The question is – can we lose fat and gain muscle at the same time with exercise? The answer is YES, with the power of high intensity strength training!
I dislike “diets”. It has a connotation where at some point we are going to quit and that it's just a temporary change that we are putting into place. So instead of dieting I tell people to instead to make a “nutrition change”. Nutrition will play a larger role on fat loss than exercise will, but we need to increase our resting metabolism for our nutrition change to have its full benefit.
To lose fat and gain muscle fast it makes sense to utilize the exact kind of fitness that gains muscle at the fastest rate. High intensity strength training is the most effective and fastest way to gain muscle. When we talk about “high intensity” we mean that it's really intense in a short amount of time. Getting the muscles into complete muscle fatigue is the best way to achieve that high intensity, and for the safest workout possible I suggest hiring a fitness trainer and using slow motion strength training equipment like Nautilus or ARX machines.
We WILL lose fat AND gain muscle at the same time because the more muscle we add to our bodies the more fat we burn. Think about the fact that every pound of muscle we add to our bodies builds our metabolism to burn another 37.5 calories per day. At a very high estimate sources say we can add a full 23 pounds of muscle in a year, but keep in mind these are high performance athletes that they are talking about getting those results. So let's cut those results in half and say that we were able to gain 12 pounds of muscle in a year,our new resting metabolism would be set at burning an extra 450 calories per day!
Yes! THAT is why strength training is superior to any kind of aerobic activity in terms of fat loss (also superior in terms of cardiovascular improvement). When we work to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously with strength training then we are changing our metabolism to always perform at that higher rate. Any time we are jogging, running, biking, or any other kind of aerobic activity, whenever we stop doing the activity our metabolism slows back down to exactly where our baseline is.
Strength training truly does lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. So if you're not doing any kind of strength training with your aerobic workouts, please do yourself a favor and start with strength training as soon as possible! That is, if you want to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time (of course you do).
People ask me sometimes if they need to be doing some kind of aerobics with their strength training. My answer is well, if you want to, but it wouldn't be necessary whatsoever. The important thing is safety and if you want to do aerobic activities, please do them safely. Over 65% of runners get injured every year, so I don't suggest running. Not to mention, you won't build much muscle whatsoever running. I think of things in terms of time vs what I get out of it. I would rather put in 20 minutes twice a week of strength training than an hour a day of aerobic activity. Lose fat and gain muscle at the same time with strength training! Save your knee joints!