How to Count Macros for Building Muscle and Losing Fat

Good news: you can build muscle and burn fat simultaneously. The key lies in tracking macronutrients. Read on to unlock how to do it properly.

Whether or not you think you’re a pro at multitasking, your body is fully capable of building muscle and losing fat simultaneously. To achieve the results you want, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with macronutrients and learn how consuming the right balance can help you accomplish your weight-loss goals. Discover the basics of tracking macros for muscle growth and fat loss and learn about the challenges you can expect along the way.

The Basics of Fat Loss and Muscle Growth

To burn fat and build muscle at the same time, it’s important to understand the basics of how the human body addresses the two different types of mass. Your body automatically turns extra energy into fat, which it stores for use at some future point. That extra energy can come from any kind of food you consume, including excess fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

In most cases, your body will hold onto the fat that it has stored unless it ceases to get enough energy to keep things moving. If your body experiences a calorie shortage, it will begin breaking down fat, which it converts into energy it can use. If you maintain a calorie deficit for long enough, you can burn fat and lose weight.

While consuming fewer calories can contribute to fat loss, eating more won’t necessarily help you build muscle. Instead, gaining muscle usually results from a combination of consuming the right mix of calories and engaging in regular exercise. Since your body typically builds muscle only when necessary, you’ll need to pursue strength-building workouts that can damage and rebuild muscle fibers so that they’re stronger than ever.

Although many people approach fat loss and muscle growth as two subsequent steps, you can do both at the same time if you approach the process from the right perspective. By balancing a reasonable calorie deficit with a weight training routine, you can lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously.

Tracking Macros for Gaining Muscle and Losing Fat

When you want to achieve specific weight-loss and muscle-building goals, you need to do more than merely cut calories. Instead, you’ll want to assess your macros to make sure you’re getting the right balance and trimming back in the most effective places.

To determine the right macro balance for you, start by calculating your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Enter your gender, age, weight, height, and activity level into a TDEE calculator, which will use a standard formula to assess the total number of calories you burn in an average day. When you select your activity level, be sure to account for your muscle-building workout routine.

Next, account for the calorie deficit you’ll need to achieve for fat loss. Most experts recommend reducing your TDEE by 10 percent to ensure that your body will begin drawing on fat reserves for energy. When you have your daily calorie needs in hand, you can then convert it into macros.

While your macro balance may vary slightly depending on your specific goals, a typical macro breakdown for fat loss and muscle gain is 40 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent carbs. Converting your macro balance into calories and translating it into the food that fuels you is easy when you use Lifesum’s tracking macros app. This app monitors macros and tracks calories so you can ensure you’re hitting your goals every single day.

If you aren’t fluent in macros, you’ll also find the app’s diet plans helpful. Selecting a high-protein diet plan can help you understand what to eat to get the nutrients you need and can even offer inspiration when you’re planning your meals and snacks for the week.

How to Measure Muscle Gain and Fat Loss Progress

As you’re working toward your goals, remember that fat and muscle don’t weigh the same. That means you can’t simply step on the scale to determine how far along you are.

To measure your progress more accurately, stick to a regular a routine of measuring your body fat. Use a pair of body calipers to take body fat measurements from the same five sites once a week, and be sure to record them for tracking purposes.

To keep track of how your fat loss and muscle growth look, take photos of yourself every week, too. Make a point of wearing a similar outfit, standing in the same location, and using the same lighting and camera settings. Match each photo with corresponding body fat measurements so you can make sure you’re on track as the weeks progress.

Challenges You Can Expect During Your Journey

Burning fat while gaining muscle is certainly within your reach, but you should still expect to encounter a few challenges along the way. Naturally, maintaining a calorie deficit while working out regularly requires a solid plan and serious dedication.

First, you can expect to encounter major stumbling blocks if you don’t use a macro tracking app to monitor your daily nutrient and calorie intake. Save yourself the time, hassle, and potential errors that often result from tracking macros manually and use the app to streamline the process.

Next, be sure to monitor your TDEE so you can make any necessary adjustments to your calorie intake and macro balance. More strenuous workouts require more energy, so don’t hesitate to adjust accordingly. If your macro balance isn’t helping you reach peak performance, don’t hesitate to tweak that, too.

Finally, keep in mind that doing the same workout every day may not help you build muscle to the level you want to achieve. Rather than repeating workouts for weeks on end, mix up your strength-building routines with more repetitions, extra weight, or fewer breaks. By adding variety to your workouts, you can challenge your body to do more and gain muscle more effectively.

Whether you’ve set ambitious weight-loss goals or you’re planning to approach the process on a more gradual basis, you can build muscle while burning fat. Keep this guide on hand to help you set clear objectives, track macros, and follow through to achieve your goals.

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.

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