Weight Loss Tips & Blogs

Is it possible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?

It’s a common debate in the fitness world; can you build muscle whilst simultaneously losing weight? The claim often goes that you can’t do both at the same time, stating that:

  • In order to lose fat, your body needs to be in a caloric deficit. This means your body will begin to burn existing fat stores
  • To gain muscle, your body needs to be in the opposite – a caloric surplus. These excess calories provide the energy your body needs in order to repair and build larger muscles

So is it even possible to do both? Let’s take a look at if it’s even feasible to be able to build strength and muscle whilst still losing those excess bulges.

Firstly, we should take in to account the science behind losing weight. The simple explanation is, in order to lose weight you need to “consume fewer calories than you burn”. This means that your body is in “caloric deficit”, because your body needs more calories than you are taking in.

When your body is in caloric deficit, it will pull the calories it needs from fat stores, or in some cased and depending how you are training, it can also break down muscle. In an ideal world, your body would only pull from fat stores rather than also breaking down muscle.

But that is assuming you are simply focusing on weight loss, which we wouldn’t recommend. The aim really should be to lose body fat whilst keeping or increasing muscle mass, which overall leads to a better physique and a far healthier body.

This is why it’s important to keep track of body fat percentage rather than just what the scales say. You can lower your body fat percentage by increasing muscle mass or reducing the total fat on your body.

Now, when it comes to maintaining a caloric deficit, it really comes down to your nutrition and dieting. It’s significantly more effective and also time-efficient to consume 500 fewer calories than it is to burn 500 additional calories.

When it comes to building muscle on the other hand, you’re going to need to lift heavy and eat sufficient calories and protein so that your body can repair and build muscle – lift, diet and rest.

So is it possible to lose weight and build muscle at the same time? Well, when your body takes in calories, it has to process them in some way, either:

  • Burn for Fuel
  • Store as Fat
  • Rebuild Muscle

For the most part, your body will burn calories for fuel, as it needs a large number of calories just to operate. If you take in more calories than your body needs for its day-to-day fuel, it will store those extra calories as fat. However, the good news is, if your body needs to refuel and rebuild muscle and you haven’t consumed enough calories to do both, it will pull those necessary calories from fat stores.

In a nutshell, if you have fat stores on your body, you do not need to be in a “caloric surplus” state in order to rebuild muscle. The calories stored in your fat cells act as this required energy. However, if you don’t have a lot of body fat AND you are trying to build muscle, being in a caloric deficit will most likely result in you not getting any muscle gains.

Our original question was “Is it possible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?”

And the answer is “yes!”, it is possible.

In fact, research has shown that if you have a lot of body fat to lose, and are strength training, you can increase muscle mass while losing weight.

Tips For Burning Belly Fat

It’s often an area that is at the top of everyone’s list – the tummy! It can be a particularly tough area to tackle and for some it becomes an endless cycle of eating and excercising with very little results. Our personal trainers are going to guide you through the contributing factors and targeting exercises for losing lower belly fat.

It’s safe to say that body fat is most certainly a contributing factor for this particular area of the body. It’s important to reduce your overall bodyfat percentage to really see any results within your stomach area. As we all know, you can’t spot reduce. You need to have a good effective workout workout, a healthy, clean diet and nutrition plan – making sure that you’re conscientious about eating clean foods. Try to stay away from processed foods and too many carbs, get your protein and as always – drink plenty of water! You can also try some tea; Moderate exercisers who stocked up on the antioxidants found in green tea—called catechins—were more likely to lose abdominal fat while exercising than those who didn’t take them.

You will also want to make sure that you’re getting in some good cardio exercise throughout the week, whether you’re running, doing plyometrics; whatever it is, just getting that heartrate up!

Underdeveloped abdominal muscles can also be a big contributing foactor. Let’s say you haven’t been exercising and training for a while, perhaps you’ve even gone through some pregnancies. Your lifestyle and experiences are all contributing factors to your both your body fat and the strength of your body muscles. Posture and pelvic tilt can also be another factor. Luckily there are exercises that target your abdominal muscles so that you can begin to strengthen in that area, and in particular abdominal muscle exercises will help to strengthen and tone your abs – just be sure to vary your workouts to be the most effective. Yoga can be particularly good!

Don’t neglect your cardio either, aerobic training burns 67% more calories than resistance training or a combination of the two, according to studies.

