Can I Lose Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time?

Yes you can! The two can be one and the same. When you build muscle, your metabolic rate increases, which in return burns fat!

Through my years as an athlete and with my experience as a fitness coach, I’ve seen and experienced what works with many different people. There are four primary elements that need to work in balance to lose fat and build muscle:

  1. Sleep quality
  2. Nutrition
  3. Type of Exercise
  4. Stress Management

SLEEP

In order to lose fat and build muscle your body needs to heal and repair. 

This important healing process happens while you sleep. While you workout your muscle tissue breaks down, through the course of the next 24-72 hours the muscle tissue heals and increases the size of the muscle fiber. The muscle you build increases your metabolism which leads to more burned calories. If you’re not sleeping, you’re stealing your own hard work! 

Here are some simple steps you can start today to help improve your sleep quality.

  1. Set a sleep schedule. Plan to be in bed with the lights off at the same time every night. and set your alarm for the same time every morning. Prepare for bed with ample time to be in bed by your lights off time and if you like to hit the snooze button, limit yourself to only one or two snooze hits before waking up.
  1. Turn your screens off one hour before bed. Many clients find that replacing screens with a book is highly beneficial.
  1. Take naps. If you’re unable to sleep uninterrupted due to work, a new baby, etc., set aside time through the day to nap. Ideally, you would get six to eight hours of sleep within a 24 hour period. It is best if these naps are at least 45-90 minute increments.

If you’re able to get your sleep in tune, you’ll soon feel refreshed, energized, want to workout, lose fat and gain muscle!

NUTRITION

Most of you may have heard that abs are made in the kitchen, which is absolutely true!  If you’re sleeping well, working out hard, then eating all fast food, you’re negating all the work you’ve been putting in.

It is common to see clients improve their nutrition and begin to lose fat and build muscle without putting as many hours of work in at the gym!

In preparation for the 2018 CrossFit Games, I decided to put more time and effort into my nutrition than into my training. The results were the best I’ve ever had in my competitive fitness career and I was in the best shape of my life without spending as much time in the gym.

Here is a checklist to make sure your nutrition is on point!

  • You’re eating mostly whole foods
  • You’re eating at least 3 meals per day (ideally up to 6)
  • Each meal contains a vegetable and fruit (even snacks)
  • Each meal contains a source of carbohydrate
  • Each meal contains a source of lean protein
  • Each meal contains a source of fat

Here are some simple things you can do to improve your nutrition right now!

  1. Cut out sugar drinks (soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, gatorade, powerade). Replace with water or unsweetened tea.
  1. Add a vegetable and fruit to each meal. I love steamed vegetables. You can prepare a lot at once and they’re ready for on the go. If you don’t like plain vegetables, try dipping them in hummus!
  1. Add a protein source to each meal. Most Americans don’t eat enough protein, which is an important tool for recovery, fat loss and building lean muscle. Many of our clients add eggs or egg whites to breakfast, ground turkey or chicken to lunch and beef to evening meals.

If you’re struggling with getting your nutrition on point, our nutrition experts are here to help you set action steps and get you on track for reaching your goals. I’m interested in nutrition coaching → https://msgsndr.com/widget/booking?calendar=cG0F1o7IB58d8xZGxrOo,CMDz4uSx2R7G2nBd7yl1

EXERCISE

To be able to burn fat and gain muscle simultaneously, it’s important to choose an exercise regimen that is not too specialized. 

An entirely cardio based exercise program is great for burning fat, but makes it difficult to gain muscle. An entirely strength based program is beneficial for building muscle, but not ideal for burning fat. 

An ideal exercise program that can simultaneously burn fat and build muscle, contains the following items:

  • High intensity interval training, using a variety of exercises, reps and time domains at least 2-3 days per week.
  • Multi-jointed, heavy weight lifting that includes squats, deadlifts and presses performed with a variety of sets, reps and rest at least 2-3 days per week.
  • Is balanced between upper and lower body exercises and pushing and pulling exercises.

Lincoln Nutrition and Fitness incorporates this type of training with most of our clients. If you’re interested in seeing if this would be a good fit for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our coaches here: https://msgsndr.com/widget/booking?calendar=cG0F1o7IB58d8xZGxrOo,CMDz4uSx2R7G2nBd7yl1

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress can wreak havoc on your body. It is the biggest obstacle for most people in reaching their health and fitness goals. 

Stress releases a hormone called cortisol into your body. High levels of cortisol cause fat stores and excess circulating fat to be relocated and deposited deep in the abdomen, which left unchecked can develop into or enhance obesity. 

How do you know if your stress levels are okay?

  • Do you take a minimum of 1-hour per day that’s solely for yourself?
  • Do you read and/or journal on a daily basis?
  • Do you generally feel accomplished at the end of the day?

Here are some things you can do today to help alleviate your stress:

  1. Plan an hour each day for yourself. This can include workouts, journaling, reading, walking, etc., but do it alone and without screens if possible.
  1. Plan 15 minutes to journal each day. Find a passage, ask yourself these questions:
    1. What sticks out to me?
    2. How can I apply this to my day?
  1. Write down 1-3 of the most important items you need to accomplish that day. Focus on those items before adding any more to your todo list.

To lose fat and build muscle, balance in your daily life will help you fully succeed in your goals.

THIS WEEK’S ACTION STEPS:

To get started with losing fat and building muscle take this simple steps this week:

  • Set your sleep routine. Schedule your time when you’ll start preparing for bed and when you’ll be in bed with your lights off every night of the week. Wake-up at the same time each day this week.
  • Add a vegetable and fruit to every meal this week.
  • Plan 15 minutes each morning to journal.

Our coaches at Lincoln Nutrition and Fitness are here to help you find balance and health in your life. Our team is dedicated to helping you set goals, plan action steps and help keep you on track. For help improving your sleep, nutrition, exercise or stress, schedule a free meeting with one of our coaches to see how we can help.

Yes! I’m ready to lose fat and build muscle! Schedule a free consultation here:

https://msgsndr.com/widget/booking?calendar=cG0F1o7IB58d8xZGxrOo,CMDz4uSx2R7G2nBd7yl1

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