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If you diligently follow the recommendations outlined in this article, you will be amazed at the pace at which your body increases muscle size and strength. If you have been at a plateau and thought adding muscle was no longer possible, then rejoice in the knowledge that you have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal that can allow you to naturally maximize your muscle building physiology. More...
By Registered Dietitian
on October 09, 2008
Optimal athletic performance requires food and nutrient intake that is tailored to each athlete’s sport, training schedule and individual needs. The basics of performance nutrition are discussed here to help maximize your physical potential and reach your performance goals. More...

Can you lose fat and build muscle at the same time?

Answer: Yes, and these are the ideal conditions for long-term success, but it takes the right formula of calories, nutrition and exercise to build muscle while losing body fat.  Conventional dieting typically does not create these conditions. In fact, when weight is lost through any standard program of diet and/or exercise, generally three-quarters of the weight lost is body fat and one-quarter is lean body mass/muscle (LBM). The reverse is also common; for every pound of weight adults gain, three-quarters is fat and one-quarter is LBM/muscle. The body will naturally increase muscle during weight gain in order to carry the heavier body mass through life. When weight is lost, the extra muscle is no longer necessary so it’s diminished and adds to the total weight loss shown on the scale.

In order to build muscle while losing fat, we’ve designed our program to feed muscle with appropriate types & amounts of food, and we’ve added dietary support in the way of nutritional supplements, which supply important nutrition without the calories. In other words, starve the fat by consuming slightly fewer calories than you burn, which allows the body to draw energy from its fat stores. At the same time you feed the muscle by supplying nutrients without adding extra calories. Now the muscles have the necessary materials and energy to increase in size as long as you incorporate some form of resistance exercise.

More details
The formula for building muscle while losing body fat is something we developed for bodybuilding and then brought to the mainstream in the mid 1980s. Unfortunately, most dieters, and especially non-athletic people, prefer to see the number on the scale decrease as quickly as possible. This makes any addition of muscle weight counterproductive when viewing their weekly weight changes. Therefore, we introduced the idea of measuring body fat each time you weighed in. This allows you to see the pounds of body fat change even when the number on the scale is saying something different. Example: start out at 160 pounds, 30% body fat and two weeks later you are still 160lbs but your body fat is 29%. In actuality you lost 1.6lbs of BF and gained the same in muscle*. This is a common scenario in health clubs where people begin to exercise, eat better and supplement their diet. As mentioned above, building muscle (or at least maintaining as much as possible) during weight/fat loss is the most desirable way to pursue fitness as this method builds a stronger, more functional body that will last longer into old age. Additionally, adding pounds of muscle will help offset the inevitable decline in the amount of calories the body burns when you lose weight/fat (the lower the body weight, the fewer calories burned in all activities). This is because the new muscle tissue will use more calories per day than the lost fat tissue was burning. And finally – as the body fat comes off while adding a little muscle, the overall look of the body is generally more desirable.

Want to learn more? See Xtreme Muscle Stack: Creating the Perfect Anabolic Storm.

*Note of interest: If you are overweight and weight/fat loss is the primary goal, you should not be building muscle at the same rate of weight loss for any significant period of time or your calorie deficit is simply not large enough. In other words, “the number” will go down at a desired pace eventually if you are truly losing body fat.

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