How to Lose Fat AND Gain Muscle at the Same Time (3 Simple Steps)

Can you build muscle and lose fat at the same time? Yes–and it’s known as body recomposition, where you build muscle and lose fat at the same time. However, recomp does come with a catch. We need to be at a calorie deficit in order to lose weight and strip off fat. But the drawback with being at a calorie deficit is that it severely compromises our ability to build muscle. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to build muscle while losing fat, and in today's video I'll share 3 steps for how to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

The first thing you need to do for body recomposition is setup your diet. Eat at a very slight deficit of roughly 5% to a maximum of 20%. And aim for around a protein intake of around 1g/lb of your bodyweight. Then, fill the rest of your calories with carbs and fats.

Next, to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, beyond training your muscles at an adequate volume, switch up your routine. For example, switching to a new training split, increasing or decreasing your muscle training frequency, and/or switching up some of your exercises or the manner in which you perform them.

Next, we need to optimize our nutrient timing so to build muscle while losing fat. First, you need to ensure that you’re evenly spreading out your daily protein intake into about 3-5 meals throughout the day. Also aim to have adequate carbs and protein shortly before and after you train.

When it comes to the question of ‘Can you build muscle and lose fat at the same time,’ the answer is yes, but you need to follow the action plan below:

Step 1 (Set Up Nutrition): Eat just slightly below maintenance calories (~5-20% deficit, or ~100-500 calories below maintenance). Multiplying your bodyweight in lbs by ~14-16 can give you an estimate as to what your maintenance calories are. Ensure your protein intake is ~1g/lb of your bodyweight, and consider going above this if you’re relatively leaner (e.g. 15% body fat or below).

Step 2 (Switch Up Training): Switch up your training routine. Still ensure that you’re training with the optimal muscle training frequency and weekly volume, but switch up your training to provide a new stimulus for growth.

Step 3 (Optimize): Spread your daily protein intake fairly evenly into at least 3 meals per day, and ensure that you’re ingesting adequate pre AND post workout protein + carbs in a timely manner.

Bonus Step (Measure): Track your bodyweight, circumference measurements, progress pictures, and strength in the gym. Use these to variables to gauge your progress.

A body recomposition isn’t ideal for everyone, but in the cases I went through and with the protocol I previously outlined, it can be an effective way for you to shortcut your transformation. But, in the long run, you’ll likely eventually want to transition to a dedicated muscle building or fat loss period and prioritize one or the other. And for an all in one, step by step program that shows you not only how to successfully achieve a body recomposition, but also then shows you exactly what to do afterwards so that you can continue to strip off fat and build lean muscle as efficiently as possible with science, then simply take the analysis quiz below to discover which specific program is best for your body and where it’s currently at:

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Filmed by: Bruno Martin Del Campo

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MUSIC:

FULL BODY WORKOUT ROUTINE:
Full Body Workout A – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JmWguyvu7Y
Full Body Workout B – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWcJuLKB7RY

UPPER/LOWER BODY WORKOUT ROUTINE:
Upper body workout – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acp77RhVzMM
Lower body workout – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPLopuFxz-0

PUSH PULL LEGS WORKOUT ROUTINE:
Push workout – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWDXsqHo14A
Pull workout – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPphF8gepd8
Legs workout – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg9B6pqHUQE

48 thoughts on “How to Lose Fat AND Gain Muscle at the Same Time (3 Simple Steps)

  1. Jeremy Ethier says:

    If gyms are just re-opening for you and you’ve spent the past couple months either training inconsistently or with minimal equipment at home, then I think that this is the perfect opportunity for you to apply the protocol I go through as your body will likely be primed for a body recomposition to occur. Give it a shot and let me know what you think – and here’s the written article on the blog for those interested: https://builtwithscience.com/lose-fat-gain-muscle/ . Cheers!

    • DragoOz 88 says:

      My gym may reopen at the end of June. I’ve been training at home just as you described. Unfortunately lost some weight and muscle, and gained some fat. Plus i have a hip injury, which doesn’t help my metabolism.
      I’ll review this video once the gym opens!
      Oh, I’m 51 yrs old – 6’5″, 180 (barely; used to be 210). Injuries have taken their toll over the years.

