March 01, 2021 2 min read

If your goal is to figure out how to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time, you’re in for quite the challenge. At first glance, these two goals seem in direct competition with each other, as burning fat requires a deficit of calories and gaining muscle a surplus of calories, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Allow us to help you plan out what kind of diet and exercise you need to get the best of both worlds.

Fat Loss vs. Muscle Gain

As we mentioned, the main challenge of burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time is the different calorie requirements. Burning fat requires a deficit of calories, meaning you are burning more calories than you consume, while building muscle requires you to consume more calories than you burn so your muscles have the fuel they need to build and repair themselves.

The dilemma here is obvious, but luckily, your body already offers a solution. As you practice strength training while on a calorie deficit, your body will make up the difference by pulling from fat stores and the existing energy within your muscles. This means the next step is finding a healthy balance in your diet.

Adjusting Your Diet

How you fuel your body is the most important part of figuring out how to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time. Ideally, you want to consult a nutritionist to help you formulate a diet that best meets your goals, but the rule of thumb for your new diet is that you want to find foods that keep your body energized while still maintaining a calorie deficit. Don’t try to avoid overeating entirely in the hopes that your body will just pull from more fat stores. If you do this, you’ll end up losing muscle mass.

Two-Pronged Exercise

As for how you should be exercising, it’s key to incorporate both cardio and strength training exercises into your routine. This will help you maintain a balance in fat loss and building muscle without compromising either. An example of a good routine would be using a Precor exercise bike for a lower-body cardio exercise, then switching to weight lifting for an upper-body strength workout. This will keep your body from burning out or overusing a particular muscle group.

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