Can I lose body fat and maintain muscle at the same time?

A common question I get asked is,

Can I lose body fat and maintain (or gain) muscle at the same time?

My answer is always,

Yes, but it’s not easy and will require consistency on a lot more than just your macros. Sleep, stress management, exercise & hydration matter just as much (if not more) than how much you eat, what you eat and when you eat.”

The basics aren’t always easy, obvious, or sexy

For instance, guess how many Americans meet the following five criteria?

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get regular physical activity.
  • Drink no alcohol or only moderate amounts.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Get enough sleep.

Only about 6% of Americans are doing this simple five-part combination of basic healthy lifestyle tasks* — never mind all the other stuff like eating enough protein, having a healthy mindset, building supportive relationships, and so forth.

Foundational Means Essential

Mastering the basics and doing them consistently is almost always enough for optimal fitness, health, body composition, performance, and life balance.

At Salus Nutrition, we help our clients change by helping them succeed.

Success Breeds Success

Hear what our clients have to say.

Meet Amanda

Since being down more than 6% body fat and gaining more than 7lbs of muscle…..gymnastic movements feel better, more PR’s have been coming in left & right for me lately, and the confidence I have with myself both inside the gym and outside of the gym is next level. I’m SO happy I decided to invest in myself and finally commit to my health– it’s been 100% worth it!” ~Amanda O’Grady

Meet Chris

Chris Petrosino from Andare Fitness Company didn’t just lose 30 pounds in 24 weeks… he lost 30 pounds without sacrificing any precious muscle – that’s NOT easy to do. Dropped 8.5% body fat and lost over 4 inches around his navel. Here’s what he had to say:

Angela is an amazing coach and motivator. She keeps you accountable and the weekly check ins are a huge reason I was able to stay on track. No matter what my week’s plans or obstacles incorporated she could tell me exactly how to tweak what I was eating or even when I should eat.

By far the most success I’ve had with a nutritional coach!!

I will recommend her to anyone interested in wanting a nutritional coach. Since dropping over 30 pounds (my journey is still ongoing) my movement and flexibility have improved so much. I cannot thank Angela enough!!!“~Chris

Meet John

John started Nutrition Coaching in October 2022 with the goal to gain control of his nutrition and form good habits with consistency. Since then he has lost over 5% body fat and even increased lean body mass. And we’re just getting started!

Coaching with Angela has changed so many aspects of my life. I only ever imagined looking, feeling, and doing the things I do now. I learned what works for my body and increased my strength and capabilities dramatically through her guidance in just a short time and it’s only the beginning.

She takes things one step at a time to ensure true progress, even if you struggle, consistency is key and you’ll make massive changes. My physical health is carried out into my mental health and positivity in my everyday life. So happy with my progress.” ~Josh V

Meet Angelica

Her story is unique to her but can be a common story for someone just starting out with resistance training and fitting in adequate protein intake.

In our first 12 weeks together, Angelica’s weight on the scale increased 5 pounds. Sure, that can seem very frustrating.

But she was patient and trusted the process, sticking to it.

Though the scale initially went up, the body composition measurements provided a more clear picture as to what is really going on. At week 12, her body comp showed that she LOST 4% body fat (losing over 5 pounds of fat) and gained over 11 pounds of muscle! I asked Angelica what she changed over the 12 weeks:

In 3 months, I focused on bettering my diet by adding more protein, getting in some form of exercise 6 times a week, and sleeping a normal amount of hours per night. Though this was tough, it really paid off! I’ve gained such a significant amount of muscle that it’s made me more confident in my sport (Roller Derby) and my everyday abilities. I feel super strong and able to take on the world.

Meet Adrianna

Adrianna decided to start Nutrition coaching perhaps at one of the hardest times of the year…right before the holidays. Her goals? Give herself the best chance possible for her upcoming competition, increase energy and strength.

Over 12 weeks (and through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year), she didn’t just smash some PRs on the platform, but she also lost over 4% body fat (losing 7 pounds of fat and gaining close to 6 pounds of muscle).

I am in awe of how much my body changed during the time I spent with Angela. Though my weight did not change that much, my body was changing – I even fit into one pair of jeans that I had stopped wearing previously. I also saw gains on the platform. Squat and snatch PRs went up almost weekly, and I felt that my body was able to withstand and recover for the next session with ease. My sleep also improved significantly. I now fall asleep shortly after getting in bed, and I wake up well rested and refreshed.

I learned a lot during this time – and surprised to see how little protein I was eating before. Tracking my meals was eye-opening and meeting my daily protein goals became my top priority. This in turn led to less snacking and less mindless grazing between meals, which also means that my sugar levels are consistent throughout the day. I no longer suffer the 3 PM slump. I honed in my meal prep strategies to guarantee good choices for work lunches and emergency snacks. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to not planning weekly meals. How I made it this far in life winging it is a mystery.

I also did this during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. I indulged in my favorite foods responsibly, and had a plan for what to eat and how much going into the celebrations. I don’t feel like I missed anything or that I was denying myself. I learned to focus on managing the nutrition my body needs to perform on the platform and that’s the most important lesson.

*Liu Y, Croft JB, Wheaton AG, Kanny D, Cunningham TJ, Lu H, et al. Clustering of five health-related behaviors for chronic disease prevention among adults, United States, 2013. Prev Chronic Dis. 2016 May 26;13:E70.