Many people who are unsatisfied with their weight will claim that they want to lose weight. However, losing weight means losing both fat and muscle mass, which is not ideal. But what people actually want to achieve is to maintain or increase muscle mass while losing fat.
To lose fat while gaining muscle mass at the same time, you’ll need to check your diet and consume the right types of food. You’ll also need to combine your diet with a proper training regimen.
These are the foods you need to take and the exercises you need to perform to build muscle and lose fat:
Foods That You Should Take
Losing fat while building muscle is also called recomping. To recomp, you’ll need to be at a calorie deficit, which means going slightly low on your daily calorie intake.
Take note that immediately reducing your calorie intake by a large margin means that you’ll not only lose body fat, but you’ll also lose muscle mass as well.
Try and consume 1.6 grams of protein for every kilogram you have. Other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates and fats, are not all that important as long as you consume a good amount of these nutrients.
Examples of protein-dense foods include:
- Lean Chicken Breast: Poultry meats, such as ground turkey and chicken breast, provide an excellent source of protein. When it comes to lean chicken, you won’t have to worry about packing on body fat. Chicken breast is one of the leanest types of meats and it’ll provide 32.1 grams of proteins per 100 grams of serving.
- Pork Chops: When opting for pork, go for the lean cuts such as lean pork chops. These can provide an excellent source of protein, especially when you’re exercising to gain muscle and lose fat. Per 100 gram serving, you’ll get 31 grams of protein.
- Tuna: If you’re a fan of seafood, then you may want to consider tuna as a source of protein. This tasty fish is packed with healthy proteins and little fat. A 100 gram serving of tuna provides your body with 29 grams of protein.
- Beef: It would be hard to miss beef when looking for great sources of protein. Make sure, however, that you opt for the lean cuts. 100 grams of beef provides you with 28 grams of protein.
- Low-Fat Yogurt: Low-fat yogurt is a great pre-workout drink. It’ll provide the body with the energy and nutrients required to build muscle right before you begin your training.
Low-fat yogurt provides your body with 5.7 grams of protein per 100-gram serving.
Fat Burner Supplements
In addition to consuming protein-dense food, you may also want to try fat burner supplements. These supplements increase your body’s metabolism, allowing you to burn more fat during the day compared when you’re only following a training regime.
Fat burners are only effective when used correctly with a good diet and training program. Hence, it’s important to consult your trainer and should never overdose.
Exercises You Should Do
Reduce the Cardio
Contrary to what you may already hear, cardio is not the best type of exercise when trying to lose fat and build muscle.
But how much cardio should you do each week? Many people think that they need to go on the treadmill for 15 minutes. However, doing an extended session of cardio could cause you to lose muscle mass.
When on the treadmill, take it slow and go on a walking pace. This is because the body uses fat when doing low-intensity cardio. Thus, you’re going to lose fat without losing much muscle mass.
Resistance Training and Progressive Overload
To help you maintain muscle and prevent you from losing it, you need to perform resistance training. Examples of exercises that you could do are bench press, squats, barbell rows, bicep curls, and triceps extensions.
However, if you want to build more muscle, you’ll need to incorporate progressive overload, too, which means lifting heavier weights. Another way to build muscle is to increase the number of reps that you take.
Resistance training and progressive overload allow the body to adapt to new pressures, helping build more muscles.
If you’ve just started training, then you can expect to see rapid growth, which is called newbie gains. However, as you progress in weight lifting, these gains become harder.
A huge part of your training will involve strength training. You can use strength training to increase your heart rate, ensuring that your body is burning fat. While lifting weights helps build muscle, strength training will ensure that your body is burning fat long after you leave the gym.
Here are some examples of strength training exercises that you need to do:
- Climbing stairs
- Using resistance bands
The reason strength training is so effective at burning fat is that the body requires energy to build muscle. Since the body will be building muscle after leaving the gym, it’ll continue to use fat as a source of energy.
For instance, you could combine strength training exercises, such as squats, while using weights that allow you to go up to 20 reps, then combine this with short intense cardio bursts. This will keep the heart rate up, prolonging fat burning.
Losing weight shouldn’t imply losing both fat and muscles, as this can be unhealthy. But what people mean when they say they want to shed off a couple of extra pounds is they want to eliminate fats while maintaining or gaining muscle mass.
Many people are not aware that it’s possible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. This requires you to make improvements on your diet while also doing the right exercises. Combining strength training and cardio, for instance, can help you lose fat and build muscle.