Experts Weigh In: Fastest Way to Burn Fat and Build Muscle

Dr. James - Orthopaedic Surgeon in Singapore

Medically reviewed by Dr. James Tan

What is the fastest way to burn fat and build muscle? Well, that depends on who you ask! From low-carb diets to intermittent fasting to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), everyone has their go-to tricks. But, what yields real results?

Many people are looking for the fastest way to burn fat and build muscle, but it’s important to approach fitness in a safe and sustainable way. This is especially true if you’re recovering from an injury or dealing with a condition like knee arthritis. Our experts can provide guidance on everything from sports injury treatment to shoulder pain treatment, and we also have articles on specific topics like elbow pain and best core exercises. With the right support and resources, you can create a workout plan that helps you reach your goals without compromising your health.

Why Building Muscle Is Important to Weight Loss 

One of the biggest weight loss mistakes is to focus exclusively on cardio and burning calories. While burning more calories than you take in is the key, it’s only one piece of the bigger puzzle. Rather than just looking at ways to reduce your calories and then burning off all the food you eat, it’s crucial to build muscles. 

Dieters focused on their weight, especially women, tend to avoid lifting weights. They worry about getting bulky when their goal is to slim down. What they don’t realise, however, is that building muscle doesn’t instantly make you look like a bodybuilder. Gaining muscle will firm and trim your body and, most importantly, help you burn calories. Exercises like running also improve your overall physical health and joint mobility, making you less prone to injuries like ACL tears or a torn meniscus.

If you are looking for an ACL tear treatment specialist, talk to Dr. James at Ray of Health today!

More Muscle, More Fat Burning 

When you build lean muscle mass, your body needs more calories. This means that you can eat more while still losing weight or maintaining your current weight. 

There used to be a misconception that it’s not possible to build muscle and lose weight at the same time. Recent studies on body recomposition, however, have shown that progressive resistance training paired with a smart nutrition strategy is the most effective and fastest way to burn fat and build muscle. 

As you build more muscle, you can eat more without gaining weight. This means you don’t need to deprive yourself to get a calorie deficit. 

Don’t Worry About the Scale 

Muscle has more density than fat. As you replace fat with muscle, you might find that the number on the scales goes up even as your clothes get looser. Often, you’ll see differences in the firmness and leanness of your body before you ever see a moment in the scale — and that’s okay! 

Remember that your goal isn’t just to weigh less. Unless you are significantly overweight, the scale might never go down. It might even go up as your body gets firmer! If you are getting healthier, stronger, and leaner though, does that number on the scale really matter? 

If you want to have a gauge for measuring your progress and aren’t happy to just rely on how your clothes fit, grab a tape measure and start checking your results each week. 

Fastest Way to Burn Fat and Build Muscle with Workouts 

Exercise is one of the most important weight loss tactics, but not all workout routines are created equally. To boost your results, there are a few tried-and-true training strategies. 

Use the Heaviest Weights Possible

As you work toward building muscle, it is important to listen to your body and push yourself. One of the biggest mistakes people often make is not choosing the right weight. If your weight is too light, you’re never going to see real results. On the other hand, if your weight is too heavy, you might not be able to do enough reps to get in a substantial workout or, worse yet, you may get injured. 

To decide if you’re using a heavy enough weight, experiment with sets of six reps. Make sure that you can do at least three sets of six movements. By the time you are making that final rep, you should barely be able to finish it. Shakiness and fatigue are essential to building muscle. Be careful not to over-exert your body as it may cause shoulder dislocations or ankle injuries.

Depending on your routine, you may be able to do more reps or sets, but the goal is the same. Make sure that you push yourself to your limit. If you can easily complete the set, it’s time to move to a heavier weight. You can experiment with longer workouts with smaller weights as well as shorter, more intense sessions. Whatever you do, be mindful that you are always pushing yourself. 

Before you go on pushing to your limits, before sure to read about these common shoulder injuries and knee injuries & preventions. You might also want to speak with our knee pain specialist if you are suffering from discomfort in the knees.

Focus On Your Whole Body 

Diversity is key when it comes to a good workout. While isolated workouts are great, they need to be part of a circuit. It is also crucial to incorporate compound exercises. These include moves like deadlifts, squats, push-ups and other moves that combine several parts of your body. 

Increase Your Cardio 

As you progress in your strength training routine, it’s also vital to incorporate cardio. These sweat sessions such as HIIT classes, F45 workouts or yoga and pilates are still going to be one of the pillars of weight loss. Nowadays, people also go for bouldering or spinning sessions for cardio workouts. Not only is cardio crucial to your heart health and overall fitness, but it’s going to help you create a calorie deficit.

Before every workout, make sure you’ve done enough warm-ups to prevent muscle cramps! Insufficient warm-ups can also lead to muscle aches and sharp joint pains such as bone spurs and muscle fatigue.

Watch What You Eat 

When you’re looking for the most effective and fastest way to burn fat and build muscle, it is essential to make sure that your body is well-supported. Just like you need variety in your workouts, you also need variety in your diet. 
As you start working out more, you are going to feel hungrier. Rather than depriving yourself (which is only going to lead to overeating) make sure that your body is getting the support that it needs. 

To lose weight and build muscle, protein is fundamental. Eating a diet that is high in protein will help you build lean muscle and those high-protein meals will keep you feeling full for longer. 

So, how much protein do you need to build muscle while losing weight? Aim for about 1.2 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight. If you weigh 70 kg, for example, you’ll need about 84 grams of protein. If you weigh 60 kg, aim for 72 grams of protein in your diet. 

What 100 Grams of Protein Looks Like 

Believe it or not, you don’t need to chug protein shakes all day! In reality, you need to be careful with them. A lot of protein shakes and smoothies are packed with sugar and calories. If your goal is to lose weight while building muscles, it’s important to be aware of what you’re putting in your mouth. 

Here are a few ideas for food that are naturally high in protein. 

  • Nonfat Greek Yoghourt’; 16 gram protein per ¾ cup 
  • Black Beans: 14 grams of protein per cup 
  • Edamame; 28 grams of protein per ⅔ cup 
  • Lentils: 16 grams of protein per ½ cup 
  • Chicken breast: 30-gram protein per 100 grams  
  • Eggs: 15 grams of protein per two large eggs

Consult Medical Help If You Are Injured As Soon As Possible

Ready to get started with the fastest way to burn fat and build muscle? Talk with an orthopaedic doctor! Why wait another day to give yourself the body and life that you deserve? 

Meanwhile, check out the differences between the differences between physiotherapy and orthopaedic surgery, or differences between chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists to ensure you get the right help for your injuries.

If you’d like to find us directly, visit one of our clinics below:

Camden Medical

1 Orchard Boulevard, #09-06

Singapore 248649

Mount Alvernia Hospital

820 Thomson Road

Medical Centre D #05-60

Singapore 574623

Check out our other articles:

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Dr. James - Orthopaedic Surgeon in Singapore

About the Author

Dr James Tan is a highly skilled orthopaedic surgeon who has more than 10 years of experience in sports surgery and exercise medicine. He is a member of the elite Asian Shoulder and Elbow Group and a founding member of the Singapore Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Society.

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