Sleep also has a big part to play here. Studies show that getting only 5 hours or less sleep a night can increase visceral fat levels, so you should really be aiming to get at least 8 hours a night. Not only that, but breaking the habit of sleeping in on the weekends is also going to help. You want to keep your ‘body clock’ consistent, and that also goes for keeping sticking to your morning routine and kick starting your metabolism with a healthy breakfast.

All in all, you should aim for increasing your overall fitness, your posture and focusing on burning body fat in general. By having an effective exercise plan and a good, healthy, nutritional diet you can ensure that your entire body is getting the attention that it needs, not just one particular area. You’ll find that by boosting your metabolism, eating clean and having fun with your workouts will do wonders for how you look and feel as a whole, and we’d be delighted to guide you every step of the way.

4 Tips For Boosting Your Metabolism

A healthy metabolism will help your body convert the food and drink you consume more efficiently – if you boost your metabolism effectively, you’ll burn more calories even when in a resting state. So with that said, lets take a look at some ways to help give your metabolism that required ‘boost’:

Building Muscle

According to research, increasing your muscle mass will aid in boosting your metabolism when at rest. At Go-FitUK our personal trainers have proven and effective methods for building muscle through a variety of exercises and weight training. Not only that, but they will ensure you are working out in the most efficient and safe way possible, minimising the risk of injury and helping you look and feel at your best.

Add Protein

Protein is essential in any effective nutrition plan when you are looking to boost your metabolism. Include protein with meals and snacks to reduce overindulgence and speed up metabolism. It can be particularly effective when included in your breakfast to give you a kick-start in the morning. Try skipping on those carb-loaded breakfast bites like bagels or toast and have some eggs with sliced tomato or a few leaves of spinach.

In general we advise eating a palm-sized portion of protein of some kind like lean meat, fish, eggs, pumpkin, hemp or chia seeds. If you are vegetarian or vegan we would suggest you include a moderate amount of fermented soy foods such as tempeh, but no more than 50g per day. Please note while we agree certain soy foods eaten in moderation can be a healthy addition to your diet, women who eat soy at every meal or even every day may be putting their health at risk.  Soy has its good points but too many soy phytoestrogens do have an oestrogenic effect.

High Intensity

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is great for burning calories if you do it effectively. What’s great is that even after your HIIT session you’ll be burning fat for up to 48 hours thanks to EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). You can complete your HIIT workout in about 30 minutes or less, allowing for flexibility during your busy personal schedule. High Intensity Interval Training can be modified and scaled for different fitness levels and medical conditions. It can include a variety of workouts such as bodyweight exercises, cycling, swimming, walking, running and much more.

Get Your Sleep

Yes, we’re going to say it again! A good night’s sleep will help boost your metabolism. But not only that, if you get a good night’s rest you will be far more likely to get up and be motivated for your morning workout routine and have more energy to keep on moving throughout the day.  If you find it difficult to get to sleep early enough, try making sure your room is dark enough, cool enough and gradually make your bed time 10 minutes earlier each night. Having a “wind down” routine will also help get your brain ready for sleep; whether it be some hot tea, meditation or getting comfortable with a good book.

Stoke The Burn

All of the above tips will help to give your metabolism a kick-start, but it’s important to keep that efficiency going with an effective and structured workout and nutrition schedule!

3 Weight Loss Tips Applicable To Everyone

A weight loss focused endeavour can be tricky with all the different sources of information available online with varying and often contradicting content when it comes to your fitness level, gender, lifestyle, and everything in between. But there are a handful of fundamentals that, regardless of one’s background, should be addressed.

Let’s take a look at THREE fundamental weight loss tips, from our personal trainers, that EVERYONE can, and should, apply to their weight loss goals:

Number One – A combination of Weights & Cardio training

Weight training and cardio are often prescribed for different goals. Cardio tends to be the one prescribed most for losing weight. The truth is, a combination of BOTH might be the best answer. One study in 2012 found that resistance and aerobic training combined was able to increase fat loss more so than aerobic cardio alone. The combination also resulted in a gain of lean mass, such as muscle, while cardio alone resulted in a loss. This is especially true for beginners. Muscle’s higher metabolic cost also means more calories burned. The significance of it, however, is still up for debate, but it’s still better than holding more fat. If you do choose to do both, do them on separate days so they don’t affect the performance of each other. But if you have to do them within the same workout, then you should lift weights first and then cardio as there is less carry over fatigue.

