This is only possible under certain exceptional conditions, such as for beginners or users of doping agents. So do not expect this possibility of loss/gain without specific conditions and a calibrated diet.
In muscle building, feeding, drying, or mass intake is paramount. First of all, it is necessary to know what happens during these two phases, to understand how a dry one goes:
Losing fat requires a caloric deficit: fewer calories absorbed than your body needs so that the stored fat is used to provide the energy missing.
Mass intake requires a caloric surplus: consume more calories than your body needs so that new tissues (muscle/fat) can be created.
Once you put both side-by-side, you get to an obvious problem: losing fat and building muscle requires the opposite in terms of energy intakes. The body works in two phases anabolic (creation) and catabolic (decompose). So you can create fat and muscle or break down fat and muscle.
One may wonder if doing both is actually possible. For everyone? Is it possible? Yes, that’s the good news. The bad news is that it is not feasible for everyone. Some people can do it … but most people, no!
Who and when can we do both at the same time?
Here are the cases where it is possible (no particular order, it is not a classification):
Beginner’s fat (this phenomenon does not occur for a lean beginner).
People getting back to weight training with a good base already gained but a long break.
Genetic Freaks (therefore those with exceptional genetics).
Users of doping products (and even so it’s not so obvious to do).
During a “body recomposition”.
If you do not fall into one of the mentioned groups, the likelihood of being able to build muscles and lose fat at the same time is zero.
Muscle loss in dryness: inevitable but controllable
Note: anyone who is a beginner, obese or with very little muscle mass should not worry too much until they are completely burnout or do absurd things: it takes muscle before they can lose, and being obese, the risk of muscle wasting is reduced.
During a diet, no matter what your level or goal, it is inevitable that you will lose at least some muscle mass. The body can’t proceed to fat burning without sacrificing muscle tissue.
To make it simple, during this period when caloric intake is reduced, the body must compensate for this lack of energy by breaking down fat in adipose tissue and proteins in muscle tissue for use in glucose synthesis that is used for energy.
The key to minimizing this loss with a calibrated diet (high in protein, good lipids, vegetables, etc.) and a well-planned strength training (just enough volume and intensity to be able to reclaim and retain muscle stimulated), is to go there gradually and not too push the cardio.
But in case you count drying at an extremely low rate, with or without doping product, this loss of muscle mass is inevitable to varying proportions.
The longer you become dry and the more muscular you are, the more susceptible you become to the loss of muscle mass to the diet. In other words, it comes down to the muscle/fat ratio.
The objective of the Body Recomposition:
I know that almost all people who train or those who have an interest in fitness finally look for a better body composition:
Bodybuilders run after a more massive and drier physique.
Powerlifters, while not often worried about a high percentage of body fat, are ultimately interested in becoming stronger and still lifting more weight for their competitions while retaining some body weight. In return, this requires building more muscle and when they gain muscle, something else needs to be released (water or fat) in order to stay within their weight categories.
Women are notoriously obsessed with maintaining an acceptable or ideal weight, but many of them just want to have a “tonic” or “sporty” look, as opposed to a somewhat shiny “skinny”.
The tops/fit patterns are often in pursuit of more muscle and better shape and approaching fitness, but can’t afford 12 weeks of mass intake, and then 12 weeks of dry, as a method to build muscle. For them, time is money and if they are not in the state to do a photo shoot with a short notice (less than 2 weeks), they lose money and the possible exposure to cover of a magazine.
Note that the effect “BodyRecomp” is a phenomenon quite common for most beginners, a beginner being someone who has never trained in his life.
Before explaining the method I use to associate muscle building and fat loss at the same time, I want you to realize that this approach is slow and requires a lifestyle, rather than setting a goal over a given time.