Should I lose weight before building muscle? That’s the question popping up into your head right now and you need answers.
I’m here for you!
If you want to lose weight but fear the weight gain that will come with adding muscle, you’re not alone.
There are many reasons why people struggle with the decision to lose weight or build muscle, including health concerns and time constraints.
However, for those of us who are trying to become more athletic by building muscle mass on our frames, it can be difficult to choose between these two routes.
This article gives examples of how some people manage to develop their desired physique without sacrificing their weight loss goals.
Weight Loss vs Muscle Build-Up
Muscle build-up involves gaining muscle mass on a period of time where you have been losing weight.
This is done through caloric surplus which requires about 100 calories more than maintenance just to incorporate any new muscle.
In order to gain weight on a caloric surplus, the amount of energy intake needed will increase by an extra 100 calories per day or about 30-50% more.
To calculate what your calorie needs will be on a regular basis, you need to take your current weight and multiply it by 10 for a male and multiply it by 12 for a female.
Weight loss is the process of losing body fat while trying to keep the muscle that you already have.
This means that after each workout (so long as you are training hard) you must also include cardio or other cardiovascular exercises for an extended period of time, usually about 30-45 minutes.
If your goal is to build muscle, rather than lose weight, your priorities need to be adjusted to make this happen.
Should I lose weight before building muscle? Yes! It’s important to not only build muscle but also burn fat at the same time.
I have asked myself this question many times during my weight loss journey: can I lose weight and build muscle at the same time? Yes, it is possible.
The truth is you can lose weight and build muscle at the same time; however, it isn’t easy.
If you’re like me and you want to gain lean muscle mass but don’t want to gain weight, then getting down to your goal weight might be quite challenging.
You’ll need to do extra cardio exercise or have extremely low-calorie diets if you plan on trying this.
And that’s the exact reason why a few years ago I chose to lose weight first and then start toning up.
Why Should You Lose Weight First & Then Build Muscle?
Most people don’t want to build muscle because they are already afraid of gaining weight.
However, there are many good reasons why you should choose to lose weight first, gain muscle second.
Here are a few points that will make it clear why losing weight first before building muscle is the right strategy for you:
If you want the easy route, lose weight first, then start building muscle.
Losing weight first helps keep your body leaner for longer, which means that you can use more muscle-building exercises when trying to gain muscle.
If your muscles are lean, they are easier for you to build up because the muscle will have a lighter, smaller appearance.
Let’s dive further into the “should I lose weight before building muscle” debate.
Lose Weight First to Keep Your Body Leaner for Longer
When you first start your weight loss journey, it’s very hard for you to gain muscle because your muscles are significantly smaller.
As time goes on, you’ll notice that your muscle mass will increase with each passing day.
However, if you lose the weight first before starting to build muscle, then your muscles won’t fill out as much as they would if you started building muscle after losing the weight.
This means that you will lose more weight than if you started building muscle first.
Motivation Will Keep You Going
Seeing the scale continue to go down is a great motivator for you because then you will continue to work towards your fitness goals.
Also, if you lose weight first and then start building muscle, then you might feel like stretching yourself too thin after a couple of weeks.
When you lose the weight before starting to build muscle, you’ll be more motivated because your goal is to reach a certain weight rather than working towards your muscle-building goals.
You’ll Be More Flexible
Because losing weight first will make you lighter than you would be if you were to start building muscle, you’ll be more flexible.
This means that you’ll have a better range of motion so that your muscles can take the stress associated with the exercises that you’re doing.
If you start building muscle after having lost the weight, then your muscles will feel thicker and not as flexible as they would be if you started out with a smaller body.
Keeps You Moving
Weight loss can be a great way to keep your body moving.
It’s a good idea to focus on your diet and a light workout routine so that you can reach your goal weight faster.
After losing the weight, you’re probably going to have just enough fat on your body to allow you to work out without getting too sore.
If you start building muscle first, then it’s likely that your muscles will already be too tight to stay flexible.
Prevents Fats in Unwanted Areas
The reason why you want to lose weight first is so that fat doesn’t pile up in your body.
When you’re trying to build muscle, you won’t be as worried about losing weight as you would be if you were to try to gain muscle first.
By not losing weight first, you’re going to have a higher chance of gaining fat in unwanted areas such as your face, stomach, and arms.
However, if there is any fat left on your body after losing weight first, then the chances of getting a leaner physique will be high.
You’ll Be More Confident
The last reason why you should lose weight first before building muscle is that you’ll be more confident as a result.
When you’re working towards your fitness goals, it’s important to be confident.
If you feel good about yourself, then it will make it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals.
However, if you choose to build muscle first, then you’ll probably take a few weeks off from your workouts in order to prevent too much damage.
Taking a break from your fitness goals is going to cause you to lose confidence and take a few trips off the weight-loss wagon.
Cons of Building Muscle Before Losing Weight
While building muscle before losing weight is not prohibited, there are some risks involved with this method of training.
Therefore, it’s important for you to understand the pros and cons of building muscle before losing weight so that you can make an educated decision on how to get in shape.
It Takes More Time to Lose Weight
When you’re trying to lose weight first, then you should eat less than your body needs while exercising on a regular basis in order to burn fat at a faster pace than normal.
Doing this will help to ensure that you don’t put any extra calories into your body, which will cause you to gain weight as a result.
When building muscle before losing weight, then it takes longer for you to build muscle as a result.
When you’re training with weights, then it’s important for you to remember that there’s no such thing as “safe” weights when you’re trying to lose weight first.
While you may think that you’re strong enough to lift weights, if they are too heavy then your muscles will be at risk for damage.
Damage to the muscles is bad because it will cause you to lose weight without building muscle in return.
