Can You Burn Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?

We all know that in order to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we take in. However, most people think that the only way to do this is through aerobic exercises – like running, biking, or combined cardio. But what if there was another way? What if you could burn body fat and gain muscle at the same time while not just relying on cardio or aerobic exercises?

It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. In fact, it’s actually pretty simple. You just need to know how to do it. So keep reading, and we’ll show you how it’s done.

What is the difference between fat and muscle tissue?

Twin Waves Wellness Team

First, let’s start with the basics — what exactly are body fat and muscle tissues? Body fat and muscle tissue or muscle mass are two completely different types of tissue in the human body. Fat is made up of adipocytes, which are cells that store energy in the form of lipids. On the other hand, muscle tissue is made up of myocytes, which are cells that contract to produce movement.

Body fat is used by the body to store energy, and is found all over the body, including around organs, under the skin, and in between muscles. Fat stores occur in the body when your caloric intake is higher than your energy expenditure, also known as caloric surplus. The surplus of calories turns into fat tissue that is stored in areas of our body such as our stomach, arms, legs/thighs, etc. As our caloric surplus increases, we end up with a higher body fat percentage which can be deadly to one’s health.

However, this doesn’t mean that fat isn’t important and you must burn all of it, fat cells play an important role as a thermoregulator for our body. Fat cells are also important for our hair, nails, and other parts of our body that are made of collagen.

Again, muscle tissue, on the other hand, is used by the body for movement, and is made up of long, string-like cells. Muscle is denser than body fat, and takes up less space in the body. Like fat, muscles can also be burnt, but this is the body’s last resort in the event of a calorie deficit, or when the calories you intake are lower than your energy expenditure. Muscle loss or losing muscle mass also happens when you don’t use your muscles that much anymore and they degenerate, also known as muscle atrophy.

On the flip side, in order to build muscle mass, one must implore strength training or resistance training. Muscle growth or muscle gain occurs when after a workout of strength training or resistance training, your body repairs your muscles that have been activated greatly in your workout.

How do you burn fat tissue?

There are two main types of body fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.

Subcutaneous fat is the type of fat that you can see and feel just under the skin whereas, visceral fat is the type of fat that surrounds the organs in the abdominal cavity. Too much visceral fat can lead to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. On the contrary, subcutaneous fat is not as dangerous to your health, but it can be unsightly.

The main way to lose subcutaneous fat is through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise. A healthy diet should consist of whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. And regular exercise should include both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, as well as resistance training.

Both forms of body fat are burnt or used in energy expenditure when you do aerobic exercise. However, in order to lose fat, you must be in a caloric deficit, this will push your body to resort to your fat stores for energy. Additionally, have a healthier lifestyle wherein you drink the right amount of water every day, sleep for 8 hours, eat healthy — more vegetables and increase protein intake and protein-based snacks over-processed food, and decrease your sugar intake. Remember if you want to lose fat and gain muscle, be patient and consistent with your workout routine and eating habits.

How do you gain muscle tissue?

Twin Waves Wellness Team

Now, if you want to gain muscle, a strength training program and or a resistance training program is what you will need. These workout routines, literally pump or build muscle mass because they force your muscles to work harder than they’re used to. When you challenge your muscles with new exercises or heavier weights, microscopic tears occur in the muscle fibers. In order for these muscle fibers to repair themselves and grow back bigger and stronger, they need protein.

A common misconception though is that you need to eat a lot of protein in order to gain muscle mass, but this isn’t necessarily true. You only need to consume enough protein to help your muscles repair and grow, and how much protein you need depends on your weight, activity level, and muscle-building goals. The recommended amount is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight (0.36g/lb) or 0.80 grams per kilogram of body weight (0.80g/kg).

In terms of diet, dietary protein intake needs to be increased when you want to gain muscle. Protein is the building block of our muscles, and you will need this in order to build muscle in the process. A high-protein diet can be implored in order to gain muscle but it is important first to consult with a certified personal trainer and a certified nutritionist in order to see if you will need a high-protein diet coupled with a strength training program or a resistance training program.

Can you burn fat and gain muscle simultaneously?

