While many folks focus on either building muscle by eating lots of protein and lifting heavy weights, others are more focused on losing weight by consuming sugar-free ketone drink mixes to supplement their diet plan while engaging in lots of cardio.
But what is the best course of action for those who wish to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?
In essence, doing these two things simultaneously is known as body recomposition. While some contend that you can only lose weight or build muscle at one time, the truth is you should absolutely chase both of these goals together.
Here’s how you can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time:
1. Keep Your Calorie Deficit Small
While operating at a caloric deficit is critical for losing weight, it is antithetical for building muscle. Therefore, it is wise to keep your calorie deficit small so that you can still build muscle while also losing weight.
Where weight loss is concerned, you should be aiming to lose one to two pounds per week. Thus, each person will need to cut a certain number of calories and boost their activity level, depending on their specific situation.
That said, reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories a day is likely a good baseline from which to work.
2. Start Strength Training
If you want to build muscle, you are going to need to lift heavy things, whether dedicated exercise weights or your own bodyweight. Therefore, strength training is going to be a necessity for your program.
Depending on your specific goals, there are a couple of different ways you can approach this task. If your aim is to increase your size, then you will want to lift heavy weights at a low rep count. If you want to boost your strength, then you will want to lift lighter at a high rep count.
Either way, combining strength training with a small caloric deficit will force your body to begin to pull from its fat stores to fuel itself while also building muscle in the process.
3. Eat Lots of Protein
While you will want to operate at a caloric deficit, you will also want protein to make up a good number of the calories that you do consume. Protein is a critical component for repairing tissue and adding new muscle fibers. Thus, if building muscle is one of your goals, it is important to consume the right amount of protein.
Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rule for how much protein a person should eat. A good rule is to eat between one and one and a half grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
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Many turn to protein shakes to help them hit their consumption goals. However, these can often be hard on the taste buds. Therefore, you might consider spicing up your protein shake with some cocoa-flavored keto MCT oil powder for a delicious flavor and an added boost of energy.
4. Practice Progressive Overload
While strength training is going to be a critical component to your weight loss and muscle growth goals, on its own it is not enough. Therefore, to achieve your aim, it is important to apply a concept known as progressive overload.
In a nutshell, this means that you are gradually increasing the weight you are lifting, whether in weight load or reps. Bodies will adapt to a given stimulus, which means that you will continually need to increase the challenge of your workout routine to get in better shape and increase muscle.
When you are pursuing fitness goals, improvement should always be at the front of your mind.
5. Be Patient
For many, the hardest tip on this entire list is to be patient and understand that your gains (and losses) will take time to cultivate and materialize.
In the beginning, if you have a lot of fat to lose, dropping five or more pounds will be relatively easy. However, as you get closer to your target weight, you will shed pounds more slowly and need to work harder for each new milestone.
The same dynamic is true for muscle growth. In the beginning, you will see some gains rather quickly if you are a newbie. However, the process will slow as you get into better shape.
Therefore, it is important to not get discouraged and be patient.
Dropping Pounds and Building Muscle
While it is totally possible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, it is important to understand which tactics will facilitate your aims. Additionally, since muscle weighs more than fat, do not use the scale as your sole means of measuring progress.
Utilize the tips outlined above, and you will be well on your way to achieving your body recomposition goals.