When most people hit the gym, they usually have a target of looking leaner and more toned. Notably, this topic can be kicked off by asking ourselves if we have ever considered the possibility of losing weight and gaining muscle at the same time.
Probably Yes. To start with, combining these two concepts that seem at odds with each other is no walk in the park. In fact, you may have come across people arguing that this goal is entirely unattainable. However, that is not entirely true because there have been cases where it has proved good results.
The issue of how to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time continues to baffle people to date. The good news is that the issue doesn’t have to be a mystery anymore, since some basics of how to go about it are discussed below.
#1 Proper Nutrition
To achieve this goal, you need to consume the correct amounts of nutrients, either directly from the diet or from supplements.
Protein is the essential nutrient for muscle building. In the real sense, muscle growth is seen as a result of having a protein synthesis rate that is higher than the protein breakdown rate. You will also need to eat the right amount of carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up during the workout.
Contrary to popular belief, your intake of carbs will not interfere with your weight loss efforts. Whole grains and fresh vegetables need to be a part of your meals. It is instead beneficial because, for your body to process carbs, it produces insulin that aids muscle building by suppressing protein breakdown.
On the other hand, a perfect and healthy weight loss diet avoids refined sugars and foods with saturated fats while incorporating unsaturated fats that keep the body functioning properly.
You must also increase your intake of vitamins and minerals into your meal because their ability to burn fat and build muscles is tremendous as they assist in metabolism. The secret here is to come up with a diet that is suitable for both weight loss AND muscle gain.
#2 Customize Your Workout Plan
Since you are not in any competition, there is no need to lose weight or gain muscle at a very fast rate – this will only leave you drained. Remember you are using the same plan to achieve two different results, but that doesn’t mean you need to overdo things.
There is not a standard workout program aimed at helping you achieve the desired outcomes, so what you ought to do is to make some modifications to your current plan for it to serve the purpose.
A training specialist, in this case, will be helpful in helping you adopt a diet plan and workout routine that works best. For example, a daily cardio of 30-40 minutes that is not so intense will work just fine. Remember – consistency is essential in any workout plan.
#3 Calories Intake
Calories intake is an indispensable part of any workout or diet plan, regardless of the goal. You have to determine your maintenance calories ( the number of calories your body requires so as to carry out normal body functions and maintain the current weight ).
Knowing this will help you achieve energy balance. There isn’t a universally accepted limit because needs differ from person to person. From your maintenance limit, a calorie deficit is required to burn fat and lose weight, while a calorie surplus is needed to build muscles.
There are different ways of creating a calorie deficit such as cutting as many calories as possible from the body and reducing calorie intake. With this in mind, you will strike a balance by ensuring that any extra calories you consume are channeled towards muscle building. You will also avoid taking in excessive calories as this will trigger the fat-storing process.
#4 Lifestyle Adjustments
Are you aware that getting enough sleep aids in weight loss and muscle gain? Sleep deprivation reduces your body’s ability to carry out some functions, such as burning fat.
Chronic sleep debt will deny you the much-needed energy for workouts, and your efforts in the gym will be pretty much wasted. Resting well will ensure your brain is relaxed, and this is a significant factor in losing weight and gaining muscle because you will be more focused. It will also aid in repairing damaged muscle.
#5 Meal And Nutrient Timing
You have probably heard about nutrition timing, a concept that involves a planned alteration of nutrients ( mainly protein and carbohydrates ) aimed at manipulating body composition so as to achieve the desired workout effect. To come up with such a strategy, you will need to consider various factors such as:
- Intensity of the planned workout
- Time of the day when meals are taken
- Your level of physical fitness
- Level of body fat
- Any medication being used
- Food selection
Nutrient timing enables you to fix nutrients strategically in your dietary plan at a time when the body is most possible to utilize them, ensuring that you don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight.
An example of such a strategy would involve having a diet rich in carbohydrates around the time you are doing workouts. With that, you will have enough energy to see you through the exercise, and you will burn more calories thus leading to weight loss.
Great as these tips sound, they may not produce similar results for everyone due to other contributing factors. For example, when it comes to beginners, they are better placed in reaping benefits of any exercise undertaken.
Advanced bodybuilders may not enjoy these benefits because of their closeness to the genetic limit, meaning that their ability to gain more muscle is limited.
People whose body fat is low are also not suitable candidates for the program. This is because the human body requires some fat for maintenance. Due to this fact, their body will burn fat up to a certain limit and then start burning muscle after that.
In conclusion, the above guide will be useful in knowing how to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time so as to achieve that impressive physique that you so much desire.