Getting in shape and building muscle is the goal for many. However, dropping unwanted weight while building muscle isn't always easy. It also doesn't happen over night either. Building muscle while losing weight takes time, dedication and a plan.

If you’re ready to put in the time and effort, here are a few tips on how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.

Cut the Calories

In order to lose weight, you need to cut the calories. Losing weight and gaining muscle is more than simply spending an entire day at the gym. A well-balanced diet accounts for 80 percent of your weight loss efforts. So, the first thing you need to do is cut out sweets, foods with high quantities of fat and carbs and sugary beverages. You need to replace those foods with the right quantity of fruit, vegetables, fruits and muscle-building protein.

Vegetables and fruit are packed with the necessary nutrients you need to get your body into great physical shape. One may argue that vitamins can help, which they can. However, vitamins are not a replacement for a healthy diet. Taking a vitamin and then eating unhealthy food doesn't work.

Here's a list of fruits and vegetables you should include into your diet and why:

Strawberries - Strawberries contain plenty of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C
Cucumbers - Cucumbers are basically an extra source of water, can lower blood sugar and are easy to incorporate into your diet
Blueberries - Blueberries are rich in potassium, can lower your risk of cardiovascular issues and act as an anti-inflammatory.
Spinach - Spinach is loaded with vitamins such as vitamin C, A, K and B2. It is also a great source of iron, magnesium and manganese.

If there’s one nutrient that will have the biggest impact when gaining muscle, it’s protein. In addition to the foods listed above, pre-workout drinks, like a weight loss stack, are also recommended.

According to Legion Athletics, a reputable supplement provider, their products contain “three supplements that will help you lose fat faster, preserve muscle and strength, and maximize workout intensity and performance.”

Maintain Physical Activity

Now onto physical activity. Like tailoring your diet, you also need to tailor the type of exercises you do. One thing to remember is that there is no best exercise to lose weight and gain muscle. It depends on your fitness goals, your overall health and personal preference.

For example, let’s say you didn’t want to have bulging biceps, but still wanted sculpted arms. You would lift lighter weights with more reps and combine it with cardiovascular activity, jogging, using a treadmill and or elliptical. Regardless of how you go about this, please remember that results take time. Pushing yourself too hard will only backfire. You also need to focus on your diet and consume food that gives you the energy you need.

Again, eating a poor diet will not squelch your weight-loss efforts. It also won't provide you with the energy you need to reach your goals. You should also focus on quality, not quantity. Try to implement some sort of cardiovascular activity into day, at least four to fives times a week. You should also perform weight training two to three times a week, focusing on different muscle groups each time.

Getting in shape may not be easy but when you start seeing results, all the hard work is worth it. To get started on the right foot, use the information provided to start your exercising journey and keep track of how far you've come when you feel like quitting.