Should You Lose Fat First, Then Build Muscle?

Should You Lose Fat First, Then Build Muscle?

Muscle building and fat loss are comparable to a healthy physical composition’s egg and chicken combo. When you’re losing fat and shedding pounds, you can carry on with more challenging workouts due to faster metabolism. But even muscle-building can support fat loss.

So, which one is the correct route? Ditching the muscles and going for the body fats? Unfortunately, the answer is more complex. But worry not! If you’re looking for an answer, you’ve come to the right place.

Today’s post will discuss whether you should ditch the building muscle part and work on losing fats or vice versa. So, stay tuned and continue reading.

Which One Should You Lose First?

Building your muscles and losing fat aren’t always mutually exclusive, as both form an essential aspect of long-term weight loss, fitness, and health. Therefore, you can achieve both goals with a balanced nutrition plan and workout.

However, a direct answer is much more complicated as factors of dieting history, training experience, and age. For instance, if you’re more experienced at the gym with around 15 % (men) and 23% (women) body fat, it’s better to choose muscle building first.

But, if you exceed these percentages, it’s best to consider burning off the fat first. Since many gym newbies come with a considerable amount of fat percentage, it’s okay to lose the body fat first.

So, in this case, we’d suggest losing body fat first. This means making certain adjustments, such as reducing daily calorie consumption and consistent training that requires frequent lifting.

Whether losing fats or gaining muscles first, both require commitment and consistency, so make sure to give your all.

Which One Should You Lose First?

3 Reasons You Should Lose Fat First Before Building Muscle

Here are three reasons you should consider ditching body fat before moving on to muscle gains. Let’s have a look!

Gaining More Fat Can Become A Slippery Slope 

Putting on muscles without gaining more fats can be very challenging, even if you’re constantly checking your calorie intake. This is because for our bodies to gain muscles, they should be in a state of anabolism. This is typically fed through a huge source of calories, carbs, and protein.

Therefore, if you’re making attempts to build muscle first, it’s expected for your body to put on additional fats. This is clearly understood by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts that bulk up when building muscle. But, the same knowledge may not reach common folks.

Suppose you’re around 5’10 weighing 185lb with about 15% fats. You’ll likely end up gaining additional 12lbs that’s split between fats and muscles. This will round up a whopping 18% of fats, which is something closer to 20%, a percentage you’d want to avoid reaching.

It’s hard not to get attracted by today’s bulking and muscle-building culture, but when you focus on losing fat first, you can get an incredible physique with less fat percentage. This is a challenging task, but losing fat can help you build muscle faster in the future.

So, if your body fat is well over 15%, it’s best recommended to focus on losing fats instead of building muscle. It may seem complicated but trust the process.

You’ll Appear Bigger With A Lean Body

If you’re not already or naturally lean, there’s a high chance that your body fats are hiding a good portion of muscle mass. More so, your fats will likely hide your muscle shapes.

For instance, shoulder muscles are typically teardrop-shaped, round, and involved in many pushing and pulling movements. So, if there’s a large portion of body fat over those shoulders, they’ll appear flat without much roundness.

Hence, naturally enough, the rounder and leaner your shoulders, the more striking they’ll appear to be. When the natural muscle and shape are seen, it creates a type of illusion where they look bigger than the actual size.

Since a chiseled physique tends to appear fuller and bigger, it’ll look much more impressive than a softer or less round physique. You may carry the same amount of weight, but with lesser fat and more body mass, you’ll appear much leaner and in better shape.

So, this is another critical factor to keep in mind when deciding the type of shape you’re looking for, especially if you’re more on the heavier side.

You’ll Be Able To Estimate How Big You’d Want To Look Like

Say you’re looking to add around 10-15 lbs of muscles, but can you visualize just how much volume those pounds contain? Chances are, you probably wouldn’t know what those 10-15 lbs pounds will look on you.

But losing the fats first helps you visualize and estimate how big of a frame you’d want on your body. You’ll probably look at your chest to find out which areas you may require improvement.

So, without much fat taking up the chest area, you can easily estimate the level of thickness you’d want for your body frame. Through the measurements, you’ll also be able to see which other areas require improvements, such as calves or thighs.

This will also provide a more accurate goal as you won’t have to put in excess muscle, or at least not more than you think you need. You’ll also be able to gain muscle and build your required frame at a steady pace by keeping both your fats and muscles in check.

Lose Fat First Before Building Muscle

Final Thoughts 

Ultimately, in the end, several factors must be considered before jumping in on either of the decisions. This is because losing fats first is neither a hard rule nor is it set in stone.

Whether you choose to lose fat first or go for muscles is entirely reliant on your body, weight, goals, and many other factors. So, it’s entirely up to any of these factors as well as for yourself to choose either of the options.

That said, we hope our article has been resourceful in helping you make the right choice for your body. Getting your body in shape is a challenging and long journey but a rewarding one in the end.

Jason Shaw is an experienced bodybuilder, gym owner, nutritionist and content creator for many websites. He has competed at a high level and wants to bring that experience in muscle building, fitness and nutrition including supplements to our many readers, whether you're a skinny guy want to build muscle or a seasoned bodybuilder.

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