How do you lose fat and gain muscle? It’s a contradiction, actually because a lot of people think that in order to gain muscle mass, you have to gain some fat, too. This is not applicable for most people. Unrealistic expectations of building more muscles lead many muscle building enthusiasts to believe that they cannot gain muscles and lose fat at the same time.
Facts about gaining muscles state that mature adults normally gain 15 pounds of muscle at most every year. However, many people tend to gain only 5 pounds of muscle at the same time duration. This is equivalent to only 1.25 pounds of muscle gained every month while maintaining the same amount of body fat. To gain more muscles, you have to add more calories in your diet. Take in 100 more calories each day so that in one month, you have an additional 3125 calories per month.
What about losing fat? You can lose fat faster than gain muscle. That is, in order to lose fat, you have to reduce your calorie intake per day while increasing your calories output. For an average person to lose weight, he or she should take in 400 calories lesser per day than they normally do. That totals to a reduction of 12,000 calories intake per month. It results to 1 pound lost per week which again totals to 52 pounds lost in one year.
Considering this equation, you’ll realize that the calories increase you need to gain muscle is relatively very small compared to the calories reduction that you need to lose fat. Now, how is it to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time? It basically means that you have to eat more and eat less altogether. To get this straight, you have to first get rid of a particular muscle gaining myth, and that is the myth that you need to eat more so that you’ll gain more muscles.
To get a better scenario about this endeavor, take a look at what your body does to the calories that it consumes. Twenty-five percent of your energy intake goes to your brain while 50% of the calories your body consumes goes to the activities that keeps you alive, such as breathing, regulating body temperature, pumping blood and replenishing dead cells. Another 20% of your body energy is allocated to your physical activities such as moving, walking and lifting. Surprisingly, only 5% of your energy is contributed to adding muscles. As you notice from this calculation, only a small amount of the calories you consume are distributed to exercise and building muscles.
Your body has 2 main requirements in order to keep you alive:
- Carbs or fat for energy that you burn
- Protein amino acids
If the food that you take in is scarce, your body comes to the rescue by way of its emergency back up system. If it deems that you are in dire emergency, your body activates this nuclear power plant that cannibalizes your muscles. You have to stop the activation of this nuclear reactor so that it doesn’t eat up your muscles. Here’s how you lose fat and gain muscle:
- Take 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. That means eating 5 to 6 equal portions of protein consumed evenly throughout the day.
- Eat just enough calories to stop sending signals to your body that you are starving. Be wary of consuming too much calories or else you’ll gain fat. A good value for this plan is to eat 10% less of your energy consumption every day. In other words, 10% calorie reduction.
- Eat proper nutrition, make every calorie count. Skip eating processed foods. Add lots of fresh vegetables to your diet
- Make a 30% calorie reduction from fat. Eat good fats instead, such as from nuts, olives and avocadoes.
- Add more whole grains to your meals as well as low G.I. carbs. Skip consuming simple carbs from alcohol, sugar and white flour. Have a daily intake of omega 3’s from salmon and flax, among other food sources.
- Be consistent in doing hardcore exercises. Ask a fitness trainer to design an appropriate workout plan for you.
- Do 30- 40 minutes of cardio daily. Cardio helps in your endeavor to lose fat and build muscle.