Reducing the body fat percentage and gaining muscle mass at the same time – is not possible? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! With an adapted diet and the proper training, the athletic combination is possible.
To improve your health, burn fat, or build up muscles, there are many good reasons to do regular training sessions.
Many people even have multiple goals. A common desire: reduce the percentage of body fat and build muscle mass simultaneously – for an athletic body.
For this to work, the training plan and diet must be coordinated with one another.
It’s All In The Combination
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 become victims of a severe calorie deficit. The body draws the necessary energy from muscle tissue instead of from fat deposits.
For the existing muscle mass not to suffer from the calorie deficit but to become even more significant, two factors are irreplaceable in addition to a healthy calorie deficit: protein and other strength training.
The Right Calorie Deficit
In general, to lose weight, a calorie deficit must be created. So fewer calories have to be consumed than the body consumes.
If you also want to build muscle, you have to ensure that the deficit is not too high.
Doing so would undo training efforts as fat loss and muscle building would stagnate due to the slowing metabolism.
“If there is a lack of calories and protein, the muscles do not recover and do not build up properly,” explains the director of nutrition at the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, Kristen F. Gradney, to ‘SELF. ‘
Track Calories Or Listen To Your Body?
To provide the body with ideal energy, you don’t have to count calories meticulously. A mindful diet with fresh and nutritious foods 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 this,” explains Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at the University of California.
However, more important than the number of calories is to listen to your body and to eat when you are hungry. To reduce body fat and build muscle, a severe calorie deficit is not necessary.
Sufficient Protein Is Essential For Weight Loss
Much more important is the amount of protein consumed because the body is constantly building and breaking down muscle proteins responsible for the size and shape of the muscles.
After eating a high-protein meal, the production of muscle proteins is accelerated. Later on, muscle growth slows down, and the breakdown increases again.
“Over the months, the relationship between these two processes determines whether you gain or lose muscle mass or whether it stays the same,” explains the 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.
This intake is ideal with every meal so that the body can use the protein throughout the day. “Twenty grams of protein four times a day should be enough,” explains Applegate.
Rapid Protein Absorption After Training
If a strength training unit is on the program, you should consume a protein portion of 20 to 25 grams for about 30 minutes, but no later than two hours after training.
Ideal components are rodent protein such as poultry, fatty fish, whey products, or eggs.
The protein-rich meal has another advantage: the protein saturates quickly and for a long time. This also makes it easier to lose weight.
Train According To Your Heart Rate
Probably the most critical component for building muscle and losing fat at the same time: strength training.
The muscle fibers are damaged and repaired or replaced by the surrounding cells, making the muscle more significant. The basal metabolic rate increases, with every kilogram of muscle mass by around 100 calories.
If you want to get the most out of your training, you should also pay attention to your heart rate.
“The pulse should be between 60 and 85 percent of the maximum heart rate,” says sports physiologist Michelle Lovitt. “In this way, you can ensure that fat is being burned and not the stored glycogen.”
Exercise As Many Muscle Groups As Possible
Strength training is perfectly designed with three or four units per week, each with a different focus: for example, legs and buttocks, back and biceps, as well as 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: The high energy expenditure ensures that the heart rate also skyrockets.
During the workout, you should alternate these full-body exercises with isolated exercises that are only focused on one muscle group so that the pulse can drop again.
If done correctly, strength training can be as demanding on the body as a cardio session.
Remember: It’s A Process
Important: No matter how good a training plan and how healthy the diet may be – both fat reduction and muscle building are lengthy processes that, by the way, do not take place at the same time.
When building muscle tissue, the body needs every extra calorie; when losing weight, it draws energy from the body’s fat reserves.
It, therefore, takes a few months or more for noticeable and visible changes to appear and for the desired results to be achieved.
Also, when exercise and diet are good, genetics or other factors such as stress and hormones can slow the process down in some people.
Therefore, it is essential to put more emphasis on health and well-being than on reflection and set realistic goals that will help you stay motivated.