Proper nutrition is important for increasing muscle mass and losing fat. Gaining muscle requires adequate energy and protein intake, resistance training and consuming more calories than expended, while losing fat requires the consumption of fewer calories than used per day. Accomplishing these goals simultaneously can be difficult, coupled with the inability to specifically reduce fat from a particular area. However, it is possible to increase muscle mass and minimize gaining fat throughout the body with a combination of weightlifting, a healthy diet and aerobic exercise. Consult your physician before engaging in any exercise or fitness regimes.
Consume more calories. Eat a well-balanced diet that contains high quality proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Avoid empty calories contained in soft drinks, candy and chips, which do not help build muscle, but may increase fat.
Eat more carbohydrates for increased energy. Consume 2.3 to 3.6 grams per pound of body weight. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
Add fats in moderate amounts. Although not a fuel source with high intensity and resistance exercises, fat is an essential macro-nutrient. Aim for a diet containing 20 to 35 percent of healthy fats from fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Limit your intake of trans-fats and saturated fats from whole milk, butter, high-fat cheeses and animal fats.
Eat protein to help build and maintain muscle. Consume .63 to .77 grams per pound of body weight. Good sources of protein include lean meats, skinless chicken and fish, legumes, eggs and low-fat dairy products or soy.
Drink plenty of water. Consume at least 64 ounces per day to avoid dehydration. Fluid intake is important before, during and after exercise to help with optimal performance.