Finding a balance between a healthy diet and workout routine, so that you can keep muscle mass whilst cutting down the fat, can be tricky.
Often people want to trim down in specific areas, such as the abdomen, without losing the definition of muscles they have worked so hard to create. Therefore finding a balance between your diet and your workouts is essential in trying to preserve your muscle mass whilst cutting. Protein is of key importance, it provides the body with the essential amino acids it can’t synthesise itself. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and proteins are what form the foundation of muscle tissue. The body utilises the protein you receive in your diet, in the production and maintenance of muscle fibres. During a cutting phase it is best to gain your protein from low fat complete protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs and low fat dairy, or from combinations of incomplete proteins such as whole grains, legumes, beans, seeds and nuts. Yes, during a cutting phase you want to cut down on extra calories to lose the unwanted fat, but good fats actually assist in burning adipose tissue (fat) and keep your metabolism functioning at its optimal level.
Even though reducing your carbohydrate intake is an effective way of cutting, carbohydrates still play an important role in the basic functions of your body, including the maintenance of muscle mass. Try to cut your carb intake down to around 2 grams per pound of body weight and cycle your carb intake.
It’s also important to ensure you are getting your carbs from healthy choices, so avoid breads and pastas and instead opt for brown rice, oat, sweet potatoes, green vegetables and green apples. Exercise is also obviously still an important factor in the cutting phase, not only to assist in cutting fat, but also in maintaining your muscle definition. Maintaining the same heavy loads and medium reps is important, because using lighter loads will encourage the body to adjust and will result in loss of muscle mass. Increasing your cardio training will also aid in cutting fat, just make sure you fuel the body well so that it doesn’t have to resort to using muscle tissue for fuel.
6 Reasons you have No Energy at the GymIf you want to gain muscle and strength then of course .. Free Weights vs Machines for Muscle GrowthThe discussion as to whether free weights are more or .. We are all pretty familiar with the necessity of being in a caloric surplus in order to put on muscle mass. In order to burn fat, we must do the opposite of a bulk and put ourselves in a caloric deficit. In a lot of cases people will lose some muscle endurance while in a caloric deficit…this is normal. If you are interested in lean bulking to reduce the amount of fat you gain, check out how to calculate your macronutrients. Don’t get me wrong, steady state cardio is a great tool for burning calories and getting ripped to the socks.
Not only are these great for overall calorie burn, but they are also great for preserving muscle mass and training your muscles to fire properly in order to accelerate when needed. Training hard (and heavy) and incorporating high intensity training into your routine should be more than enough to put you in a caloric deficit without you having to starve yourself or cut your carbs.
These 3 simple strategies will ensure that you preserve your hard-earned muscle mass while getting rid of the unwanted fat to reveal your new physique.

