Lose weight and build muscle: How is that compatible?

Abnehmen und Muskelaufbau: Wie ist das vereinbar?

Building muscle and losing fat is based on different metabolic processes.

Building muscle and losing fat would seem to have contradictory requirements. But does that mean that building muscle and reducing body fat simultaneously is not possible? In reality, you can lose weight in the long run by building muscle mass. We can tell you how to balance weight loss and muscle gain.

Muscle building and fat loss: A contradiction?

To build muscle mass, increased calorie consumption is usually necessary since your body must receive more energy from food than it consumes. This additional energy is needed to adapt the muscles to the demands of training and to strengthen them in the regeneration process.

However, in order to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you use so stored energy reserves from the fat cells are used up.

The question then is in what order you should approach muscle building and fat loss. Depending on your physical condition, there are two different ways:

  • For slightly overweight people, it may make sense to lose body weight first by slightly reducing your calorie intake with a mixture of strength and endurance training. In this way, a gradual muscle build-up can take place which can later be expanded with targeted strength training.
  • If your weight is average, you can promote muscle build-up with targeted strength training so you can lose weight in the long term. Additional muscle mass also increases your basic calorie consumption. However, in order to add more muscle mass, you need to increase your calorie intake. Therefore, the built-up muscles will make it easier for you to lose fat (but, as already mentioned, weight reduction does not take place at the same time as muscle build-up).

Build muscle and lose fat: An overview

The right combination of nutrition and training is essential for the success of muscle building.
Richtige Ernährung

Lose weight with muscle building – only possible with the right nutrition

For muscle building, at least 300 calories per day is required. If you not only want to build muscle mass but also lose weight, your excess calorie intake should not be too much above your normal total. Otherwise, you will build muscle but also gain weight.

The most important nutrients for muscle growth are proteins.Beginners who build muscle quickly need high protein intake. A common recommendation for people who want to gain muscle is to consume between 1.6 and 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. The best way to achieve this is a combination of animal proteins, such as fish or low-fat dairy products, and vegetable proteins from soya, cereals, legumes, and nuts.

Complex carbohydrates provide additional energy for strength training and are important for your intestinal health. Whole grain products, fresh fruit, and vegetables provide your body with valuable fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Fettabbau

Fat reduction: Slim with a healthy intestine

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This analysis will also tell you whether certain bacteria in your intestine make it difficult for you to burn fat and whether you should specifically support "slimming" intestinal bacteria with your diet. Additionally, our nutrition tips will help you to improve your health and fitness in general.
Das richtige Training

The right training

As a beginner, it is best to concentrate on a full-body workout where all muscle groups are equally challenged. This is particularly suitable for deadweight training that includes exercises in which only your own body weight is used as resistance (e.g. push-ups, knee bends etc.). These exercises are easy to learn and do not lead as quickly to injuries caused by improper handling of weights.

In order to achieve significant muscle growth, you must challenge your muscles with high intensity training. Afterwards, you should allow your muscles 24 to 48 hours to rest. During this time, the muscles regenerate, nutrient deposits are replenished, and the muscles grow. Sufficient relaxation and at least seven hours of sleep per night support this process.

Building muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate which, in turn, leads to a higher calorie consumption.
Körperfett verbrennen

Keep muscles for a long time, burn body fat

If you have achieved your desired muscle mass and now want to lose weight, you should reduce your excess calorie intake step by step. However, you should still make sure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet to maintain the muscle mass you have built up. With endurance training, such as the intensive interval training (HIIT) and light weight training, you can now reduce body fat in a targeted manner.

Conclusion: muscle building can help with fat reduction

Muscles consume energy, even when at rest. Since stored body fat can also supply you with energy, a pronounced muscle build-up supports the reduction of body fat in the long term. A prerequisite for this is that the energy taken in from food does not completely cover the body's energy requirements. The basis for efficient fat burning is, therefore, a balanced diet including a slight calorie intake deficit alongside strength and endurance training.
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