How Do Weight Loss and Muscle Gain Work?

The Basics

Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or maintain your current fitness level, you have to know how much you eat and how active you are.

How do you know how many calories to eat? Well, based on various factors, including your age, current weight, and height.

Your body requires a certain number of calories to sustain the basic functions that keep you alive. This is called your basal metabolic rate or BMR.

If you add the calories you burn while doing other things in your life, like your workouts and daily routine, you’ll get your total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.

Your TDEE is the base from which you adjust your diet to meet your goals. You can add calories, subtract calories, or keep them the same.

In order to get results efficiently and effectively, you have to know your BMR and TDEE. There are calculators online, but the most accurate way to find out is to schedule an InBody Composition scan at FNS.

Lose fat

As you may know, in order to lose weight, you have to eat less. Basically, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight, which is called a calorie deficit.

In general, if you subtract 500-1000 calories per day from your TDEE, you will lose 1 pound per week.

You do not want to cut much more than 1000 calories per day. 1 pound/week may not seem like a lot of weight, but taking away more calories is much harder to sustain, and you’re way more likely to quit.

Your body will also lose muscle because it does not have the nutrients to support it. To combat this, keep the calorie-cutting to a minimum and eat 0.8-1.2 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight.

Gain muscle

On the other end of the spectrum is muscle gain. Many people come to the gym looking to lose weight and build muscle. They aren’t impossible to do together, but muscle gain is much easier to do when you gain a little bit of weight.

In order to build muscle, you have to work your muscles. Strength training is vital to build muscle. If that is your goal, you should be strength training at least twice per week.

If you want to build muscle without adding a ton of fat efficiently, try to add 100-500 extra calories to your TDEE. Ensure those calories come from lean protein, healthy carbs, and good fats.

Combine that with strength training consistently for several weeks, and you should see results.

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