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How To Build Lean Muscle While Losing Weight

By AK, 11 July 2019


Is it time for a big change in your life?

Getting healthy will mean a lot for your quality of life. Not only will you physically feel better when you start to lose weight and gain muscle, but you'll also gain confidence in yourself and improve your overall mental health.

There's no doubt that it's a tough transition to make, especially if you've never been one for working out. It's always tough to push yourself and get in the routine of going to the gym or doing workouts at home.

It also depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If your goal is to lose weight, then you have to stick to a certain regimen. To bulk up and build muscle, you've got to do something entirely different. Maybe you're trying to do both at the same time.

In this post, we're going to teach you how to build lean muscle while losing weight. There are specific things that you need to focus on, both in your lifestyle and when working out, that can help you achieve this goal.

It won't be easy, but when you're done reading this, you'll be ready to make that big change. Let's get started.

1Your Guide on How to Build Lean Muscle While Losing Weight


For the sake of this article, we're going to assume that you've either never been one for working out or it's been a good while since you have. From there, we can give you a basic guide on the changes that you need to make to give yourself a path to building that muscle while you lose weight.

The key, of course, is eating right and getting the right kind of exercise. It's going to take dedication and patience on your end, but once you get in the habit, you'll learn to love the new you. Feeling great about your body will trickle into other aspects of your life.

Reduce Caloric Intake

To lose fat, you're going to need to lower your caloric intake. This is always the hardest part for someone that is attempting to change their lifestyle. You're not going to lose weight if you don't change up your diet.

You always hear that a man should consume around 2,500 calories per day to maintain their weight and a woman should consume around 2,000. You can get a more accurate number by using an online calculator that'll factor in your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level.

From there, you can figure out how many calories you need to deduct from your diet per day to get your desired weight loss. A pound of fat is equaled to about 3,500 calories, so cutting out 500 calories per day would theoretically help you drop a pound per week.

You have to be careful, though. You need to consume a certain number of calories (1,800 for men and 1,200 for women), or else you'll lose muscle, which defeats the purpose of this exercise.

Your Guide on How to Build Lean Muscle While Losing Weight

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Your Diet

Dropping your calorie intake is important, but you still need that energy to build the muscle that you're looking for. For that reason, your diet should be high in protein. A high protein diet is going to help you build lean muscle while you're also losing weight.

So, what should you be eating then? Fish, eggs, poultry and lean meat, and low-fat dairy are going to be your best bet for high-protein, low-calorie foods. Keep sugary foods and things high in saturated fat out of your diet, instead focus on filling out your calorie intake with fruits and vegetables.

Your goal should be to consume about 1 gram of protein per pound of your own body weight. If you're 175 pounds, then consume about 175 grams of protein. Read the nutritional information on everything you buy from the grocery store and focus on eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day.

Strength Training

To go along with your new diet, you're going to need to start getting your cardio and strength training in. When you're new to strength training, you should keep the weights light and only do it twice a week. You can work up from there.

Challenge yourself with one set of around 10 reps of various exercises. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, shoulder presses, and rows will challenge all of the major muscle groups and give you a good jumping off point.

After a while, you can increase the number of sets and reps while you move to heavier weights and more strength workouts per week. Leave 2 days between workouts for each muscle group. You can keep track of this by using a free fitness app or getting a personal trainer, which is always helpful at the beginning.

Keep the Right Mindset

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Cardio & HIIT

It's not all about strength training, however. Cardio is hugely important for burning calories and fat while increasing blood flow. Healthy blood flow will help deliver nutrients to all of your muscles, allowing them to recover more efficiently.

Again, you don't have to be a marathon runner right away, but doing an hour of moving around per day is going to help you burn calories faster and increase your metabolism. This is all key to losing that weight.

As you get out there more, your stamina will increase and you'll be able to run, bike, and swim for longer periods of time. Doing this concurrently with your strength training regimen will help you lose weight while you build muscle.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is when you alternate bursts of intense cardio exercise with shorter intervals of low-intensity exercise. It's said that this helps you drop fat in a more effective way than steady cardio.

An example of a HIIT workout would be warming up for a few minutes on the treadmill, then alternating 1 minute of sprinting with 1 minute of light jogging for about 20 minutes. While HIIT workouts are proven to work, you shouldn't neglect a normal cardio session either. Use both.

2Keep the Right Mindset


These are the best tips for how to build lean muscle while losing weight. It's not going to happen overnight, but if you keep a positive mindset, you can begin to really enjoy eating healthy and getting exercise.

The spiritual side of getting healthy is just as important as actually making these changes. Everything that's been holding you back up until now has been in your thinking. You've always been capable of doing this, you're just realizing it now.

Luckily, it's never too late to change your path. Find yourself some high-protein recipes and hit the grocery store, then get to the gym and start working out. You won't regret it.


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