There is a common belief that you can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, simply because one requires a calorie surplus while the other demands a calorie deficit. However, in some cases, and when you are following a perfectly proportioned diet, you can – I am living proof!
The best news for anyone just starting a weight lifting program is that the body will be so shocked by the change that fat loss and muscle growth will actually occur quite easily. As long as you lift heavy enough, you will continue to gain muscle. If, like me, you’re limiting your cardio, then your fat loss will obviously occur at a slower rate.
Even if you are a seasoned pro, your body will tap into its fat stores for energy and also to build muscle – provided your diet is perfectly tweaked. Although it is impossible to turn fat into muscle, you can use your body fat as fuel to create muscle. This requires a diet that is high in protein and low in carbs, but also one that provides enough varied nutrients. It’s very important to ensure you’re eating enough protein so that your body will not start breaking down your muscles as its protein source.
By taking this approach both your muscle development and fat loss will be slowed, however. You’ll get far better results if you just focus on one goal and give it your all. Consequently, the more common approach to gaining muscle mass quickly is to go through alternating phases of bulking and cutting, starting by consuming a larger-than-necessary amount of calories for a specific period of time, and following it up with a period where you restrict your calories and lose any fat gained while retaining muscle. Achieving the right balance is rather complicated, so I suggest seeking the advice of a professional for this.
My current program is based on building lean muscle while also cutting fat, although there is much less emphasis on the latter. So I was pleasantly surprised to see my abs really starting to come in this week – even after gaining a kilo and not focusing on fat loss at all! Now I’m finding myself lifting up my shirt in front of any reflected surface at least three times a day… Does that make me narcissistic? If it does, I don’t really care! It’s a great feeling to see your body changing, and I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved so far.
This weekend Rob and I had lamb shanks and lentil stew for our cheat meal. I know, most of you probably don’t think it counts as a cheat meal if it comes from a Biggest Loser cookbook, right? But it’s my absolute favourite meal Rob cooks for me, and it’s a lot more meat than I’m used to eating in one setting.
To balance it out, I also had a glass of Baileys. No wonder I have abs considering the differences in portion size between Australia and the US:
In other food-related news, I discovered the best way to make a protein shake ever! Call me extremely slow, but I had never made a shake in a blender until last week, mostly because recipes I’ve seen that do so add in a lot of
crap fruit and milk that I don’t need. The only time I could get away with the extra carbs is immediately post-workout but, sadly, they don’t supply blenders in the locker room.
It had never occurred to me to just blend my protein powder with ice and a tiny bit of water. Yummmmmm. Something so simple tastes so good. Rob thinks I’m insane, but I have seriously developed a new addiction. It just goes to show how bored your body can get of drinking plain shakes multiple times a day. In the name of being a devoted blogger, I made a shake today with mixed berries in. Amazing! My neighbours are going to hate me for turning on the blender at 10pm every night…
After destroying my hands from lifting and building up a number of nasty calluses, I finally bought myself a pair of training gloves. I only took so long because I didn’t want to look weak….Idiot. And I also bought some sexy new workout shoes!
What does everyone think? And, have you also succeeded in losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time?