Real World Clarifications And Expectations
Before getting into the strategies, we need to clarify some expectations. Because if you have no knowledge on how much you should lose, how much you should gain, or that you may technically not gain or lose anything at all youll be confused and wondering what to look for.
There are 3 things that I see happen with bodyweight and composition when people lose fat while building more muscle:
The Scale Doesnt Tell Us EVERYTHING
Losing 2-3lbs of fat and gaining 2-3lbs of muscle, leading to zero weight fluctuation at all. Which is why the scale isnt always the best way to track progress during this phase/journey. I suggest taking weekly progress photos, measurements every 1-3 weeks, and using a higher rep strength indicator .
You Gain Muscle Mass and Remain Lean
Staying the exact same body fat, while adding muscle mass onto your body and appearing to be leaner. So technically speaking, this actually isnt losing fat and building muscle its more like staying lean, while gaining muscle. But to be honest, thats just as good! In fact, for some this is even better because it allows the gains to be a bit faster.
You Shed Body Fat While Maintaining 100% of Your Muscle Mass
If you can implement these strategies to maintain 100% of your muscle while even just cutting 2-6lbs of pure body fat, you will look dramatically more jacked than you did before hand. This will absolutely look as if you gained muscle and burned body fat, which is again exactly what were shooting for here.
Its All About Calories
Okay, so that was an exaggeration. Weight and fat loss is not all about calories, but they are the foundation of every diet.
Calories are units of energy. In the fields of nutrition and exercise, calories refer to the amount of energy you get from the food you eat and the energy you expend. This includes the energy you expend exercising, from doing any kind of physical activity, and from well, just from existing. Your muscles, your organs, and all the processes they perform cost energy.
When we refer to calories in daily speech, what we really mean is kilocalories, or kcal. Kilo = thousand, so 1 kcal = 1,000 calories. Calories is casual speak. We use calories for kilocalories in this article, in order to keep it simple and easy for everyone to understand.
To lose weight and fat, you need to expend, or burn, more calories than you eat. Thats the one fact of weight and fat loss you cant get around. There are no compromises. Every single diet that allows you to lose weight does so by creating a so-called caloric deficit. There are many ways to create a caloric deficit. Some diets do so by having you count calories, some do so by restricting high-calorie foods, and some do so by relying on foods and nutrients that make you feel full and want to eat less.
Exercising Builds Muscle Mass And Helps You Lose Fat
The great thing about exercising is that a lot of exercises will burn fat and build muscle, both at the same time. Its neat, too a kind of bonus, actually that as you build muscle mass, your body burns more energy. This effect even works when we are at rest.
So, to me, that is an incentive to move as much as you can. Its a great reason to work out with intensity to get full benefits.
Thats why when I exercise, I like to use weights. To me, theres just something about pushing myself to the limit. And to boot, lifting weights can boost your metabolism.
Its been proven that hours after you have completed a strength training exercise, your resting metabolic rate is still elevated. So, the intense weight lifting session you powered through is continuing to give you calorie-busting benefits.
If you are someone who loves a cardio workout but wants the lean muscle mass building effect of weight training, HIIT may be for you. How does it work? Short bursts of exercise, like jumping rope and sprinting, can help to burn calories in quick exercise intervals. These bursts can be done throughout the day, freeing up time to concentrate on your strength training sessions.
Whichever type of exercise gets you moving is the best kind. Dont be sedentary. Move your body and combine that movement with strength training to lose fat and build lean muscle mass.
Lift weights at least twice a week, or if you can, take part in a strength training workout at least every other day.
Don’t Miss: The 7 Day Belly Melt Diet
If You’re New To Weights You’ll See Results Quickly
If you’re new to serious resistance training, lucky you: You’ll get to enjoy what’s known as “newbie gains.”
This is the rapid muscle growth that occurs when someone starts lifting weights for the first time.
“You will increase muscle tissue purely through neurological adaptations to this new stimulus,” Servante said. “The more advanced you are, the harder you need to train to gain muscle.”
Similarly, Carpenter said, those who have a higher body-fat percentage and are new to training might be able to make quicker progress.
“If someone is highly trained and very lean already, it is much more difficult,” he said.
The 12 Week Cardio Plan
It doesn’t matter which form of cardio you use for these 12 weeks. Pick something that gets your heart moving, be it treadmill, elliptical, or swimming.
The first thing you will notice about this cardio plan is that it starts slow. That’s ok. Right now you are out of shape. This program is designed to get you in shape over the course of 12 weeks.
Be patient. Trust the plan and stick to the plan. After the end of 12 weeks your level of conditioning may surprise you.
During the first 6 weeks take at least one day of rest between cardio workouts. After week 6 it is recommended that you perform cardio using a 2 days on, 1-2 days off pattern.
- Week 1 – 3 cardio sessions. 5, 8 and 5 minutes.
- Week 2 – 3 cardio sessions. 8, 10 and 8 minutes.
- Week 3 – 3 cardio sessions. 10, 12 and 10 minutes.
- Week 4 – 3 cardio sessions. 12, 15 and 12 minutes.
