I know this question has been asked dozens of times already, but I wanted a bit more specific of a response. I'm trying to lose fat and build muscle at the same time - I'm a beginner, so this should be feasible. I'm probably ~25% body fat right now.
However, I have these stubborn fat masses at the sides of my torso ("muffin tops"). About a year ago, I was in a caloric deficit of 500 calories daily for 3-4 months, and saw little visible change in these fat deposits (though I was visibly slimmer elsewhere). I was also building muscle at the time, but not as fast as I would've liked.
I'd like to build muscle faster this time, necessitating higher calorie intake. However, I'm worried that this will completely interfere with any fat loss goals. My guess is that those areas are just "genetically more stubborn", and I know that fat seems to decrease on individuals in a certain order (lower priority fat deposits are depleted first), so the only way to lose my muffin tops would be to stick to a protracted weight loss period.
The last time I was in a caloric deficit, in order to build muscle I would say ~60% of my calorie intake was protein (I was getting 150-200g of protein a day), which was unsustainable, I can't fathom a way to increase that number without increasing my total calorie intake.
What are my options here? Vigilantly stick to a weight-lifting regimen and eat "big and healthy", hoping that the increase in muscle will increase my BMR enough to "naturally" eliminate my stubborn fat? Do intense cardio 1-2 times a week? Adjust my goals for fat loss entirely (I'd love to lose my muffin tops by December, but perhaps this is too ambitious).