Our Summary And Answer:
To build muscle in a calorie deficit, it’s important to eat enough protein and healthy fats. Some foods that are high in protein include eggs, fish, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, and legumes. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon can also help with muscle recovery because they reduce inflammation. It’s also a good idea to limit your intake of unhealthy saturated and trans fats. Some healthy sources of fat include avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about how to build muscle. A lot of people think that you have to eat a ton of calories and lift heavy weights to see results. But if you’re trying to lose weight, that approach can actually backfire. In this post, we’ll debunk some of the myths about building muscle and teach you how to achieve your goals in a calorie deficit.
Muscle building is a process known as hypertrophy. When you lift weights, your muscle fibers tear and then repair themselves during the recovery phase. That makes them slightly longer and stronger than they were before—producing more force per contraction which leads to greater results from your workouts over time.
To build muscle, you’ll need to lift heavy weights and eat enough food (and the right kind of food) every day. Protein is essential for muscle growth, so you’ll need to make sure you’re getting enough of it in your diet. The other essential nutrient for muscle growth is carbs, which provide the energy your muscles need to contract.
A calorie deficit is when you consume fewer calories than your body burns. When that happens, you’ll generally lose weight over time.
Yes, it is possible to build muscle on a calorie deficit. Many people achieve their best results by doing just that. By eating fewer calories and lifting weights, you’ll force your body to burn fat for energy, which will help you lose weight and build muscle at the same time. The key is to increase your protein intake and do enough resistance training to protect your muscles from being broken down for energy.
What you need to build muscle on a calorie deficit:
But there are some important things you’ll need to successfully lose weight and build muscle at the same time. You’ll have to eat more protein, lift weights 3-5 days per week, and avoid excessive cardio.
You’ll also need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night because that’s when your body does most of its muscle repairing and growth.
Although you can build muscle on a calorie deficit, it’s not the most effective way to get results. You’ll probably lose some muscle mass along with fat when your body is in a calorie deficit. Here are a few of the problems people have when trying to build muscle on low calories:
The first problem is that you won’t have enough energy to lift weights and see results. Lifting weights requires energy, and if you’re not eating enough calories, you won’t have the energy to do it. Energy is key for muscle growth, so you’ll need to make sure you’re getting enough food every day.
The second problem is that you’ll lose muscle mass along with fat when your body is in a calorie deficit. When you’re trying to lose weight, your body will break down muscle for energy since it doesn’t have the energy stores it needs. That’s not ideal because when you lose muscle mass, your body becomes weaker, so it’s important to protect that muscle mass when you’re in a calorie deficit.
The third problem is that you’ll probably see slower results when you eat fewer calories than your body needs for weight loss. When you eat fewer calories, your body will burn fat at a slower rate, which means it’ll take longer to lose weight.
The fourth problem is that when you’re in a calorie deficit, you’ll lose less fat and more muscle than if you simply maintain your weight and eat the calories you burn every day. This is another reason why it’s not the best way for most people to get results. It works well in some situations though, so it’s worth trying if you have a lot of weight to lose.
The fifth problem with building muscle on low calories is that it requires discipline and willpower to become leaner without losing your gains—which, again, not everyone has. If you don’t have much experience gaining weight or putting on muscle, it can be tough to stick to a calorie deficit and see results.
Now that you know what a calorie deficit is and why it’s not the best way to get results, I’ll show you how to build muscle in a calorie deficit with foods. Here are some food choices that will help you stay on track with your diet when trying to lose weight while building muscle at the same time:
Lean meats are a good choice for building muscle because they have a lot of protein and few calories. Here are some lean meat choices:
Chicken breast – Chicken is a great food to build muscle on a calorie deficit, and the white part of chicken has less fat than dark meat does. You can bake or grill it without using any oil, season it with spices, and add some fat-free broth if you want to make the chicken juicier and more flavorful.
Ground turkey – Ground turkey is another protein source that’s low in calories and high in protein, which makes it a good food choice when trying to build muscle while losing weight. You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef or ground chicken for meals like meatballs, tacos, spaghetti sauce, chili, enchiladas, and other Mexican dishes.
Extra-lean ground beef – If you prefer to eat beef over chicken or turkey because you enjoy the flavor or are watching your calories more carefully, extra-lean ground beef is a good choice. Extra-lean cuts of beef have less than 10 grams of fat per serving, so it’s a good option if you’re looking for high-protein, low-fat meat.
Fish – Fish is a great source of protein and healthy fats, both of which are important for building muscle. Some fish that are high in protein and low in calories include tilapia, cod, halibut, flounder, snapper, mahi-mahi, salmon, and tuna.
Eggs are a fantastic food to help you build muscle while losing weight because they have protein and fat but few calories. The best part is that eggs are versatile enough for any meal of the day—you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can scramble them, make a breakfast burrito with them, put them in a salad, or use them as a protein source in pasta dishes and other meals.
Here’s why eggs are so great:
They’re rich in protein – Eggs have six grams of high-quality protein per egg, which is more than most other foods.
They’re a complete source of protein – Which means that eggs have all the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle.
They’re low in calories – One egg has only 78 calories, so you can eat them without worrying about going over your calorie limit for the day.
Low-fat dairy products are a good source of protein and calcium, both of which are important for building muscle. Dairy products are also a good source of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium better. Here are some low-fat dairy products to consider adding to your diet:
Fat-free milk – Fat-free milk is a great source of protein and calcium and is very versatile in the kitchen. It’s easy to add it to cereals, pancakes, smoothies or shakes for an extra boost of protein and calcium.
Nonfat Greek yogurt – Nonfat Greek yogurt has double the amount of protein as regular nonfat yogurt (14 grams per cup), which makes it a good choice for building muscle if you don’t like milk. Greek yogurt also has more calcium than regular yogurt, and some brands are fortified with vitamin D, which is important for absorbing calcium.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and trout are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are important for building muscle. Omega-3 fatty acids help improve muscle recovery and reduce inflammation, both of which can help you build muscle faster. The best part is that fatty fish are typically low in calories, so they won’t make it too hard to meet your calorie goals for the day.
Healthy fats can help you build muscle on a calorie deficit because you need fat in your diet to produce testosterone, the hormone responsible for muscle growth. Some healthy fats to consider adding to your diet include:
Avocados – Avocados are high in healthy fats and low in calories, making them a great addition to salads and other dishes.
Nuts – Nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pistachios are all high in protein and healthy fats. Nuts also contain other nutrients like magnesium, which can help with muscle recovery.
Olive oil – Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is high in antioxidants. It’s also a good source of vitamin E, which helps improve muscle recovery.
When you’re trying to build muscle, you must eat enough calories and protein—two things that can be difficult on a calorie-restricted diet. Protein is essential for building muscle, and the best way to meet your protein goal is by consuming high-protein foods like eggs, fatty fish, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. Healthy fats are also important for building muscle, so be sure to add some avocados, nuts, and olive oil to your diet. By following these tips, you can make it a bit easier to meet your calorie and protein goals and build muscle while losing weight.