Build muscle or lose fat first

Is it possible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time? Losing fat and building muscle can be challenging but not impossible.

When someone says their goal is to lose weight and build muscle, they talk about body recomposition.

This is when your goal is to transform your body by burning fat and building muscle simultaneously. This approach is difficult because it is different from simply wanting to lose weight.

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat; The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate.

This effect can slow down your basal metabolic rate and make losing weight.

Can you build muscle and fat loss at the same time?

Build muscle or lose fat first

Weight loss strategy

For weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you take. For most people, this means reducing total calories and increasing your amount of movement to create a calorie deficit that can lead to weight loss.

This calorie deficit is mandatory for fat loss.

Muscle building strategy

But to build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn each day, which tells your body to make more lean muscle. This is called a calorie surplus.

Herein lies the challenge of building muscle while losing fat.

If you are trying to gain muscle during fat loss, you are reconstructing your body. That's how you don't target general body weight loss but want to increase muscle building and lower fat loss.

That is, your primary goal is to recomposition your body. To ensure the success of this process, you need to understand how the body recomposition.

What is body recomposition?

What is body recomposition?

Your body composition is the fat-mass ratio to your body's fat-free mass. Sometimes, body composition is used interchangeably with a percentage of body fat, but a portion of body fat is only one part of the total body composition.

Maintaining lean muscle mass while losing weight is not always easy, but it is important for overall health and wellness.

Maintaining muscle mass and strength is critical as you age, and building muscle can also aid in weight loss efforts.

The goal of body recomposition is to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously, unlike the traditional method where you gain a lot of weight in the first place, then go through a severe calorie deficit to lose it and thus expose the fat and muscle underneath.

How does body recomposition work?

Body composition works towards your health and fitness goals; unlike traditional methods of losing weight, such as cutting calories for diets or doing intense cardio, there is nothing real to recomposition your body.

There are basic guidelines to follow to change the body composition that you need successfully:

  • Cardiovascular exercises for fat loss. 
  • Resistance (weight) training to build muscle. 
  • A general decrease in calorie consumption for fat loss. 
  • Increase your protein intake to boost muscle formation.

How to lose fat?

Losing fat means that you eat fewer calories than you lose, in other words, conserve calories at the end.

Cardiovascular exercises such as brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, and rowing along with a healthy diet are some of the best ways to lose fat.

Losing fat in a safe way also means having realistic goals and not depriving your body of the nutrients it needs, without the need for bad eating habits.

Be aware that body recomposition is not about weight loss, it is directly about fat loss.

Body recomposition is a long game because you're trying to do two things at once, gain muscle and lose fat. You can't treat a body remodeling plan like a modern diet.

The slow and steady process of body recomposition offers sustainable results, so you'll enjoy your new body as long as you maintain these habits.

How to build muscle?

Muscle building revolves around the growth and formation of skeletal muscles. The so-called goal of building muscle means amplifying all the major muscles that appear in the human body with training.

Amplification generally refers to the growth of tissues and organs, especially as a result of increased stress.

Focus on two key muscle-building factors:

  1. Weight training What to do When doing weight training, carry appropriate weight. Start with a weight that you can lift easily.
  2. Protein consumption is one of the most important nutrients for the body and the main building block of muscle.

In addition, you can't gain muscle without a calorie surplus, so you must eat more calories than you burn to promote muscle growth.

Protein is especially important for building muscle. Without enough protein, your body will struggle to repair muscle tissue that breaks down during weight training. Studies show that a high-protein diet can help lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.

While you're in a calorie deficit, consuming more protein than usual can help maintain muscle mass rather than being in a calorie deficit without changing your protein intake.

People who have followed a strength training program, increased protein intake, and a weightlifting routine lead to improvements in body composition.

Put it all together: lose fat and gain muscle.

Put it all together: lose fat and gain muscle.

Eating fewer calories than you burn to lose fat is confusing, but you have to eat more calories than you burn to build muscle.

You have to get acquainted with the concept of calorie cycling, and exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming are the most effective for burning calories, that is, adjusting calories to suit your goal of obtaining impressive results.

The first thing you have to do is determine how many calories you keep or how many calories you burn in a day when you do not exercise.

You can see a certified personal trainer, dietician, or other healthcare professional find this number, or you can use an online calorie calculator.

On days when you do weight training for 30 minutes or more, eat more calories than your maintenance number while concentrating on protein.

But to build muscle, you have to eat more calories than you burn, depending on how much muscle you want to put in and how fast you want to gain it. Add 5% to 15% to your maintenance calories.

On days when you are not exercising, eat a few fewer maintenance calories and reduce that number from 5% to 10%. This number is known as "calories per day of rest".


Your body has three basic options:

  • Burn any calories burned instantly for fuel.
  • Repair means using it to repair and build muscle tissue.
  • Store any stored as fat.

If you are looking for a body transformation, you do not want to save calories in the form of fat. But you want your body to use new calories to fix the muscles broken during weight-lifting exercises.

By combining these two methods, you can successfully achieve body recomposition.

What should I eat to lose fat and gain muscle?

Don't forget that your food strategy should include two points to burn fat while gaining muscle:

  • Maintain a calorie deficit.
  • Prioritize protein so you can build muscle even when you're short.

The list consists of the following:

  • 1-2 servings of protein (from the plate) Two servings of vegetables (half a container) One serving of potatoes, rice, or pasta. One serving of fat. One no-calorie or low-calorie drink (water, diet soda, tea)
  • By sticking to a healthy dish strategy above, you will focus on "real food," which will help you maintain a calorie deficit over time.
  • Let's focus on protein for a moment because it's crucial to "building muscle."
  • Protein is found in many animal and vegetable sources such as eggs, milk, dairy products, cheese, red meat, fish, poultry, and legumes.

Examples of good sources of protein:

  • Fish (tuna, salmon, haddock, trout) provide 21g. Poultry (turkey, chicken) gives 19g. Legumes (beans, chickpeas) give 8g. One egg gives 6g. Milk gives 8g.
  • While all the above health dishes are important, I want you to pay extra attention to protein.
  • If you are not losing weight, you still eat a lot of calories. Keep your protein intake high, and reduce your fat and carbohydrate intake.

For more detail, "Why can't I lose weight?"

Eventually, you will reach a state with low fat to help you "rebuild your body."

At this point, you can no longer stay with a calorie deficit. You'll need to switch to a slight "caloric surplus".


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