As a beginner or professional with training and nutrition promote muscle building and fat loss.
Building muscle and losing fat at the same time - that's exactly what you want from time to time, for example because you can no longer fit into your beloved pants and want defined muscles in addition to less body fat. Although muscle building and fat loss are two completely different processes, beginners, returners or experienced athletes can boost their fat burning and muscle building with the right prerequisites.
What you need for it, how it works and when Muscle building and fat loss at the same time are useful, we explain to you in this guide.
- What happens in the body during muscle building and fat loss?
- Is it possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
- How can you lose weight and build muscle at the same time?
- Which workout is suitable to boost fat burning and muscle building?
- What foods are suitable when you want to build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
- What diet for fat loss and muscle building?
- Conclusion: How to build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
What happens in the body during muscle building and fat loss?
During muscle building and fat loss, two completely different processes take place in the body:
- Muscle building: The body needs a build-up stimulus as well as sufficient energy to get muscle growth going. You can promote this, for example, through progressive training that challenges your body again and again, as well as through nutrients and calories, e.g. from high-protein products that supply your body with all amino acids for muscle maintenance and growth.
- Fat Loss: Fat loss is when the body uses energy to perform. This usually occurs 90 minutes after the start of a workout. However, it doesn't matter where your body gets the energy from: energy is derived from fat cells as well as from muscles, the latter especially when amino acids for internal processes are missing. You can learn more about this in our guide "Proteins for muscle building".
Is it possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
To build muscle, more energy is needed than is consumed in a day - a so-called calorie surplus is necessary. For fat loss, on the other hand, you should consume fewer calories - because this forces the body to attack the protein and fat reserves.
The two processes of building and breaking down never end, but alternate regularly and together form your metabolism. Although there is no fat loss through muscle building, it is still possible to build muscle and lose fat at approximately the same time.
However, you can influence your metabolism with the training workload and the diet. For this purpose, protein shakes with casein are particularly suitable, which supply your body with all necessary amino acids and make you full for a long time.
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When to build muscle and lose fat?
Muscle building and fat loss at the same time - this can succeed especially beginners and athletes after a break in training. This is because the body reacts more quickly to training stimuli, even if you are not recording a calorie surplus, perhaps even relying on a calorie deficit to lose weight.
Even as an advanced athlete you can build muscle at the same time, a high body fat percentage is the prerequisite. This is because the body then draws the energy it needs to build muscle from fat reserves. Note, however, that you will not necessarily see your fat loss on the scale, on the contrary: muscles weigh more than fat, so it may be that you gain weight. Therefore, it is best to look in the mirror instead of on the scale to see if the goal of building muscle and losing fat is successful.
How can you lose weight and build muscle at the same time?
Building muscle and losing fat at the same time succeeds if you do progressive strength training that gives your body enough training stimuli and at the same time you take in fewer calories than you would actually need. So, it is important to have a suitable workout with continuous stimuli for your muscles as well as the right diet for muscle building and fat loss.
This should contain all the necessary nutrients that your body needs. This includes amino acids from proteins as well as carbohydrates and fats. Especially for muscle building proteins play a major role. But vitamins and minerals should not be neglected.
Which training is suitable to boost fat burning and muscle building?
If you want to promote your muscle building and fat loss at the same time, the so-called strength endurance training is suitable for this. Basically, this is strength training, but with a lot of sets that promote endurance and the growth of your muscles and, as with cardio training, consume a lot of energy. Strength endurance training includes interval exercises like in HIIT, Tabata or circuit training.
In HIIT, you perform certain exercises as quickly as possible, then take a short break and start over. These exercises build your muscle mass and get you sweating at the same time - perfect for building muscle and losing fat! If you really push yourself, you will also benefit from the so-called after-burn effect. Thanks to this, fat continues to be burned even though you have already finished your workout. According to studies, the afterburn effect is even higher than with endurance training - assuming the same training duration. With interval training, you will already see success after a few weeks.
In addition to strength endurance training, traditional strength training is also suitable. Whether with your own body weight or in the gym - it is important that you always complete more difficult exercises or continuously increase the weights so that your body cannot get used to the training. In addition to strength training, it is worthwhile to do a cardio session, e.g. ten minutes on the treadmill, to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
Finally, you can also become more active in your everyday life: take the stairs instead of the elevator, cycle to work or get off one or two stops earlier if you are traveling by public transport. You can also incorporate short exercise sessions into your breaks during the workday. For example, how about doing jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups or squats?
What foods are suitable if you want to build muscle and lose fat at the same time?
If you want to lose fat, you need to eat fewer calories than you consume. Low-calorie foods are suitable for this, so that you do not go hungry despite the calorie deficit. In addition, each meal should contain the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins so that your body gets all the important nutrients. For example, your meals might look like this:
- Breakfast: Whole grain muesli with low-fat curd cheese and nuts
- Lunch: Poultry with salad and olive oil, and a protein pudding.
- Dinner: Legumes with potatoes, mixed vegetables and fish.
After your workout, you could have a protein shake to help your body recover and grow muscle. Protein pudding for lunch also provides valuable amino acids and can even make you eat less at dinner So it helps you burn fat and build muscle. If you also eat a diet rich in protein, you will automatically consume fewer carbohydrates and fats, which means that the body will use its own energy stores more quickly to provide the necessary performance, e.g. for training, but also for everyday activities.
Which diet for fat loss and muscle building?
In order to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, you should maintain a small calorie deficit and do weight training. With the so-called protein diet, for example, muscle building and fat loss can succeed at the same time.
The protein diet is based on the low carb principle: less carbohydrates, more proteins - as the name of the diet suggests. Because proteins saturate longer, you don't have to fear hunger. Insulin is also released to a lesser extent, so the risk of cravings is also reduced.
In this way, you provide your body with enough proteins to maintain your muscle mass and let the body draw on other energy reserves. At the same time, you will benefit from building muscle if you are a beginner or returning to weight training or if you have a particularly high body fat percentage. The protein diet is also a long-term dietary change, which avoids the yo-yo effect.
A crash diet to lose weight is not recommended, because it denies the body too many calories, the body adjusts to the lack of food and will break down more muscle instead of fat, because they need more energy to be maintained. Also, your body will store every ounce of energy as fat to survive the starvation simulated by a crash diet to lose weight.
Besides a high-protein diet to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, you can also try fasting. There are different models here, for example fasting for a few hours every day or fasting completely for one or more days, then eating normally again. Popular intervals are 8:16 or 5:2. With 8:16 you fast for 16 hours and then have a window of 8 hours to eat something, e.g. between 10 am and 6 pm. With 5:2, you eat normally five days a week and fast two days a week.
If you are female, please note that due to your hormones, other fasting times may be more beneficial to your health. For Intermittent Fasting, fasting times of 12:12 and 6:1 (12 hours of eating, 12 hours of fasting or 6 days of eating and 1 day of fasting) have proven to be more effective, but a maximum of 14 hours of fasting at a time is recommended if you want to fast a certain amount of time each day for a longer period of time. If you are interested in fasting, you should take it slowly at first and observe how your body reacts to it. This way, fasting can help you burn fat and build muscle.
Conclusion: How to build muscle and lose fat at the same time
Building muscle and losing fat at the same time is possible - especially if you are a beginner or returning to training and keep your calorie intake below the daily requirement. A balanced diet with sufficient amino acids, e.g. from high-protein products, and progressive strength training that continuously exposes the body to unknown stimuli that encourage it to grow its muscles will help.