How to Lose Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Doesn’t this sound like an oxymoron? How can you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time? Either you lose fat or you gain muscle. These are supposed to be separate mechanisms not occurring at the same time. But it may be true that both physical processes can take place at both times. It would be really nice to be able to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Just think as you are losing weight you are gaining muscle. This would be the best of both worlds. Let see if this is possible.

Fat Loss and Muscle Gain Simultaneously

It  is physically possible to gain muscle mass while losing fat. This is done because the body need protein and energy to build muscle tissue. If the body gets enough protein from your diet  then it just needs energy which it can obtain from fat mass. The result  the body loses fat mass while building muscle tissue. This sounds really good in the theoretical world but what about in the practical world of humans. Have people really been able to lose fat and gain muscle tissue at the same time.

In one case study a group of policemen were fat weighing with 26% body fat. They started a weight training program and in 12 weeks they lost 9.3 lbs. of body fat and gained 8.8 lbs of  lean body mass or muscle. But they were policeman and they are special cases that is why they lost fat and gain muscle. They have to be put through rigid training because of the nature of their jobs. But this is a weak  argument  because everyday people in all walks of life have lost fat and gained muscle at the same time. Even when they engage in endurance training they lose fat and gain muscle mass. Many studies have proven that people have done this very process.Young people, middle-age people and elderly people have done this. Young males, old males, young females, and old females have all lost bodyfat and gained muscle tissue. There are several studies to confirm this fact. Even on mediocre training programs, crappy diets and minimal protein intake people have been able to lose fat and add lean muscle mass.

There was one client  who had been training for over 20 years and was before this training benchpressing 235 lbs. For 5 reps before he started being coached. He took a DXA scan (Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DEXA is today’s established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). every three weeks during the 2 month coaching. In the 2 months and 18 days he lost 6.7 lbs. While gaining almost the same amount of muscle mass. On the last scan his weight was within 8 grams of his original weight. So he was able to lose fat and gain body muscle mass. So, it can be done.  

How to Burn fat and Gain muscle Mass at the same Time

The best setting to accomplish in is the gym. But you are only in the gym for two hours. What about the other 22 hours you aren’t in the gym? These times are just as important as those two hours spent working out. You can continue the process of losing fat and gaining muscle mass outside the gym as well. While you are in the gym don’t be that person that is looking at your phone after every set. If you do this you will break any type of intensity you have established. Instead establish and maintain a steady intensity that will maximize the losing fat and gaining muscle process. Leave the phone at home or in the locker.

For example, instead of resting between three sets of the same exercise try three different exercises. Consider alternating an upper body pull (such as pull-ups) with an upper body push (push-ups) or a lower-body push (squats). Thisway you keep moving and keep the losing fat and gaining lean muscle ratio going.

Don’t Drink and Exercise

Even  if you only drink moderately cut this out for 30 days and you will see dramatic results in 30 days. Alcohol consumption disrupts REM sleeps, packs on empty calories, increases the release of the stress hormone cortisol, and decreases protein synthesis for muscle fiber repair.  It also decreases water soluble vitamins needed for hormones to do their work and interferes with the body’s ability to recover.  After 30 days you should be able to longer and there should be better results.

Eat More Often

It is said eating small meals more often regulates blood sugar levels

It is said eating small meals more often regulates blood sugar levels, builds more muscle mass, alleviates mood swings, and prevents overeating. The plan is to make sure you have something healthy on hand at work or on-the-go so you are able to eat every three hours. Ideally, every meal will be a combination of carbs, protein, and fat. But if you are always on the go plan for eating healthy foods such as s nuts, seeds, dried fruit, energy bars, or a ready-to-drink protein beverage.

Speed it Up

It is claimed that sprinters have the leanest, most powerful bodies. This may not be necessarily true. Usually people don’t equate the qualities they want more muscle, a leaner body—with speed and explosive power. If you get faster you will improve the muscle size and power , the effectiveness of the nervous system, and your flexibility. Do you want to get faster? Then go the local track and alternate 400-meter runs (at 80% effort) with 400-meter walks. Do a light ½ mile run before and after 4 intervals. If you are already a runner then lengthen the intervals to a half-mile or go by time (3 minutes on, 3 minutes off).      

Mix up the Bag    

You cannot burn muscle mass and lose weight without proper sleep

It is  said that the body is a wonderful adapter being able to adapt to the most punishing workouts in a short time. Because of this you can mix things up in the weight room and outside as well. If you spend all your time in the gym then move the workout outside at least once a week. Head to the local  park and mix up a routine with pushups, dips, Burpees, and pull-ups. Do you live near a beach? Go to the beach a repeat the routine of dips, Burpees, pushups, and pull-ups. The sand will give the workout an extra dimension of difficulty. Try working out in the sand and you will soon find out.

Switch to the Water

Supposedly swimmers, surfers, and stand up paddleboarders have the most chiseled bodies. This is no accident  because when you workout in the water you challenge your body in three planes of motion and usually involve high-intensity interval training. Even a simple swim or a stand up paddle will be hard if it is not done all the time. If you cannot  swim for 200 yards in eight feet of water you are not in shape.   

Time to Snooze    

You cannot burn muscle mass and lose weight without proper sleep. At least seven hours preferably eight hours a night.  While you sleep is when most of your hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone, are released. Fatigue, on the other hand, assaults your ability to eat right and train hard. The result will be you will increase in body fat. In a tired state the brain doesn’t know if it is sleep-deprived or starving for glucose. So,it naturally craves sugar which results in those late night  cravings when you are tired. Guaranteed with improper sleep you will be unable to burn fat and gain muscle tissue properly.

