How to Build Muscle Without Gaining Fat

man with stability ball, exercise ball, gym

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There is a myth that you have to gain fat to gain muscle, but it’s just not true. Many men and women are turned off from the benefits of strength training because they don’t want to bulk up. However, with a few techniques and diet modifications, there is absolutely no need to gain fat when building muscle. The people who count on you to buy their fat-burning supplements don’t want you to hear this, but you can actually lose fat while gaining muscle in many ways. Here are five techniques to gain lean muscle mass.

1. Keep moving

If you work out five times a week, eat a super clean diet, and discipline yourself against food binges, you could still be in fat-storing mode if the rest of your life is sedentary. Sitting for prolonged periods of time throughout the day encourages the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which end up signaling fat storage. So get up and move around throughout the day, especially if your job is sedentary by nature. Try standing up and moving around every thirty minutes.

2. Don’t cardio yourself to death

It seems logical that doing large amounts of cardio will help you gain muscle, but the results don’t add up. Cardio is a catabolic activity, meaning that it releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which breaks tissue down. Doing too much cardio, especially without enough calories, can slow your metabolism and interfere with the anabolic process of muscle development. The best fat-burning cardio workouts are high-intensity interval sessions that give you enough time to recover so you aren’t stressed for too long.

3. Alkalize your diet

No matter how “healthy” you are eating, if you eat too many acid-producing foods, your body will store fat to house the excess acid. It does this to keep your blood pH in the narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45, which keeps you alive.

If you want to stay in fat-burning mode while building muscle, introduce alkaline-producing foods and beverages into your diet. Lemon water, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), apple cider vinegar, leafy greens, apples, celery, carrots, and tomatoes are all beneficial for your pH balance.

4. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep

Sleep is the ultimate fat-burning activity. Your body actually needs more calories to sleep than to simply rest. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, or if your sleep is interrupted throughout the night, then your body will switch out of fat-burning mode. To get the best night’s sleep:

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