How to lose weight and gain muscle with the right plan
Lots of people want to have bigger muscles, but they also want to lose fat and make themselves into the perfect sculpted body they desire.
The facts are that if you truly want to do both of these at the same time, it is possible and you don’t have to take steroids, follow a complicated training program, or eat a strict diet.
In this article, you’re going to learn the best way to lose fat and gain muscle as well as the best supplements for weight loss and muscle gain.
How Does Losing Fat While Gaining Muscle Work?
Another name for losing fat and gaining muscle is body recomposition. Body recomposition is when you are trying to mold your body into a leaner, more muscular image.
In order to do that, you first need to understand the principle of body recomposition and how it works. It isn’t impossible, but it may not be simple for some people.
Protein synthesis is part of what it takes to build muscle and lose fat. The body’s cells undergo a process every day where the dead or damaged cells are removed and the body makes new cells to replace them. It does this via 2 paths protein synthesis and protein degradation. Protein degradation means getting rid of the bad cells.
Most regular people maintain a steady ratio of lean body mass and they don’t either gain or lose muscle at a fast rate.
That’s because that kind of tissue is pretty stable and has a regular cell regeneration balance under normal circumstances.
People start to lose lean muscle when they age unless they take steps to prevent it, but otherwise it is basically normal routine to build muscle at a basic rate.
Training Makes Bodies Adjust to New Muscle Making Schedule
When someone decides to start training their body, then that tells the body to produce a different routine of cell maintenance. Then the body increases the synthesis of protein to make new cells to replace the cells that get damaged when someone trains.
In fact, this causes our bodies to try to adjust to the new rate of damage/replacement to get ahead of the game and add on more layers of new cells to the muscles, thus causing them to grow and strengthen.
New muscles we see appearing are in reality the cycle of the synthesis of protein building new cells faster than the protein breakdown can get rid of damaged or dead cells.
This is why bodybuilders stress eating protein so much, they are trying to heighten their body’s rate of protein creation and lessen the loss of it so they can build more muscle.
More Protein Means More Muscles
Some of the things bodybuilders do to get more protein synthesis going in their bodies are:
- Dieting via high protein or high carb meals
- Eating protein at bedtime
- Eating nutritiously both pre and post workouts
- Taking Dietary Supplements
- Doing less cardio
These things work to heighten the body’s production of protein and lower the rate of protein loss, which in turn helps them to gain muscle fast.
What About Fat Loss?
So, now that we know what helps make your muscles get bigger, what about fat loss? The truth is that if you want to lose fat, you have to take in less energy that you use. In other words, you must eat less calories than you use.
Like it or not, this is the truth. You have to have a deficit because that is what helps someone get leaner. That’s because when the body takes in less than it burns up, it slows down the synthesis of protein and the level of anabolic hormones.
Unfortunately that in turn can cause you problems if you want to gain muscles and lose fat since you don’t want a lessening of protein synthesis. It is also why people believe it’s impossible to do just that.
What Type of Person Can Build Muscle and Lose Fat?
One type of person who can do this is a weightlifter. It depends on the type of weightlifting you are doing.
Of course, you won’t be able to grow tons of muscles if you have already gotten to the genetic potential of your own body’s growth potential, but you can do it other ways such as bulking and cutting, which adds muscle and fat, and then cuts just fat.
Those new to weightlifting are the ones who can gain muscles faster, and lose fat faster too. Men can usually gain about 25 pounds and women about 12 pounds the first year they start weightlifting.
After your body gets used to the weight training though, it can only get about three to five pounds bigger, so being a newbie helps tremendously.
Even so, muscle gain and fat loss at the same time isn’t easy, and for newbies, if they gain ten pounds of muscle in the first three months of weightlifting and ate more calories, they might only gain half this if they ate less calories.
So, if you read all those crazy stories of people losing tons of fat in just a few weeks and gaining the identical amount of muscles, then don’t believe it! It’s a scam.
Setting a Happy Medium of Calorie Deficit is Vital
So, the idea is that in order to lose fat you have to have a deficit of calories, but, if you also want to gain muscle, you have to find the amount of the calories you can burn that will both let you lose fat and at the same time still gain muscle.
A study by the University of Jyväskylä using track and field athletes put them into two groups where one took in 300 calories less than their daily expenditure, and the other group took in 750 calories less, while both still stayed on a high protein diet.
At the end of a month, the ones taking in 300 less calories didn’t lose very much fat or muscle, while the ones taking in 750 less lost four pounds, but didn’t lose much muscle either.
So, the answer to losing fat and not muscle is to be serious with how much less calories you eat, but only go down about 25 percent less than your needed amount of calories a day to maintain your body.
