Fat Loss Vs. Muscle Growth

woman-flexing-her-arm_gjup6m.jpeg

This is a common question that has been floating around so I thought I would address it for my warriors!


First of all, nutrition dictates these two desired outcomes WAY more than workouts or exercising. The problem that many people run into is the eat less, exercise more model. Which has been the go to idea of the dieting and weight loss culture for decades. 

The problem with the eat less, exercise more model is that our bodies will adapt to anything. Let's say you set a calorie limit for your body of 1,000 calories a day. You may lose a few lbs in the first couple days, but your body needs calories to burn calories. Let me say that again, YOUR BODY NEEDS CALORIES TO BURN CALORIES. That is because your metabolism is like a fire, the more good fuel you give it the more it will burn with proper exercise. If you greatly drop the amount of food you are giving your body, the fire has a hard time burning. 

In order to lose fat, you must be in a calorie deficit of some kind, there's no way around it. But it's all about WHAT you are putting into your body and the second thing that most people don't get is HOW you put it into your body. I'm talking about your stress level, if you are in a hurry while eating, your mindset about what you are eating all goes into the equation of HOW your body will digest and absorb that food. For example, if you are very stressed and you sit down to eat - from a scientific standpoint, your salivary glands decrease their production to help chew food, your intestines actually pause to focus blood elsewhere (like your brain or heart) and the enzymes in your stomach (that help breakdown food for absorption or deification) literally decrease 3 fold!!! Something to start doing TODAY if you are trying to lose fat, SLOW DOWN WHEN YOU EAT AND CHEW.

Also doing some deep breathing before you eat can help a ton. Deep breathing for even 3 breaths can trick your body into thinking you aren't stressed. The body is smart, but you're smarter? ;)

Here are 3 things that are key to get the best results for losing fat and gaining muscle:
1. A SLIGHT deficit in calories (a large deficit is hard to adhere to and leaves you feeling crummy, I'm not a calorie counting advocate so my suggestion would be eat every meal to satisfaction, not full)
2. Resistance training through circuits. (If you are interested in starting resistant training, let me know I write programs specifically for what you need).
3. Minimal cardio in strategic bursts (NOT the foundation of your training)

You cannot turn fat into muscle. They are separate cell structures and are VERY different. You CAN lose fat and gain muscle.

Muscle is much more compact than fat and it's queen, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. People get very frustrated with the scale when they weight train, the scale may go up or stay the same - but the old saying of muscle weighs more than fat is true. Keep this in mind and don't get discouraged. I would recommend doing measurements to see inches lost even if you don't lose weight. The scale is not a measurement of progress.

Still aren't sure where to start? Here are my suggestions for all you warriors out there who are trying to gain muscle and lose fat:

1. Starting simple is huge. It's great to have big goals! But make them specific and reasonable. If you aren't working out at all right now - start with 1-2 days a week and then gradually work your way to more. 

2. Pay attention to your input (food) and your expenditure (workouts) Your metabolism wants to work for you. SO help it out by not dropping a large calorie deficit on its lap. If you are a calorie counter I would say no more than 100 calories a day to start.

3. For two weeks, eat a lot and exercise a lot. Then the next two weeks eat less and exercise less. This keeps your metabolism in check and won't send you on crazy cravings and wild binges.

If you would like specific help with anything, please reach out. I would love to answer any questions you may have!

Have a great week Warrior!