You’re on a mission to lose fat and build muscle, and you’re searching for a diet and training program that will let you do both. But all you’ve found are a bunch of articles saying that it’s “impossible” to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. Actually, this is only partially true. Although there are lots of ifs, buts and maybes, it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously.
However, while you can do both at the same time, you can’t do both at the same rate.
With very few exceptions, you won’t build muscle at anything like the same speed at which you lose fat. That’s because of the opposing demands these goals impose on your body.
Building large amounts of new muscle tissue requires energy. In other words, you’ll need a calorie surplus — to consume more energy than your body needs to maintain its weight.
Fat loss, on the other hand, requires a calorie deficit, which means consuming less energy than your body needs to maintain its weight.
What usually happens is that people set their calories too high to allow for a decent rate of fat loss, but too low to support muscle growth. As a result, they make no significant progress in either direction.
It would be nice if the energy your body needs to build new muscle tissue came from stored fat. But when your body is in a predominantly catabolic state, gaining muscle is not a priority, and the synthesis of new muscle protein is substantially reduced.
There are numerous calorie cycling methods that claim to be able to get around this problem, but even then you’re not going to replace every pound of fat lost with one pound of muscle. The best you can hope for is to generate a small muscle gain while losing a much larger amount of fat.
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