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Which is more difficult? Gaining or Losing?

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  • just_Tomekjust_Tomek Posts: 7,059Member Member Posts: 7,059Member Member
    Neither. Both are easy.
    If you are UNDER-weight its easy to gain, just eat more.
    If you are OVER-weight its easy to lose, just eat less.

    The tricky part is maintaining. That to me is very diffiult.
  • CollieFitCollieFit Posts: 1,683Member Member Posts: 1,683Member Member
    Gaining what?

    Gaining fat is a lot easier than gaining lean mass.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Posts: 8,917Member Member Posts: 8,917Member Member
    Whatever you're not used to from your life leading up to this point. Habits are the main reason one is hard for someone.
  • auddiiauddii Posts: 15,410Member Member Posts: 15,410Member Member
    Whatever you're not used to from your life leading up to this point. Habits are the main reason one is hard for someone.

    This. People who naturally eat less and easily maintain a lower weight may find it very difficult to gain; those who often over eat may find it very difficult to lose. Neither one invalidates the other (which is why statements like "I wish I had you problem" always bother me).
  • MyDogsLoveMeMyDogsLoveMe Posts: 20Member Member Posts: 20Member Member
    I am trying to gain muscle weight, and not fat. This is harder than losing for me, but if I was trying to put on fat it would be easy. I am around 110-113 on any given day, and can't lose more weight without questioning my sanity. Gaining muscle while losing fat is difficult. I thought I had gained weight and lost inches, but the scale said I lost two pounds this past two weeks. I just started weightlifting just the past two weeks, and thought I would gain weight, but it hasn't happened yet. I'll keep trying...
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    Truthfully, I found both hard.

    On the one hand, cutting has you eating less and wishing you could have more of the high calorie things you enjoy. And it can really seem endless depending on your starting point and your rate of loss.

    On the other hand, bulking has you playing mind games with yourself, plus after the first couple of weeks I was hungry all the time. Much hungrier than when I was cutting. And it's not like I got all that many more calories to compensate. Then, of course, your macros are more critical so you focus on food more. You must put in quality workouts or you end up with more fat than you want. Plus, you get to look forward to cutting again at the end.

    If you're talking fat gain, then yes. That would be the easiest up to a point. Turn off all inhibitions and go.
  • juggernaut1974juggernaut1974 Posts: 6,212Member Member Posts: 6,212Member Member
    AnvilHead wrote: »
    Gaining is very easy for me because I love food and have a huge appetite. If left to an ad-lib diet I could (and did) easily take in 4000+ calories/day without batting an eye. It always puzzles me when I see posters complaining about how it's soooo hard to hit their 1200 calorie per day goal, because not reaching my goal has never been a problem for me. I didn't put on 50 extra pounds by not eating enough!

    I don't find losing weight particularly difficult because I have a very flexible palate and can easily tailor what I eat to more nutrient-dense foods for satiety. I also understand that trying to lose as fast as possible comes with a lot of drawbacks, so I have no problem with losing at a reasonable rate - which means a smaller, more comfortable deficit. But compared to gaining, losing involves more self-discipline and vigilance. The hardest part about gaining would be staying the course on a small'ish surplus for best body composition results - it would be a lot easier to throw caution to the wind and go on a GFH bulk!

    Yes - I should clarify my first post.

    Gaining in and of itself I don't find difficult at all. I could eat hundreds of surplus calories per day (probably pizza and/or chips and salsa or guacamole) with no difficulty whatsoever.

    What I find harder (mentally hard, primarily when compared to cutting weight) is a controlled, purposeful gain. And not so much now as my first bulk after coming off of a couple years of purposeful weight loss.
  • TheGimpTheGimp Posts: 15Member, Premium Member Posts: 15Member, Premium Member
    The problems some people have with gaining weight can be attributed to other medical issues. There are issues where after eating a little the person becomes uncomfortable, or their throat gets sore, or they reflux form everything, and the list goes on. For some they need some kind of food that could deliver 1000 calories with all the nutrients they need in maybe 1/2 cup or less.
  • datsundriver87datsundriver87 Posts: 186Member, Premium Member Posts: 186Member, Premium Member
    IMO gaining fat is way easier than losing fat, but gaining muscle is way harder than losing muscle
  • singingfluteladysingingflutelady Posts: 8,629Member Member Posts: 8,629Member Member
    Gaining muscle is harder than losing fat and losing muscle is easier than losing fat.
  • robininflrobininfl Posts: 1,144Member Member Posts: 1,144Member Member
    I find it easier to gain, in general. Losing weight does happen naturally for me during times of stress, and I am "ectomorphic" under stressed conditions (if I don't work out I lose appetite, my body reverts to skinny not fat, usually). But have found it pretty easy usually to eat more and work out and gain muscle mass, without doing anything extreme. So going from skinny to fit was a natural feeling process.


