How to Lose Weight and Build Muscle at the Same Time
Is it possible to lose weight and build muscle at the same time? “It’s a myth,” old-school fitness trainers will say. Their arguments are convincing: to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit, and to gain muscle mass, a noticeable surplus. These are mutually exclusive factors. This could be the end, but a lot of research and practical experience of eminent coaches prove that killing two birds with one stone is real.
Let me tell you more.
What is recomposition?
This is the name of the process of restructuring the body. Its essence is simultaneously destroying the fat layer and increasing muscle mass. There is an opinion that such metamorphoses are possible only for beginners in fitness. Those who have long been familiar with the barbell in flight. Such an opinion seems logical. It has been proven that the peak of muscle growth occurs at the beginning of strength training until the muscles have adapted to the loads.
Catabolic (those that contribute to weight loss) and anabolic (responsible for muscle growth) processes that cannot simultaneously occur in the body have long remained indisputable facts in the sports world.
Can you convert fat to muscle?
It is impossible to turn fat into muscle – this is nonsense from the point of view of physiology. But with proper exercise and nutrition, fat can be used as fuel for muscle growth. This is only possible with a calorie deficit. If you do not cut calories and exercise, the muscles will grow, but the fat will remain with you.
About 80 studies on this topic were analyzed. The conclusions are as follows: even experienced athletes can lose weight and gain muscle simultaneously. It is easier to recompose a body with a high percentage of fat.
Based on the results of the experiments, important conditions for body recomposition were identified: sleep, eat, and exercise.
Dream. Sleep deprivation burns muscles. Experiments were conducted, losing weight with the same training regimen and nutrition were divided into two groups. The weight loss was the same. But those who consistently lacked sleep lost muscle mass, not fat. In the group where they slept the prescribed norm, the muscles did not go away and even increased in volume.
Protein. Recomposition is achieved on a calorie deficit. Daily energy intake should be 30-40% less than usual (the one designed to maintain weight), while the protein rate in the diet is even higher than that on the mass gain – 2.6-3.4 g / kg. For example, your weight is 60 kg; if you want 50, reduce calories by 30% and eat 200 grams each. Protein per day.
Plus, supplementing whey protein has been shown to boost muscle growth when combined with resistance training programs (Study Link)
The recomposition process requires patience. Losing no more than 0.5-0.7% of body weight is recommended per week. Recall that regardless of the goal of losing weight or rebuilding the body, medicine does not recommend losing weight faster than 1% of the total weight in a week. With more intense weight loss, many toxins enter the bloodstream, formed during fats’ breakdown.
Workout. Do strength exercises for 5-8 reps close to failure. Be sure to progress in performance and increase working weight constantly.
A meta-analysis of ten trials found that resistance training twice a week was more effective than exercising once a week at optimizing muscle growth. Study Link (20).
Workouts don’t have to be long. Better 5 times a week for 20 minutes than 3 lessons for an hour. This is due to the release of cortisol, which breaks down muscle fibers, especially when there is a calorie deficit.
I am Ankit Sharma Nutrition Consultant. My approach is holistic and customized to enable you to achieve true wellness – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am from India but have clients across the globe. I can work with you to say goodbye to counting calories and short-term solutions. You will achieve long-term sustainable change in the way that they are eating, moving, living, and believing.