Number Two – Choose A solid Nutrition Plan You Can Stick To

Seems easy and logical enough, right? But it’s much more difficult and confusing when you’re not sure where to start. Intuition tends to lead us to follow the advice of others. Especially those that already have the results you want. However, what might work for them doesn’t mean it will work for you. It really boils down to one factor: adherence. A 2014 meta-analysis looked at 48 studies that followed numerous popular diets lasting 3 months or longer. The first thing they found was that having ANY type of diet is better than none at all. A structured approach should certainly beat out just “winging it”. They also found that restrictive low-carb OR low-FAT diets were associated with the greatest weight loss but not significant different to every other calorie-reduced diet as long as the diets… were maintained. That led to them conclude that their findings “support the practice of recommending any diet” that the individual “will adhere to in order to lose weight.” In practice, this means testing out different plans that suits your preferences. That could be keto, high-carb, or even intermittent fasting or anything else. Adherence and calorie reduction are the biggest factors. Fortunately, if you follow the first tip of lifting weights and cardio, then you should be burning a solid number of calories, thus, have some buffer room for a larger food calorie intake.

Number Three – GET YOUR PROTEIN!

Although the previous meta-analysis did not focus on protein intake, it wouldn’t be surprising if protein was high, or remained largely unchanged, in the diets considering much of the focus was on carbs and fats. Regardless, the benefit of protein during weight loss has been well-documented. Two benefits being protein’s increased effects of satiation, making you feel full quicker, and satiety, making you feel full longer compared to the other two macronutrients carbs and fat. Such an effect will translate to fewer calories consumed per meal and longer periods before eating again, two nuanced problems commonly haunting weight loss endeavors. One study even found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of total macronutrient intake was able to spontaneously reduce calorie intake by 441 calories. And then there’s also thermic effect. In short, protein requires more energy for your digestive tract to process. For every 100 calories of protein consumed, about 35 calories are used to process it. Carbs and fats, conversely, take a meager 5 to 15 calories. And of course, proteins direct connection to muscle growth and preservation. A common misunderstanding is that when you lose weight, you’re only losing water and fat. In reality, you’re also losing muscle mass. Having more protein not only attenuates this issue, it can also lead to an increase in lean mass when paired with lifting weights.

Female Fat Loss - Our 12 Week Transformation Programme

You’ve probably heard it before, but we’ll reiterate it again – it can be more difficult for women to lose weight and get in shape than it is for males. The muscle mass and hormonal output of women is different to that of men, and those are both very important factors when it comes to burning body fat off and keeping it off.

Our personal trainers at Go-Fit UK have worked with a plethora of women on their fitness journeys, from all kinds of different background, professions and personal circumstances. We know the techniques, training and nutrition plans required for maximising female fat loss, losing weight and getting in shape as quickly as possible; in the healthiest, safest way.

We have developed a fantastic, unique 12 week programme that combines effective workouts, nutrition plans and mind set techniques tailored specifically for women. We have based this programme on the real-world experience of our personal trainers, scientifically proven research into the stimulus of fat burning hormones and the countless happy clients we have seen reach their body transformation goals with us.

Our 12 week body transformation programme is so effective and flexible that is can be easily tailored to meet your personal fitness goals; from dropping post-pregnancy weight to toning up for looking and feeling great on your summer holiday.

Some of the key factors we address that are specific to female body transformation include:

Busting Female Fat Loss Myths

We’ve all read about and seen these types of diets and weight loss plans before – eat less, take fat burning supplements and jump on the treadmill at any given opportunity. There is a huge stigma that surrounds female weight loss – “doing anything that a man would do will make you manly!” Whilst it’s true that there are certain approaches and techniques that will work better for women, this statement is completely false. We will teach you what’s most effective for healthy weight loss and achieving the body you want with the correct techniques and tricks that give extra relevance to female fat loss requirements in particular.

Metabolic Rejuvenation

An example that’s all too common with female weight loss is short-term results. We’ve seen countless cases of women who have been on liquid diets with heavy focus on cardio workouts with extreme rebound effects of weight gain once they resume their regular schedules.  These types of plans typically result in a shut down in key fat burning hormones such as leptin and ghrelin, potential damage to the thyroid gland and metabolic catastrophe. Our body transformation plan focuses on metabolic rejuvenation; eating and exercising healthily so that you can maintain energy levels and fat burning whilst living your day-to-day life.

