How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle
By Bodybuilding Science
Trying to lose weight (fat) or gain weight (muscle) can be one of the most frustrating things you will ever do. This is a huge industry in America, and it preys on people who are misinformed and misled. They shove fad diets and magic pills down our throats until we actually believe it's the only way to change our bodies. The saddest thing, for me, is a person who has the dedication, drive, and will to lose weight; but fails because he/she doesn't have the right information. Gaining muscle or losing fat comes down to one simple conceptů math. If you can do simple addition and subtraction and have the patience to keep good records of what you eat, you can lose as much weight as you want. I know you might not believe me, but just hear me out. The diet pill and weight loss companies want you to think changing your body is impossibly difficult, but it really is very easy (at least the principle is).
Changing your body.
There are only two ways in which a person can change their body: (1) gain/lose muscle & (2) gain/lose fat. That's it. There is no such thing as toning, sculpting, etc. These are industry buzz words. Most everyone's goal, both men and women, is to gain muscle and lose fat. Now this is the point which most women interject, "But I don't want to look like a bodybuilder" or "I don't want to be bulky". Sigh. There are two reasons why this is silly. First, women have 1/15 the testosterone of men. Unless you are shooting steroids into your thigh, you can NEVER look like a bodybuilder. Take a look around the average gym; you'll see slender guys desperately repping weights to try to get huge. If it's that hard for them, and it's 15 times harder for you, I doubt you're ever going to look like a monster. Secondly, muscle is what looks attractive. Six pack abs? "Toned" arms? Defined legs? A shapely butt? These are all the results of having muscle tissue and low fat. But this is a nutritional article, so I digress.
Balance the books.
Weight loss/gain comes down to a simple principle: calories consumed vs. calories used. If you eat more than you burn in a day, you gain weight. If you eat less than you burn in a day, you lose weight. That's it. The hardest part is figuring out these numbers and then tailoring your lifestyle to them. Try this. First thing in the morning, weigh yourself and write it down. Record the amount and type of food you eat all day and any exercise you don't do on a daily basis. You can use any number of calorie calculators on the internet and figure out the number of calories you consumed and subtract the calories you burned. If at the end of the week you weigh less, you've found your calorie limit. Continue to eat that amount of calories and you will continue to lose weight. If your weight goes up, you need to cut back the amount of calories you eat. Simple to understand, but takes a lot of will to practice.
What to eat?
If you want to build muscle, you need to eat protein. If you don't know how much protein you should be eating, check out our article on protein consumption. You should balance the remainder of your calories between healthy fats and clean carbohydrates. If you stick to this system it is impossible to fail. Now you know how to do it, the hard part is yet to come. Discipline becomes a lifestyle and before you know it, you'll have the body of your dreams.