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Lose Fat and Gain Muscle Simultaneously?

June 25, 2009


Greetings fit achievers. A couple of posts ago, writer of one of the best motivational blogs in the world, Duane Cunningham asked the following: “How does one gain muscle and loss the fat at the same time then?” The answer is, “either not efficiently or not at all”.

There have been some studies conducted where participants lifted weights, lowered their caloric intake, and performed cardio, and wound up with a loss of fat and a muscle gain at the end of the study. You’ll see this with people just starting an exercise program, with people resuming working out after a layoff, and in people that start out fairly overweight. The leaner a person becomes, the more difficult it is to achieve this. Why?

To gain muscle requires that you have excess calories for the body to carry on it’s normal daily functions, support your daily activities, AND add additional muscle mass. Adding muscle requires building materials over those needed for your daily maintenance.

To lose fat requires that you consume fewer calories than you need for your daily maintenance. When your body does not get the energy it needs to fuel your daily maintenance and activities from the food you ingest, it will get the energy from within itself, i.e. from carbs and/or fat and/or protein, depending on what you’ve eaten and the type of activities you are doing.

So, the two goals — gaining muscle and losing fat — require opposites. One a surplus of calories; the other a deficit.

The best, most efficient way to lose fat and gain muscle is to concentrate on each, one at a time. This can be accomplished by eating a surplus of calories for a period of time, then following that with a calorie deficit for some amount of time. You’ve probably heard of fitness athletes and bodybuilder that go through a “bulking phase” and then a “cutting phase”. They are eating a surplus of calories while “bulking” and a deficit while “cutting”. By the way, the muscle building and fat loss periods can be as long as a few months, or as short as a few days. When a person eats more calories than they need for 3 days a week, then eats fewer than they need for 4 days per week, it is possible for that person to concentrate on muscle gain during the 3 day period and fat loss during the 4 day period. It will appear as if he/she is gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time. But, doing this over such a short time period takes planning.

We’ll get into some muscle building and fat losing eating plans and workouts in the future, once the full-fledged darrylpace.com comes out.

Darryl

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