How to lose fat and gain muscle

5 Tips On How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle: A Decade’s Journey

In Diet and Training by ChoLeave a Comment

If you want to know how to lose fat and gain muscle, then continue reading on.



Before I give you the tips on how to lose fat and gain muscle, let me first say that I do not consider myself as an expert in the area of health and fitness. I’m far from it. I might know a thing or two about it, but I still have a long way to go. Having said that, the information I’m going to give you on how to lose fat and gain muscle are very effective based on my own experience. They’re from my own discovery, own research, and own observation and they’re not meant to be the be-all and end-all of anything.

Though I may share with you a couple of links here and there to support the information, you still have to use your own discretion and sound judgment to assess whether the information given is useful or not. My main purpose for this post, and the hundreds and even thousands of posts that I will be writing in the future, is to give value to you and help you with your goals, but you have to take everything you read here with a grain of salt. Are we clear on that? Okay? Okay.

How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle: My Story


Transformation photos of myself when I learned how to lose fat and gain muscle

These photos were taken from 2006 to 2016: Around 5 years of trial-and-error, and 5 years of the getting-the-hang-of-it stage, for a total of 10 years. More about that here.

Looking back, I think I’ve made a “nice” improvement here. The gains I had may not be impressive for some, coz I myself saw countless of incredible transformations that will dwarf this result in way less amount of time. But needless to say, I’m proud.

I still remember the day when that photo was taken; I thought I wasn’t skinny, but just lean. I thought I had enough muscles but just needed to workout for 3 months straight to look like those hunks on TV. Imagine that? I was weighing 135lbs that time, no slightest idea on how to lose fat and gain muscle, but I was already thinking like a 165-lb guy.

When I began my fitness journey, I never thought it would be fun. Even though the results didn’t come as fast as I expected, I kept going because I found happiness in what I’ve been doing. That was the best part of it–I fell in love with the process more than anything.

I read countless of books and articles, bought lots of muscle building programs, went on different diet plans, and spent every penny on every supplement that promised to deliver results. Later on, I found out I was just deluding myself that I was making gains, when in fact, I was just getting fat. My weight was going up, but my lifts weren’t getting stronger. I made a huge mistake in relying mostly on supplements and imitating programs of professional bodybuilders.

As a result, my brain grew from the materials I read and from tons of experiences of just throwing myself out there and trying everything, but my body did not. Funny to say, I did brainbuilding instead of bodybuilding. I told myself, “Maybe I’m just a HARDGAINER,” meaning someone who’s cut from a different cloth and won’t make muscle gains that easy. It turned out that I was just stupid not knowing how to train properly.


Photo of me showing my best condition

Fast forward to this day, I can say that those years are well worth it. I’ve learned a lot and I’m here to share that with you. I’m here to help you with your goals by teaching you mostly fitness stuff, but once in a while will try to include SELF-DEVELOPMENT topics as I really believe that a great body wouldn’t be so satisfying if paired with an underdeveloped mind and well-being.

Well, it’s about time now to let the world know that I was more than the funny guy who likes to take his shirt off. Come with me and let’s enjoy the journey!

Ugh. I apologize for the long story; I just needed to get that out of my system. Anyway, here are the golden nuggets that I’ve learned from a decade of journey.

5 Tip On How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle

1. For you to get bigger, you have to get stronger


This is the most important rule of all. If after reading this article and you have to choose only 1 information to take along with you, this is it.

“For the muscle to get bigger, it has to get stronger. It’s as simple as that.”

Do you know of someone who can bench press 300+ pounds but has a wimpy chest? Well, maybe. But I assure you his chest is way bigger now than when he was just bench pressing 100lbs.


Picture of Franco Columbu showing his strength by deadlifting 727lbs

Franco Columbu deadlifting 727lbs


Add 50lbs to all your big lifts and I can guarantee you that size will ALWAYS follow.

And remember, bigger muscles =  faster metabolism. For those of you whose goal is to lose weight, focus on getting stronger on all your lifts.

It’s only after following this principle that I made the biggest gains of my life. I focused on adding weight, reps, or both, EVERY workout.

2. Log your workouts


This is number 2 on the list for a reason. In order for you to grow, you have to get stronger, but how will you know if you are getting stronger? Simple: you write it down.

You write down the exercise you do, the sets, the exact reps, and the rest period between each sets.

You don’t need to buy an accounting notebook nor you have to learn how to use a spreadsheet for this. You can use your smartphone, or even a simple pen and paper. I write mine on Evernote.


Screenshot of my workout log on Evernote

Sample of my workout log on Evernote


I’ve kept workout logs on my Evernote for years. This way, I won’t have to keep on guessing every weight, reps, sets, and the rest period between sets. When I enter the gym, I have only 1 goal: to beat my previous workout.

“What gets measured, gets managed.”

Progress is happiness, and you only gonna know if you’re progressing is if you’re tracking it. Don’t trust your memory–it’s a bitch.

3. When it comes to exercise, more is not always better


Arthur Jones, the founder of Nautilus Fitness equipment, and the Father of High Intensity Training(HIT), once said:

“You can either train long or you can train hard, but you can’t do both.”

He trained his clients with only ONE set per exercise. Yes, you read that right. Only ONE set per exercise to be taken to absolute failure(meaning you can’t move the weights anymore).

And you might say, “Doing one set is a waste of time. That’s too low!” Well, tell that to Casey Viator, a professional bodybuilder trained by Arthur Jones:


Transformation photo of Casey Viator when he gained 63lbs of muscle in 28 days

Casey gained 63lbs of muscle in 28 days, training 3 days a week with only 1 set per exercise. Image source – link

Convinced now? That story is not a hoax. You can read more about that here.

My current routine consists of only 4-6 exercises total per workout, 3 days a week, and each one only lasts for an hour or less. As you can see, it is way less than the typical workout program you’ll see on the internet or hear from someone in your gym, but it works.

I am not saying that this is the only way to train nor this workout method is superior to others. My point is, you don’t NEED to perform hundreds of sets and exercises, but just the optimum amount to produce results. Again, when it comes to exercise, more is not always better. Muscle grows when you’re resting, not when you’re training.

And the best part? I have plenty of time to enjoy other things.

4. Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day


Photo of a typical breakfast

It’s been 3 years… But I don’t miss you.

For years I was told by “EXPERTS” that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Turns out that it was all but a myth. Yup. And studies show that it’s not gonna jumpstart your metabolism either.

I haven’t had breakfast for over 3 years now and I ALWAYS do my workouts in a fasted state–no food, no beverages aside from water, no anything before I workout.

The result? More energy, more focus, more gainzzzzzz.

“But hey. You can’t workout on an empty stomach. You will lose muscle!”

Good news for you… that’s a myth too. And that’s our next one.

5. Working out on an empty stomach will not result in muscle loss


If you ask a random person in the gym what would happen to the body if you won’t eat for 16-24 hours, most likely the answer you will get is a reactive “you will lose muscle!” or “muscle catabolism.”

Obviously, this is the kind of answer you will get from people who don’t have any experiences in the topic of FASTING. They’re so conscious that they won’t go over 2-3 hours without a meal because “they will lose their hard-earned muscles.”

There have been numerous studies that show working out on an empty stomach will not result in muscle loss. In fact, some of the studies have concluded that working out in a fasted state is a terrific way to build lean mass and lose fat because it boosts growth hormone and insulin sensitivity. For more info, read my article here.

These are the golden nuggets I’ve learned for over a decade of experience. They’re all important in building a great physique so make sure to incorporate them ASAP!

That’s it.

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