Eat Your Heart Out: Build Muscle, Lose Fat

Eat Your Heart Out: Build Muscle, Lose Fat

There are three options when it comes to weight and nutrition.  Though the number of diet fads in fitness are endless, it ultimately comes down to your goal (being the option you want to take) and how you want to get there.  You can opt to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight.  Simple, yes I know.  The hard part is actually implementing and figuring out what will work best for you.

Deciding What Will Work For You:  Losing Weight

A problem I have with  “diets” these days is that the majority are purely focused on losing weight and losing weight fast without any regard to maintaining muscle, let alone build muscle.  This is okay when you have a lot of weight to lose but what do you do after the weight is gone.  Do you still continue to starve yourself at 1,500 calories per day?

The answer to this is, “No!”  There is a better way to keep the fat off while building muscle.  This isn’t a quick overnight scheme.  It takes time and effort but is possible to do.

Rule #1 – Looking to Lose Weight?  Don’t Be Afraid to Eat!

There are two problems I notice when someone is trying take off the pounds.  The first is they restrict themselves to the least possible amount of calories possible.  A sure sign that the diet will ultimately fail.  The second problem is the food used to take those calories in.  Not only has the victim of this so-called diet sabotaged himself with a tremendous caloric deficit but he has also succumbed to the newest flavor of Weight Watchers frozen dinner that only has 350 calories.  With that number of calories, it must be healthy and nutritious!

How to Solve the Problem

Be reasonable.  Shoot to lose one pound a week.  This gradually gets you used to being in a caloric deficit and will help increase your confidence as you go along.  Most likely, by shooting for a one pound loss per week, you will lose a bit more than that.  This is okay but you should should shoot for an average of 4 lbs per month.

The advantage of a slower weight loss program is that it prevents you from losing too much muscle while you are losing weight.  Obviously, to be your best version of Jacked & Strong, you will want to put on muscle after reaching your weight loss goal so you should be incorporating some strength training with your diet to prevent any uninvited muscle loss. You are going to lose some muscle but let’s not lose all of it.  You are only hurting yourself.  Because if you’re just sticking to the treadmill, you are doing it all wrong.

Because if you’re just sticking to the treadmill, you are doing it all wrong.

Regarding what you should eat, stick to the outside perimeters of the grocery store.  Meaning produce and meat.  You will inevitably have to use the aisles of your local market but stay away from the frozen dinners and easy meals.  The boxes and packets are loaded with carbs and sodium.  To be successful on a weight loss program, you will need to prepare your own food.  Cook ahead of time, store the meals in Tupperware and you will never go hungry.

Bottom line:  If you want to lose weight, don’t be afraid to eat!

Deciding What Will Work For You:  Gaining Weight

If you’re trying to gain weight, you are most likely an athlete.  So athletes, listen up!  Get over telling yourself, “I’m to full!” and start eating.  Eating needs to be at the constant forefront of your mind.  You need to figure out the minimum amount of calories you need to maintain your weight and then eat 500 more calories on top of that.  This will get you up to a pound of weight gain per week and will not overload your body with junk fat.

Eating needs to be at the constant forefront of your mind.

Rule #2 – Looking to Gain Weight?  Don’t Be Afraid to Eat!

Yes it’s the same as in rule #1, if you are looking to gain weight you should not be afraid to eat.  This one really bugs me but there is a really simple solution.  You should eat more!  The complaints I here when telling people this is that they are too full to eat or that they’re not hungry all the time.


Sports training, weight training and daily living are burning up a bunch of calories.  You need to counteract the calorie burn by stuffing your face with the most nutritious foods that are available to you.

Short on time but need to get those calories in?  A trick I use when trying to put on muscle mass is to eat peanut butter.  Two tablespoons put you at 200 calories and couple that with some bread, and if you prefer jelly, you’ve got a cheap meal with a good amount of calories.  Eat two or three sandwiches at night if that’s what it take to get your weight up.  You’ve got to go all in.

Bottom line:  If you want to gain weight, don’t be afraid to eat!

Final Thoughts

Regardless of which end of the spectrum you are on, whether to lose weight or gain weight, you should be weighing yourself on the scale daily.  Do this first thing in the morning right after you pee!  Be consistent and adjust your diet accordingly.  Just don’t give up!

Don’t be the person telling me you can’t do this.  Anyone freaking can!  Get your mind right, count the calories, eat and don’t starve yourself.  Lose fat, gain muscle, Stay Jacked, Stay Strong!