Lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, is it possible? A priori, no because they are two opposite objectives. To lose weight, it is necessary to limit the calories. To gain muscle, on the contrary, you need a slightly higher contribution to your expenses. However, to build muscle while losing weight is possible in two specific cases: if you have a lot of weight to lose or if you start bodybuilding. When you begin, your body is hyper reactive. A large margin of maneuver is possible and makes the result more visible. As progress progresses, the results will be more subtle. In any case the success of this project is based on the balance between diet, cardio and bodybuilding.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BUILD MUSCLE?
Either we try to gain muscle mass , or we try to lose weight. These are two very different goals.
If you want to lose weight, it means first to follow a low calorie diet. In this case we lose weight overall (fat + muscle). But most of the time when you lose weight, especially with repeated diets, you lose more and more muscle. When you take back lost weight, it is often in the form of fat. As a result, the percentage of body fat is higher, because the body tries to recover its initial weight as soon as possible. In case of caloric deficit, the body does not necessarily have enough to feed the muscles. Weight loss trumps muscle maintenance and metabolism slows down. The slower the metabolism, the more effort must be made to maintain one's weight and not to regain weight.
To stay toned and limit the melting of muscles, it is better not to deprive yourself too much and add physical activity. And in this context, supplements such as carnitine can accelerate fat loss.
To gain muscle, you have to build muscle and eat enough to allow the muscle to find resources. A strict diet is not advisable even though there may be a change in habits and distribution of food.
CAN I GAIN MUSCLE AND LOSE WEIGHT AT THE SAME TIME?
Under certain conditions, we can. Scientific studies have even proved it. By limiting calories, increasing the proportion of protein and with intense training (combining bodybuilding, cardio and HIIT), body fat has decreased in favor of muscle mass in untrained young men. The measurements showed a loss of between 3.6 and 4.5 kg body fat and in parallel a gain of 1 kg of muscle. Proof that you can eliminate fat and gain muscle. We must distinguish between weight loss and loss of body fat.
In this case even if you take muscle and lose fat, you do not necessarily gain mass. This is especially spectacular for beginners who start bodybuilding, or those who start a diet. Likewise, those who are overweight high and begin to diet and exercise simultaneously will see their first kilograms fly away and their bodies toned up. It's all good for the silhouette!
In principle, you have to choose between the two objectives. If you prefer muscle gain and bodybuilding, you need to provide enough energy to train and proteins to feed the muscles and allow them to strengthen.
If you're looking for weight loss, you have to cut down on calories, keep the protein and allow the body to tone up while burning fat, increasing the metabolism with a little exercise. We see how much diet and exercise are intertwined in both cases.
CAN WE TURN FAT INTO MUSCLE?
We are not magicians. As such, you can not turn fat into muscle. Fat and muscle, these are very different types of tissues with different roles.
Muscle is composed of protein, glycogen and water. The fat is made of triglycerides (combination of three fatty acids).
The muscle is used to move and store glycogen while fat is a reserve of energy available in case of a hard blow and participates in the production of hormones. These are not interchangeable fabrics.
Why do we feel that it is possible? Because it's marketing and it looks spectacular. On the examples of before-after pictures, it looks like people have shrunk, as if they had turned their belly fat and buttocks into muscle. In fact, it is their fat cells that have decreased in size and their muscles have grown larger.
In reality, it is not so. The muscles can grow, with more density and the fat cells decrease in size, one taking the place left free by the other. Which can give this effect of transformation, without real magic yet. The reverse does not work either, the muscle can not turn into fat. But simply, if we regross it we will tend to take fat and have larger fat cells at the expense of muscle.
We must think otherwise. The calories needed to build your muscles will not be calories provided by your diet. They will come from stored fat, while the deficit will come from your diet, limiting carbohydrates consumed. It will therefore be necessary to lose fat to feed your muscles. So even eating fewer calories, it will be possible to draw in your reserves!
It is impossible for fat to turn directly into muscle tissue, but you can use this fat as fuel for muscle.
HOW TO LOSE FAT AND DEVELOP LEAN MUSCLE?
Yet when you lose weight, you do not lose a lot of fat. You can lose mainly water and muscle. Losing fat takes time. Moreover if you lose weight too fast, there is a good chance that you lose very little fat. Because fat is difficult to dislodge and resists. It is a backup energy storage that we inherited from our ancestors to survive deprivation and starvation. That's why losing weight is considered a threat to our body trying to maintain itself as it is.
It is customary to say that losing 1 kg requires a food deficit of 7,700 kcal with in this case 30% loss of lean mass (the muscle!) (Wishnofsky, 1958).
