Can you gain muscle + lose fat at the same time?

It can be hard but in short, yes, yes, you can.

However, it can be quite difficult and is usually reserved for those who are beginners, coming back from a break in training, already quite overweight or have a very specific macro/calorie split.

There are two usually two general rules around weight gain.

The first one is; if you want to gain weight then eat in a calorie surplus.

The second one is; if you want to lose fat then eat in a calorie deficit.

So then if they are the two main rules, then how come we hear stories of people doing both at the same time?

Well, that’s because it’s definitely possible.

There is specific research to suggest that yes you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

When you are new to training or are already quite overweight, your adaptions to training are so high and efficient that your body can be doing both at the same time quite easily. 

Especially if you already have a large stockpile of calories/energy to pull from (in extra body fat / adipose tissue).

This happens when you are in a calorie deficit and losing body fat from the nutrition focus but then are also gaining muscle as your body uses the incoming calories to create muscle to handle the new demands of your increased training load.

This can also happen if you have had a bit of a break from training, especially if you have quite a large strength reserve that you can use to really push your training when you return.

It also happens to individuals who have been training for a little bit of time, but have found the perfect mix of being in a slight calorie deficit mixed with a very high protein diet, great training program and a little bit of luck as well.

In general, however, the best protocol is to usually do a period where you are in a calorie deficit for a bit, losing a bit of fat and then switch gears for a bit and do a period of a calorie surplus when you try and gain muscle.

During the calorie surplus, however, you can mitigate the amount of body fat you gain by being in a small calorie surplus and keeping the protein intake very high. This paired with a specific, purposeful training program can ensure that you are gaining some muscle without much/if any fat.

Do you want specific help regarding losing fat?

We do healthy habit coaching at our gym, which focuses on how specific habits around food, lifestyle and mindset help us with our body composition and health-related goals. Message us to see how we can help you!

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