Can You Lose Fat and Gain Muscle At The Same Time?

Losing Fat And Gaining Muscle

Can You Do It At The Same Time?

Looking to build muscle and strength? Have a hard time shedding stubborn fat? If so, it’s time to reassess your goals. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Unless you’re on steroids, it is not biologically possible to achieve both these goals simultaneously. Even those who take anabolic drugs have a hard time shedding fat and building lean mass. However, you can slim down and preserve as much muscle as possible. A well-structured diet combined with smart training can give you that hard, muscular physique you’re after.

Why It’s Not Possible to Get Bigger AND Leaner

Most men who hit the gym want to get leaner and pack on muscle at the same time. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. If you’re just starting out, you may be able to shed fat and gain muscle simply because your body hasn’t adapted to diet and exercise yet. The same goes when you’re coming back after months of no training. However, regular gym goers can not achieve both muscle growth and fat loss simultaneously. The explanation is simple.Image result for lee priest transformation

To build muscle, your calorie intake must exceed your energy expenditure. In other words, you have to eat more calories than you burn. As a result, you’ll gain both muscle and fat. To lose fat, your energy expenditure needs to be higher than your calorie intake. This means you must consume fewer calories than you burn. When that caloric deficit is present, you might lose muscle and strength. Fat loss and muscle building are opposite goals. Thus, it’s essential to define your objectives before starting a new diet or exercise routine.

Set Clear, Realistic Goals

If you want to slim down, focus on preserving muscle. This can be done by lifting heavy and maintaining a high protein intake. You also need to keep your testosterone levels high and your metabolism up. High intensity interval training, testosterone boosters, compound exercises, and certain supplements can help.

To build muscle with minimum fat, increase your daily calories gradually. Regardless of your goals, it’s crucial to determine your macros and adjust your diet accordingly. If you eat randomly, don’t expect results. Men who are above 10 percent body fat should focus first on getting below that level while maintaining muscle. In general, a diet that comprises of 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbs, and 20 percent fats works best for this purpose. The only exceptions are hardgainers, which have higher calorie requirements and may need more carbs or fats to get enough calories in their diet. Use our calculators to help determine your best Macro Breakdown. 

How to Maximize Your Progress

There are a couple of things you can do to maximize your results in the gym and reach your goals, whether it’s fat loss or muscle growth. First of all, lift heavy enough to build and preserve muscle. Compound exercises, such as the bench press, deadlift, squat, pull-ups, chin-ups, and lunges, increase your metabolic rate and challenge your muscle into growth. These complex movements target nearly every muscle and boost your anabolic hormones. By performing heavy lifts, your body will release more testosterone and growth hormones, leading to fat loss and lean muscle growth.

Secondly, you must train at high intensity. This will rev up your metabolism and help you maintain muscle mass. A good example is high intensity interval training or HIIT. This workout method elevates metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories for up to 72 hours after you leave the gym. Unlike traditional cardio, HIIT does not burn muscle. Several studies conducted over the years indicate that steady state cardio decreases metabolic rate while burning both muscle and fat. It also raises the stress hormone cortisol levels, causing fatigue, strength loss, and decreased overall performance. High cortisol production is linked to an increased risk of abdominal obesity and muscle loss.Image result for lifting hiit

In addition to HIIT, you can complete full body circuits to get leaner, stronger, and more agile. Full body circuits provide better results in less time, engaging all muscle groups. If you still want to do cardio, keep your sessions short (30-40 minutes per day). For maximum fat loss, do 15-20 minutes of HIIT followed by another 15-20 minutes of steady state cardio.

If all you want is to get bigger, eat nutrient-dense foods, such as steak, raw nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and fatty fish. Consider using a weight gainer. When cutting, stick to high volume, low calorie foods like poultry, turkey, leafy greens, and low fat dairy. Whey protein, BCAAs, testosterone boosters, HMB, glutamine, and fat burners can help you slim down faster without losing muscle. 

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