Hey! I'm Kate, a holistic health and lifestyle coach. I practice nutritional healing and a total body approach to wellness. I believe we always have the ability to make healthy choices and design our lifestyle.

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Losing Fat vs Gaining Muscle: How To Do Both The RIGHT Way

Have you been trying to lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time?⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀

If I had a dollar for every time someone messaged me saying they wanted to “lose fat and build lean muscle”, then I’d be ROLLING in it!

A lot of my clients tell me they want to do both. Like, right now! But I’m sorry to say – it doesn’t quite work like that.

Yes, building lean muscle is the best way to increase your metabolism as well as maintain a relatively lean body composition. ⁣⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

BUT, if you have significant body fat to lose, then I actually recommend a fat loss phase first. While there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach, as a certified trainer this seems to work across the board with the client’s I’ve worked with.

There are different stages of losing weight in a healthy, sustainable way.

So, what’s the best way to lose fat and gain muscle? By focusing on ONE phase at a time.

Motivated Morning

Setting Up For A Successful Fat Loss Phase

If you start out with excess fat and you start eating in a surplus, your body is not set up to put those extra calories towards building muscle. It’s going to follow the trend of hanging on to body fat.

The good news it, fat loss doesn’t have to be complicated! The fundamentals of fat loss are actually quite simple. It takes time and patience, yes, but if you stick with these workout and nutrition tips consistently, then you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term, sustainable success.

Fat Loss Basics:

  • 250-500 calorie deficit per day
  • Higher reps, lower weights 
  • Low-impact aerobic exercises that are easy on the joints to build cardio endurance
  • keep HIIT to under twice a week (so it remains effective!)
  • Cut out the alcohol
  • Walk 60 mins per day

 

READ MORE: 7 Super Effective Moves For Toning Your Inner Thighs And Butt

Staying out of the gym for a month or two will actually serve you well during this phase until you get your body fat levels down. I totally get that those intense, HIIT-style workouts give you that adrenal rush and good endorphins afterwards.

But the reality is, is if you have body fat to lose, over-exercising can stress the body and tear down ligaments causing inflammation, water retention and a bigger appetite!

smarter not hard workout guide

How To Build Muscle Mass

If you’re at a healthy set point weight, THEN you can start thinking about a muscle building focus.

If you start out with excess fat and you start eating in a surplus, your body is not set up to put those extra calories towards building muscle. It’s going to follow the trend of hanging on to body fat.

You will need to enter a slight calorie surplus during this phase, otherwise your muscles won’t get the fuel they need to grow larger.⁣⠀

Muscle Building Basics:

  • Eat in a slight calorie surplus
  • Lifting heavier weights with lower reps (8-12 range)
  • Keep the HIIT low and stick with walking as cardio (so you don’t burn as many calories)

Your body NEEDS to hang on to extra calories so it can repair and build extra muscle. When you have excess body fat stores, the body isn’t as efficient as partition extra calories towards tissue and muscle repair (compared to excess fat).

READ MORE: Are These Toxic Lifestyle Habits Keeping You Stuck?

 

Nuzest Protein

If you’re wondering if you should lose excess body fat before building muscle, then my answer is YES. Working towards both fat loss and muscle gain at the same time is challenging because they conflict with each other.

Put simply, building muscle requires eating more calories than you burn, while losing fat requires eating fewer calories than you burn.

Ladies, let’s stop asking our bodies to do 50 things at once!

In our LRD programs, you will learn if you need to focus on fat loss, maintenance, or muscle building and create a clear, tailored road map for each phase. ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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If you’re ready to build your own game plan that actually works, learn more about our self-paced and group coaching programs here.

 

 

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Fat loss vs gaining muscle

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