How Long Does It Take To Burn Fat and Build Muscle?

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question-icon-newHow do I get rid of body fat while building more muscle? I’ve lost about 10 pounds in the last 4 weeks. I’m gaining a lot of muscle and notice a difference in my pant size so that obviously means I’m losing fat but I want it faster! I’m eating about 150 to 200 grams of carbs per day and about 200 to 250 grams of protein a day. I’m 6’1″ and weigh 240 pounds. I’m also taking creatine and whey protein supplements. Lastly, I’m wondering how much more muscle weighs than fat?

answer-icon-newThe desire to burn fat and build muscle is something that most people who workout and train hard really want to achieve. Initially, you may notice a rapid change in your physique when you start weight training. However, a plateau is soon reached and this causes a slowdown in making gains. With the right training and diet, you will be able to minimize this stagnation and prime your body to keep growing and getting stronger.

The first thing to understand is that muscle tissue is totally different from fat tissue. They have different functions in the body and they are structured differently. There is a common misconception that by doing physical activity regularly, you can convert fat into muscle or if you discontinue working out, all of your hard-earned muscle will quickly turn into fat. This is a myth and has no scientific basis. It’s like saying you can turn gold into silver. It just doesn’t happen because they are two completely different things.

Burning fat and building muscle requires you to focus on two entirely different aspects of your physique. Since it looks like you are a big guy at 240 pounds and you probably have some excess body fat on your physique, your first goal should be to maximize the burning of fat. This is done with smart cardio sessions and most importantly, by eating a very clean and nutrient dense diet.

To answer your question about the weight of muscle and fat, the fact is muscle tissue is more dense than fat. Pound for pound, muscle will take up less space and this is why your clothes fit looser even though your weight may have not changed. You basically lost body fat and built up lean muscle tissue, so your physique is more dense and toned now which is a great thing!

Burning Fat
get-big-lean-mass-exercisesTo burn more fat, you need to perform cardio exercise 5-6 days per week. The more frequently you perform cardio, the more calories you burn and the more body fat you will lose. You can take up running, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, mountain biking, or even hiking cross country for fun and effective cardio exercises to choose from.

A great way to burn a lot of calories and really stimulate your metabolism is by using high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio workouts. Your heart rate will be maintained at a higher rate for a period of time and then slowed down for a short while. This high-low intensity level is repeated several times for a total cardio workout of around 20-25 minutes. Interval training is also preferred over slower, steady state cardio since it allows you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. This type of cardio training allows you to burn more fat because your metabolism remains revved up for the majority of the day even after you have finished your workout.

Building Muscle
Building muscle is all about training them through strength training and weight lifting workouts. When you train with weights, you overload your muscles and force them to get bigger and stronger. Resistance training with multi-joint compound exercises is really the key to building quality muscle mass.

Focus on Your Diet
When you want to burn fat and build muscle, you must take a close look at your diet. Food that is very high in carbohydrates will only serve to increase your calorie intake and this will slow down the fat burning process. It’s important to focus on a diet rich in protein to build lean muscle faster. It is suggested by many experts that the amount of protein you eat should be around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. The whey protein supplements you are currently taking are very convenient and will help you build muscle and burn fat.

It’s very difficult to build quality muscle without eating carbohydrates and enough calories. Yet, you need to watch out how many overall calories you eat every day since calories do matter in the long run. If you go hog wild and eat tons of food and overdue it on your calorie intake, you will run into issues with gaining too much body fat, so closely monitor your waistline to ensure your calories are being used primarily for building muscle as opposed to packing on too much body fat.

Be patient and realize that it takes time to burn fat and build quality muscle. Focus on losing about 1-2 pounds of weight per week. Slowly lower your calorie levels each week (200-300 calories per day) and make sure your diet is very clean. For carbs, 250 might be a bit high for dropping fat. Decrease it to 150 grams per day and see how your body reacts over 2-3 weeks. Keep your protein high and include a lean source at each meal. Your carbs should be loaded post-workout (50 to 80 grams) to refill your glycogen levels. The rest of your calories should be mostly consumed earlier in the day. Later in the day (after 5-6pm), cut out all starches and sugars from your diet and stick with lean protein and veggies. This will help you lose the most amount of body fat in order to get super lean and ripped!

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