A calorie deficit is a great way to burn fat, by pushing your body to use your fat stores as an energy source coupled with aerobic or cardio exercises. However, in the long run, if you only do aerobic or cardio exercises while on a calorie deficit diet, you will reach a point where your body will start cannibalizing your muscle mass which is why it is important to do a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

Anaerobic exercises are great for muscle building while cardio exercises are great for fat burning, so by combining the two, you can achieve your goal of burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time. Moreover, when you lose body fat, it is best to couple with it by lifting weights which in turn will build muscle mass.

Overall, simultaneously losing fat while building muscle is possible, and is done by many people. This is also known as body recomposition.

What is Body Recomposition?

Twin Waves Wellness Team

Body recomposition is the process of losing body fat and gaining muscle mass at the same time. It is often used by bodybuilders and other athletes to improve their body composition. The main advantage of body recomposition is that it allows you to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, which is not possible with traditional weight loss methods.

It is often said that you cannot burn fat and build muscle at the same time, but body recomposition proves this to be false and studies have shown that it is effective in the long run. In order to lose body fat, you must be in a calorie deficit, which means that you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning. On the other hand, in order to gain muscle mass, you must be in a calorie surplus, which means that you are consuming more calories than you are burning. The key to body recomposition is finding the perfect balance between these two states. You want to be in a slight calorie deficit, but not so much that you are losing muscle mass. When done correctly, body recomposition can help you achieve your ideal body composition.

Tips for Body Recomposition

1) Consult a certified personal trainer and certified nutritionist

This cannot be stressed enough, there are so many people who are willing to put in the time to lose weight and have a better and healthier physique, but yet they consult sources that aren’t grounded in Science or do not have a degree in the field. Some would say that it is cheaper to consult unofficial sources or individuals, but these come with a lot of health risks and possibly the lack of effects on your body.

2) Know your Basal Metabolic Rate

Your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is the rate wherein your body uses up energy or calories in order to do basic life-sustaining tasks such as breathing, circulation, nutrient processing and absorption, and cell reproduction. Knowing your BMR can help identify how much protein you will need, and if you have enough calories for your exercises.

3) Start slow

Results don’t show up fast, and results will always be on a case-to-case basis. Be kind to yourself and just go with the motions of your body recomposition journey. Forcing things on your body can lead to injuries and other health risks.

4) Carbs and Calories are not the same

Most people who start off their body recomposition journey will immediately cut off carbs because they are fattening. A calorie is a measure of energy in food, while carbs are a food group. Carbs have calories, which is why you will need them as an energy source. Instead, eat carbs that are not highly processed. Avoid white bread, and white pasta, go for browner and grainier carbs such as wheat bread, whole oats, and whole wheat pasta. Remember, the whiter the carb the more calories it has.

FAQS on Body Recomposition

Twin Waves Wellness Team

Is Body recomposition only for people who are obese or sedentary?

No, a study has shown that like with people who are untrained, sedentary, or obese, trained individuals can also implore body recomposition. As mentioned, weight loss and muscle growth are on a case-to-case basis, there are so many factors that can and will affect both of these.

Should I avoid carbs?

Depends. As mentioned, carbs are a source of calories and calories are a source of energy. This is why it is important to consult a certified nutritionist on the matter of your diet. The diet of one person will differ from the other, we are all built differently and have different lifestyles that will call for a different need for energy. If you can’t commit to removing carbs from your diet you can opt for whole grain carbohydrates instead.

How fast will I see results?

Depends. Results will vary, and like diet, results from body recomposition is on a case-to-case basis. There is no set benchmark on how early or how fast results can be seen, it will depend on the work you put in on your workout routines and your diet. So instead of focusing on the end game, focus on the process and you will get there sooner or later.

Weight loss and muscle growth is a journey, there will be ups and downs but what is important is that you don’t stop!

It is a process, a process that doesn’t stop when you have reached your goal. Once you’ve reached your goal you will need to maintain it and continue on with your diet and exercises. And more importantly, when you want to lose weight and gain muscle, do it yourself and not just for others to see. Contact us today to learn about the health benefits of visiting a wellness center and holistic chiropractor.

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