How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle at Same Time

How to lose weight and build muscle at the same time: a complete guide

Build muscle and burn fat at the same time. It sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Why can’t you do it? Well, some people say it’s impossible. Others believe you must follow a “special” diet and training program. Still, others say that steroids are indispensable here. They are all wrong.

Building muscle and burning fat simultaneously (body recomposition) is possible for simple “naturals.” It’s doable and doesn’t require esoteric knowledge, arcane/fancy techniques, and anabolic drugs. But there is a catch here. Depending on your body composition, training experience, and other factors, you may or may not be up to the task.

So, in this article, I will try to explain how and for whom recomposition works and what exactly needs to be done to burn fat and build muscle simultaneously.

To burn fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. This is known as a calorie deficit, without which fat loss is impossible. No matter what you eat, you won’t burn fat if you take in more calories than you burn.

How to burn fat and build muscle at the same time?

1. Create a Moderate Calorie Deficit

If you eat more than you spend, the muscles will grow, but the fat will not burn. Therefore, a calorie deficit is a must. But it should be moderate to avoid loss of muscle mass, constant fatigue, and psychological problems.

But what deficit is too big? What does this golden mean?

The daily deficit minus 300 calories (about 12% below their daily energy expenditure).

A calorie deficit forces your body to adapt differently. It all depends upon your fat percentage. However, you need to create a 5% to 10% caloric deficit if you are in lean physics and do not have that much body fat. If you think you are on the higher side in terms of fat percentage, your caloric deficit should be 5 to 20 % but don’t go above 20 % otherwise, you might lose muscles as well.

Thus, you can significantly reduce the calorie content of the diet, but do not overdo it. I recommend a 20-25 percent deficit for fat loss.

2. Hit two body parts in one session

What are basic exercises?

If you are doing chest work on Monday, then you should also include any isolation workouts like a chest with triceps or a chest with biceps.  Basic exercises involve several major muscle and joint groups and also require a lot of effort. Examples are the squat, deadlift, bench press, and military press. Isolation exercises involve one muscle group and require significantly less effort. Examples: lifting dumbbells to the biceps, bringing the arms together in a crossover, and spreading the arms with dumbbells to the sides while standing.

To get maximum muscle mass and strength, you need to focus on compound exercises. This has long been known in the bodybuilding community, and there is also relevant scientific data [8].

Therefore, it is not for nothing that the most popular training programs for gaining muscle mass focus on multi-joint exercises. They work.

Why are compound exercises better for muscle growth?
Researchers have named two main reasons why heavyweights are better at gaining muscle mass:

Higher mechanical load on the muscles. On the other hand, high-rep training causes more metabolic stress.
Better activation of muscle fibers. This, in turn, improves muscle adaptation [9] and muscle growth.
So what can we learn from this study

Focus on progressive overload.

In the study described, subjects increased the weight on the bar after completing the required number of repetitions (after 2 workouts). The key here was the emphasis on overloading the muscles, not increasing the number of repetitions.

3. Do HIIT Cardio

You can burn fat without cardio, but if you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, you need to do cardio. You can accelerate the loss of deposits with a simple walk, but to maximize the results, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is indispensable.

HIIT is a training style that alternates between periods of high intensity and active rest. You should work at the maximum during high-intensity intervals, while the rest period provides an opportunity to restore breathing.

Yes, a few 30-second sprints burn more fat than an hour on the treadmill.

The exact mechanisms behind the benefits of HIIT are not yet fully understood, but scientists have identified many factors [15]:

Increased metabolic rate within 24 hours after training.
Increased sensitivity to insulin in the muscles.
Higher levels of fat oxidation in the muscle.
A surge in growth hormone levels (which aids in fat loss) and catecholamines (chemicals your body produces to mobilize body fat).
Appetite suppression after exercise.
Science makes it clear that HIIT is your choice if you want to burn as much fat as possible in the shortest time.

4. Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation negatively affects both muscle growth and fat burning.

Research shows that sleep deprivation causes hormonal disturbances that can cause muscle loss, which explains why sleep deprivation is associated with muscle atrophy. If you take 8 to 9hr sleep, then you will feel and perform your next training session with full intensity

5. High Protein Diet

Protein is necessary for muscle mass gain. However, given how much protein you need to consume each day to promote muscle building, protein smoothies can be extremely beneficial. It’s also an excellent choice for a post-workout meal.

Every three hours or so, consume 20-40 grams of protein. Dietitians recommend that most people strive for 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day since it is satiating, improves muscle recovery, and reduces muscle loss when in a calorie deficit.

6. Creatine

Creatine is a substance produced in the body and found in foods such as red meat. This is perhaps the most researched substance among sports supplements. Its effects have been studied in hundreds of studies.

Creatine helps:

gain muscle mass and increase strength
improve anaerobic endurance
reduce muscle damage and soreness
You may have heard that creatine is bad for the kidneys, but these claims have been categorically and repeatedly debunked. In healthy individuals, creatine has been shown to have no harmful side effects in the short and long term.  However, people with kidney disease are advised not to consume creatine.

If you do not have kidney problems, I strongly recommend using creatine. It’s safe, cheap, and effective.

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