If you have any questions concerning this article or my 21 Day Fast Abs guide, be sure to leave them in the comment section below!
About Alain GonzalezMy name is Alain Gonzalez and I am NOT a bodybuilder; however, I have managed to gain over 27 lbs of drug free muscle in record time and I am here to show you how you can as well.
My goal is to help over 1 million naturally skinny guys to build muscle and achieve a physique they never thought possible.
These diets (written as easy-to-use Excel files) are designed to help you either shed body fat while keeping muscle(the cutting diet) or gain muscle (the massing diet).
Each diet offers the option to structure your meal timing for training days on which the training is done first thing in the morning and in every 3-4 hour interval later, all the way up to an early evening training session option. Each massing and cutting diet is designed to be run for approximately 3 months, with the programming to help you gain or lose anywhere between 5 and 25lbs in that 3 month span, depending on your body size, caloric expenditure, and goals. The included maintenance diet that comes with both the cutting and massing plan can be run for as long as you want if your goals are to maintain your weight and improve your recovery and performance. We’d love to be able to answer questions about your individual diet, so we’re attaching a how-to guide, a common questions list, and a short video tutorial on how to use the templates.
In order for us to send you a template that fits your needs, we’ll need just a couple of pieces of information and input from you, to be filled out and submitted right here on the site before checkout.
Juggernaut Training Systems is a group of athletes and coaches dedicated to leading from the front and providing people with the highest quality information from true experts to help them achieve their goals. Starting from that high of body fat, do I really have to consume a surplus to put on muscle? There are ways to get keep your BF% around the same during a bulk - cardio mainly, and making sure you do not overpass maintenance by a ton, because nobody can keep that up and not get fat. I'm at 19% after my cut (started at 28%), but because it's winter down here now and I fit into all my old clothes again, I figured why not bulk and try to keep fat around the 20% mark.
Hopefully I can add close to 10lbs of lean mass before the end of spring, and then do a mini cut to about 15% by summer, maintain that over the summer, then add another 10lbs next winter and I should be cruising. This may be broscience, but I wouldn't be surprised if you put on some muscle while losing fat on a calorie deficit. I've never bulked before, and I have some muscle mass, you are bound to gain some in the process of your fat loss, just take your time and do it right. I *think* once your BF gets past a certain level you're more inclined to put on BF as opposed to muscle and the same once it gets below a certain level. You may not need the high calorie diet you were on to bulk up, in fact you will need considerably less if you want to cut, but you still need the essential nutrients to maintain your muscle mass and provide you with energy.
So even when cutting, it is vital that you consume enough protein to maintain your muscle mass.
We’ve all aimed for this surplus and have been successful at building muscle and moving the scale. Now, when we are consuming less calories than we need, our body will typically look toward our muscle because our muscle is very metabolically active and unless you train your body to need those muscles, your body will likely dispose of them.
This can result in being able to lift the same amount of weight (as you did during your bulk) but failing with less reps. Any physical activity you add in order to push you into a caloric deficit will yield fat loss.
Keeping your calories at a decent amount will allow you to consume enough of those much needed nutrients.

If you are looking for a more specific guide to leaning out for the summer, download my FREE 21 Day Fast Abs program and get beach ready in weeks!
I offer simple, science based, fluff free training and nutrition advice for anyone who has struggled to put on any weight in the past.
Both cutting and massing diets come with maintenance diets and with clear, unambiguous instructions as to their modification for your needs. Unfortunately due to our limited availability and commitment to our direct-interaction clients, we’re unable to answer personalized questions about the templates. If you like them too but would like to experience the benefits of direct consultation by an incredibly qualified industry expert, please check out our Personalized Nutrition Planning Services. Whether you compete in powerlifting, strongman, CrossFit, weightlifting, or any other sport, Strong360 is here to help you. I'm not happy with my BF at all, but I also don't have a lot of muscle in the places I want (mostly pecs). Cut til just after August then try and add lean mass for 6-9 months before next summer Then with all that extra muscle, losing the rest of the fat before next summer will be that much easier. Unfortunately, in most cases, being in a caloric surplus will yield some unwanted fat gain…it’s just the name of the game.
In the past I have said that muscle is hard to lose…and this is true…if you are going about training properly.
If that workload decreases, your body will likely adjust to the new, lesser workload by burning off some of the muscle.
Now summer is near and although you look jacked in a tight muscle shirt, going shirtless at the pool is still out of the question. It is totally normal to lose some strength during a cut because you are losing weight and this will typically result in the inability to go as heavy as you did while bulking.
Focus on lifting heavier in a lower rep range will help keep or even increase your strength and thus giving your body no room to lose muscle mass. Instead of jumping right in and dropping your calories by half or cutting your carbs out completely, you should cut calories slowly and progressively. You know it’s time to cut down and get shredded, but you’re afraid of ending up back in the scrawny body you started out with. However, your goal in mind during this fat loss phase should always be to push yourself to keep your strength and ultimately your body will find no reason to waste the muscle. If you cut your calories too quickly, you could cause metabolic damage, lose tons of strength, and hit a plateau that will leave you nowhere to go other than to starve the rest of your weight off. I’ll admit that this is a solid concern as I had it myself before starting my first cut in preparation for my first fitness show. Simply cut your current calories by 100-250, add a day of high intensity cardio, and work your way down on calories, up on cardio, or a little of both.
However, there are 3 very basic things that you can do during your fat loss phase that will ensure that you keep all of your hard earned muscle…and I am almost certain that they go against everything you’ve heard before.

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