● Our body requires a certain amount of calories and fats to carry out routine tasks.
● Muscle gain or muscle mass gain is vital for our overall body health. Conversely, muscle degeneration is a sign that our body is not getting proper nutrients.
● It is possible to burn fats and gain muscle mass simultaneously.
● The secret of achieving a balance between fat burn and muscle gain is glucose metabolism. It is only possible with a proper diet (fewer carbs, more proteins) and regular physical activities.
● Trans fats are harmful, hence should not be consumed. Instead, you should consume saturated fats in moderation.
● Our diet plans must include unsaturated (essential) fats.
For most people struggling with an unhealthy lifestyle, the road to a healthier body might look like a long one.
You first have to go through a fat loss diet and start gaining muscle through a different diet.
The whole process seems to be too long.
Well, the good news is that you can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
There’s no need for two different diets or a combination of other plans.
With the right diet plan and exercise routine, you can achieve both goals at the same time.
What are Fat, Muscle Gain, and Calories?
Nowadays, most people look at the number of calories that each food item contains before purchasing.
You may have heard a nutritionist mention the optimal diet in terms of calorie intake.
Or you may have read about the positive effects of reducing the number of calories you consume.
Fitness trainers also talk about how a particular workout can help you burn more calories.
With this word being so common, there is a big misconception that calories are bad for your health.
While that is true up to some extent, it’s not the whole story!
So what exactly is a calorie?
From a scientific perspective, a calorie is a unit of energy. It is used to measure the amount of energy consumed or burnt.
It can take the form of different matters, including foods and other items.
An average human body requires 1800 to 2000 calories per day. These calories provide our body enough energy to carry out routine activities.
Such as sleeping, walking, working, and even exercising.
It means that we need a certain amount of calories to do our routine tasks.
However, consuming more than the required amount of calories may lead to severe health problems.
Most processed food labels base their energy percentage on the ideal calorie diet, as indicated by nutritionists.
When you are on a diet, your main goal is to keep your calorie intake in check, which can help you gain or lose weight.
Most diets are tailored to reduce one’s calorie intake, allowing your body room for burning fat, which is high in calories.
This is one of the steps to losing weight and becoming healthier.
Misconceptions regarding calories
The use of calorie diets is often not as effective when it comes to overall health.
Some people resonate that it does not matter where you get your calories from; the overall calorie count should be within a daily limit.
It is a misconception that can affect your health. Research has shown that not all calories are the same.
Certain foods can release and burn calories faster than others, and some come with side effects apart from the high-calorie content.
Eating a whole bowl of salad is healthier than a piece of takeaway chicken, even if the calorie count is the same.
The type of foods that you consume affects whether those calories will be burned or stored.
So linking high-calorie intake to obesity is not enough. You need to pay attention to your diet as well.
For this reason, dieticians recommend staying away from foods that are low in nutritional value and high in calories.
● Fat & fat burn
Fats are the most denser form of energy in our bodies.
One gram of fat has twice the number of calories compared to a gram of protein or carbohydrate.
As Fats contain calories it, means not all fats are bad for our health.
Generally, there are two broad categories of fats, including the Good fats and the Bad Fats:
● Bad Fats
1. Saturated Fats:
Found mainly in animal products such as meat, egg yolks, or dairy products – saturated fats are bad fats that could lead to severe health problems.
Saturated fats elevate the level of both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol. Therefore, you should eat food containing saturated fats in moderation.
2. Trans Fats:
Trans Fats, also known as trans-fatty acids or trans-unsaturated fatty acids, are the most harmful body fats.
These fats are found in processed foods and have double effects on our health. First, they increase bad cholesterol levels meanwhile decreasing good cholesterol.
● Good or Essential Fats
Unsaturated fats or good/essential fats are essential components of our overall health. This type of fat has several health benefits.
For example, unsaturated fats reduce inflammation, improves Blood cholesterol, stabilize our heart rhythms, and several other benefits.
Unsaturated fats can be found in nuts, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and avocado, etc.
When you consume more calories than required, where do the extra calories go?
A common perception is that they are stored as fats for later use.
However, your body will only burn fat after its reserves of glucose and carbohydrates are finished.
The fact that the body uses fat as a last resort for energy is why you need to work out, take proper nutrition, and cut down on carbohydrate intake.
Therefore most fat-burning programs involve cutting down on carbohydrates, which helps stimulate the body to burn more fat.
Without enough reserves of carbohydrates, the body turns to fat reserves for energy.
Unfortunately, fat often burns more slowly than carbohydrates, causing hunger and irritation.
It is important to note that losing weight and fat burn are two completely different things.
It is possible to lose muscle mass or water mass with a low-calorie diet.
However, to burn fat effectively, you will need to incorporate exercise along with a disciplined diet.
Eat enough protein and consume the necessary vitamins and minerals to prevent muscle degeneration.
Whether you are a fitness freak or just want to improve your physique, muscle gain is necessary.
