With this strategy, you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Lose body fat and build muscle mass at the same time – isn’t it possible?
Are you kidding me?
Are you serious when you say that!
The athletic combination is very possible with an adapted diet and the right training.
To improve your health, burn fat, or build muscle, there are many good reasons to do regular training sessions.
Many people even pursue several goals. A frequent wish: lose body fat and build muscle mass at the same time – for an athletic body.
For this to succeed, the training plan and diet must be coordinated.
How to build muscle and lose fat at the same time
It’s the combination that counts. To lose fat and build muscle at the same time, you need the right strategy. In general, you lose weight by reducing your calorie intake.
However, muscles can also quickly fall victim to a severe calorie deficit. The body draws the necessary energy from muscle tissue instead of fat deposits.
To ensure that the existing muscle mass does not suffer from the calorie deficit but rather increases in size, two factors are irreplaceable in addition to a healthy calorie deficit: proteins and strength training.
The right calorie deficit
In general, to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. So fewer calories need to be consumed than the body uses.
If you also want to build muscle, you have to ensure that the deficit is not too high.
This would thwart training efforts as fat loss, and muscle gain would stagnate due to the slowing down metabolism.
“Without calories and protein, muscle doesn’t recover and build properly.”
Track calories or listen to your body?
To optimally supply the body with energy, one does not have to count calories meticulously. A mindful diet with fresh and nutritious food is often enough.
If you still want to track, you should first determine the daily calorie requirement. “You can’t subtract more than 300 calories from that,” explains Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at the University of California.
However, more important than calorie count is listening to your body and eating when you’re hungry. A strict calorie deficit is unnecessary to reduce body fat and build muscle.
Getting enough protein is crucial for losing weight.
Much more important is the amount of protein that is absorbed. Because the body is constantly building and breaking down muscle proteins, which are responsible for the size and shape of the muscles.
After consuming a protein-rich meal, the production of muscle proteins is accelerated. Later, muscle growth slows down, and muscle breakdown increases again.
“Over the course of months, the relationship between these two processes determines whether you gain, lose, or stay the same muscle mass,” explains assistant professor of kinesiology, Dr. Michaela Devries-Aboud.
The protein intake must be adjusted upwards when building muscle to keep the body in muscle protein mode with a reduced calorie intake. The higher protein requirement practically compensates for the calorie deficit.
The increased intake of protein covers the energy requirement and ensures that the muscles are maintained and can even be built up.
Ideally, this intake should be taken with every meal so that the body can use the protein throughout the day. “Four times a day, 20 grams of protein should do the trick,” explains Applegate.
Fast protein absorption after training
If a strength training session is on the agenda, you should take 20 to 25 grams of protein for about 30 minutes, but no later than two hours after training.
Ideal components for this are rodent proteins such as poultry, fatty fish, whey products, or eggs.
The protein-rich meal provides even another advantage. The protein fills you up quickly and for a long time. This makes it even easier to lose weight.
Train by heart rate to build muscle and lose fat
Probably the most important component for building muscle and reducing fat simultaneously: is strength training.
The muscle fibers are damaged and repaired or replaced by the surrounding cells – this makes the muscle bigger, and the basal metabolic rate increases by around 100 calories for every kilogram of muscle mass.
If you want to get the most out of your training, you should also pay attention to your heart rate.
“Your pulse should be between 60 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate,” says exercise physiologist Michelle Lovitt. “In this way, you can ensure that fat is being burned and not the stored glycogen.”
Use as many muscle groups as possible.
The strength training is perfectly designed with three or four units per week, each with a different focus: legs and bottom, back and biceps, and chest and triceps.
Exercises that use as many muscle strands as possible at the same time are ideal. Squats or deadlifts are classic examples of this.
The advantage of such complex exercises is that the high energy expenditure ensures that the heart rate also shoots up.
During the workout, you should alternate these full-body exercises with isolated exercises that only focus on one muscle part so that the heart rate can drop again.
When done correctly, strength training can challenge the body similarly to cardio.
Don’t forget: building muscles and losing fat is a process.
Important: No matter how good a training plan and how healthy the diet may be, fat reduction and muscle building are lengthy processes that, incidentally, do not occur simultaneously.
When building muscle tissue, the body needs every extra calorie. It draws energy from the body’s fat reserves when losing weight.
It, therefore, takes a few months or longer before noticeable and visible changes become apparent and the desired results are achieved.
While exercise and diet are good, for some people, genetics or other factors like stress and hormones can also slow down the process.
That’s why it’s so important to focus more on your health and well-being than your reflection in the mirror and set realistic goals that help keep you motivated.