- Week 5 – 3 cardio sessions. 15, 20 and 15 minutes.
- Week 6 – 3 cardio sessions. 20, 20 and 20 minutes.
- Week 7 – 4 cardio sessions. 20, 22, 20 and 22 minutes.
- Week 8 – 4 cardio sessions. 22, 25, 22 and 25 minutes.
- Week 9 – 4 cardio sessions. 25, 27, 25 and 27 minutes.
- Week 10 – 4 cardio sessions. 27, 30, 27 and 30 minutes.
- Week 11 – 4 cardio sessions. 30, 35, 30 and 35 minutes.
- Week 12 – 4 cardio sessions. 35, 40, 30 and 45 minutes.
You May Like: Flat Belly Diet For Men
How Do I Maintain And Gain Muscle While Losing Weight Eat More Protein And Add Resistance Exercise
I want to lose 20 pounds. How do I maintain muscle and lose body fat?
Im a 40-year-old male who needs to lose 20 pounds. Ive cut my calorie intake and I am working out five days a week a mix of cardio and free weights. How much protein do I need to eat to maintain muscle even gain a little while I lose body fat?
To lose body fat and maintain muscle at the same time and to stay strong you need to do the right kind of exercise and follow the right kind of diet.
Cutting calories will help you lose weight. But dieting alone can strip away muscle along with body fat. Research suggests that as much as 25 per cent of weight lost by dieters is from muscle. And that’s not a good thing.
Losing muscle while on a calorie-reduced diet can hinder your performance in the gym by reducing strength and stamina. It can also slow your metabolism, so you burn fewer calories during the day, making it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it back.
The amount of muscle you have is the biggest contributor to your resting metabolism the number of calories the body burns to carry out basic functions such as breathing, keeping your heart beating and growing and repairing cells. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more you have, the higher your metabolic rate.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the ability of resistance exercise to protect against the muscle loss that typically occurs with dieting.
Losing Fat And Gaining Muscle At The Same Time
To understand why losing fat while gaining muscle can be problematic, we need to explore both processes.
Lets consider the following points:
To lose fat, your body needs to be in a caloric deficit. This deficit forces your body to use pre-existing fat stores for fuel.
To gain muscle, your body needs to be in a caloric surplus. This surplus provides the energy your body requires to repair and build bigger muscles.
Given this, losing fat at the same time one is gaining muscle seems impossible.
However, if we go a few steps deeper into the science, it IS possible!
To appreciate the nuance here, letâs get into some specifics on losing fat and gaining muscle separately, and then weâll combine them.
Also Check: How Long For Keto Diet To Work
All Of This Means Nothing If You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep And Hydration
All three experts could not stress this point enough. “If people are poor sleepers they will not burn fat as efficiently and it’s much harder to build muscle,” Khader says. The nutritionist also pointed out that people who don’t get enough sleep are always hungry which means they are at risk for consuming above and beyond the amount of calories they really need.
And there are several studies to back this up. One published by the Public Library of Science studied 1,024 people’s sleeping habits and the participants with short sleep had elevated levels of certain hormones related to appetite regulation and an increased BMI was shown as proportional to decreased sleep.
And of course the other factor, hydration is also and always super important, in body recomposition and in everyday life. “You can’t build muscle if your body is not recovered from the day before in normal life,” Catadul say. “Being hydrated and sleeping are so critical to basic human function. If you do all these things and you’re not drinking water or you’re sleeping four hours a night, it’s either not going to work at all or work so much slower than if you’re body is in a good state.” And who doesn’t want to see results?
As far as timeline goes, the experts all agree that you should start to see results within four weeks if you’ve been consistent. Within a few months, other people will start noticing. And in six months, you’ll see drastic changes. Its not easy, but its worth it, Oprea says.
Eat Carbohydrates With Protein
Research shows that consuming protein with carbohydrates aids in muscle recovery after workouts.
To optimize post-workout nourishment, you might choose a protein powder shake blended with fruit, yogurt topped with fruit or nuts, a banana with almond butter and plant milk, or grilled chicken with brown rice and veggies.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends ingesting about 20-30 grams of protein after exercise to enhance muscle building.
Read Also: How Many Carbs Per Day For 1200 Calorie Diet
Can You Eat Too Much Protein
In 2016, BBC Three reported on a man who was hospitalised after trying to ‘bulk up’. He had kidney stones, which he believed were likely to be caused by eating too much protein. He said his body couldn’t process the protein and so turned it into calcified deposits in his kidneys.
The NHS links a high-protein, low-fibre diet to recurring kidney stones. The risks associated with a high-protein diet are greater for people with a pre-existing health condition, and if you have kidney or liver damage you should consult a doctor before making changes to your diet.
Back in the 1960s and ’70s, when bulking first became a phenomenon, body builders relied on nutrient-dense, natural foods such as steak, milk and eggs. Nowadays, protein is available as shakes, bars and capsules, making it easy to consume vast amounts of it with additional sugar and calories without getting full.
If you want to take a protein supplement, British Dietetic Association clinical and sports dietitian Rick Miller suggests sticking to the recommended serving size and never taking more than is needed.
