Build Muscle & Lose Fat Simultaneously - Yes, It Is Possible!

It's not impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It's actually a very do-able, predictable process... I'm here to help you achieve your goals because I know for a fact that you can! Learn more.

It's a given that every reader of this site wants to build muscle. It's also a given that every reader of this site wants to lose fat.

However, realistically speaking, can you build muscle and lose fat at the same time? Actually, yes you can!

Can You Build Muscle And Lose Fat At The Same Time?

Lose Fat & Gain Muscle

Take a look around and you'll find that I am in the minority for believing that you can bulk up and cut simultaneously. I say 'believe' but I really mean 'know' as I have 'done the impossible' on many an occasion and so have my readers by implementing my advice.

The evidence isn't just anecdotal however, there's solid scientific evidence for my position, but we'll get to that later. So why don't most people believe that this can be done?

Well, here's 2 facts that they use repeatedly:

  1. In order to build muscle, you need to consume excess calories.
  2. In order to lose fat there must be a calorie deficit.

The logic is, since you can't do both of the above at the same time, you can't build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Wrong, yes you can!

Body Fat Is The Solution

Here's what they don't understand. Yes, you need sufficient calories to build muscle and you need a deficit to burn fat. However, body fat is actually the solution! What is body fat?

Stored energy or stored calories, if you will. If you don't meet your caloric needs through food, you tap into your 'stored calories' to do the job. Since those stored calories are in the form of body fat, you therefore have to lose fat in order to build that muscle.

Do you see what I'm saying here? Let's say a guy eats 500 calories less than what his body needs to get him through the day (his maintenance calories including exercise). How will his body get those extra 500 calories needed to energize him and build muscle?

Answer: by burning his body fat. There are about 3500 calories in a pound of fat. 500 calories times 7 days equals 3500 calories, i.e. in this example, our guy fuels protein synthesis (building new muscle) and loses 1 pound of fat per week in the process - that's nice, very nice.

Calories In Vs Calories Out

You quite literally trade your fat @ss for fab abs (aren't I clever?). Please note that it is impossible for fat tissue to directly turn into muscle tissue but you can trade that fat for muscle by using it for fuel. For some reason, most people seem to forget that not all your calories have to come in through your mouth.

'Calories In/Calories Out' still holds true friends, the laws of thermodynamics are not broken, but it is at the level of the cells, not at the level of your mouth!

There is one condition you must adhere to! On a high-carb diet, this is not going to be achievable by anyone except those very few genetically gifted individuals.

However, for those of us in the know, we can use our knowledge to activate a fat metabolism and achieve remarkable results. You need to flip that metabolic switch and become a fat-burner in order to make this work.

A fat-burner is simply someone who restricts carbohydrate intake to encourage the body to burn fat for fuel. This typically takes around 3 days of low carb dieting to achieve.

Related Video Carbohydrate Reduction!
Watch The Video - 2:17

Becoming A Certified Fat-Burner

When you eat high-carb and create a calorie deficit, you'll lose weight alright, but you'll lose up to 50% of that weight in muscle. Therefore, attempting this on a high-carb diet will result in stagnation, i.e. neither moving forwards or backwards, and a very frustrated you.

When you're a certified fat-burner it works a treat. Skeptical? Want some solid evidence? Good! Ok, check out the info from 5 studies in the image below.

Pay particular attention to the last group - 'Volek et al'. As most of us aren't going from 'overweight' to lean, and we aren't restricting calories to 1000 or less per day, this is where we'll find relevant answers.

This group lost 2.2 kg or 4.8 lbs in total weight. The great news is that they actually lost 7.26 lbs / 3.3 kg of fat and gained 2.42 lbs / 1.1 kg of muscle in 42 days. Is it any wonder carb cycling is so darn effective?

As a sidenote, check out the top study. A low-carb group consuming just 1000 calories per day was observed alongside a group that ate absolutely nothing for 10 days. Sure the fasting group lost more total weight, but the low-carbers lost almost twice as much fat!

very low carbohydrate diets descrease fat mass, spare lean body mass

Low car study chart


It's not impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It's actually a very do-able, predictable process when you know what you're doing. That's why I'm here doing this, writing articles. I'm here to help you achieve your goals because I know for a fact that you can!

I'm not special, I don't have amazing genetics. I'm just a regular guy who got his wish by continually learning and being my own guinea pig. Now I'm passing it on to you.

Hey, the next time someone discourages you and tells you that you can't build muscle and lose fat at the same time, point at their big gut and suggest that they start using some of those calories in future.

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About The Author

Hailing from Ireland, Mark is a muscle & nutrition enthusiast who has spent years in independent research... Better nutrition for fat loss!

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Showing 1 - 9 of 9 Comments

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Exillent article!! I found what i was looking .... Calories Breakdown.Thanks

Jul 10, 2013 7:52am | report

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that's totally works for me!

Dec 18, 2013 2:51pm | report

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I'm going to try this. Low carbs, burn a lot of calories, and eat sufficient protein and fats.

Jul 18, 2014 11:13pm | report

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Had a question I workout 5 times a week and burn 500 calories everytime on the eleptical. I weigh 260 and want to cut down to 215 200 ish. I'm eating 6 meals a day and it's oatmeal in the morning
Then 8 oz grill chicken 8 oz yams cup veggie (3x meals)
2 scoop protein shake
Then 1 scoop protein shake with almond milk before bed
I'm consuming about 2500 to 2600 calories a day.
my question am I on the write track to losing weight or do I need to lower some carbs or protein?
Any advice is great

Aug 28, 2014 1:15am | report

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a few things to consider. the body will adapt to the elliptical quickly and burn less calories than the machine says. you don't necessarily need to eat 6 times a day you can but your weight will not be affected at all by eating more often. i would lower carb intake mainly the oatmeal switch it with something healthy eggs bacon steak anything with fat and protein. the carbs dont directly cause a problem but the processes they produce do.

Aug 28, 2014 1:15pm | report

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oh and don't force yourself to eat. if you dont feel hungry that means you don't need food. your body is very good at letting you know when its hungry. the exception of course is when it comes to simple carbs and sugar they produce false hunger signals.

Aug 28, 2014 1:19pm | report

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ummm. that mean that if u follow low carb diet or protien diet 1000 kcal per day

you can gain muscles and loose fat aslo ?
if this will make me loos my muscles ??

Nov 8, 2014 3:25pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 198.64 lbs
  • bf: 25.0%

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really good article!

Nov 17, 2014 11:29pm | report

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This really does work. Been doing it for about 3 months now!

Feb 6, 2015 7:55am | report
Showing 1 - 9 of 9 Comments

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