Risk of Overtraining
When building muscle before losing weight, you’re putting your body at risk of getting overtrained very fast.
Overtraining is very dangerous because it will cause your body to break down muscle before fat, which will prevent you from building muscle.
Because of this, you have to be careful with how much weight training you do during this process so that you won’t be at risk of overtraining.
You Can’t Strictly Count Calories or Weigh Yourself
When you’re strictly trying to lose weight, then it’s important for you to know exactly how many calories are being burned each day.
If you don’t know exactly how many calories your body burns, then it will be very hard for you to eat the right amount of food.
However, it’s impossible for you to know exactly how many calories your body burns when you’re building muscle before losing weight.
As a result, you may end up eating more calories than your body needs over the course of the day.
You Can Get Dehydrated
When trying to build muscle before losing weight, it’s very easy for your body to get dehydrated.
Dehydration is very bad because it will cause muscle breakdown, which will prevent you from losing weight.
Therefore, you have to make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated.
You Can Get Too Big
While you may think that building muscle before losing weight is a good idea, it’s important for you to realize that it can be a very dangerous process.
If you continue to build your muscles during this process, then you may become too big for your jeans.
This means that you’ll have to purchase new pants if your size hasn’t changed already.
It Can Lead to Injury
When trying to build muscle before losing weight, it’s important for you not to overtrain your body because it will become de-conditioned very fast.
If you become de-conditioned, then this will make the process of losing fat much harder.
In fact, you may find it difficult to lose weight at all if you have a bad case of muscle imbalances.
This means that you have to be careful with how much weight training you do during the process
How Do You Lose Weight Before Gaining Muscle?
When it comes down to losing weight before building muscle, it’s important for you to get the body that you want by taking things slow and easy.
You should start by increasing your activity level while you continue to monitor your caloric intake so that you can see your weight start to decrease.
You shouldn’t try and gain all of the muscle mass that you want at once because it would be very dangerous to do so.
Instead, you should try and take it very slow and easy by building each muscle group separately one at a time.
If you do this, then you’ll be able to build muscle while keeping your body lean.
If you want to lose weight before gaining muscle, then you should start by eating less calories than your body needs so that the excess energy is converted into fat.
When you’re trying to lose weight before building muscle, it’s important for you to stay consistent because it will be very hard for your body to burn fat if you stop working out or take long breaks from your diet.
How to Lose Weight First, Gain Muscle Second
If you want to lose weight first before going back to building muscle, then it’s going to be a good idea for you to make a few changes.
Here are some ideas on how you can lose some fat before adding some muscle:
- Eat as Few Calories as Possible
When you’re trying to build muscle, it’s also important for you to eat more calories than your body needs so that more energy is converted into fat.
However, if your goal is to lose weight first, then you should consume fewer calories than your body needs per day.
For example, if your body needs 2000 calories per day, then you should try and eat slightly less than this so that the extra energy will be stored as fat.
- Cut Down On Refined Sugar
Refined sugar doesn’t have any nutritional value to your body, so it’s best for you to avoid it.
When you cut back on your sugar intake, then you’ll be able to adhere to your weight loss plan much easier.
- Choose To Eat More Protein
Foods such as protein shakes, eggs, and lean meats can help you to lose weight because protein takes longer to digest than carbs and fat.
This means that your body will burn calories at a slower rate and allow you to lose weight faster.
- Have More Meals Instead of Snacking
Quitting junk food cold turkey will be too hard for most people.
Instead, you should try and have more meals throughout the day instead of eating snacks between your meals.
- Make Sure to Exercise Often
Lifting weights and doing cardio will help to ensure that your body can burn fat at a faster pace.
Because you’re trying to lose weight before building muscle, it’s important for you to stick with a two-week workout program that is designed to give your muscles a nice boost.
You should focus on compound exercises in each workout session in order to keep things quick and high-intensity.
- Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber-rich foods such as berries and vegetables will help you to lose weight because they’ll make you feel full for a longer period of time.
As a result, you should add more fiber-rich foods into your diet before working out in order to burn fat quicker.
- Sleep Enough
There’s no better way to ensure that your muscles aren’t overworked than by sleeping enough.
If you don’t sleep enough, then your body will start to burn muscle before it can burn fat, which will cause you to lose weight without building muscle.
So make sure that you get a good number of hours of sleep each night before working out.
- Increase Your Protein Intake
Keeping your protein level at its optimum will help curb your appetite and prevent you from gorging on junk food.
As a result, you should double your protein intake in order to keep yourself from eating too much.
- Replace Sugary Beverages with Water
When it comes down to it, water is the best drink for you because it has no calories.
As a result, try and replace all of the sugary beverages that you have with water.
This will help you to lose weight because your energy intake will go down.
- Keep Your Water Intake High
When you’re trying to lose fat before building muscle, it’s important for you to drink enough water each day because it will prevent your body from becoming dehydrated.
When you become dehydrated, this causes your muscles to break down which will slow down the process of losing weight.
Keep in mind that the weight loss process has to be slow and easy for you not to experience any negative side effects such as muscle breakdown and dehydration.
If you want more ways to lose weight naturally, I suggest you read this article here.
Final Thoughts on “Should I Lose Weight Before Building Muscle”
Now that most of the information regarding “should I lose weight before building muscle” has been covered, I really hope you can now make a decision about how you’re going to get in shape.
Although building muscle before losing weight takes longer, it will help you to lose weight faster at the same time.
However, it’s important for you to keep in mind that building muscle before losing weight is not a very good idea because there are too many risks involved with this method of training.
As a result, I really hope that you tried out one of the other ways mentioned in this article so that you can get in shape quickly enough.