View Full Version : gain muscle and lose fat at the same time?
Can you gain muscle and lose fat at the same time? I have heard some argue that you can only lose fat if you eat fewer calories that you burn, and that you can only gain muscle if you eat more...but still I wonder.
You certainly can do this. You need protein and exercise to build muscle. You need to change your calorie intake/calories burned equation to loose fat. You can reduce your calorie intake without reducing the amount of protein you eat, and you certainly can increase the number of calories you use with exercise.
In addition, if you simply reduce the amount of food you eat, you can trigger a starvation mode metabolism shift, which will actually cause you to gain fat. Exercise, OTOH, will have the opposite effect.
A very good book on dieting and weight control is "Feeding on Dreams : Why America's Diet Industry Doesn't Work & What Will Work for You" by Diane Epstein and Kathleen Thompson.
I wish I had read this book when I was thirteen.
Mastery is not perfection but a journey, and the true master must be willing to try and fail and try again
You also should realize that a muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat. If you increase muscle mass, you will burn more fat during the day. Actually, losing fat has more to do with depleting your muscle cells of their oxygen, which results in your body burning the fat to supply oxygen. It usually takes 15-20 mins of aerobic type exercise to do this. When I am needed to cut about 15 pounds off, I would ride a stationary bike for 20 mins (vigorously) and then work out. This way, the entire workout was essentially an aerobic as well as strength building exercise. I can dig out my Kinesiology textbook if you want the exact chemical process by which you burn fat. People who lose weight by starving and not working out are usually losing as much muscle as fat. If you can, strength train at least 3 times a week and do aerobic exercises 5 times. You will burn fat, and get stronger. If you were a raging bodybuilder, then you would not want to deplete your body of your glycogen stores, but I get the sense you are trying to get back into shape. Also remember, muscle has a greater mass than fat, so don't use your actual weight as a guideline. Either have a body fat composition done in water, or buy some calipers to measure how much you can pinch. If you want more info, let me know
OK, I'm probably going to get some crap about this, but how does one effectively *gain* weight? Short of shoveling down creatin or whatever, I can't seem to put on a few pounds no matter how much I eat. Maybe I just have the metabolism of a tortoise.
Eat more or wait till you are older when the metabolism slows down. Or don't eat stuff that speeds it up, Cool, like coffee. Eat at night before you get in bed when it slows down too.
Oh yeah, taking steroids is a GREAT way to put on a couple of pounds. Extra muscle is worth a some hair loss and a little sterility.
(Everyone got the sarcasm in that paragraph, right? Good.)
CoolHand, some people have as much trouble gaining weight as others do losing it. You don't want to just increase your calorie intake; your body would just put on fat, which isn't usually a healthy thing.
First, the next time you get a physical exam, you may want to ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels. Too much or too little thyroid hormone can play havoc with your metabolism, and make you burn far more or less calories than an average person of your size.
If it turns out that your hormones are okay and it's just a question of body structure, try starting a fitness program. Strength-building excercises make your muscles grow, which is a lot healthier than putting on fat. If your body needs more calories to fuel the growth, you'll feel hungry more often.
Just so you know I have some idea what I'm talking about: I am 5'8" tall. When I was a junior in college, I weighed 115 lbs-- practically a skeleton. I then joined the rowing team, which involved two-hour practices, five times per week. Within two years, I weighed 145 lbs-- just on the thin side of average. (I also had so little body fat that I didn't float in water.)
Creatine is highly effective, but some of the weight you gain is actually retained water. I have used it, and when I am really weight training hard, it works wonders. It makes you urinate alot though. If you want to add muscle mass, try going to GNC or some other supplement source and ask for help. You can find some high protein/calorie type supplements that should help, just make sure you work out. Don't make the mistake of equating muscle/weight gain with fat weight gain, which is what you would get with eating crap or waiting til you age. Or you could always take steroids (I never have). I know someonw who was as skinny as can be no matter how hard he worked out. He took roids for awhile, is now off of them, and is bigger. He isn't a huge bodybuilder, just looks naturally big and in shape. And no matter what you read or hear, most football players I knew at the collegiate level used roids, and I assume the same goes for the pros.
The most effective way to do anything is go to the source... this would be hormones. If you want to gain muscle and lose fat, you need more testosterone and less estrogens. Testosterone naturally burns fat and as an androgen it builds muscle (with adequate calories, fat, and protien). Estrogens naturally enhance fat production. The calories and fat the testosterone would require to build muscle would be used up, and thus not counter-productive to the fat loss. As to how to go about altering your levels of these hormones, I won't say, nor would I suggest messing with hormones period (they are the most basic chemical messengers of the body). But, that's the straight-dope.
08-02-2012, 05:24 AM
Bumping a thread that is thirteen years old? I think it's the oldest zombie thread I've ever seen.
There have been lots of newer threads on this topic that had some really good responses, if you're interested in reading more.
Must gain fat and muscle at same time truth? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=585102)
Cutting fat and gaining muscle. How do I do it? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=585120)
How do you lose fat and keep muscle? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=614857)
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