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. However, while you can do both at the same time, it’s extremely rare to 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. 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 that most people can hope for is to generate a small muscle gain while losing a much larger amount of fat. Even with a highly restrictive liquid diet containing less than 1000 calories a day, weight training still led to an increase in muscle size in a group of obese women [7]. In fact, researchers from the United States Sports Academy found that a group of overweight beginners lost over 16 pounds of fat and gained almost 10 pounds of muscle during a 14-week training program [2].
In other words, they gained a decent amount of muscle while also losing slightly more than one pound of fat per week. Even in beginners who are not extremely overweight, it’s still possible to drop fat while gaining muscle. A good example comes from a study carried in the Journal of Applied Physiology, which tracked changes in body composition in group of 30 men who were new to lifting weights [4]. The resistance-training program involved a combination of free weights and fixed resistance machines, and was divided into upper-body exercises (performed on Monday), lower-body exercises (performed on Wednesday), and both upper- and lower-body exercises (performed on Friday). During the first two weeks of the program, subjects performed 10-15 repetitions per set, with three sets per exercise. The runners lost a little over 4 pounds of fat, but they also lost a small amount of muscle. Despite the fact that they started out with an average body fat of just 12%, the men gained 7 pounds of muscle while losing almost 6 pounds of fat. However, even though these individuals weren’t overweight, they were beginners in terms of strength training.
A bodybuilder, for example, who is closing in on the upper limits of his natural muscular potential will do very well just to hold on to the muscle he currently has when moving from 10% to 5% body fat in preparation for a contest.
For anyone in this type of condition, the main benefit of strength training during fat loss is to maintain rather than gain muscle mass. There are studies where people who have moved past the beginner stages of training have managed to gain muscle while losing fat. So there you have it – simultaneous fat loss and muscle growth in a group of trained individuals. Taking 12 weeks to lose less than four pounds of fat, particularly in a group of guys who weren’t particularly lean to start with (they started the study with an average 20% body fat), is nothing to write home about.


Second, we don’t know what type of training the subjects had been doing prior to taking part in the study.
If you take someone who’s been following a crappy training program for the last few years, and put them on an “optimal” one, they’re going to see better results than someone who’s been following a non-crappy program from day one. Three years of proper training is very different to three years of messing around in the gym jumping from one “celebrity workout” to the next. Anyone who’s been in shape before will find it easier to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously when returning after a layoff. When a muscle is trained, detrained and retrained, there is a faster change in muscle size during retraining compared to the initial training period from an untrained state [3]. Take a look at the cover of most fitness magazines and you’d be forgiven for thinking that building muscle while simultaneously losing fat is the easiest thing in the world. Recently, I received an e-mail from a reader who wanted my opinion on the training program of a guy who appeared on the cover of a popular fitness magazine. That means he lost 38 pounds of fat and gained 24 pounds of muscle in a little under four months.
In other words, it’s far more realistic to lose 10 pounds of fat while gaining a pound or two of muscle.
If you want less flab and more muscle when you look down at your abs (or where they should be), check out The Flat Belly Cheat Sheet. It's a “cut the waffle and just tell me what to do” PDF, written in plain English, that tells you exactly how to get rid of belly fat.
Christian Finn holds a master's degree with distinction in exercise science, is a former personal trainer and has been featured on BBC TV and radio, as well as in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Fit Pro, Zest, and Perfect Body magazine. 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.
Although there are lots of ifs, buts and maybes, it is possible to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously. Take a group of people who have never lifted weights before and put them on a diet and training program that’s geared towards fat loss. Group one spent three days a week running (25-40 minutes at 65-85% of their age-derived maximum heart rate), while a second group trained with weights.
During the final eight weeks, the resistance was set so that failure to lift the weight occurred at 10-12 repetitions on the first set, 8-10 repetitions on the second set, and 4-8 repetitions on the third set. The men who lifted weights gained around 5 pounds of muscle while losing almost 2 pounds of fat. This in turn makes it less likely that you’ll be able to gain a decent amount of muscle at the same time.
Rather, the number of nuclei (which play a crucial role in building new muscle) in muscle cells increases when you lift weights, even before the muscle cell itself starts to grow. Instead, the extra nuclei form a type of muscle memory that allows the muscle to bounce back quickly when you start training again.


Those are genuine headlines from the covers of various magazines that I’ve seen in the last few days. Losing 10 pounds of fat at the same time as replacing it with 10 pounds of muscle is not an attainable goal for most people most of the time. Pasiakos SM, Vislocky LM, Carbone JW, Altieri N, Konopelski K, Freake HC, Anderson JM, Ferrando AA, Wolfe RR, Rodriguez NR. Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Andersen JC, Wilson SM, Stout JR, Duncan N, Fuller JC, Baier SM, Naimo MA, Rathmacher J. I provide science-based fitness advice to men in their 30s and 40s who want to lose fat and build muscle in its place. 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. It's a “cut the waffle and just tell me what to do” PDF, written in plain English, that shows you exactly how to get rid of belly fat. A combined group performed both routines on the same day of the week, always doing the weight training first.
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.
Acute energy deprivation affects skeletal muscle protein synthesis and associated intracellular signaling proteins in physically active adults. Strength and skeletal muscle adaptations in heavy-resistance-trained women after detraining and retraining. Concurrent resistance and endurance training influence basal metabolic rate in nondieting individuals. Effects of a short-term pre-season training programme on the body composition and anaerobic performance of professional rugby union players. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. 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.



Foods to be avoided for fat loss
Before and after weight loss 70 pounds
Weight loss calories or carbs


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