Can you lose weight and build muscle?

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding weight and muscles. Whether or not you can lose weight and build muscle at the same time is one of those questions that tend to be shrouded in a lot of arguments. Most people would say that no, you will not be able to do so, and they wouldn’t be lying.

Weight loss and muscle building are at two different levels of the spectrum. In general, losing weight requires that someone decrease their caloric intake, which is the opposite of what one needs when building muscles. It should also be said that muscles make up large amounts of weight on their own. Which means that any amount of weight from fat that you lose, will probably be quickly replaced with muscle mass.


So can you lose weight and build muscle at the same time?

In a way, yes. However, one cannot expect to keep their body weight low –  if they want to be able to build muscle.

However, something makes me think that this is not the actual intention of the person looking to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. Because, even though it’s virtually impossible to lose weight and build muscle simultaneously. You can certainly lose ‘bad’ weight and replace it with ‘good’ weight and still sculpt your physique.

To be clear – someone who is obese can expect to lose certain levels of the fat stored in their body and replace it with lean muscle mass. In this way, one can certainly lose weight and replace it with muscles – virtually at the same time.

How does one lose weight?

To clarify the situation further, we can start with this question. How does one lose weight? Well, the answer is rather simple. Weight loss can occur when one lowers their caloric intake or boosts their activity levels in order to promote more fat burning.


In short, if you are obese and you find yourself eating higher than what is recommended for you, then you can expect to lose weight by slowly decreasing the numbers of calories that you eat per day. Of course, it’s not just as simple as that.

Losing weight also requires specific nutritional changes, like changing your diet into one that is healthier and cleaner. This requires that a person avoid chemically processed foods that are often highly saturated in fats or sugars that can be bad for you body. Eating large amounts of processed foods can definitely lead to massive gains in weight. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating within the number of calories recommended for you every day, if you’re not eating the right foods for you – then you can’t expect to lose weight.

It doesn’t stop at just changing your diet neither. One should also begin incorporating certain levels of exercise into their daily lives. Another thing, much like different kinds of foods can halt the process of your weight loss, certain types of exercises are a lot more efficient in burning calories than others. For example, weight training can help you build up lean muscle mass, but if you want to be able to lose the lose fatty skin that is covering those muscles – you’re going to have to add some cardio to your workout routines – which has been known to burn higher levels of fat.

How does one build muscle?

Now, let’s compare how one loses weight to how one builds muscle. You will immediately notice that there are big differences in both.


For example, in order to build muscle, most people find themselves having to raise their caloric intake. This is due to the boost in metabolic rates that comes with the constant exercising. Exercising requires large amounts of energy – energy which is often derived from the foods that we eat, which prompts the increase of our caloric intake.

Another point of disparity lies in the kind of exercises that one will have to do. As mentioned previously, cardio is best for losing weight. Building muscles are a different story. In order build muscles, one will have to invest more time in strength training. Things like lifting weights or resistance exercises are better for toning your body.

Building up muscle is often called gaining, as you are gaining healthy lean muscle mass. It should be noted that having muscles doesn’t necessarily make a person lean – which is what our next point will explore.

How to lose weight and build muscle?

Depending on the kind of gains and losses that you need to make, this is possible. A person who has high body-fat percentage can expect to make quite a few losses if they follow through with the decrease of caloric intake and a certain level of exercise. This same person can also simultaneously begin to build muscle via the correct exercises and the right nutrition plan.

Let’s break this down

An obese person is able to do both simultaneously with the right balance. This requires a certain level of knowledge on nutrition as well as exercise, but it’s not as complicated as one would think. Most bodybuilders incorporate this kind of formula into their diet, so that they can maintain their lean form whist building up muscles.

Dietary Changes

The dietary changes you’re going to have to make is dependent on your body constitution. The best way to start is with a lower caloric intake and slowly build up from there. Make sure that you are incorporating nutrients in your diet and that you are sourcing them from healthy foods.

For example, eat lean proteins instead of foods like red meats -which are highly saturated in fat. You should also get to know simple and complex carbs – introduce more complex carbs into your diet and limit the amount of simple carbs you eat to post workout meals .

Fitness Changes

This part is a little simpler and easier to follow. Have a fitness plan where you can work on your muscles with strength training and mix in cardio a couple of times a week. This way you can continue to tone your body, whilst burning up excess calories.


So, can you lose weight and build muscle at the same time? Theoretically, yes. Most bodybuilders incorporate plans like this to keep their forms lean whilst building muscles. You will not be able to dramatically lose weight – because muscles add up in pounds a lot more than fat, but you can be certain that any ‘bad’ weight will be replaced with ‘good’ lean muscle mass.

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