What Should I Eat To Gain Muscle And Lose Fat
- Non-fat Greek yoghurt – a delicious addition to breakfasts with fruit or granola and at 10% protein with bone-strengthening calcium, it is a nutritional powerhouse.
- Shellfish prawns are low fat and about 25% protein, but make sure you avoid fatty dressings or sauces if you are adding prawns to salad or pasta. Other shellfish such as scallops, mussels and crab, also provide protein with very little fat.
- Chicken breast also about 25% protein, chicken breast is a go-to protein source for busy people as it is easy to prepare, or buy pre-cooked for an easy lunch.
- Almonds these make a great snack and they are about 20% protein, so a fantastic alternative to crisps or biscuits if you are feeling peckish between meals.
Also Check: What Is The Best Diet Pill Prescribed By Doctors
Eat Protein Every Day To Lose Fat And Build Muscle
Protein is essential to both fat loss and muscle gain. For fat loss, include protein in every meal to have an increased thermic effect. You see, protein-rich foods help to increase your metabolism because your body requires more energy to digest them.
Which foods increase the thermogenesis, or fat burning process?
- Chicken and turkey
- Cottage cheese and full-fat yogurt
- Red meat like pork and beef
Use Calories To Your Transformation Advantage
Before we talk about using training to optimize your physique we need to look at your diet. While the old saying you cant out-train a bad diet might not be strictly true, one thing is for sure its damned hard to.
Calories control what happens to your weight.
If you work hard in the gym but over-consume food youll not lose weight or fat. If youre trying to bulk up but struggle to get enough energy in your body you just wont trigger muscle growth.
Why is calorie intake so important when youre on a muscle transformation plan?
Calories provide the fuel that your body needs to function. But it only needs so much before it stores the extra as fat.
If you consume more calories than you need, youll store the extra energy as adipose tissue in your fat cells. Thats the bottom line.
Its kind of like having too much cash in your pockets and deciding to put the extra in the bank. Your body wont throw away any excess funds but it will store them for later.
This is called an energy surplus or positive energy balance.
If you want to maximize muscle gain then you need that extra energy to build some new muscle cells. Instead of being stored as fat, itll get sent to your muscles instead.
Okay, a tiny bit might get stored as fat, but to really get muscular its what youll need to do particularly if youre a thin guy with no muscle mass.
A calorie surplus of around 20% on top of maintenance works well.
Recommended Reading: Best Mayonnaise For Keto Diet
Vitamin Minerals Herbs And Fibre Consumption:
Many bodybuilders make this mistake of underrating the importance of vitamins in their diet. They get so busy stocking up on proteins that they end up neglecting vitamins completely. Vitamin D is one vital nutrient that every bodybuilder should include in his daily diet. It is needed to strengthen bones, promote brain health, improve protein synthesis in the body and most importantly control hormonal synthesis. Other important nutrients that should be included in your diet are Vitamins B, Vitamin C , and Vitamin E.In the same way, fibers are crucial for a bodybuilders lean muscle diet as they have a broad range of benefits like decreasing LDL, stabilizing blood sugar, curing constipation and fighting cancer cells.Now that we are done discussing the importance of each nutrient that we add with our diet, here is a detailed eight-course Indian lean muscle meal plan for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians to gain lean muscle mass.
Low Carb Bodybuilding Meal Plan
In this Low Carb Bodybuilding Meal Plan, dont confuse low carbs with no carbs. The idea is to minimize carbohydrate intake so that you can burn more fat.
This type of meal plan is for you if
- You need to drop weight fast
- Youre prepping for a contest of photoshoot
- You want to look good for the beach or pool
- You are carb sensitive and need a healthy eating plan
What Im going to harp on is minimal carbs, and the timing of those carbs .
Heres your low carb meals below.
You May Like: Blender Diet Recipes For Weight Loss
Eat Plenty Of Protein
Knowing how much to eat depends on your body-fat levels. If you don’t have much fat to lose, Carpenter suggests continuing maintenance-calorie consumption.
If you have more fat to lose, going into a slight calorie deficit might help you achieve your goals, the important word here being “slight.”
If you drop your calories too low, it’ll be a lot harder to hold on to your muscle, let alone build it.
“You’re likely to lose muscle tissue, feel run down, and potentially fall off the bandwagon,” Emily Servante, a certified personal trainer at Ultimate Performance Personal Training, told Insider.
As the two studies suggested, eating enough protein is essential for body recomposition.
“This is key for retaining and building lean muscle, which we want to fuel when dieting,” Servante said, adding that “more lean tissue also prevents negative adaptations such as lowered metabolism.”
There’s no clear-cut figure for exactly how much protein you should eat, but Carpenter recommended 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight per day as “a good protein target for maximizing resistance-training adaptations,” a fancy term for increasing muscle mass. That suggestion is supported by research.
A post shared by Ben Carpenter on Feb 27, 2020 at 9:51am PSTFeb 27, 2020 at 9:51am PST
How much of the other macronutrients you eat is less important, but make sure you eat enough of each for your all-around health and energy.