Is It Possible to Burn Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?

Whether you’re starting your journey with a healthy, active lifestyle or an already experienced gym-goer, you might be looking for advice on losing some extra weight and burning some extra fat to enjoy your toned-up body during summertime. 

Body image has always been an essential feature of our lives, as we want to look good and feel effortless in our bodies. 

The ultimate goal for having a lean physique is to lose fat and, at the same time, build muscle. While it might not sound like the easiest thing to do, don’t worry. It’s possible.

If you’re wondering how to gain muscle without having to “bulk” and “cut” and still burn extra fat for that perfect definition, check out the guide below and instantly transform your fitness journey.

Body Composition and Body Recomposition

Our bodies consist of various functional components – fat mass and lean mass, including muscle, bones, and water. The ratio between them is called body composition. It tells us the percentage of each component in our bodies. You can have it determined through different methods of a fat percentage calculation

Now, body recomposition occurs when the ratio between fat mass and muscle mass in your body changes due to losing fat and gaining lean muscle. Body recomposition refers to the process when fat is being “replaced” by muscle as it happens simultaneously. 

Losing Weight Is Not Always The Case

If you still wonder how to lose weight, I’ll stop you here. The idea of body recomposition is to lose fat rather than lose weight. During the process, you may maintain your current weight, but it’s also possible that you’ll notice the scale going up. But why is that?

That is because muscle is denser than fat, so muscle weight is never the same as fat weight. As you may not notice a significant difference on the scales, you will spot changes in your physique, like more visible muscle definition. As strange as it sounds, you may feel smaller but still gain weight. 

When tracking your body recomposition progress, try not to rely too much on the scales. Instead, use measure tape to track your muscle growth.

Caloric Deficit vs. Caloric Surplus

Human organism must be given a specific number of calories every day to function correctly. Each body has its basal metabolic rate, which indicates how much energy is spent in a non-active and non-digestive state.

The key to losing fat is to be in a calorie deficit, which means that you give your body fewer calories than it needs so that it cannot maintain your current weight. When your body doesn’t get enough calories, it has to find a different source of energy – fat reserves. It then breaks down fat cells and turns them into the energy your body needs.

Establishing how many calories you need per day depends on your gender, age, and activity level. Once you know how many calories you should be consuming, it seems pretty simple to take in less of them to burn fat. 

However, bear in mind that being at a constant calorie deficit may cause your body to not get enough fuel from fat, which can break down muscle mass, leading to muscle loss.

So what about building those muscles then? Now, this is where it gets a little wild. When building muscle, you have to give your body a sufficient amount of energy so that it can turn it into muscle mass. 

Therefore, you have to consume more calories than your primary caloric intake, which means you need to be in a caloric surplus. Now logically thinking, eating less while eating more doesn’t really make any sense, does it? There’s no way you can do it simultaneously. Or is there a happy medium?

A Healthy Diet for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

You probably heard about an old-school 70/30 healthy lifestyle rule – 70% diet and 30% exercise. Or famous sayings: “ABS are made in the kitchen” and “You are what you eat.”

They both reflect on the same thing – the importance of a diet in body transformation. 

Your body needs to be fed with various sources of vitamins and macronutrients to function well and prevent you from many illnesses. Your secret weapon to burning fat while gaining muscle is maintaining a healthy diet based on highly nutritious, low-calorie, protein-rich foods. 

Protein is the main building element of your body, especially muscle mass. It is commonly considered that anywhere from 10% to 35% of your daily calories should come from protein.

Best Protein Sources for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain 

  • Full-fat dairy – cow milk, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Animal protein – lean meat, eggs, fish
  • Plant-based protein – tofu, tempeh, edamame, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils
  • Vegetables – broccoli, spinach, asparagus
  • Protein powders

Lift Weights to Lose Fat and Build Muscle

And that means lifting heavy. Strength training is a crucial element in transforming your physique. A successful muscle gain comes when you challenge your body, so don’t be afraid to grab those not-so-light dumbbells. Your body will thank you later. 

If you’re unsure how to start your weightlifting experience or have doubts about whether your workouts are effective, getting a personal trainer can be a great solution. They will get to know you and your training preferences to find out the best workout routine for you and your goals.

Do Some Cardio

It might not be your favorite kind of activity, I know. Those 30 minutes on a treadmill may often feel like a never-ending story. Cardiovascular exercises are an excellent training technique that, combined with weight training, can help you burn calories and define your physique. 

Running is one of the fastest and most effective cardio activities, but you can also opt for cycling or spinning for more intensity. 

On the positive note, though, if cardio is something you lose sleep over, you don’t need to start running exhausting, marathon-like distances to feel sweat dripping down your back. 

All you can do is have an effortless but dynamic walk to feel your heart racing a bit. So get those steps in and never underestimate a nice little cardio sesh for that dream, toned-up body.

Simple Life-Changing Habits for Fat Loss and Building Muscle

People can personalize their workout sessions and diet according to their preferences in hopes of getting the best results. However, there are at least two habits that everyone can implement, and the outcome will be overwhelmingly positive.

  • Drink plenty of water, at least 2 liters a day, to balance your bodily fluids. Water is your best friend and will always be, regardless of your fitness goals. Our organisms consist of fluids in 60%, so it’s important to supplement them regularly for our bodies to function the way they should (no, Diet Coke doesn’t count). 
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for your overall health and plays a vital role in muscle-building. Allow your body to rest and recharge before another active day by sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night.

Patience Is Key

Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight, no matter how much we wish it did. Stay motivated and consistent in your fitness journey with clear goals in your head. You’ll enjoy that toned body faster than you think.

The Bottom Line

Burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time may be difficult to do, but it’s possible.

You can get your body perfectly toned by burning fat and building muscles simultaneously. With the help of healthy eating habits and an appropriate workout routine, you stimulate your muscle gain while still losing extra fat. However, if you’re new to the fitness world, or you want to change your lifestyle dramatically, figuring out the best option for you may be quite challenging. 

Joining a personal training program designed to your needs with a certified personal trainer might be a perfect idea. If you’re unsure how to start, fill in the form and get an ultimate diet and training plan as the first step to your dream body. Don’t wait – start today!

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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