    • code roie says:

      Today my gym will be open and i am a kind of beginner ( don’t have a lot of muscle).i am kind of skiny fat.
      I am 1.72 57 kg and 15 year old.
      I am training 4 times a week
      How much time do u think i can stick with those program?
      How much time u think u

    • Aslan Aykut, MD, FEBOpht, FICO says:

      @Peace Guard it seems logical but have this problem since you are eating six days your body is not ready for burning fat on sundays. And on sunday you lose your glucogen storage and you can’t perform on mondays properly

  2. Goku Plays says:

    Iv trained for 8 years have not touched a single weight since lockdown almost 10 weeks for me , I look like iv never lifted a weight in my life as soon as I’m back in the gym I’ll transform like a steroid user muscle memory will kick in while loosing fat with getting back on track with nutrition

  3. Kai Tim Yung says:

    Do you rely on MyFitnessPal pal to calculate the calories? I guess the error of estimating the portion size will greatly impact the outcome given the narrow caloric deficit window. Or do you have better ways? After all, it is difficult to cook yourself 3-4 meals per day, 7 days in a week.

    • Sara Dashtbani says:

      And i also find it really hard to lose weight with for meals a day .. what is high in protein is often high i calories too, me personally should eat 1300 kcal to lose weight while im gaining muscles i only eat breakfast and one meal, i have a protein intake of ca 45 g protein / day and its working for me i have lost weight and gained muscle at the same time. In my opinion its easy just eat less calories with as much protein as possible and you’ll gain muscles for sure its more a matter of time than if

  4. Husaynali Merali says:

    Youre one of the best because you explain everything in detail. Some youtubers go into the harder explanations without explaining the basics, but not you. Thank you so much!

    • Diego Luna says:

      Ali Abilov basic summary: you eat at a 5%-20% caloric deficit. since you are at a caloric deficit, you must make the meals you eat full of protein. at the end of the day you want to have eaten just about 1 gram of protein per pound that you weigh. (2.2 g per kilo). you also want to spread out the intake evenly. NOT 10g of protein for breakfast, 30g for lunch, and 90g for dinner. instead, do more like 40g breakfast, 40g lunch, 40g dinner. keep this up for enough time and you will see results.

    • Sean Doherty says:

      I’m currently eating 2350 cals a day. I’m around 67 kg so eating roughly 8% below my maintenance cals. 55% carbs 25% protein and 20% fat. Seems to be a good ratio to work with, especially consuming carbs 30 mins before a workout and after,balong with protein. Jeremy has some great points , including eventually having to choose between a cut or a bulk, which I’ll have to in a couple months.

  5. Wendolyn Nesbitt says:

    My boyfriend and have learned so much from your videos. I have lost 4 pounds and 2 weeks by changing my calorie intake. I’m doing the fasting video you did. I absolutely love it.

  6. Ergys Dervishaj says:

    How can I determine at what level of experience I am? I’ve been training for 3 years now but my diet has been a mess with some months trying to be in a caloric deficit, some where i’ve been eating too much so i think i’ve been in a sort of yo-yo thing where i’ve gained lean mass and i’ve also lost it month after month so i really can’t point out at what level of experience I am

  7. Usman Kashif says:

    Isn’t that method of figuring out maintenance calories severly lacking? I mean it doesn’t take into account how active you are enough. For instance I weigh 54 kg, multiplying by 31-35 gives me 1674-1890 calories as maintenance calories, which is A too low and B doesn’t vary enough depending on how fit you are. I personally have been recomping fairly successfully by eating around 2000-2100 kcal/day. I could/should eat perhaps 100-200 kcal less to lose fat quicker but Im already at arpund 12% so I’m in no hurry to lose fat, building muscle mass is more important for me

  8. Syukri Hamzam says:

    One thing I would add is: get enough sleep, at least 7 hours

    If you’re sleep deprived while being on a caloric deficit and working out, you’re gonna get fatigued reaaaaaaaaallly quickly

  9. C says:

    7:42 N=26

    It’s interesting, but I don’t think it’s correct to draw strong conclusions from this study, especially over things like a minute increase in body fat.

    • Marquis Charlemagne says:

      Yeah sometimes I feel even Jeremy gets a bit overzealous with his papers. 😀 Bu oh well, overall he does the best job of all the people I have found so far.

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