Can You Build Muscle as You Burn 🔥 Fat?
Updated: Oct 25, 2019
Many people believe that you can't because you need to be in a calorie surplus to build muscle.
But being in a caloric surplus for too long can lead to that unwanted fat.
So, can we actually build lean, solid muscle on our frames in a calorie deficit?
I'm here to tell you that yes, yes you can build muscle in a calorie deficit. You just need to use some help to make it happen.
I'm not talking about PEDs though.
I'm talking about nitrogen. I understand I probably confused. But let me explain. Sit back and let's get swole.
There is one macronutrient that has nitrogen in it and helps the body by giving it fuel when needed.
Do you know which one it is?
Protein! Ding ding ding!
Yes, it is protein. Now, let's discuss nitrogen's role to help you build lean muscle as you burn fat.
It's All About the Muscle Pump!
What do you think helps create that serious muscle pump when you take nitric oxide? Nitrogen!
It's a huge contributor of creating nitric oxide (nitrogen + that helps with vasodilation aka muscle pump. This increased blood flow to the muscles helps with damaged muscles to recover faster by getting more proteins in the area to reduce inflammation and repair. Nitrogen also helps with protein synthesis by creating amino acids and turning them into proteins.
Always getting sick while trying to lose weight?
Well nitrogen can help you develop a strong immune system. Being in a calorie deficit can increase your chances of getting sick. However, keeping your nitrogen balance high can help combat sicknesses. Long behold nitrogen can help with digestion in the gut.
Now how do you keep your nitrogen balance positive?
Intake more than the body excretes out of the system through your urine.
So keeping your protein intake high will help with a positive nitrogen balance and fuel your body while losing weight.
When losing weight consuming a minimum of 1g-1.2g of protein per lb of bodyweight is a good place to start.
For example: A male 30yrs of age standing 6ft weighing 200lb wants to lose 1lb of weight per week. He has to consume 2,364 calories a day. Protein per day: 200g (33% of caloric intake) to 240g (40% of caloric intake).
While on this macronutrient profile this person will witness his body composition change but will notice the scale is not changing much. But the body is maintaining and increasing muscle mass while the body is burning fat.
If you are wondering if consuming large quantities of protein is unsafe, well studies haven't shown Ingesting large amount of protein is harmful to the body. The body will either use it as fuel or excrete it.
I'm not saying go crazy with it, but staying between 30%-40% of your daily calorie intake is a manageable range.
This is the method I took for my weight loss because being an athlete, losing muscle mass means losing strength and power giving me a low strength to weight ratio.
That's a huge no no.
I'm in the business of performance, win and dominate. Cutting weight just to be cutting weight is not always smart in the perspective of an athlete.
It's a slower method, but you will maintain your strength gains and can be stronger at a lower weight.