It’s the ultimate conundrum for fitness enthusiasts of all kinds. How do you build muscle and get rid of excess body fat at the same time? Is it even possible to do this?
Figuring out how to build muscle and lose fat at the same time is tricky. It’s not impossible, though. Here are some strategies by Research Peptides to help you achieve these goals.
Eat in a Calorie Deficit
If you’re interested in learning how to get lean, chances are you’ve come across other resources telling you that you need to eat in a calorie deficit. Eating in a calorie deficit means that you’re eating fewer calories than your body burns each day. If you do this, you will lose weight.
It’s important to note, though, that what might be a calorie deficit for one person might be maintenance or a calorie surplus for someone else. Everyone’s metabolism is different. To lose body fat, you’ll need to do some calculations to ensure you’re eating in a true deficit.
To determine what a calorie deficit looks like for you, start by figuring out your maintenance calories.
Track the number of calories you’re consuming on a typical day for a couple of weeks. This will help you get an idea of how much you need to keep your current weight stable. Then, subtract from there (start by decreasing your intake by about 250 calories) to create a deficit.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein is essential whenever you’re trying to build or maintain muscle mass. When you’re eating in a calorie deficit, though, it’s even more important that you take in enough protein per day.
Inadequate protein intake will increase your chances of losing muscle. It’ll also increase your chances of feeling hungrier throughout the day, which makes it harder to maintain a calorie deficit and achieve your fat loss goals.
As a general rule, a person needs to consume between 2.3 and 3.1 grams of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight if their goal is to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. If you weigh 68 kilograms (or about 150 pounds), that would work out to about 156-210 grams of protein per day.
You’re going to have a tough time building muscle if you’re not strength training on a regular basis. Strength training supports muscle growth and increases in, you guessed it, muscle strength.
Ideally, you’ll lift weights to build muscle. Lifting heavy weights in lower rep ranges with longer rest periods tends to yield the best results from a muscle gain perspective.
If you don’t have access to weights, though, you can still gain strength and build muscle using bodyweight exercises. Push-ups, squats, step-ups, and lunges are all great options to add to your routine.
Slow Down and Be Patient
When you’re eager to lose body fat, it’s tempting to rush the process by slashing your calories and doing tons of cardio every day. Here’s the deal, though. If you’re also interested in gaining muscle mass at the same time, eating too little and spending an hour per day on the treadmill is going to make that very difficult to do.
A slow and steady approach that involves a small calorie deficit and regular strength training will allow you to achieve both goals. It might take a little longer for you to see results, of course, but they’ll be the results you’re actually trying to accomplish.
Minimize Steady-State Cardio
As we mentioned in the previous point, excessive cardio, especially steady-state cardio (spending long periods of time on a treadmill, elliptical, etc. while moving at the same pace) is not ideal for those who are interested in losing body fat and gaining muscle. Some cardio is good for your heart health and can help you to burn some extra calories.
If you want to avoid sacrificing muscle mass, though, focus on high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) instead of steady-state cardio. HIIT involves very short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by longer periods of rest. These workouts should only last around 10 minutes, and when you’re moving, you should be moving at about 85-95 percent of your total capacity.
Make Time for Rest
Rest is essential to muscle growth. If you want to increase your muscle mass, you need to make sure you’re allowing time for your muscles to recover in between workouts. Remember, go slow and be patient.
It’s important to note that most of your body’s recovery and repair work takes place when you’re asleep. make sure you’re prioritizing sleep quality, not just sleep quality, when you think about your recovery.
To ensure you’re getting high-quality sleep each night, try sticking to a sleep schedule and going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time day after day. Minimize exposure to blue light before bed, too, and cut off caffeine consumption fairly early in the day.
Balance Your Hormones
Poor hormone balance will make it harder for you to achieve your fitness goals. Before you embark on a journey to lose fat and build muscle, it’s a good idea to find out more about where you stand from a hormonal perspective. Talk to your doctor about having some blood tests done to ensure everything is within a normal range.
If there are any issues with your thyroid or sex hormones, for example, you’ll need to address those before you start trying to lose weight and put on muscle. Take the time to do this now so you can start on the right foot when it comes to pursuing your goals.
You Know How to Build Muscle and Lose Fat: Time to Get to Work!
Now that you know more about how to gain weight and lose fat, it’s time to put these tips to the test. Losing fat and building muscle at the same time isn’t easy, but it can be done if you’re disciplined and dedicated.
Do you want to learn more about how you can achieve your fitness goals? Whether you’re trying to get stronger, pursue fat loss, or both, we have plenty of resources available to you. Head to the Health section today to continue your research.