And before you say that's garbage, let me immediately give you the science behind my statement. On the contrary, if you want to gain muscle mass you MUST eat slightly more calories than you burn. Since there is NO WAY you can be both at the same time, there is NO WAY that you can gain muscle and burn fat simultaneously.
As I said this type of muscle gain while (most likely) deficient on calories may happen only in the beginning and only until the body adapts to the new stress. If you are still reading this article I assume you are pass that point, so like I said this occasion shouldn't concern you. The second occasion is if you (well, not you of course) use banned medication of some type (steroids, hGH, IGF-1), which may cause muscle mass gain in a state of negative calorie balance. What happens in reality is instead of gaining muscle mass, or in other words increasing the circumference (or the number) of contractile tissue, you increase the water content in the muscle fiber.
The first important thing to note is that the calorie surplus to gain muscle is very, very small when compared to the calorie deficit required to lose fat. Lets look at what your body does with its calories, please look at my body on left side of the above diagram. Lets talk about this nuclear reactor here and how to stop if from turning on and burning up our muscles. Consume enough calories to keep your body from thinking its starving but not so many calories that you gain fat, 10% under your TDEE is a good value to use. Many beginners to fitness ask if they should lose their fat first or start lifting to gain muscle first, the answer is that they should do BOTH at the same time!!! Especially for beginners, it is very easy to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time!
Losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is very difficult for advanced bodybuilders. Skinny teens who can’t gain either fat or muscle even when they eat as much as they can.
Advanced bodybuilders with low bodyfat (under 8%).Your body needs some fat so when you get to a certain point, your body will start choosing to burn muscle instead of fat if you have a caloric deficit.


For this reason, and because I am sick and tired of answering this question over and over, you are going to encounter the simple truth right now. In other words what goes in your body in terms of food and calories MUST be less than what you burn throughout your day.
To some degree, I repeat, to some degree you may see muscle mass gained and fat being burned at the same time in only two occasions.
Both of these ultimately produce a short term hypertrophy (muscle mass gain) in the beginner. Any way, like I said that was just for your information, so that you don't get to ask this question again next time you see someone bulking up (or at least that's what's appearing on the surface) while getting leaner at the same time. Up until this moment science (still) has not given us a straight and useful answer of the question how to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Common wisdom is that you have to gain some fat to gain muscle, its the whole bulking and cutting mentality. Most mature adults can gain a maximum of 15 pounds of muscle in a year but many can only gain 5lbs of muscle a year. To keep you alive, your body needs two things, plain energy to burn in the form of carbs or fat and then amino acids in the form of protein. Our bodies are really smart, they know muscle is really important and they wont burn it unless they absolutely have to.
Cardio will not burn muscle, it will help you gain muscle while losing fat at the same time. Many of them are close to their genetic limits so adding muscle is very difficult and slow for them even under the best of circumstances. If you are 8% bodyfat and want to get down to 4-6% bodyfat you wont be able to add muscle while you do this, at best you can do is to maintain your muscle mass. And guess what happens later on when you (actually not you, may be someone else) get off of the "stuff"? Once you know for sure, go for it and don't let any distractions and uninformed thoughts get on the way.


Now, your first thought is probably that it can’t be done because to gain muscle, you have to eat 100 calories more per day and to lose fat, you have to eat 400 calories less per day. 50% is housekeeping stuff to keep us alive – breathing, pumping blood, maintain body temperature, replacing dead cells, etc. Your body has an amazing series of emergency backup system to keep you alive should food be scarce.
Losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is something that only beginning and intermediate bodybuilders can do. With regular dieting, its tough to drop down to 4-6% without losing muscle mass but carb cycling seems to really help for this specific purpose. Because of many peoples unrealistic expectations about adding muscle they come to the incorrect conclusion that you can’t gain muscle while losing fat. For an average person losing weight, they will eat about 400 calories a day less (12,000 calories a month) than their TDEE to lose a pound of fat a week, or 52 pounds of fat in a year.
I, too, thought and hoped that I can shorten my way to a better body by shedding fat while building muscle at the same time.
The secret to this is that our assumption that you need to eat more to gain muscle is incorrect for most adults.
About 20% is actually spend DOING stuff – walking, lifting, moving and only about 5% is spent adding muscle.
Don’t get hung up on the exact numbers, the important thing is that exercise and building muscle uses very little of the calories we consume. And your muscles are the emergency backup, your body wont turn on this nuclear power plant to cannibalize muscle unless its a DIRE emergency. Energy can come from any of the three systems but amino acids can only come from the stomach or the muscles.



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Comments »

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