    If you are only 18, you are probably still growing. My brothers had that body type, wiry, were athletes but did not build mass, very lean, fast, strong, skinny. They grew up, not out, until they reached their adult height, and that did not happen until college. After that, they were able to get a more muscled look.
  • DorkothyParkerDorkothyParker Posts: 618Member Member Posts: 618Member Member
    I agree with the majority: hardest to gain muscle.
    Losing fat can be difficult, but I am finding it easier.

    Gaining fat is the easiest thing of all!
  • ReaderGirl3ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868Member Member Posts: 868Member Member
    For me it is ALOT easier to eat more than it is to eat less

    Have you had experience with trying to gain weight?

    I have-when I first transitioned into maintenance I had a hard time stopping the loss and went to the low end of a healthy bmi (did not look good on me), so I did an intentional period of gain, to get my bmi up a bit. For me, being intentional with both worked out to be about the same amount of difficulty. Now when I'm not being intentional it's easy for me to gain, whereas I've never unintentionally lost weight :)
    edited March 2016
  • speericksonspeerickson Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    For me cutting is easier and gaining is harder. I was bulking on 3,500kcal, reached 190lbs and continued eating 3500kcal or more. Next thing I knew I was 187. When I cut weight last year I had no problem with doing cardio and restricting cardio. However right now I have upped my calories and it is hard to eat 4000 calories or more per day.
  • megzchica23megzchica23 Posts: 423Member Member Posts: 423Member Member
    Well when you're young, it is probably a lot easier to lose. When I was young I was barely 100lbs. I hated being so skinny but I ate anything I wanted, mostly junk and never gained weight. The closer I got to 30, the easier it was to pack on pounds. I have steadily been increasing weight now and have gone up to 180lbs. It is so hard to lose now. Before it was like cut out soda and candy and eat a little less fast food and bam drop 10 to 15lbs. Never even had to count calories. Now I am counting calories and trying to exercise more and it seems really difficult. But I know if I stop this I will probably go over 200 lbs easily soon. So I'm working really hard to lose.
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member Member
    I get that both have mind over matter factors. I just feel that people believe gaining is easier because obesity is such a big/common issue in comparison. I have a hard time thinking losing is easier even though I've never tried myself. Most of the time I am at the point where my mind is telling me I can't intake any more but I have to force myself to keep going. Anybody agree/disagree?

    I believe that you are confusing the actual process of gaining with the actual psychological process of dealing with fat gain during a bulk. I have no problem eating 3500 to 4000 calories a day when bulking; however, I do have a problem dealing with the inevitable fat gain that comes along with it. That fat, bloated feeling really sucks, and it sucks even more to see your abs slowly disappear. On the flip side, the increased energy and gym performance is a plus.

    I think a lot of people have a hard time with bulking becuase they think they need to bulk on a diet of 100% chicken, rice, and vegetables,and fail to realize that calorie dense foods are OK, as long as you are meeting micro and macro needs.
  • ndj1979ndj1979 Posts: 29,021Member Member Posts: 29,021Member Member
    You said it yourself. Gaining simply is easier because if not, there would not be an obesity problem, or at least to a lesser degree. It's good that you can control your intake, as that is essential for losing weight if you ever decide to lose.

    Instead of eating high amounts of food in weight, eat food that is higher in calories.

    I can't fully agree with this statement. I've had multiple attempts to bulk where I end up not gaining a pound. Then when I give up my diet I somehow lose a pound or two

    you did not eat enough...
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Posts: 2,582Member Member Posts: 2,582Member Member
    ndj1979 wrote: »
    I get that both have mind over matter factors. I just feel that people believe gaining is easier because obesity is such a big/common issue in comparison. I have a hard time thinking losing is easier even though I've never tried myself. Most of the time I am at the point where my mind is telling me I can't intake any more but I have to force myself to keep going. Anybody agree/disagree?

    I believe that you are confusing the actual process of gaining with the actual psychological process of dealing with fat gain during a bulk. I have no problem eating 3500 to 4000 calories a day when bulking; however, I do have a problem dealing with the inevitable fat gain that comes along with it. That fat, bloated feeling really sucks, and it sucks even more to see your abs slowly disappear. On the flip side, the increased energy and gym performance is a plus.

    I think a lot of people have a hard time with bulking becuase they think they need to bulk on a diet of 100% chicken, rice, and vegetables,and fail to realize that calorie dense foods are OK, as long as you are meeting micro and macro needs.
    IMO, the bolded part is most likely another reason why bulking can be challenging for some people. A lot of people who eat until their satisfied or full may not like the increased fullness (assuming their diet already has some low-filling calorie dense foods).

  • mattyc772014mattyc772014 Posts: 3,544Member, Premium Member Posts: 3,544Member, Premium Member
    I find gaining to be easy. Pizza, cake and ice cream make it super easy. Losing the last 5-10 lbs is the hardest mentally.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886Member Member Posts: 30,886Member Member
    I agree with those who said gaining muscle is the hardest for them. It is for me too, not surprising as a 40-something woman. Gaining fat is unfortunately easy for me, losing fat isn't too hard.
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