Can you lose weight and gain muscle at the same time
Everybody is chasing the mythical grail of losing fat while attempting to gain muscle at the same time. People restrict their diets to only a thousand or so calories, and work out twice a day, and then feel weak, lose muscle mass, and crash. Or they eat only protein, or they workout first thing in the morning, or any other method to gain that muscle mass and lose that fat. And you know what? Almost all of them fail. Why? Because they’re trying to force their body to do something it didn’t evolve to. Let’s look at what your body was designed to do, and see why this goal is nearly impossible to accomplish.
Your body is an incredibly complicated machine. It has been evolving for over millions of years to become what you are today. It is the result of countless evolutionary changes, all of them adopted to help you become more adept at surviving and having children. Notice that it hasn’t evolved to make you look great, or be super muscular, or lean and ripped. It’s evolved to survive, and as far as it’s concerned, you might as well still be living in the stone ages.
What does this mean? That your body needs an efficient way to store energy for the lean and hungry times. In the old days, it was boom and bust, rich feast on Monday, starvation for the rest of the week. The way your body stores this energy is called bodyfat, and your body loves it. Fat is an efficient, easy way to store energy, can hold as much energy as you can store, and requires little energy itself to maintain. All awesome from your body’s point of view.
Why? Because if you’ve got a nice layer of fat and there’s no food to be had, the more likely you’ll be to survive until food becomes available again. Think about bears and hibernation. Same principle applies. So whenever there is plenty of food, your body stores it as fat, preparing for the lean days, weeks or months. However, today, most people in the US have only times of plenty; there are no more starvation periods. Which means your body’s mechanism to prepare for lean times actually hinders us, especially when you consider our lowered exercise levels. So while our genetics have remained the same, the environment has changed drastically.
What about muscle? Our ancestors weren’t ripped; most likely they were lean enough and muscled enough to get around, but they weren’t carrying tons of muscle; that amount of dead weight would prove a liability, and is very energy demanding. That’s why we tend to break down muscle so quickly whenever we diet. Our ancestors probably depended more on their brains for capturing prey then muscle, and that’s why we don’t tend to bulk up with muscle easily; we’ve evolved to be fat, small and smart, not ripped, huge and dumb.
That’s the beginning reason of why it’s so hard to lose weight and gain muscle; we’ve evolved to gain weight and carry a minimum amount of muscle. Trying to reverse both those trends at once is simply going against our evolution.
How to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle at the Same Time
Weight loss requires that you eat fewer calories each day than you normally eat and that you engage in activities that burn stored fat and calories. You build muscle by engaging in strength training exercises. You can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. In fact, building muscle through strength training will help you lose weight quicker by burning more calories.
Lose weight Gain muscle: (1) Losing Weight
To lose weight and maintain a healthy weight you need to follow a balanced diet and engage in some form of physical activity regularly. Physical activity such as regular exercise is good for controlling your body weight as well as appetite. It also helps prevent cardiovascular disease. When planning a weight loss diet, avoid ‘quick fix’ diets. Instead choose a diet that you can keep to all the time and not just when you’re planning to lose weight.
As a general guide, if you eat more calories than you need, you will start gaining weight. In terms of diet, choose one that is rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Eat less sugary foods and avoid fatty foods. Many lifestyle activities such as gardening and doing housework burns calories and contribute to weight loss. You can build muscle tissue and burn more calories by increasing your daily exercise and activity. Regular exercise such as brisk walking and running for 30 minutes or more regularly is an excellent way to burn calories and lose weight.
Lose weight Gain muscle: (2) Gaining Muscle
Did you know that metabolism is linked to your weight? Metabolism is the process where the body converts the food that you eat into energy. Even when your body is not engaged in any physical activity it still requires energy for basic functions such as breathing, circulating blood and growing or repairing cells. The rate at which the body burns calories while it is at rest is called the Basal metabolic rate. Increasing muscle mass can help increase your metabolism.
Strength training exercises help build muscle mass which is a key factor in weight loss. If you have less muscle, you burn fewer calories. Some health experts suggest that if you want permanent weight loss, you must concentrate on strength training, weight training or resistance training exercises. These exercises build muscle and building muscle is considered to be an essential part of controlling body fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will be able to burn.
Lose weight Gain muscle: (3) Diet & Strength Training Exercises
Although it’s your metabolism that determines your energy levels, food intake, muscle mass and the level of physical activity is what determines your weight. Strength training exercises such as weight lifting can help you lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. To lose weight and gain muscle, you need to eat a healthy diet, increase physical activity and engage in strength training exercises to build muscle.
Lose weight Gain muscle: (4) Eat the right pre-workout snack at the right time.
Making sure that you are consuming a low carb protein bar approximately 90 minutes prior to your workout helps you burn more calories which then speeds up weight loss. It is vital that you do this 90 minutes before your workout and not one minute later.
Lose weight Gain muscle: (5) Nose breathe
While it seems insane, breathing through your nose instead of your mouth will help stabilize your heart rate. This allows you to work our longer and burn more calories, hence speeding up weight loss.
Lose weight Gain muscle:(6) Do you cardio exercises last.
The fact is that our bodies take 15 minutes to warm up and burn fat. So if you are working out for 30 minutes, your body is really only benefiting from the second half of that workout. So do strength training first so that body is already warmed up and then finish with a little cardio.
Lose weight Gain muscle:(7) Exercise Right
In order for you to build muscles you need to exercise effectively and efficiently. It is important for you to pay attention on exercises that engage lots of muscles at the same time rather than concentrating on exercises that target a specific muscle group. It is advisable to target working out the entire body each session. During your workout sessions, you can alternate exercises that focus on the upper body as well as the lower body. For better results, it is advisable to workout at least six times a week.
Lose weight Gain muscle:(8) Reduce Your Cardio Workout
Cardiovascular exercises are a great way of increasing stamina and also burning fat. However, your aim here is not to lose weight or burn fat but to gain weight and build muscles. Therefore instead of engaging in highly intensive training which involves too much cardio, go for less intensive cardio activities like walking, or bicycle riding for not more than one hour per week. Additionally, you can engage in interval training which will help in increasing muscle mass for instance sprinting for 2 minutes and slowing down to a comfortable slow pace for a couple of minutes. Doing these, three times a week will ensure that you build lean muscles while at the same time increase weight.
Lose weight Gain muscle:(9) Train Hard And Go Heavy
It is true to say that no pain no gain. In order for you to gain weight and build more muscles you need to train hard. Focus on lifting heavier weights. Among the best exercises to concentrate on, are compound exercises for example dead lifts, bench press, squats, pull-ups and rows. These exercises increase testosterone hormones in the body which is responsible in boosting power and building muscles. Ensure that you stay between 10 – 20 reps per muscle group and your sets should last between 40 – 70 seconds.
Lose weight Gain muscle:(10) Eat Right
For you to increase weight, you need to eat right. It is recommended that you eat five to six meals a day. These meals should be high in proteins, carbohydrates as well as other essential nutrients. This will give your body the required raw material to build muscles and your metabolism something to burn fat and produce more energy. Protein is the key ingredient in building muscles while carbohydrate is needed for weight gain. Therefore ensure that you eat foods rich in carbohydrates as well as foods rich in proteins.
Lose weight Gain muscle:(11) Rest
Ensure that you get adequate rest each and every day. Additionally you should have a resting period between sets and exercises as you work out. Getting adequate sleep at night is essential in ensuring that the muscles recover and grow as expected. You should rest for at least eight hours every night.