Can You Lose Weight and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?

Learn how you can lose weight and build muscle mass at the same time through the process of Body Recomposition.

By HourlyTraining

Published August 19, 2020.

It is widely believed that losing fat and building muscle mass can't be accomplished simultaneously due to the laws of thermodynamics.

The laws of thermodynamics are simple:

  • You have to take in fewer calories than you burn if you want to lose weight. Or
  • You have to take in more calories than you burn if you want to build muscle mass.

Simply put, in order to gain muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn, and in order to lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. So how could it be possible to achieve these simultaneously? You can see why this becomes a controversial topic of conversation in the fitness industry!

However, it is often found that with the correct training and nutrition protocols, you can build muscle mass while losing weight! This phenomenon, which is called Body Recomposition, works best in the first stages when people start to exercise and control their diet.

Body recomposition can often be achieved in the following way:

  • By decreasing overall calorie consumption through a tailored nutrition program, fat loss is encouraged.
  • Increasing protein intake promotes muscle recovery and synthesis, leading to an increase in muscle mass.
  • Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, cycling, swimming, or HIIT training, should be included in your training program in order to increase energy expenditure, and stimulate further fat loss.
  • Resistance (strength) training should be included in your training program in order to increase muscle growth.

Body recomposition is a slow process and often takes much longer than either losing fat or gaining muscle independently. Over time, it may become increasingly challenging to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously, and it will eventually become necessary to focus on a single body composition goal.