Since I started my fitness journey, I was always wondering if I can find an alternative to dieting and losing weight for an extended period and bulking up and have to eat a certain amount of food in order to build muscle. The problem is that I put on fat very easily. I definitely don’t want to put back the weight I struggled to lose for so long so I did my researches. Spoiler alert : IT IS POSSIBLE
1. UNDERSTANDING THE PRINCIPLE
So we know that to create a fat loss effect, there is a condition that has to be filled : A calorie deficit (calorie intake < calories spent. We also know that to create an anabolic state, we need a positive nitrogen balance. How to do this ? Well mostly by being as healthy as possible !
Muscle building is not hard to obtain but you need to give all what they need in order to grow, we will cover that in the second section.
Somehow, the combination of the two would make sense to us. But even in that process, there are few rules to observe, it is a chain, and it will be only as strong as our weakest link. Let’s try to do it as strong as possible…
2. HOW TO DO IT ?
I want to begin by saying one thing : Your need to keep the Carbohydrates in your diet. DON’T REMOVE THEM COMPLETELY
All these years, you have been mislead, they let you think that you can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time. We are going to bust that myth !
Let’s see the fat loss part first :
I told you earlier that you need to be in a calorie deficit, but how much deficit should you create ? How to apply it and doing what ?
In order to have an efficient calorie deficit and weight loss you need to remain somewhere around – 10% to 20% less than your maintenance caloric rate. With numbers : if your body consumes 3000 calories, remove 300 to 600 calories from your calorie intake. Which, would be 2400-2700.
Easy right ?
WARNING : Do not go lower than this rate in your calorie deficit. The opposite of anabolism is catabolism (loss of matter, in that case : muscle). It can be caused by too few calories and not enough nutrients to feed your muscles. When that happens, your body will use your muscle as a source of energy? Which is the exact opposite of what we want !
THAT WILL HURT YOUR METABOLISM AND YOUR NITROGEN BALANCE
Let’s see the muscle building part :
To be in the best anabolic state possible, there are some few requirements, for example :
- A good hydration
- Enough Sleep (aim at 7-8 hours)
- Enough food to be close to your maintenance caloric rate
- QUALITY FOOD !
Water : On that aspect I always say drink as much as you need but people tend to say that they are not thirsty are not very often. So I also recommend : 1l per 20KG (45lb). It a good way to have an idea of the amount of water you need if you have a daily physical activity, you can drink even more if you don’t have a sedentary job !
Sleep : Sleep is crucial, that’s when the magic happens, not in the gym, not during your workouts.
In the gym, you break down the muscle, you build it with rest and enough nutrients. Which, lead us to the next point.
Enough food : Believe it or not, your body needs matter to create muscle. It doesn’t create matter on its own. We covered that in the first paragraph. The fact that you are around your maintenance caloric rate, you will be able to keep your nitrogen balance on a good level and start building muscle.
Quality food : When it come to building muscle, your body not only needs protein but all sorts of micro nutrients that will keep you healthy and without any deficiency. Your also need all sorts of Amino Acids and Oligo elements such as selenium (can be found in Brazil Nuts and Fatty fishes). If you can manage to keep as many nutrients as possible, there is no reason for you to build muscle.
All these conditions together will make sure that you are building muscle, … assuming that you train hard 😉 …
I will do the “Hardcore lifter checklist” in another article.
3. THE LIMITS (CONS)
I wrote this as “CONS” because I kinda had to but I don’t think that it is really.
The process of building muscle and losing fat must be a long term process in your head, the fact is that too many people see their weight loss as a sprint, it really isn’t.
It is indeed a long process to build muscle and lose fat but this method is the only sustainable way to do it. Your need to think that it is possible and that it will happen to you. And the gains will come to you because you welcomed them with a healthy lifestyle !
4. BENEFITS (PROS)
The great thing with this method is that you won’t have to do any major change in your diet. Most of the time, in bodybuilding, you see the athletes bulking up and eating so much food and the month after starving themselves. Even though this has changed, most of the people get confused when it comes to diet.
Doing these kinds of changes is very stressful to your body and you don’t want to do that often. Don’t you feel it when you are sick for a day or two and you struggle to eat food. Your body starts getting weird, you lose weight too fast and you are even more tired. Your need to have a steady food intake otherwise you won’t last. Your want this to be your long term solution !
To sum up, we want :
- A calorie deficit (10%-20%)
- Quality food
Aim at 4-6 meals a day, my personal go to is 5 but you have to find a way to make it sustainable. If you push hard enough, you will be able to make it your lifestyle !
These are simple steps, give it enough time and you will see the results very soon.
The key to succeed to something that you commit to is to be confident about it. Don’t stress out, allow yourself a cheat meal once a week without any guilt.
I wanted to end on that note, because I know how stress out I was and I wanted someone to guide me through and reassure me. There is no reason for you to fail !