Heavy Compound Weightlifting is Another Key Factor
Another fact in losing fat and gaining muscle is you need to do heavy, compound weightlifting for workouts. Some refer to this style of training as progressive overload training.
Studies have shown that doing progressive overload weightlifting is better for building muscle than high rep/volume training.
Doing compound weightlifting exercises that use several muscle groups mean you must use your whole body to do them. These include exercises like
These include exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and military presses.
Plus, you need to train using heavy loads with moderate volume to make your muscles grow. This means using weights that are 80 percent of 1 rep max, and do about 60 to 80 reps a week for each muscle group.
Focus on lifting heavy weights with fewer reps. Fewer reps meaning in the 4-6 range.
The reasons this works is because it puts more metabolic stress on your muscles, and causes more activation of the fibers in the muscles. So, that means the muscles break down more and must build back up faster, so you get more muscles.
It is called progressive overload because it emphasizes overloading the muscles instead of just doing more reps every week.
Add in the Right Kind of Cardio to Lose Fat
You have to add in cardio to lose fat, and you can do it with simple walking or add in high-intensity interval training or HIIT.
HIIT alternates between someone exercising all out and doing less work. It burns more fat than regular cardio that stays at the same intensity.
Example: Instead of walking on a treadmill for an hour, do four to six 30 second sprints.
HIIT has been proven to:
- Increase resting metabolic rate for 24 hrs.
- Improve the muscles’ insulin sensitivity.
- Cause high amounts of fat oxidation in muscles.
- Cause rise in growth hormone levels
- Suppress appetite after workout
HIIT also conserves more muscle than regular cardio, which can cause loss of muscle if done for too long.The answer is you must find a happy medium in just how much cardio can be done so you can lose the fat and not the muscle tissue. That means considering two factors: intensity and the amount you do every week.
The answer is you must find a happy medium in just how much cardio can be done so you can lose the fat and not the muscle tissue.That means considering two factors: intensity and the amount you do every week.
That means considering two factors: intensity and the amount you do every week.
You don’t need to do hours and hours of cardio like HIIT every week. In fact, it’s only necessary to do about one to two hours of HIIT a week, and break it into 25 or 30-minute sessions.
Other Factors to Help
Besides the above, you also need to stay healthy by getting enough sleep, because inadequate sleep hurts the process of building muscle and losing fat. That’s because it upsets the body’s hormones, for instance, decreasing growth hormones and IGF-1 hormone levels, which both play vital roles in building muscles. Plus, lack of sleep can make a person eat more too. Adults should try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
So, the bottom line if you want to build muscle and lose fat is that it requires moderately lessening the calories you eat by up to 25 percent, doing compound weightlifting exercises, doing one to two hours of HIIT cardio a week, getting the right amount of sleep and eating a nutritious diet.
Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
When it comes to supplementation you want to keep in mind your goals.
Since we are talking about how to build muscle and lose fat at the same time we want to focus on the essentials.
Understand that supplements are just that, supplements. They are not meant to replace eating real food.Focus on getting your nutrients from real food.
Focus on getting your nutrients from real food.
First is protein powder:
What you don’t get from your diet, you can supplement with protein powder. Focus on getting protein from food first. ALWAYS.
When selecting a protein powder don’t just choose anyone that is on sale.
Select a protein powder that is low on ingredients, not filled with fillers, has low calories and low carbs.
Of course, I’m biased, and I think our protein powder is pretty awesome. You can check it out here. But even if you don’t use ours, make sure the one you are taking is a quality one.
Second is BCAA
It’s well documented that branched-chain amino acids (leucine in particular) stimulate protein synthesis, and might do so to a larger extent than a normal protein on its own. Branched-chain amino acids also increase synthesis of the cellular machinery responsible for carrying out the process of protein synthesis.
BCAA’s not only increase the rate of protein synthesis, but they also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis!
BCAAs work in your favor by reducing the rate of protein breakdown. This is accomplished by decreasing the activity of the components of the protein breakdown pathway. In addition to decreasing the expression of several complexes involved in protein breakdown.
Other supplements are:
Fish Oil: High-quality fish oil has been linked to improved heart health, brain health, health of joints, mood & mental state, skin & hair
Multi-Vitamin: Help to provide some nutrients you may be lacking from your diet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello, I'm Jonathan Scott, Owner of J530. I created J530 to provide a down to earth approach to reaching your fitness goals. After losing 65 lbs I wanted to take my fitness to a whole new level. I found the fitness and supplement industry confusing and not truthful about how to reach your goals. So I want to provide an outlet for you and me to rely on that has solid information backed by proven scientific studies.
I spent 4 years working for one of the largest primary care companies in the United States. This put me in direct contact with doctors every single day. I learned a lot from these physicians and I will be sharing my knowledge and my resources with you.
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