How to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time

by Michael Davis in Uncategorised

Lose fat and gain muscle is one of the most common fitness goals we hear today. Many think it is not achievable due to the belief that fat loss requires you to eat less calories than you burn (calorie deficit), and gaining muscle requires you to eat more calories than you burn (calorie surplus). However, this is not entirely true. Although not optimal, it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time by adhering to certain rules.

The process of losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously is referred to as body recomposition. The goal of body recomposition is to change the ratio of fat to lean mass without impacting your ability to gain muscle effectively. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to lose weight, but you will most likely notice changes in your body, your clothes may fit better, and you may find you have a more defined physique.

Who is body recomposition for? Research indicates that certain individuals compared to others do respond better to body recomposition. Beginners, detrained individuals, and individuals with a high bodyfat percentage will see the most progress. Whereas experienced gym goers and/or individuals with a low body fat percentage won’t as much.

How do you achieve body recomposition? Here are the rules/steps you need to follow in order to maximise your results:

  • Maintain a small calorie deficit (5-20%). For example, if your daily calorie requirements are 2000, a 10% deficit would equal 200 calories. Higher body fat individuals (25% bodyfat and higher) should aim more towards the higher end (20% deficit)
  • Keep protein high (2g/kg of bodyweight up to 2.5g/kg of bodyweight) and spread it out evenly across your meals. See this blog for more information about protein and calculating your requirements.
  • Train each muscle group at least 2 times per week. A training stimulus is important if you want to gain muscle.
  • Measure your progress regularly. This will ensure that you are aware if you are making progress or not and whether you need to make some changes to your diet and/or training.

Measuring your progress

If the scales aren’t budging, but you are getting stronger and your body shape is changing, it’s likely that you are losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time and therefore your weight will not change as much as you would like. This is the reason why you can’t always rely on what the scales say. Taking measurements and photos on the other hand is a great way to measure progress. With these methods you will be able to see any visible changes.