Fitness is a very broad field that encompasses a multitude of different goals. Whether you're looking to improve your performance in a half marathon, start a strength training program, lose fat, or gain muscle, you can achieve some of these goals simultaneously. In this article, we will explain to you how it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle .
Is it possible to gain muscle while burning fat?
Many women wonder if it is possible to gain muscle while burning fat, and the answer is yes! It may seem contradictory, but in reality, the two goals are completely compatible . To achieve this goal, don't be scared off by weight training because it's actually a key component to burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time.
Weights and dumbbells are essential for gaining muscle mass and burning calories. For what ? Muscles burn calories (not body fat directly)! By lifting weights, you work your muscles and build them up, allowing them to burn more calories even at rest . Women are often afraid to lift weights, fearing they'll gain too much muscle and look like men. But in reality, women don't have the same hormone levels as men, which makes them unable to build such big muscles. Lifting weights is therefore an effective way to burn fat and sculpt your body.
In summary, by working your muscles through strength training , you will increase your muscle mass, you will burn more calories and you will reach your goal faster. So don't be afraid to lift weights because it can really make a difference in your physical transformation and get you to your goals faster.
How to eat to lose fat and gain muscle?
Nutrition plays a crucial role in obtaining energy and in building muscle, and especially in minimizing your body fat percentage. First, aim to achieve calorie neutrality by adapting your diet to your physical activity. This means that your calorie intake should match your body's needs exactly, or even be slightly higher. This dietary strategy will allow you to lose or metabolize fat and gain muscle at the same time.
Let's say your body needs 1900 calories a day: in this case, you'll need to stick to that same 1900 calories on non-exercise days and increase your calorie intake by 200-300 calories on workout days.
It's also important to eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your metabolism high . Don't skip meals, as this can slow down your metabolism and impair your ability to burn fat.
The importance of protein in your diet
Protein is an essential part of your diet if you want to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. So you need to increase the amount of protein you eat on your plate. If you don't eat enough protein when you weight train, you won't recover enough to perform in your next workout, which means you won't gain as much muscle and burn as much fat.
People who do bodybuilding often rely on protein shakes or supplements to meet their protein needs.
What foods can help me gain muscle and lose fat?
Choose foods high in lean protein over carbohydrates. Protein-rich foods include:
- Low-fat Greek yogurt,
- seafood such as shrimp, scallops, mussels and crab, and all types of white fish,
- chicken or turkey breast,
- legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) and almonds which can be eaten as a snack.
These nutrient-dense foods average 20-25% protein and are low in fat. It is important to be careful not to add high fat sauces or dressings to seafood as this will compromise their nutritional value.
A woman who exercises regularly has an optimal daily protein intake of about 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
Sleep and hydration are key to getting results
Sleep and hydration are two crucial factors for achieving results. Experts agree on this: if you don't get enough sleep, your body won't burn fat as efficiently and building muscle will be more difficult. Insufficient sleep also increases appetite, which can lead to excessive calorie consumption.
Moreover, hydration is equally essential, not only for body recomposition, but also for the proper functioning of the body in general. It is impossible to build muscle if your body is not sufficiently recovered after a workout. It is therefore crucial to drink enough water and get enough sleep for your body to be healthy.
Lack of hydration and sleep can negatively impact basic bodily functions. If you are dieting and not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep, your body will not be able to meet your expectations for weight loss or muscle gain. It is therefore important to take care of yourself and respect these basic needs.
Experts recommend exercising consistently for at least four weeks to start seeing results. After a few months, others will also notice these changes. After six months, the changes will be drastic.
What should I do to lose fat and gain muscle?
6 tips to combine muscle gain and fat loss:
- Increase your physical activity and focus on activities that include resistance training, such as HIIT and cardio training. Aim to do at least two sessions per week.
- Avoid diets . Be patient and remember that the goal is to improve your body composition by cultivating a healthy metabolism, rather than losing a few pounds quickly.
- Add weight to your workout by setting a baseline of 3 sets of 8 reps with a load heavy enough to tire you out by the third set, but maintaining proper technique. Then give yourself the necessary recovery time to promote muscle growth.
- Vary your workouts to promote fat loss and muscle building. Avoid routines and, if you're into fitness, incorporate cardio activities like running or biking. If you're used to training alone, consider taking a bodypump class with a friend.
- Be sure to include protein with every meal . Most people consume a significant amount of protein post-workout, but it's important to spread your intake throughout the day, aiming for at least 25-35 grams of protein per meal.
- Make sure you get enough sleep and stay hydrated . These basic habits are crucial for weight loss, muscle building, and overall well-being.
Winning the game of fat loss and muscle gain requires a lot of consistency and understanding. Consistency is up to you, but all the details are here so you can start seeing results in just one month for some people. It's not easy, but it's worth it.
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