When you're interested in building muscle mass while also losing body fat, you'll want to master a lean protein diet. A lean protein diet will focus on providing as much protein as possible while also cutting down on calories as much as possible. Achieving the two opposing goals of muscle gaining and fat loss can be difficult, but a lean protein diet can lead you to success.
Overall Dietary Guidelines
Building muscle and losing fat are opposing goals. This is because, generally speaking, when you want to build muscle, you need to eat more calories than normal, and when you want to lose fat, you have to eat fewer calories than you normally would. However, careful manipulation of your diet and overall nutritional intake will allow you to succeed in both of these realms.
On days that you are working out, you should keep your caloric intake even with your normal diet. Conversely, on days that you don't work out, you should cut down your calorie load by between 10 percent and 20 percent. The combined effects will be that you'll maintain your energy level when you need it while also working toward shedding excess pounds when you can.
Because you won't be decreasing your total caloric intake that greatly–and on some days you'll be keeping it even–you'll need to maximize what you eat. One way to do this is by breaking your meals down into smaller portions. The multiple smaller portions will keep your metabolism churning at a high pace while also preventing you from overeating because of hunger. Another way to do this is to replace all of your grains–rice, bread and cereals–with whole grains, which provide more nutrients, including protein and vitamins, as opposed to the empty caloric loads of white grains.
Sources of Lean Protein
As a general guideline, you should be eating at least one gram of protein for every pound of your ideal body weight. This is where all of the various sources of lean protein come into play. The best sources of lean protein include chicken, turkey and fish. In addition, eggs, beans and soy are all lean sources of protein.
To help meet your protein requirements while keeping your caloric intake in check, you might want to supplement your diet with protein drinks, bars or supplements. Don't be afraid to work in other protein sources, such as dairy products and red meat. Just limit your portions and make smart decisions. For example, opt for skim or 1 percent milk, and buy your ground meat with a high 80 percent to 90 percent lean ratio.