Archive for the tag - lose fat

Can You Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time?

Dear Davey,

Is it possible to gain muscle while losing fat?


Hey Chuckie,

Thanks for the question. At face value, the goals of losing fat and building muscle seem to contradict each other. In order to lose fat, we know that a calorie deficit is required. That is, fewer calories are taken in than burned. To build muscle, on the other hand, a calorie surplus is required. In general, people engaged in a muscle-building workout program are advised to take in 250 - 500 more calories than are burned.

This is why you’ll see many body builders cycle through a “bulking phase” wherein they increase muscle mass through a calorie surplus and then a “cutting phase” wherein they lean down with a calorie deficit.

Personally, if I was training a client who both wanted to lose weight and build muscle, I’d focus on the goals one at a time. First, I’d use a calorie deficit and workout program that targets fats loss. Once the goal weight was reached, I’d use a calorie surplus and a workout program that produces muscle gain.

But what about for the average exerciser who isn’t interested in counting calories or who isn’t that serious about their exercise commitments? Can the average exerciser lose weight while building muscle?

There are actually a few studies on the subject. For one study, researchers put women through a six-month fitness program that included both cardio and strength training. On average, the women lost 10% of their body fat and increased their muscle mass by 2.2%. A separate study of men came to the same conclusion.

In other words, if you eat well and exercise, you’ll likely lose fat and gain muscle. At the same time. It might not be the most efficient process, and it may not produce maximal results, but it happens all the time with typical gym-goers.

I hope that helps!

Davey Wavey

5 Tips: How to Get Rid of a Muffin Top.

Hi Davey,

First off, I just want to say you’re such an inspiration. I read your blog and watch your videos as if they were the bible.

I have been working out and eating as healthy as I can, and I’ve been noticing good results. But how do I get rid of that horrible muffin top? Any tips would be appreciated.


Dear Chris,

Thanks for the kind words - and for following my blog posts and videos so religiously!

For those of you who don’t know what a “muffin top” is, Wikipedia defines it as:

A generally pejorative slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging fat when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirts in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing.

With the majority of Americans overweight, muffin topping is not an uncommon phenomenon - but there’s plenty that we can do to reduce excess body fat. The general prescription is pretty straightforward: A healthy lifestyle that combines a balanced diet with cardiovascular exercise and strength training. It’s not a gimmick or a quick fix, but - if you put in the time and energy - you will have real and lasting results.

But what are some more specific tips?

  1. Don’t skip breakfast - or any other meals. Many people try to lose fat by cutting meals. Unfortunately, this method backfires. The body will respond by releasing a nasty stress hormone called cortisol. A big and undesirable side effect of cortisol is the retention of fat in the body’s midsection. Cortisol also makes you crave fatty and sugary foods - which, once eaten, can lead to fat gain. Moreover, skipping meals slows down your metabolism, thus resulting in fewer calories burned each day.
  2. Get regular sleep. Cortisol can also be released as a result of insufficient sleep. Ensure that you’re getting 6 - 8 hours of sleep per day, and that your sleep schedule follows a regular pattern.
  3. Cut back on booze. They call it a “beer belly” for a reason. In addition to flooding your body with empty calories, lowering testosterone and causing blood sugar swings, alcohol hinders the process of protein synthesis (i.e., the production of muscle proteins needed to grow your muscles). By preventing muscle growth, you’re not going to make gains at the gym. It also prevents proper muscle function.
  4. Engage in high intensity interval training. Longer cardio sessions aren’t necessarily better. After about 45 minutes, your body will release cortisol as a result of the stress it’s experiencing - undoing all your hard work. Stick to short, effective and efficient cardio sessions. High intensity interval training, as featured in my new workout program, is the best bet.
  5. Clean up your diet. Avoid simple carbs like those found in sugary drinks and processed foods. Complex carbs, like those found in fruits and vegetables, are a much better bet. Eat lean meats, cut back on saturated fats and consume lots and lots of fiber.

Again, I’d caution against trying quick fixes or fad diets to get rid of your muffin top. Such gimmicks often yield no results or are entirely unsustainable. Be in it for the long haul!


P.S. In case you missed the big news, this week marked the launch of my brand-new fitness program: Davey Wavey’s Get Ripped Workout! Thank you for making it my most successful launch ever! If you don’t yet have a copy, use discount code “blog” to save 25% before June 7!