Ever heard someone state that their goal is to ‘build muscle and lose fat’? If so, you aren’t alone. Perhaps you’ve even stated this is your goal as well. But is it really possible, that’s the real question here.
To build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus. To lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Obviously you can’t be in a surplus and deficit at the same time, so at first glance, it may seem like this isn’t quite something you could achieve.
But, with the right precision, you very well may.
Let’s look at this a little further.
The Question Of Fat Loss Versus Staying Lean
The very first thing to consider is the difference in concepts between losing fat and staying lean. When many people appear to be building muscle and losing fat, it’s not so much that both processes are happening simultaneously, but more that they are adding muscle without gaining any additional body fat. This makes their total body fat percentage appear lower however since now they have more lean mass to fat mass. Their overall percentage of fat mass has in fact gone down.
They’ll see greater muscle definition due to the extra muscle mass being built while they are in their bulking phase and since they aren’t gaining any fat along with it, it’s not going to be ‘hiding’ their progress.
Timing Your Nutrients
The next thing to note if you want to set the goal to build muscle while staying very lean at the same time is that you will have to be very precise with your nutrients. Since you are most anabolic right around the workout period, you’ll want to make sure that you are focusing almost all of your carbohydrates during this time.
That will help ensure that you have what your body needs to build that new muscle mass tissue and then later in the day when carbs are removed, you will begin to use fat as a fuel source.
This can help you stay leaner as the process goes on, allowing you to achieve the results you’re going for.
Note that protein will remain a constant element of each and every meal and snack you consume.
Accepting Slower Progress
Finally, the last thing to note if you want to realize success with building muscle while staying very lean is that you will have to accept a slower overall rate of progress.
Since you won’t be able to use as great of a calorie surplus in order to ensure that no of the excess calories you consume get converted to body fat, this can hinder the overall rate of muscle size increases that you make.
Fewer calories consumed means less energy to develop new muscle (and potentially fat) with.
So there you have the most important things to consider about the goal to build muscle while staying lean. It is possible if you’re very strict with yourself and are willing to be patient with the process.