How to Lose Fat & Build Muscle in a Calorie Deficit!

Many of us want to know if there is a way to lose fat and build muscle at the same and you may have been told to build muscle you need to be in calorie surplus. Although this is predominately true, if you’re new to lifting and you’re in a calorie deficit, you CAN build muscle during this time as it is a new stimulus to your body, I will explain how this is done below.

I’ll cover the different types of people who can benefit from training in a calorie deficit and build muscle mass and which people will not.

Body Type 1 – Obese or Overweight People

If you’re in this group you can do resistance training while in a calorie deficit and will still build muscle. As you are already overweight you will not need to go into a calorie surplus to build muscle.

Many people in this group will have the mindset to only do cardio in hopes to slim down and then build muscle afterwards, but in fact you are probably the best type of person to do a body recomposition to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously.

The reason you are able to do this purely because of the amount of body fat you have on your physique. Once you start cardio and resistance training for example with weights, you’ll be burning more calories and thus start losing weight. Your body fat will reduce but your muscle tone will definitely increase while your weight training.

Bare in mind, its one of those things you may not notice instantly, as you have high amounts of body fat covering all the new muscles being built but over time you will see the difference as you lose the weight.

Body Type 2 – Slim and ‘Skinny Fat’ People

Now on the opposite. The issue people within this realm often have is a little bit of belly fat around the belt area of the waist or a little bit of a flabby chest but are still overall relatively slim. In some cases especially with Skinny Fat body types you may potentially have been chubbier in the past and opted in doing non stop cardio or cut calories drastically to lose that fat and now at that point where although you are still slim you would have been left with stubborn fat areas on your body.

With this body type, when trying to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, it wouldn’t be smart for you to stay in a calorie deficit, if you’re new to lifting there’s a small chance you will gain a little bit of muscle however because of already being in a deficit and skinny as it is, the percentage of muscle that you could build will be insignificant compared to if you slightly ate more of the right foods and calories for your size and weight.

Try taking a step back and gradually eat more calories, firstly to get your metabolism back to where it should be and you will find that you’ll have more energy and strength to lift more weights over time, which means you’ll build more muscle. Click here for more advice on tips for Skinny Guys on how to bulk up.

Body Type 3 – The Average Person

The average person, most likely doesn’t consume a high protein diet and has a takeaway fairly often and probably doesn’t train. If you’d class yourself in this bracket, you probably aren’t under-eating and are actually most likely eating slightly more calories than you need. In this case to build muscle and begin to losing fat, it’s as simple as just starting the gym and then maybe start a slight calorie deficit. nothing too crazy start off with reducing your daily calories by 100 – 200, as you’re a beginner you can definitely gain muscle whilst in a calorie deficit!

Body Type 4 – The Returning Gym Goer

If you’re a person who has trained previously and are at more of an intermediate level and have simply fallen out of your routine of going to the gym for whatever reason and also not following the greatest diet either. This type of person can also lose fat and build muscle whilst in a calorie deficit.

Although the longer the period you have off, the more results you’re going to get. For example someone who has been off the gym for 6 months to a year – you are likely to gain quite a bit of body fat and water weight, so once you are back into training, you will be able to see a much bigger difference visually than somewhat that has only taken a month off.

Let me make clear – You will be building back some of the muscle you have lost, so its not a case of retaining what you had before and now you’re building new muscle on top of that. It’s more a case that you’ve been so inactive during your time off that you would have lost some of your muscle mass and now you’re in the process of working hard to get back to where you were. Once you’ve reached that point, the ‘gaining’ period will slow down.

Key Things to Note

Most of all, what you’ll you get out, what you out in! There is no quick fix. it takes time to build good quality amounts of muscle, even when you’re new to lifting but with the right attitude and mindset to diet and training you should make decent progress over time.

Please note –  the one realm where I wouldn’t recommend to be in a calorie deficit and build muscle are those who are super thin and those on the lower end of the skinny fat category.

For more in-depth detail, please watch the video below: