The simple answer is, yes you can because many exercises that are used to gain muscle help burn fat (burn fat=get lean). Just to set up this post and to remind you of something that I’ve stated in other posts: more muscle on the body requires more energy when resting. Meaning, your body burns more calories when it’s not moving if you have more muscle than fat. So how can we get you to do both at the same time?
Two things that you have to incorporate CONSISTENTLY; Nutrition and weight training. Notice I wrote Nutrition before training because all your gains (transformations) start in the kitchen. So, let’s talk about your Nutrition. You first need to know what your initial Body Fat Percentage (BF%) and caloric intake is. Your BF% can be taken with an OmRon machine, calipers, or InBody Scanner and your caloric intake is (how many calories are you consuming on the daily from protein, carbohydrates, and fat) My Fitness Pal app can do that for you and it’s free.
Then you will need to create a caloric deficit (consume less calories than you are burning when your body is at rest and burns in workouts). But be warned don’t cut too many calories at once or you will be setting yourself up for failure. The crazy thing about this is that your weight might stay the same or even increase, but you can begin to look leaner or more toned due to the muscle gain. In most cases you will need to increase protein and decrease carbohydrate intake, but again, do it wisely. Always consult a professional if you have never done this to help you achieve your goals safely and quicker. Now that you have your food in check, let’s move onto the training.
Weight training causes muscle damage but also recruits satellite cells (cells responsible in repairing and growing skeletal muscle). Along with that, weight training can increase the production of muscle protein for up to 48 hours according to some experts. Other benefits include greater bone density, better balance, and higher amounts of fat being burned as mentioned earlier.
These changes will not happen overnight and might take a few months or more but that will depend on multiple factors. Your DNA, hereditary traits, current lifestyle, and your willingness to change. The two factors that must ALWAYS be present are consistency and achievable goals. Stick to the plan and keep your goals simple at first. Again, consult a Nutrition Coach and fitness expert to help you if you don’t know where to start. Don’t be afraid to ask, we all need it from time to time. The worst that can happen is that you enlighten yourself with knowledge and education and that’s the best place to start.