Lose Fat & Gain Muscle - Simultaneously
Posted on: 2013-12-11 11:02:14 Ft.
Is it possible? A study conducted in Norway and published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Metabolism suggests there's a way. Wanna know what they did? Keep reading.
The Norwegians split 30 men and women, who were experienced athletes from a wide-range of sports into two groups. Each group had their body weight, fat mass and one-rep max (i.e., bench press, bench pull and squat) measured before and after the intervention. They then trained four times a week.
One group trained and dieted for an average of 8.5 weeks. Their diet was tailored to help them lose 0.7% body weight a week. For example, that's about a pound a week for someone who weighs 154 pounds. This group did this by reducing their energy intake by an average of 19%. Their daily macronutrient intake for protein was 0.6 g - 0.8 g per pound of body weight, 1.8 g - 2.7g for carbohydrates with less than 20% coming from fat. They also ate 5-7 meals a day. Basically, this group was shooting for slow and gradual reduction in weight.
The second group trained and dieted for an average 5.3 weeks. Their diet was tailored to help them lose 1.4% body weight a week, which was twice as much as the first group. Therefore, using the previous example, this means a 154-pound person would lose 2 pounds a week. They accomplished this by reducing their calorie intake by average of 30%. They stayed within the same macronutrient ranges as the first group (just on the lower end) and ate 5-7 meals a day. However, as implied, they were shooting for rapid weight-loss results in a shorter period.
The results showed that both groups lost around the same percentage of body weight. However, the first group lost more fat mass (31%) than the second group (21%). What's even more interesting is that the first group gained lean body mass (2.1%), whereas the second group remained unchanged. There were also greater improvements in bench press, bench pull and squat for the first group.1
Therefore, it you're looking to trade off fat for muscle than take the above into consideration. In other words, take your time - the results will be worth it!
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1. Garthe, I. et al. 2011. Effect of Two Different Weight-Loss Rates on Body Composition and Strength and Power-Related Performance in Elite Athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. Apr;21(2):97-104.