Let’s make one thing very clear from the outset. You can’t take existing fat tissue and magically turn it into muscle. However, with the right techniques, you can change your body composition and you will see real change.
The idea of turning fat into muscle isn’t a new one. It’s a gimmick that health magazines and fitness programs use regularly to try to convince customers that they will see a change in their body composition if you just buy their product. It’s snake oil in it’s most expensive form, and you’re not going to get the lasting change you need and deserve by following these soothsayers of health.
Fat and Muscle Are Not the Same
The difference between fat and muscle is pronounced and very real. You can’t change fat into muscle, and they function in very different ways. Muscle is a form of active tissue that burns calories all day long. Whether you’re sleeping, sitting on the couch, or eating if you have muscle you’re burning more calories than someone with less muscle.
If you keep active, you’ll burn even more calories. Fat is just excess energy that the body can use for fuel when it needs it
. Fat serves an important purpose, and it can help protect you from starvation. In a modern world, fat stores are just not necessary though, and they tend to slow you down and make you lethargic.
Body fat does have it’s purpose. It can help protect the organs against bumps and bruises, it can act as insulation to keep you warm, and as many avid beer drinkers will attest, it serves as an excellent resting place. All people need some fat to survive, but unless you’ve got a sunken in face and you’re at an extremely low body weight, most people can afford to lose some weight.
Getting Rid of the Fat
Now that you’re convinced you need to get rid of this fat, let’s talk about how you can grow some muscle to reduce those love handles. Cardio isn’t enough, diet isn’t enough, you also need to add weight training. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. This is because building muscle requires an increase in calories, while burning fat requires caloric restriction.
The other issue is insulin. If you’re trying to build muscle, you need a lot of carb-intensive foods with high levels of insulin. If you’re trying to burn fat, you need to reduce carbs and get the insulin out of your diet. So, the only way to get rid of the fat and burn muscle is to take a two-stage approach.
Pack on the muscle, and then worry about getting rid of the fat. Of course, you’re going to add a few extra pounds of fat at first.
If you attempt to pack on muscle without losing the weight first, you’ll lose some of that muscle mass you worked so hard to gain when you attempt to shed that fat. However, it’s still a good idea to pack on the muscle first unless you are morbidly obese, since packing on muscle will get your body to burn more calories.
Now that we’ve established you need to pack on muscle first, you need to do it the right way. Eat lots of foods with high levels of carbs. This includes pasta, rice, oatmeal and other foods. But, you also need to get enough protein, so make sure you get enough protein in the form of lean meats, chicken and fish. Avoid junk food, alcohol and candy at all costs. You’re going to be gaining weight as it is, so don’t make it worse by consuming empty calorie foods.
The importance of your Diet
Continue to build muscle until you pack on about 5 to 10 pounds of muscle weight. Once you reach your goal, start dieting to shred the fat. Keep a daily log of all your foods, and adjust your eating habits to get 500 calories less than you need per day.
Reduce your diet by about 500 calories based on what is recommended for your current body weight.
Since your muscle will be working to burn calories around the clock, you’ll burn more calories by adding on some muscle first. This lets you eat more on your diet, while letting your body do a lot of the work. Your added muscle might boost your metabolism by about 200 calories per day. So, you can eat even more and still lose the weight without having to do any extra work.
Chow Down That Protein
Keeping the protein intake up is important. Don’t give up that weight routine, and continue to work out as you did before you restricted your calories. Your workouts might be a big harder since you’ve cut your calories. However, the goal is to keep your muscle while still burning fat. so, it’s important to gradually change your eating habits.
After a couple months of going at this routine, you should be able to lose at least 10 to 15 pounds. If you keep your protein levels up and eat the right foods, you should also be able to keep your muscle. This is the most effective way to reduce your fat and increase your muscle mass. Trying to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time will almost certainly cause you to fail. Take a two-stage approach for the best results.