Losing fat and gaining muscle seem to go hand in hand when you’re trying to get in shape, however they are 2 very different and somewhat conflicting goals, making it difficult to accomplish both at once. The challenge lies with the fact that in order to lose fat you must be in a calorie deficit, to gain muscle you must have a sufficient amount of calories and protein to build with. But with that being said it is ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE to do both at the same time.
The 2 most important factors that make this goal possible are adequate amounts of protein and strength training. It’s also important to keep in mind when you’re building muscle and losing fat that you may not see a huge difference on the scale but your body composition will change, meaning your scale weight may not change as you increase your muscle while simultaneously reducing your body fat. Additionally we’ve provided the following nutrition and fitness tips to help you on your way.
- • Ensure you are fitting in sufficient amounts of protein into your diet, protein will help you to retain and build lean muscle mass even as your caloric intake is restricted. Most adults should strive for between 0.8-1.2 grams per pound of body weight while on a strength training program.
- • Retain a calorie deficit, so consuming fewer calories than you take in, determine how many calories it takes for you to maintain your weight and aim to cut 300-500 calories per day, another option is to multiply your weight by 10-13 (10 for less active individuals up to 13 for more active individuals)
- • Don’t try to accelerate fat loss by over restricting, if you cut too much at once you’ll only sabotage your efforts and be left with limited energy to complete a workout, risk slowing down your metabolism and muscle may not recover and rebuild appropriately
- • Water should be your primary beverage, aim for 4 litres per day
- • Reduce processed carbohydrates that are high in calories but have low nutrient quality.
- • Eat a high protein and carbohydrate meal in the hour or two following working out in order to increase protein synthesis and replenish glycogen stores.
- • A sample macro-nutrient ratio would look something like: 30 % protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbohydrate
- • Weight training should be done ideally 4 times per week to allow for recovery and rebuilding of the muscle tissue
- • Cardio should be performed 3-4 times per week, alternating between HIIT and less intense longer duration cardio (jogging and/or walking) this can be done in the same session or broken up into separate sessions
- • Stretching and meditation will also allow the body to recover and therefore increase the likelihood of muscle gain.
Keep in mind results don’t happen overnight, but stay consistent with your eating habits and workouts and they will come!
A sample training regimen at Elite Performance
HIIT 2X per week
StrengthFit 3x per week
PowerFit 1X per week
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A disclaimer- this article is intended to provide generic fitness & nutrition advice, it’s recommended that you consult with a Trainer or Nutritionist to determine the most effective program for you.