Muscles are much denser than fat, and they contain the cells needed for burning energy.
Your muscles also help improve your body structure and strength and can help improve your metabolism.
Muscle gain is not only about spending long hours lifting weights in the gym.
Muscles are made from different types of proteins derived from amino acids.
These proteins can come in many forms, from meat to lentils and protein supplements.
While specific proteins are ideal for muscle gain, most proteins help muscle and tissue repair and other crucial body functions.
A misconception about muscle gain is that fats can directly convert into muscle with exercise. It is simply not true.
Fats are created by an excess of carbs and sugar or by consuming foods high in fatty content.
Before the fat mass converts into muscle, it will first have to burn, and new muscle mass must be created in its place.
Thus, it is a complete process that instead relies on fat burning and then muscle gain.
The Glucose Metabolism
The glucose metabolism is key to understanding how our body creates fat from excess carbohydrates.
When you consume carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into simple sugars like fructose and glucose.
These are the primary sources of energy in most cases. When there is an excess of carbs and sugars, the body sends this glucose to the liver, converted into fat.
This is why people who have a diet high on sugary foods are more likely to develop obesity because their bodies cannot burn all the excess glucose.
Can you Gain Muscle and Burn Fat at the same time?
This question often comes to mind for most people when they start their fitness journey.
While it’s no secret that losing fat is the priority, simply focusing on burning fat can disrupt your body shape.
In addition, if you are not careful about your diet, it can also cause muscle degeneration and fatigue.
If you follow the right diet plan and exercise routine, you can gain muscle mass and lose fat simultaneously.
Our bodies often react to external stimuli by creating defence mechanisms. For example, the more you use a specific muscle group, the stronger it becomes.
When you strain-specific muscles, your body continues to provide them with energy, even if your primary sources are depleted.
In other words, by doing strenuous exercise, you can activate specific muscle groups. Your body will send energy to these muscles, even if it comes from burning fat rather than carbohydrates.
Therefore, to gain muscle and burn fat simultaneously, you will have to temporality follow an intense exercise program along with a fat-burning diet plan.
The key to gaining muscle regardless of your diet is to consume more protein along with your workouts. While many people believe that protein supplements are not effective in fat loss programs, this is false.
Tips to gain muscle & fat burn
There are a few proven strategies used to gain muscle and burn fat at the same time.
While you might find this plan difficult at first, once your body gets used to the process, it becomes much easier.
Gaining muscle along with burning fat requires a combination of an intense exercise regime and a strict diet.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind:
1. Your workouts should be intense:
Intense workouts put a strain on your muscles, which helps them grow. However, this does not mean lifting heavy weights or pushing yourself to fatigue.
You can even gain muscle mass through calisthenics. The key to making sure the sessions are difficult enough to allow the body to grow the muscles.
Nothing comes easy, and as the famous saying goes: “No pain, No Gain. ”
2. You should take adequate vitamins and minerals
When you are on a fat-burning diet, you are depriving your body of calories to help burn the stored calories in fat.
While this does give you energy, it does not provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for proper muscle growth.
Therefore, you might need to take vitamin supplements along with your fat-reducing diet.
3. Take protein supplements for better results
Muscles are built from amino acids derived from the food you eat. When on a calorie deficient diet, your body does not receive enough protein for muscle building.
Therefore, you may need to take protein supplements designed specifically for fat loss programs.
Make sure to check with your nutritionist before taking a supplement as nowadays many supplements contain additional energy sources that can affect your fat loss program.
4. Drink a lot of water
Water is key to a healthy metabolism, which is why drinking enough water should be a priority for fat loss.
The muscle-building process also relies on water which is why it is important to stay hydrated.
When drinking water, always listen to your body. If you feel thirsty, it’s because your body needs water.
Myths about muscle gain & fat burn
Unfortunately, there are many myths regarding muscle gain and fat burn.
Many of these myths have no scientific background and can demotivate you from achieving your fitness goals.
Here are the top myths regarding muscle gain and fat burn:
1. First, muscle gain is not possible with fat loss:
While both are different goals, you can achieve both at the same time.
Weight loss can be achieved through a good diet, and muscle gain requires the right exercise plan.
2. Protein supplements are not effective for fat loss:
This is another myth that has been proven wrong through research.
Studies show that protein supplements are essential for muscle growth, especially if you are already on a fat-loss diet.
3. All fats are unhealthy:
You should indeed avoid saturated and trans fats. But you can’t wholly avoid fats. This is because your body requires unsaturated fats and a certain amount of saturated fats.
Many healthy fats can be used as part of a weight-loss program as well!
The popular keto diet is based on consumption of fat and reduction of carbohydrates.
While most people are content with a muscle gain or fat loss diet, it’s a real challenge to combine the two.
Every diet requires discipline, and gaining muscle while losing fat is no different.
If you are looking to get started on your fitness journey, then there’s no reason why you can’t lose fat and replace it with muscle at the same time.