How do I burn fat and build muscle at the same time?

“It’s one or the other, but not both at the same time,” this is the commonly known factoid.

The problem with common knowledge is that it’s, more often than not, exactly worth the price paid for it, sometimes a lot less. Commonly known facts are cheap crutches that the ignorant and lazy lean upon and a scourge and hobblement to the seeker after truth and the suppliant who struggles toward the light at the end of the tunnel of progress.

Any reader who has bothered to read more than one of my articles or postings here or on Quora will probably know better than to try to second guess what to expect next, but will certainly suspect it won’t be along the lines of the prevailing thought or what’s known commonly.

In the interests of readers’ attention spans, we’ll just give a little dietary advice (which should take care of the cutting question while preserving the muscle mass bit) and save the training points for another time. You may, however, have to eventually prioritize your objectives and decide which of these two qualities you want to put most of your emphasis on.

To do what you want will be a slow, laborious process but certainly not impossible. The reason that it is difficult is that the building of muscle is not particularly high on the list of evolutionary activity as far as Mother Nature is concerned. So you’re going to have to first trick Mum into thinking that you’re not in danger of starving yourself to death.

Which means you will have to take your time, use your smarts and do it by the numbers. No silly moves that might upset things and switch that fat conserving survival button on.

The tool that you’ll want to use here is a modified form of ketosis diet, sometimes referred to as carb backloading, but I don’t like jargon so I won’t use that silly term.


  1. Buy yourself some Ketostix to check the levels of acetoacetate and, if you’re really geeky, a blood BHB meter and learn how to use them.
  2. Get yourself into a mild to medium state of ketosis. Becoming Keto Adapted normally takes 4 or 5 days, if done properly. Adapting for most people usually involves generally unpleasant sensations like lethargy and dysphoria. Just pay your dues and stick with it, it won’t last forever.
  3. This step will take a little experimentation. Most of us can remain in ketosis and still manage an intake of 50–100g of carbohydrates. Determine the maximum amount that you can eat without totally kicking yourself out of ketosis. Then take the lion’s share of this amount around the time you do your training. It works for some individuals better prior and others post training.
  4. Keep track of things and make adjustments as you progress.

My personal experiences, both as a trainer with my clients and using myself as guinea pig, gives me a solid feeling that a cycle of 3–6 weeks is optimal.

If you stick to the program, you should be surprised and impressed with your results.

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