The topic about whether or not it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time needs some blunt clarification.
There are really only two ways for someone to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time:
- If you are a complete newbie to the gym, have never touched a weight in your life, or have never dieted properly in any capacity, you MAY be able to make gains in lean muscle mass while losing fat in a calorie deficit.
- If you are on super-physiological dosages of Anabolic Steroids or SARMs you MAY be able to make gains in lean muscle mass while losing fat in a calorie deficit.
If you are like every one else, you can forget about gaining muscle while losing fat.
It is a pipe dream, and even many bodybuilders who pound enough drugs to run a pharmacy (exaggeration) can’t even accomplish this.
This is because when your body is in a calorie deficit, it must reach into stored energy sources for fuel.
While stored fat and glycogen are 2 sources that your body will pull energy from, it will also breakdown stored muscle protein, by burning muscle mass, to get energy.
This is why your primary concern while cutting shouldn’t be gaining muscle in any capacity. It should be about maintaining every bit of muscle you already have.
If you can accomplish that, that is an impressive feat in itself.
Let's think biologically for a moment…
If you want to pack on MORE muscle than you already have, then you need to be eating enough food that your body has an excess amount of energy leftover that it can put to use above and beyond the simple task of fueling your everyday activities.
Let's say your maintenance calories are 3000. If you eat 3000 then 3000 will be burned.
What is left of that to build muscle? Nothing.
What about if you eat 3500 calories? What is left of that to build muscle then?
In this case, the 500 excess calories that haven't been burned during the day will be usable by the body to help pack on new lean tissue.
Once you understand that you simply cannot add mass to your body without eating in a caloric surplus, it becomes very obvious how impossible it would be to pack on muscle in a calorie deficit.
When you are cutting, your body is in a state of energy deficiency, and it is literally dipping into stored energy (fat) in your body to fuel itself to survive.
How could your body possibly build more muscle when it is breaking down fat and other energy sources stored in your body just to stay alive?
In short, you can’t. There are no calories left at all to be usable for muscle growth.
If you want to gain muscle, you need to eat more calories than your body burns in a day. If you want to lose fat, you need to burn more calories than your body eats in a given day.
Building muscle and losing fat are opposites of one another.
One is growing and one is cutting. You can't grow and cut at the same time. That does not make any sense at all.
Unfortunately many people are fooled into thinking that if they take certain supplements or do specific diets they will be able to “unlock” the potential to grow and cut at the same time.
Nothing could be further from the truth, there are supplements that help you grow and there are supplements that help you cut. They should be taken accordingly.
If you want to lose fat, it's smart to take a fat burner to help make the whole process a lot more efficient, effective, and easy.
It does this by helping to boost your body's natural metabolism, suppress your appetite, give you more energy and improving your body's natural fat partitioning abilities.
If you want to gain muscle, it's important to make sure that you are getting enough protein in your body to help rebuild all of the muscle that you are destroying when you work out.
Whether you are trying to gain muscle or lose weight, just remember to pick one and supplement for it appropriately. Once you do that, you'll stop going around in circles and be on the right path to build the body of your dreams.