This is an article years in the making because it took me a long time to realize what I needed to do to lose fat – which in my case was around my stomach – while also gaining muscle. Some say it can’t be done, and I was beginning to believe that. I’ve always been able to either lose fat or gain muscle, but until recently never found a way to do both. It seems an impossible task, as you basically need to increase intake to make muscle gains and decrease intake to lose fat. I’ve perused forums and articles and honestly some of that stuff seemed like it required a degree in nutrition and sports medicine to understand. So for those of you out there who aren’t partial to “cycling” or other mental acrobatics that seem to be required here, read on to see how I finally managed to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously. And I’ll tell you in one paragraph.
As a blogger, I’m tempted to stretch this article out and ramble on and on before finally getting to the point after a couple of thousand words. OK, I’m not tempted to do that, as so many writers do these days. It just seems that’s how it’s done these days.
But not here at WafflesatNoon. Here’s the way I’ve done it – in one paragraph:
Anyone who has done weight training knows that you have to increase protein to make muscle gains. That is the key that I’ve found in this entire process. I cut my overall calories, but increased my protein intake and timed those meals with my workouts. That’s it! Let me give you some details for clarity. I’ll have a protein shake about 30 minutes before my workout. Then I’ll have another, along with a protein bar and some raw veggies immediately after my workout. For breakfast, I have half a bagel (for carbs) and a protein shake, and then I’ll eat a small protein-rich dinner, capped off with a protein shake at night. My overall calories are cut considerably, but my protein intake is increased. Muscle repair is maintained by the timing of the shakes, but fat stores are utilized to compensate for the reduction in calories.
Obviously this isn’t a long-term lifestyle, but instead a short-term solution to losing fat and gaining muscle. Once you get your body where it needs to be, you should ease back into a more balanced program, focusing on maintaining or gaining muscle – which is a different animal than described here. While following the plan above, you should give yourself one or two days a week to rest, meaning no workouts and more substantial meals.
Certainly the gym rats and nutrition gurus might take issue with what I’ve outlined above. But it has worked for me, and they can’t take that away from me, and that’s all I’m trying to convey here. I’m a regular guy who achieved results without going to the extremes that the pros promote.
Finally, this article is for informational purposes only, based on my own experience. It’s not meant to treat or diagnose anything. You should check with a doctor before making any lifestyle or health changes.