In addition, to lose just 1 kg of fat, you have to spend more than 9000 calories, 9417 kcal exactly according to the Elia calorimetric bomb, which leads to enormous physical activity. Similarly, if you want to create a caloric deficit, with 300 to 500 fewer daily calories, losing a single kilogram of fat can take more than two weeks.
SOME TIPS TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BUILD MUSCLES
- Reduce the caloric intake moderately
- Practice with intensity
- Increase your muscle mass
- Lose weight slowly
To lose weight and especially fat effectively and sustainably, it is advisable to reduce a little caloric intake, without exaggerating the deprivations. The whole thing is to stay in deficit by combining low calorie diet and caloric expenditure.
Muscle gain, on the other hand, involves a surplus of calories, because the muscle consumes energy to maintain itself as it is - it is the basic metabolism - and needs even more to develop.
Normally either one reduces the calories, or one increases them, the two objectives being contradictory.
Unless we manage to keep a sufficiently high protein intake and train enough despite a slightly low calorie diet. It is to reduce only lipids and carbohydrates to change his muscle mass.
Plus, as muscle burns calories, every muscle gain helps you boost metabolism and, by the same token, lose body fat.
To make sure that you lose body fat, you have to lose weight slowly. A more moderate diet in the medium term allows you to lose less muscle and more fat. ½ kg to 1 kg per week is a good rhythm. To achieve this, reduce your intake between 300 and 500 calories each day.
Also remember that the results will be more important at the beginning of your diet and will decrease over the weeks, because the fat will resist, as you eliminate it. The last kilos will be the most difficult to dislodge. The more fat you have to lose, the sooner it will start. Similarly, if you start bodybuilding, your muscle gains will be more visible.
HOW TO LOSE FAT WITH DIET?
To lose fat, it is necessary to make a diet that favors protein and reduces carbohydrates with a high glycemic index. Do not remove all carbohydrates but choose them. Proteins are mostly provided by meat (chicken, beef), eggs, fish, dairy products. The best results in terms of muscle gain and fat loss are observed from 2g per kilogram of body weight, distributed throughout the day at a rate of 20 to 30 g at a time. In terms of carbohydrates, choose whole grains, oatmeal, legumes.
It is very important to balance your meals and your days. At times you will need more energy and calories. Eat your carbohydrates for example in the morning and at noon or just after training. You need calories when you exercise to allow your muscles to strengthen. The rest of the time do 'light' with only vegetables and proteins. Remember that protein powder or amino acids provide a complementary supply of protein with zero calories. Buy your food to cook, choose simple dishes meat + vegetables, fish + rice, eggs + legumes. Avoid all industrial dishes, cold cuts, and of course pastries, sodas and alcohol.
WHAT TRAINING TO BUILD LEAN MUSCLE?
Many people think that to lose weight you have to do cardio. This is not false, but it is not entirely true either. Doing cardio, running, swimming, pedaling ... trains the heart and makes you sweat. The cardio activity is always good to take but it is not enough. A cardio / bodybuilding mix is much more effective.
CARDIO + BODYBUILDING
To avoid losing muscle, do two to three sessions of bodybuilding a week by ending your session with a little cardio. To gain a little muscle, you can also practice weight training and cardio alternately, for example three sessions of weight training and two of cardio, because the cardio does not replace the bodybuilding. It's even proven that those who practice bodybuilding stay drier in the long run than those who only do cardio. Evening sessions can continue to burn fat all night by taking advantage of hormonal peaks.
When we talk about cardio, we talk about high intensity exercises, bike sprints, fractional running. This will give the most results in terms of fat loss and muscle gain. These exercises will both burn fat and build muscle, especially if they are done in the morning as they stimulate the metabolism.
Also remember not to train every day. A break is necessary between two sessions, at least every other day. If you train the upper body one day, the next day lower your body and observe two days of complete rest each week.
You now know that losing weight and muscle at the same time is possible , sometimes under certain conditions.
But it is not easy and it requires a subtle mix of training and nutrition. That's why even the most experienced athletes do mass gain and leaning periods at different times of the year. The results are much more visible than with a dual purpose.
Metabolism. 2002 Jul; 51 (7): 864-70. Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Volek JS1, Sharman MJ, DM Love, Avery NG, Gomez AL, Scheett TP, Kraemer WJ. McMaster University. " Losing fat while Gaining muscle : Scientists close in on 'holy grail' of diet and exercise. ScienceDaily, January 27, 2016.