Fat Loss or Lean Mass Gain? Can I achieve both at the same time? If not what should I do first?
Your first step is to choose what's more important to you: fat loss or lean mass gains. You may ask, "What if I want both?" However, this is one of those situations where you're better off tackling one goal at a time. While lean mass gains can occur alongside fat loss, neither process will occur at its full potential. Why? Higher carbohydrate ratios augment lean mass gains, while lower carbohydrate ratios tend to accelerate fat loss. This is another reason why keeping track of what you are eating is so important.
Rule of thumb
If you are a male and wanting to lose fat but gain healthy lean mass check your body fat percentage first. If you are above 15%-18% body fat. Concentrate on leaning up first. Then adjust your macros to gain lean mass. If you cant see an outline of your abs more than likely your not below 15% body fat. Also you are more likely to stick with a plan if you like what you see in the mirror.
If you are a female wanting to lose fat but gain healthy lean mass the same rules apply but your body fat percentages will be different. Ladies if you are above 25% body fat, concentrate on leaning up first.
Macro Percentages from bodybuilding.com
Notice the percentages used for bodybuilding, maintenance and fat loss. They each give different percent ranges for each goal. Use the one that suits your goal and stick with it for at least 3 weeks. Then make minor adjustments if you are loosing or gaining weight to quickly. As you keep track of your nutrition also keep daily/weekly notes on: how you feel throughout the day, your weight, measurements, how you are performing in the gym.
It takes time and dedication to make progress. There is no magic pill.
"Your body can stand up to almost anything. It's your mind that you have to convince."