The gain of muscle mass and the loss of body fat are two processes that, for them to occur, need different conditions. To gain muscle mass you need to have a caloric surplus, while for body fat we have to be in an energy deficit.
So is it possible for these two processes to occur at the same time? The answer is yes, but you must meet some specific conditions. Let's see how this phenomenon can occur when exercising.
When you stop exercising for a few weeks, you lose muscle mass. However, if you go back to the gym, the muscle gain is much faster. This happens because when muscle mass increases, the nuclei of muscle cells also grow.
These nuclei are responsible for increasing protein synthesis so that, even with a caloric deficit, muscle protein synthesis does not stop. This process continues until the body gets used to physical activity again.
Rookies with a high-fat percentage
When a person has never exercised and enters a gym, the growth of muscle mass is quite quick. If this is combined with a relatively high-fat percentage, it is possible to gain muscle mass and lose weight at the same time. In this case, fat is used as a source of energy for muscle growth.
Small caloric deficit and higher protein intake
Although this is a long process, it is possible to gain muscle mass if we are in a caloric deficit, but not everyone can achieve this. There are people who, thanks to their genetics, tolerate energy deficits very well and are very efficient at synthesizing muscle proteins.
It is important to clarify that the energy deficit should not be very high, especially if the percentage of body fat is low. On the other hand, you also need to consume a minimum of 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.