If you want to put on some extra pounds of lean muscle but at the same time possess some excess fat that you need to get rid of, one very important thing that you have to keep in mind is that the same program that you are using for getting lean can also be used for building muscle if it’s structured properly for this outcome.
You do not have to put building muscle on hold if you are getting lean first. Although losing fat and building muscle are not fully compatible, they also have some similar requirements.
The biggest conflict of fat loss and muscle gain is the caloric requirement. Losing fat requires a caloric deficit and building muscle requires a caloric surplus. But for most of the other program components they can be structured similarly for both getting lean and building muscle including the weight training, macronutrients and meal schedule.
Weight training is an important requirement for building muscle, but it just so happens that weight training is also an important requirement for maintaining muscle when you are losing fat, and it also burns calories. Therefore, you can harness the benefits of a weight training program designed to boost muscle growth while at the same time being extremely effective to lose fat.
The 3 macronutrients: carbs, protein and fat are required for both getting lean and building muscle and the way that they need to be balanced is also similar for both goals. The number of meals that you eat per day do not have to be different if your goal is to lose fat or gain muscle.
The biggest incompatibility for losing fat and building muscle is the amount of calories required – a deficit and a surplus. However, there is still a way to meet the caloric requirement for getting and building muscle with the same program. The technique is called calorie cycling.
It involves alternating caloric intake high and low that will allow net results of muscle gains while getting lean. However, since your primary focus is to lose fat you’ll expect to get bigger fat loss results than muscle building results.