Can You Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time
Most of the readers who visit are trying to gain muscle and lose fat. This question asking whether muscle can be built at the same time that fat is lost is something that has questioned many bodybuilders over the last 50 years. The bottom line is that it is not impossible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. It's actually very do-able, and it can be done in a predictable process to achieve your goals.
In order to lose fat and gain muscle people know that for muscle gain we have to consume an excess of calories, but in order to try and lose body-fat you have to be in a calorie deficit. Logic seems to explain that you're unable to do both at the same time, but the truth is you need sufficient amount of calories in order to build muscle but you need a deficit of calories to burn fat. The answer is to use your own body-fat.
Your stored energy is stored in the form of calories because when your caloric needs are not met with the food or drink it requires, your body is able to use it's "stored calories" in the form of your own body-fat. You can therefore create a space for yourself where you have to lose body-fat in order to start building more muscle.
Let's say for example, someone eats 500 calories less than their own bodies needs to get them through a day (maintenance calories, including exercise). How will this person's body get the 500 calories it needs to energize the person and build muscle?
The answer is by burning body fat. There are around 3500 calories in every pound of fat. In the 500 calories example we used above, seven days of this 500 deficit would equal 3500 calories, i.e. in our example, our person fuels his protein synthesis (building muscle) with quality calories and loses 1lbs of fat every week, nothing wrong with that.
It's not an easy concept to grasp, that not all of your calories have to come via your mouth. There have been a number of studies done where they clearly showed that there was more fat-loss from a group that ate low-carbohydrates of only 1000 calories lost nearly twice as much body-fat as a group who ate nothing for 10 days.
It should be noted that when you eat a high protein diet you'll stagnate, half of it will be muscle loss not fat loss. One group lost 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs) in total weight. The good news is that they actually lost all of 7.26 lbs (3.3 kg) of fat with a total of 2.42 lbs (1.1 kg) gain in muscle mass in 42 days.
It's important to note that it's impossible to turn fat tissue into muscle-tissue. However, you can trade your fat for muscle using it as fuel. For some reason, people seem to forget not all your calories need to come via your mouth.
For those of us who know how to activate your fat metabolism, we need to flip that important metabolic switch to become a fat-burner. This means restricting carbohydrate intake so the body is encouraged to burn its fat for fuel. Typically, it takes about 3 days of eating low carbs to achieve this.
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