I’ve often wondered, as many people do I’m sure, why it seems SO hard to build muscle AND lose significant amounts of fat at the same time. I’m not saying you can’t and if you are lifting, you obviously will burn calories and fat as you gain muscle, but in today’s post, I want to go into detail about why it is a much slower, more difficult, and tedious process for you to do both at the same time and get the exact results you want.
When I first set out to lose weight, I was also involved in a heavy weight routine, and although I was building lots of muscle and burning calories, there was still a huge layer of fat around my body, so it almost felt like extra bulk. If you don’t already have a lean frame, no matter how much muscle you build and weights you lift, it will be harder to see definition and results. Think about it, we all have abs under there somewhere and I’m sure you’re doing tons of sit ups and planks, but until you lose stomach fat, you won’t ever be able to see them. The same goes for definition around your arms, legs, etc. We need to trim the fat before the muscle will show through.
This doesn’t mean don’t’ do weight-bearing exercises or forget ever lifting, but it’s a good idea to focus on cardio, portion control, and your caloric intake while you’re losing fat first. Also, ever notice that when you start doing strength routines and weights you’re appetite sky rockets? This is because your body needs more fuel and energy to sustain new muscles. It takes effort and consistency to stay strong and ripped. It would be incredibly difficult to eat 1200-1500 calories a day (for a woman) while doing an intense weight routine and not feel lethargic and weak. Even when I’ve done the CHALEAN DVDs, she even tells you to start eating MORE as you gain muscle. And this makes sense as you change your overall body composition. A lot of people often feel discouraged when they are doing a lot of weights and little cardio, although they are building muscle, the exterior only shows the bulk of it beyond their current body fat.
There really isn’t one way that’s better than the other, but both fat loss and building muscle require a lot of dedication and consistency and it can be extremely hard to try to do both at once. Choose which direction you’d like to go and focus on one before the other. Ultimately, if you are decreasing your intake and working out, you will see results over time. However, in order to be able to see the muscle you will be building, you will need to also decrease your body fat percentage.