Gaining Muscle vs. Losing Fat, what first?

hi! pretty new to this app, but i'm confused. i'm wondering if it is more important to focus on losing body fat first or just going straight into building muscle if the goal is overall toning & strength. help!

Replies

  • kimothy38
    kimothy38 Posts: 840 Member
    The usual rule is that you need to be in calorie deficit to lose fat but to gain muscle you need calorie surplus. Personally I started strength training straight away and have lost 20kg of fat and gained muscle at the same time. I had quite a bit of fat to lose though so that would make a difference presumably. I wasn't very strict on tracking calories either though I did 5:2 fasting. Fasting affected my energy levels for training though so I incorporated BCAAs to help with energy and muscle retention.
  • jxdior
    jxdior Posts: 3 Member
    kimothy38 wrote: »
    The usual rule is that you need to be in calorie deficit to lose fat but to gain muscle you need calorie surplus. Personally I started strength training straight away and have lost 20kg of fat and gained muscle at the same time. I had quite a bit of fat to lose though so that would make a difference presumably. I wasn't very strict on tracking calories either though I did 5:2 fasting. Fasting affected my energy levels for training though so I incorporated BCAAs to help with energy and muscle retention.

    wow thanks sooo much!!
  • jxdior
    jxdior Posts: 3 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Both. If you start lifting while losing weight you'll maintain muscle mass. If you don't lift while losing weight you'll have to spend time rebuilding the muscle you lost.

    so don't worry about cutting my calories down? i'm 5'2 and only weigh about 125, so i'm not trying to lose a ton of weight. i was eating around 1700 calories, but i wasn't sure if i had to cut calories to start seeing some definition. now it is clear, thanks so much!!
  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,221 Member
    jxdior wrote: »
    usmcmp wrote: »
    Both. If you start lifting while losing weight you'll maintain muscle mass. If you don't lift while losing weight you'll have to spend time rebuilding the muscle you lost.

    so don't worry about cutting my calories down? i'm 5'2 and only weigh about 125, so i'm not trying to lose a ton of weight. i was eating around 1700 calories, but i wasn't sure if i had to cut calories to start seeing some definition. now it is clear, thanks so much!!

    You're in the normal range for height and weight. If you haven't been lifting you can eat at maintenance while lifting to gain some muscle. To look toned you have to have muscle and unless you've been an athlete for most of the last few years or you've been lifting you'll need to build muscle. Lifting while eating at maintenance is called "recomposition". You'll gain muscle and lose fat. You may find after a couple of years that you need to lose a little bit of weight to show the muscle or "tone" better.
  • richardgavel
    richardgavel Posts: 1,000 Member
    Another fact driving losing fat before building muscle is called calorie partitioning. Basically, all things being equal, someone with a lower body fat percentage who gains a lb will have a higher portion being muscle than someone with a higher body fat percentage.