Gain muscle mass and lose weight
The dream of every (a bit too heavy) athlete: lose kilos and gain muscle mass at the same time. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. In fact, this is physiologically impossible. In the text below we help you out of that dream. Sorry about that.
Your energy needs or maintenance is the amount of calories that you burn approximately per day. You do not gain weight and do not lose weight. For men, 2500 kcal per day is a commonly mentioned amount, for women this is 2000 kcal per day. Somewhat short-sighted, if you ask us. A six-foot man with an office job will need far fewer calories than a six-foot docker. In addition to weight and these so-called activity levels, age, gender, BMI and metabolism also play a role. The latter factor in particular ensures that no exact number can be determined. You can, however, calculate your energy needs with the help of numerous internet sites. This will always be an estimation.
Losing weight: a calorie deficit
To lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. This means that you have to eat fewer calories than your energy needs are. Your body will then start to use reserves (fat and to a lesser extent muscle mass), causing you to lose weight. A healthy guideline is a deficit of about 500 kcal per day. One gram of fat provides you with 9 kcal. Fat tissue consists of 87% lipids, the building blocks of fat. To lose one kilo of fat, you therefore need to burn 7,777 kcal. With a daily deficit of 500 kcal, it would take you more than two weeks. Haste is rarely good: a deficit greater than 500 kcal per day will cost you muscle mass and can even be labeled unhealthy.
Gaining (muscle) mass: a calorie surplus
Gaining (muscle) mass is actually a kind of gaining weight. Unfortunately, it is impossible to just gain 'lean muscle mass'. Gaining weight is always accompanied by an increased fat percentage. Your diet and lifestyle determine how much fat and muscle mass you gain. For example, a couch potato will grow less muscle mass than a fanatic athlete. You must have a calorie surplus to gain weight. You guessed it: for this you need to take in more calories than you need. Instead of burning reserves, you will have calories that your body can use to build: you create fat and muscle mass. To gain one kilo of mass, you need a calorie surplus of 7,777 kcal, which would take you more than two weeks with a daily surplus of 500 kcal. A larger surplus will lead to a faster gain of fat mass and less muscle mass. As you can see, a combination of both is mission impossible . Choose which one you prioritize and adjust your calorie intake accordingly. Whatever you do, do it with 100% commitment and every goal is achievable!