Last time we spoke about how it is actually possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time using various different training techniques. If you’re interested in learning more about this, feel free to check out part 1!
This article will cover the 3 ways you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time through nutrition-based methods. Keep reading for tips on adjusting your diet and making lifestyle changes to increase muscle gain and fat loss.
1. Strategically Increase Calorie Intake
The first way you can follow to gain muscle and lose fat is to increase your protein intake. If you increase any other macronutrient, you’re probably going to end up gaining fat.
Say, you overfed on carbohydrates one day. Maybe you were out eating and you ate something that broke your diet and increased your carbohydrates by 500 calories. You’re almost certainly guaranteed to gain fat because of this.
However, Dr. Jose Antonio did a lab study that showed how overfeeding an additional 500 calories a day of protein actually resulted in fat loss. On average, individuals in the study lost about 3 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of muscle. In addition to that, some people in the study gained 15 pounds of lean mass and lost 8 pounds of fat!
This is crucial to understand if you’re trying to to both lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, because it means that overfeeding on protein can not only help you gain muscle, but it can also help you lose fat. So how much protein should you consume to do that? We recommend 1.5-2g of protein per lbs of bodyweight.
Say you’re a solid 200 pounds on the scale, that means you’re looking to eat anywhere from 300-400g of protein. That sounds insane, doesn’t it? Well, you can use this as an opportunity to go harder than you ever could in the gym.
Think of it as giving yourself a short burst for a period of time, where you bump your training volume up for about 4-6 weeks, go all out in the gym and do everything we talked about the first part of this two-part series. You’re guaranteed to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.
2. Time Your Protein Consumption
Over the last 5 years, we’ve seen an influx of people claiming that protein timing doesn’t matter at all, and that all that matters are your macros and calories. That could not be further from the truth.
The second way to lose fat and gain muscle through diet changes is by timing your protein intake. Back in the day, everyone knew that you should consume protein right after a workout, which can help you make better gains.
Probably one of the best studies covering this topic is one that was conducted by Paul Cribb. He found that consuming protein and creatine both before and after your workout resulted in more fat loss and more muscle gain than if you just had it in the morning and at night.
This is why you need to be consuming your protein around your workout; it’s guaranteed to lead to fat loss and you’ll be able to maximize your body composition changes, meaning that you’re more likely to lose fat without compromising your muscles.
3. Get Enough Sleep
The final tip for gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time is to focus on your sleeping length and quality. You can do all of the other 5 tips we just gave you in this and the previous article, but if you’re not sleeping at least 7-9 hours a day, you’re never going to succeed in your goals.
A lot of people think that if they sleep 5 hours a night, wake up early, and do their cardio, then they’re getting the best of both worlds. They can lose fat by doing cardio, and gain muscle when they go to the gym.
The sad truth is that these types of people are actually sabotaging themselves. Studies show that sleep deprivation impairs something we call nutrient partitioning, which is when the nutrients you allow into your body go toward building muscle rather than being stored as fat.
So, if you’re depriving yourself of sleep, you’re going to impair your nutrient partitioning. You might actually be switching the ratio of where your nutrients go, causing you to lose muscle rather than fat.
Again, we recommend getting 7-9 hours of sleep at night. You can evem sleep for 7 hours during the week and during the weekend you can compensate by napping a couple of hours during the day.
We hope this article helped you understand the best ways you can use nutrition and lifestyle changes to gain muscle and lose fat.