lose weight and build muscles

Lose Weight And Build Muscles – How Does It Work?

Author: Anne Jonson

Diet & Nutrition Expert

You ask yourself “how can I lose weight and build muscles?” Here you can find out how to do both so that you can get to your dream body quickly.

Losing weight and building muscle do not go together? - That's not true

You may have heard of the myth that losing weight and building muscle is just not possible at the same time. When you ask why, you usually get the following answer: Because both are completely different processes in your body.

Losing weight only works if you are in a calorie deficit of around 300 kcal. To build muscle, on the other hand, you need a calorie surplus of around 300 kcal.

Logical that both does not seem possible at the same time. Still, that’s only half the story.

When does losing weight and building muscles work?

As an absolute beginner, you have a good chance of losing weight and building muscles at the same time. That’s because the training for your muscles is completely new. So your muscles react to this completely unfamiliar load by growing, even though you are on a low-calorie diet.

Strength training is always time well invested – regardless of whether you are building muscle or losing weight, beginner or advanced. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy you use. Even when you sit relaxed on the couch. This means that your muscles will help you lose fat in the long term.

But be careful! Most of all, when you lose body fat and gain muscle mass, your body composition changes. You don’t necessarily see this difference on the scales. So your weight can stay as it was before or even increase. But don’t panic! Better orient yourself to your reflection in the mirror! You will see that you are slimmer now. Suddenly the old jeans fit again!

If you’ve taken a long break from training, you can also build muscle and lose fat at the same time. There can be various reasons for your time off. An injury, a change in everyday life or other priorities. But now you can start again with full power! Depending on the length of your break, you will return to your old form after a while. Be patient Your body has to adjust to the stress again. As motivation: This also has a positive effect on your ratio of muscle mass and body fat.

Another factor is the general starting position. The higher the body fat percentage, the easier it is to build more muscle and lose weight at the same time. This also works in a calorie deficit. Because fat serves as an energy store! This gives you enough strength to build new muscles and with the right diet you can also lose fat quickly.

As an advanced user with a medium to low body fat percentage, it is not possible to reduce fat and gain muscle mass at the same time. The reason: Your muscles now grow much more slowly than at the beginning. You also don’t have enough energy reserves in the form of fat to continue building muscle in a deficit. So decide on one thing. If you want to build more muscle, you need a calorie surplus. If fat reduction is your top priority, a calorie deficit is the solution. A new training plan can also help you build muscle mass. Because your body has to adapt to the new load.

The best solution to build muscle and reduce fat

For losing weight and building muscle to work at the same time, you need a balanced training and nutrition plan. In addition, balanced meals so that your muscles get everything they need for a healthy build-up. In between, there may also be a few tasty fitness snacks for the soul.

In short: in order to lose weight healthily and train your muscles, three things are important:

  1. Proper nutrition. It provides you with new energy and proteins.
  2. The recovery period between your workouts. Your body needs these in order to build up and recover.
  3. The right training. This ensures that your muscles get a growth stimulus. In combination with proper nutrition and periods of recovery, you build muscle mass.

Which training is the best for you to lose weight and build muscles?

Strength endurance training in the form of high-intensity interval training is well suited for the goal of losing fat and building muscles. Training forms such as HIIT, Tabata or circuit training strongly stimulate your muscles and fat burning and also ensure the afterburn effect. This means that your body will continue to burn more calories for hours after your workout.

Classic strength training can also help you achieve your goal. Make sure that you regularly improve yourself in your training or set new stimuli.

In addition to training, your everyday activity, also known as NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), plays a major role. That is the energy that you use up for your movement in everyday life. Except your training! Remember, the day has many hours. Therefore, not only your workout is important, but also an active lifestyle! If you want to support fat loss, make sure to increase your NEAT. So you can go for a walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator or just water your plants.


What do you need to eat to build muscle and lose fat?

Timing and eating right are especially important if you want to lose weight and build muscle. Foods that keep you full for a long time will help you eat less without feeling hungry.

In order to achieve your goals of losing weight and building muscle at the same time, you need a nutrition plan that is perfectly tailored to your training. Well-balanced meals are a must. But what exactly does balanced mean? Quite simply, every meal includes:

  • Proteins from poultry, low fat quark, legumes or tofu, for example.
  • Carbohydrates from rice, potatoes, whole grain products or oatmeal
  • Healthy fats from plants such as olives, nuts or avocado and animal fat from fish
  • a serving of vegetables for important vitamins

To find out how many calories you need every day, simply calculate your average daily calorie requirement with our calorie calculator. You must meet this need now. The best way to do this is to consume a little more calories from proteins than from carbohydrates and fats.

Don’t forget that your starting position is crucial! So absolute beginners can build more muscle and lose fat even in a calorie deficit. The same applies to fitness fans who are busy training again after a long break.

Body fat percentage is also important. If your KFA is slightly higher, you can also be in deficit in order to achieve the desired effect. If your KFA is already low, a slight calorie surplus is recommended. As an advanced user, you decide either to build muscle or to reduce fat and adjust the calorie requirement to your training goal.

During definition phases, we recommend around 1.5 g protein per kilo of body weight. This will give your muscles enough protein to build muscle. At the same time, your body gets fewer carbohydrates and fats, which it could easily convert into love handles. So he has to fall back on the energy reserves already available more quickly. This means that your love handles will gradually be broken down.


  • Losing weight and building muscle is the easiest way for beginners.
  • For advanced users, losing weight and building muscle is far more difficult.
  • Strength training and endurance training are great for losing weight and building muscles.
  • Training forms such as HIIT, Tabata and circuit training as well as an active lifestyle are very helpful.
  • Building muscle helps to lose weight more easily in the long term
  • Muscles are built up through proteins and new training stimuli.
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