When to build muscle or lose fat?

In general, it's easy to determine whether or not you should lose weight before building muscle. If you have a high body fat percentage or if you've already been in a bulking phase for a long time, it's best to first lose fat before trying to build muscle. Building muscle should be your main goal, as it increases your metabolism and makes it easier to lose fat. If you want to lose fat first to improve your body composition, you'll need to do strength training and increase your protein intake to also minimize the amount of muscle you lose.

Yes, it is possible to lose weight and gain muscle with this strategy. If learning how to lose fat and gain muscle were easy, everyone would. Unfortunately, it's not a simple concept, since the methods used to achieve any of the objectives often work at odds with each other. Protein plays an extremely important role in muscle maintenance.

When you have a caloric deficit with the goal of losing fat, eating enough protein will give your body the best chance of retaining muscles in the process. Losing fat and building muscle aren't mutually exclusive, and both are important for lasting weight loss and for lifelong health and fitness. Depending on how much muscle you want to build and how quickly you want to gain it, add 5% to 15% to your maintenance calories. Overall, losing fat and adding muscle have a lot in common when it comes to the process, Woodward says.

Proteins also increase the chance that, when the body needs energy, it won't extract muscles for it. What's difficult here is that in order to later gain muscle, your body needs to have a caloric surplus. This is because a caloric deficit helps you lose weight, while to build muscle, you must eat more calories than you burn. However, there are ways you can strategically structure your exercise methods and eating habits to achieve this, in addition to learning about muscle fiber types (opens in a new tab).

I also believe that eliminating milk and cereals, which can be hyperallergenic, will have no impact on the ability to maintain strength and muscle mass. So, no matter how often you extract iron with the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in a new tab) or how severely you maintain a sustainable caloric deficit (opens in a new tab), achieving both muscle mass gain and fat loss simultaneously may be out of reach. In addition, losing fat without losing muscle is fairly simple and I haven't yet seen any of my clients lose muscle during a fat loss program at less than 10% of body fat. My opinion is that I need a lot more muscle before cutting again, so I'll have a bigger engine if you want to burn calories.

For example, an experienced athlete may go through a period of time with excess calories to gain muscle and then reduce weight while maintaining as much muscle as possible. This is the topic of “calorie sharing” and is an important precursor to understanding if you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time (and how). For example, the shoulder muscle is a round, teardrop-shaped muscle that participates in all traction and thrust movements. The results of fat loss can be seen significantly faster than muscle gain, which tends to be a longer process.

Lily Prach
Lily Prach

Infuriatingly humble bacon ninja. Lifelong internet specialist. Infuriatingly humble beeraholic. Subtly charming social media junkie. Hipster-friendly food lover.