If you are like millions of people, you dream of looking in the mirror and feeling proud of yourself, not only for reaching the measurements you wanted and looking the way you want in fashionable clothes, but because your muscles are firm… sort of like a whole in one.
But can you really lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?
That would be great because in addition to helping you get stronger, it will also provide you with long-term health and, who takes away, it can even serve to catch some eyes.
I invite you to put on your research suit and find out if you can lose weight and gain muscle mass at the same time.
Gaining muscle mass is just as important as losing weight.
It's no secret to anyone that when people try to reduce the numbers on their scale, they miss the idea of protecting and toning their muscles. Some just want to eliminate the fat and, in a few weeks, the swimsuit fits them perfectly.
And that's not bad because, after all, that's how they want to see themselves. Although, in addition to losing weight to look great, there are many other WEIGHT reasons to lose weight.
However, few seem to know that to eliminate that "stubborn fat" muscle mass is extremely important. And it is that muscle is a metabolically active organ, that is, it continues to consume calories, mainly from fat, even when you are at rest.
Therefore, the greater your muscle mass, the less fat you will have and this will allow you to lose weight, reduce some measures, as well as have a firmer and stronger body.
Also, you should take care of your muscles because over time, a sedentary lifestyle, a poor diet, not so healthy habits, etc., can cause your muscle mass to be lost. And that, with the passing of the years, that will reduce your quality of life.
As shown by research from the University of Michigan in the US, where it was said that going to the gym and doing strength exercises to stay toned is good because it could help you live longer.
Lose weight and gain muscle: myth or truth?
The time has come to discover like a real researcher if you can lose weight and increase muscle mass at the same time.
Perhaps you have read about this topic in a forum or heard from a healthy influencer. Some say that losing weight and increasing muscle mass is a myth, since they are two totally different processes that cannot be carried out at the same time.
Because to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than you spend in the day; instead, to develop your muscles you need the opposite, that is, eat extra calories.
So can both be done at the same time? Because it seems contradictory and impossible to achieve.
Well, the time has come to disprove this myth, because the truth is that YES you can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, but it will cost more for some than others.
If you're starting to exercise, along with eating a healthier diet, you might start to lose a little weight in the first few weeks and, in turn, see some positive changes in your muscle development.
Do you know why this is? Since your muscles are not used to training, they react to the effort that they have not registered, making them grow a little. This can happen, even if you are eating less than you are used to.
Best of all, thanks to the new muscle mass you're gaining, you'll expend more energy and burn some calories, even while binge-watching your favorite Netflix series on a Saturday night. That will favor your weight loss process.
Look at this data: According to a study conducted on young women who followed a combined cardio and strength program for 12 weeks, it was found that they lost an average of 10% body fat and increased their muscle mass by almost 9%.
For this reason, when people are starting to exercise, it is recommended that they do weight training routines and a few minutes of cardio, so that they can lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. Always in balance and with entertaining activities.
When is it hardest to lose weight and gain muscle?
It gets complicated when the person is an advanced athlete and has many years of strength training.
This is because their muscles grow more space than when they first started training.
However, it is possible that they lose weight and gain muscle if they coordinate their training with eating.
Effective tips to lose weight and gain muscle
1.- Consume more protein at each meal
Protein-rich foods are a key component of both losing weight and building muscle at the same time.
According to a 2016 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 25 men who followed a low-calorie, high-protein diet for four weeks lost 10.56 pounds of fat while gaining 2.64 pounds of muscle. lean.
While the other 25 men who followed a diet with the same amount of calories, but less protein, only lost 7.7 pounds of fat and gained less than a quarter pound of muscle.
What is the recommendation? If you lead an active lifestyle and exercise, consume between 2.3 and 3.1 grams of protein per kilogram of your weight. But this protein intake must be distributed evenly throughout the day.
2.- Try to get all the nutrients
Research suggests that consuming certain nutrients can help you preserve muscle mass while losing weight.
For example, a study of 80 obese older adults found that taking supplements containing leucine, vitamin D, along with whey protein helped them protect their muscles when on a low-calorie diet.
Of course, it is recommended that you go to a doctor or nutritionist, so that he is the one who determines the amount of nutrients that you should consume, according to your body characteristics and your goal.
3.- Go for space if you want to lose weight and gain muscle
Although losing weight quickly is what many want, it is not the most recommended, because not only do you lose a few extra kilos, but also muscle mass.
To make matters worse, they can cause a rebound effect.
As a well-known tale tells: it is better to be a tortoise that goes slowly and safely towards its goal, than to go fast like a hare and stop halfway.
If you see that your friend managed to lose weight and get strong in a short time, and you ask yourself "why not me?", remember that each body and metabolism are different.
4.- Do strength training several times a week and add a little cardio
It is essential that you manage to adapt to strength training; Gradually increase the intensity.
It is recommended that you include in your exercise routines at least two days with weight or resistance, and accompany them with cardiovascular activity for a few minutes a day.
A study of 10,500 adults at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that those who strength-trained lost fat while gaining more muscle over a 12-year period, compared to those who spent the same amount of time dedicated to cardio
Beware, many women limit themselves to strength training, because they think that this type of exercise will make them look like a bodybuilder. But it is NOT like that, it will only help them develop their muscles better and be more toned.
And if, definitely, lifting weights is not your thing, this post will help you a lot: Sculpt your body with exercises that reduce weight and measurements, while keeping your muscle mass intact.
5.- Give yourself a break if you want to lose weight and gain muscle
Many people think that the more they train the better, but it definitely doesn't work that way. As the popular saying goes: “sometimes, less is more”.
Your muscles need rest in order to grow. The rest time will depend on each person and the number of exercises they do per week.
A meta-analysis found that for optimal strength development, it is best to rest a certain muscle group for a day or two before re-engaging it through strength training.
That is, if you already did leg exercises on Monday, repeat them on Thursday. The only way to take control of your muscle rest is to create your own exercise routine by controlling the workouts.
To learn more about the importance of giving your muscles a break so they can grow and to get lots of useful information that you can put into practice right away, you'll love reading Rest: A Foolproof Strategy for a Toned Body.
Remember that every process takes time and needs discipline.
It is possible to lose weight and gain muscle, as long as you accompany it with the right exercises and a good balanced diet. You can also rely on some supplements.