Fat Burning and Muscle building Recipes

15-Minute Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

Fat Burning and Muscle building Recipes


  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 8 cups bagged fresh spinach
  • 2 cups sliced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tortillas on a baking tin. When oven is hot, heat tortillas until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Prepare corn according to package directions.
  • Divide spinach, chicken, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and cooked corn among serving plates. In a bowl, whisk together sour cream, olive oil, lime juice, chipotle chili powder, and a few pinches of salt.
  • Break tortillas into 1″ pieces and sprinkle over salads. Drizzle sour cream dressing on top.

Summer Ramen


  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 5 oz tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 oz rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • ¼ cup dashi (instant hondashi is widely available)
  • ¼ tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • For the ramen:
  • 20 oz high-quality fresh ramen noodles
  • 1 small sweet onion, very thinly sliced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 8 oz smoked ham, cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 small cucumbers, cut into thin ribbons
  • 4 small tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 4 large eggs, cooked into a thin omelet and sliced in ribbons Karashi (hot Japanese mustard)


  • Cook and cool the noodles. Drain well; divide among 4 bowls.
  • Toss together onions and bacon; set aside. Arrange ham, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, and omelet in neat piles over noodles in each bowl. Top with onion and bacon mix.
  • Add egg and spread karashi on each bowl’s rim. Pour vinaigrette over everything.

Cajun Spice Rub


  • 3 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Black pepper


  • Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Rub onto your meat or fish, and it’s ready to grill.
  • Store any leftover rub in a mason jar in your cupboard for up to 1 year.



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp harissa (Tunisian chili paste)
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 large red peppers, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin Salt
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 large free-range eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup labneh (Lebanese cream cheese) or thick yogurt


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat; add the harissa, tomato paste, peppers, garlic, cumin, and ¾ tsp salt. Stir and cook for about 8 minutes to allow the peppers to soften.
  • Add tomatoes, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for 10 minutes more, until you have quite a thick sauce. Taste for seasoning.
  • Make 8 little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pour each into its own dip. Do the same with the yolks. Use a fork to swirl the egg whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks.
  • Place pan in oven, bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. (You can cover the pan with a see-through lid if you wish to hasten the process.)
  • Remove from oven, leave for a couple of minutes to settle, then spoon into individual plates and serve with the labneh or yogurt.

Turmeric Sumac Marinade

Turmeric Sumac Marinade


  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp sumac
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced


  • The easiest way to make this marinade is to toss all your ingredients including whole garlic cloves into your blender. If that’s not your speed, mince up the garlic and then mix with the other ingredients.
  • Marinate and get ready to feast.

Kale-Bacon Pizza


  • 1 lb store-bought pizza dough
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, divided
  • 4 slices organic bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ red or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped curly kale
  • 1 cup organic, low-sugar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat oven to 400°F and set pizza dough out at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  • On a clean work surface with a touch of flour, roll out pizza dough into a 1⁄2-inch flat, 10- to 12-inch round. Place it on a large baking sheet or pizza stone, or in a round cast-iron pan. Brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, then pre-bake for about 5 minutes.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add bacon and cook until crisp; set aside to drain on paper towels. Add diced onion to the pan and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add chopped kale to the pan and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Top pizza with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and sautéed kale and onions. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Two to 4 minutes before pizza is ready, crack egg on top and bake until crust is crisp and egg is slightly cooked. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, and serve.

Kale Caesar Salad


  • 1 lb Tuscan kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into ¼-inch segments
  • ½ cup Caesar dressing
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 poached eggs
  • For the Caesar dressing:
  • 1 oz anchovies
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp water


Poached Eggs:

  • Fill a small pot with water, lightly salt it, and add a cup of vinegar; heat. When it boils, drop the heat to a simmer.
  • Break a fresh egg into a small bowl; over the sink, pour the egg onto a slotted spoon just long enough for any extra water to drain off, then immediately pour it back into the bowl this step eliminates flyaway strands of egg white).
  • Turn off the flame completely and begin stirring the water to create a “whirlpool.” Hold the egg just above the water, then slide it into the center of that vortex—this is the trick to making sure the egg holds its form.
  • Leave the egg alone for just over 2 minutes.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon.

Actual Salad:

  • For the Caesar dressing, place in a blender all the ingredients except the grapeseed and olive oils, Parmesan cheese, and water. Liquefy until smooth, then slowly add the oils and the water.
  • For the salad, mix together the kale, lemon, and Caesar dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Split the salad among 4 bowls. Top each with 1 tbsp capers, 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, and Parmesan.
  • Poach eggs in 4 quarts of water.
  • Once cooked, drain eggs and place on paper towels to dry. Place atop salad.
  • Optional step: Bread poached eggs using a mixture of equal parts all-purpose flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs. Deep-fry them in oil at 350° for 1 minute, or until the breading is nicely toasted. Remove eggs from oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place one poached egg on top of each salad.
  • To finish the dish, mix in Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Final Word

it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle tissue at the same time

The conclusion is this that it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle tissue at the same time. You just need to follow proper eating, sleeping, and exercising routines. Also, cut out alcohol intake and be patient to see results. You will see them!

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.