Q: Can you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time? -Zaaga
A: What a great question. Everyone should be asking this question, because maintaining muscle or building muscle while losing fat is the key to long-term weight loss success. Every workout you do should promote muscle building and caloric burn when you are trying to lose weight. If exercise and healthy eating are done correctly, you will build muscle and burn fat.
There are four keys to maintaining or gaining muscle mass while you lose fat. The first key is that you need to be doing strength training exercise that promotes the breakdown of the muscle. The second is to have the nutrients available, primarily protein, to rebuild the muscle during and after the strength training workout. Third, do interval cardio workouts that raise your heart rate and fatigue your muscles. The last key to losing unwanted fat is to make sure that your caloric intake is 300-500 calories less than what you require. But don’t go lower than that: sometimes people decrease their calories to extreme levels, and the body counters by using protein as an energy source to survive.
People who are overweight and need to lose body fat have excess energy stored throughout their body. Eating fewer calories than you expend isn’t going to make you lose muscle. Your body will make up the difference by using fat to provide the necessary energy your body needs. We emphasize the need to be on the right program to achieve your weight loss goals and maintain them for the long-term.
The challenge in the weight loss industry right now is that many diet makers would like you to believe it’s impossible to maintain or even gain lean muscle while dieting. It is not impossible. Many popular diets, like MD Diet and the HCG Diet, even recommend that you don’t workout. The primary way these diets get you to lose weight is by putting you on a very low calorie diet. There is no way to maintain muscle mass while on these diets because of the body’s need for energy. Part of the weight you are losing on these kinds of diets is muscle mass. We have major concerns with the diet industry and the negative effects it has on healthy choices. Pure weight loss isn’t the key to a successful diet, the key is the promotion of healthy habits and behaviors.