Liver Detoxification

Saving you the scientific explanation; your liver is what detoxes foreign estrogen, and too much estrogen (from any source) can make the liver less effective and impact weight loss. Once the liver has been gradually detoxed, using a variety of techniques, weight loss can be far more effective.

Premenstrual Issues

From water retention to chocolate cravings, we’ve seen it all and know exactly how it can affect your workouts and weight loss. But don’t worry, we have the knowledge, experience and techniques to assist in tackling and alleviating premenstrual problems where it relates to achieving your fat loss goals.

But that’s not all!

There’s so much more to our 12 week body transformation plan that we’d love for you to drop by for a free session and get a real feel for what we achieve at Go-Fit UK and how it can help you on your fitness journey. Just pop your details into the form below and we’ll be in touch, we’d love to see you at the studio and have a chat about your journey and goals:

Apply for your FREE body transformation session

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The Keys To Staying Healthy With A City Lifestyle

We all want to feel great. Although sometimes the thought of going to the gym or working out is too much to bear, when we actually find a form of exercise we like everything else in our lives starts to fit into place. This is all thanks to how our body reacts to training and the benefits that building up a sweat can bring.

The most important of these elements is the release of endorphins. A chemical that interacts with the receptors in your brain, it has a tremendous impact on everything from mood to your perception of pain. Similar to the positive sensation many individuals find when being treated with something like morphine, the end of a great workout can be greeted with an overwhelming sense of happiness and pride, re-energising your outlook on life.

Not only is this release a great way to keep you motivated and encourage you to keep up your fitness regime of choice, but it will also have a huge impact on your life in general. Studies have proven that endorphins help reduce stress while also alleviating anxiety and feelings of depression. All this because you decide to take up running, go to the gym or start playing a sport.

The effect this has, combined with the extra exertion that comes from exercising, also has huge benefits when it comes to sleep. A good night’s rest is imperative, both in how your body recovers from exercise and on your overall state of mind. When all these different aspects come together, it’s not completely out of the ordinary to start feeling like a different, and more positive, person.

There’s a form of exercise out there for everyone, too. Finding your passion for fitness is the greatest motivator you could hope for. You’ll soon discover it’s not about having to workout, it’s about wanting to, and the health benefits that come along with any form of training will help change your life for the better. On top of this, you’ll also strengthen your heart, feel more energetic, lower blood pressure, burn body fat and see an improvement in your muscle tone. All while doing something you love.

So get in shape, enjoy doing it, feel great and rejoice that you’re able to do all of this at the same time. Your body, and your mind, will thank you for it.

Weight Loss

The two most desired goals by most people are to lose body fat and to increase muscle tone. While the right diet and a solid workout plan are going to put you on the path to success, far too many people focus solely on cardio when they could be exercising their muscles in order to burn some extra calories.

‘Exercising your muscles’ doesn’t just mean doing endless bicep curls either. While lifting weights is a great way to do this, there are plenty of options to get similar results, such as circuit training, pilates and even yoga. It’s the science behind all of this is and what happens when you achieve muscle breakdown where the secret path to losing fat exists.

Let’s take a bodybuilder, for example. Many people assume that the development of muscle happens when they’re in the gym. The more weight they lift, the bigger their muscles are. This isn’t the case. A bodybuilder’s aim while lifting weights is to achieve muscle breakdown, or to tear the muscle apart. Almost like a controlled injury, it’s the reason weightlifters get a ‘pump’ after a set: the body rushes blood to the area to try and compensate for the ordeal it’s just gone through. This is also why delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs a day or two after working out. The body is trying to repair itself.

In this state, however, your body uses calories in order to recover which means, in essence, you will be burning energy even if you’re sat in front of the TV. Getting on a treadmill for an hour straight is a fantastic way to spark fat loss and increase endurance, but as soon as you step off of it your body stops working. Here, you’re leaving it in a constant state of productivity.

So next time you’re working out, think how it’s affecting your muscles and how you can incorporate such a method into your training regime. You don’t have to lift weights to achieve muscle breakdown. You just have to make sure you hit them in the right way, and when you do, results are right around the corner. Guaranteed!