A Winning Combination: Weight Loss and Bodybuilding


Weight loss is a significant component of your choice to lead a healthy life. While dieting is an important component, so, too, are various other factors. Among those that are considered of prime importance in losing weight and keeping it off is exercise. There are various types of exercises that can help your lose weight when used in combination. They range from walking to biking to working out. For some, the idea of losing weight involves more than the shedding of unwanted pounds; it includes toning the body. To accomplish this, you might want to consider bodybuilding.

What is Body Building?

You can define bodybuilding in two different ways. It is a competitive sport designed to increase both the size of your muscles and their definition. It is also a noncompetitive route to decreasing your weight, toning the body and creating a leaner, healthier physical you. For many individuals, bodybuilding is the ultimate way to go when you want to lose weight. It is how they want to look. They see it is as a means of sculpting the perfect body. This approach is applicable for both men and women. Yet, there is a difference in the final product. It is not physically possible for women to achieve the same overall bulkiness that men achieve in terms of muscles.

Why Bodybuilding?

Changing your diet and combining it with a thorough exercise regime is an excellent way to lose weight and, as research indicates, keep it off1. Bodybuilding is an ideal way to lose weight for several reasons.

  • It’s a combination of weight loss techniques with muscle building exercises.
  • It reduces the amount of fat
  • It replaces the fat with muscle
  • It increases muscular strength
  • It improves both your muscle tone and physical appearance
  • It helps improve your endurance
  • It enhances bone density
  • In increases your metabolic rate


Body Building and Weight Loss for Women – Is it Different than for Men?

There is a gender difference when it comes to bodybuilding. Like body shapes, women are different2. This is not true of weight loss. Women will lose weight as they become tones and fit. Where the major difference lies is in the results. Women lack testosterone. This is responsible for the large muscle gain and the expansive growth of specific muscles. Yet, while women may not increase in mass as much as men, they can become toned and will benefit in terms of health, bone density, endurance and overall strength.  By combining weight loss methods goals are achievable for both genders.

How Does the Bodybuilding Weight Loss Equation Work?

When the body mass or muscles increases, so, too, does the basal metabolic rate (BMR). This prevents excessive fat production as it burns off any calories you are producing at a faster rate than your body can absorb them as fat. Moreover, a thorough workout results in a half-life effect. The metabolic rate will continue to be high for a few hours following an intensive workout. When you, for example, strength train – a component of bodybuilding, you both tone muscles and burn off calories. The same applies when you do resistance training or other types of exercise designed to help you build your body.

An added benefit of building up your muscle is the more you become lean and fit, the more calories you can consume. Muscle requires more calories to maintain it. In fact, if you want to keep 1 pound of muscle, you will need to have 50 extra calories3.

Combination Weight Loss Factors in Building Muscles and Losing Weight

Building muscles on its own does not result in weight loss. You need to consider the entire picture. This means taking into consideration such things as nutrition and supplements.

  • Nutrition – No diet plan or exercise program can work if you do not get the right type and amount of nutrition. The specific amount of nutrition and the exact composition will depend upon what type of bodybuilding exercises you are undertaking. For example, a serious competitive bodybuilder has a very specialized diet compared to someone who is using it specifically to lose weight. Talk to both your doctor and trainer about what you need in terms of protein, vitamins and minerals and carbohydrates. Discuss whether you should take these in the form of actual food or is it essential to rely on supplements
  •  Supplements – These are a means of increasing your energy level, helping increase your muscles and generally helping you meet your dietary requirements. The most common supplement used by both competitive and noncompetitive bodybuilders alike is whey. This is a protein supplement. One favored by bodybuilders is creatine. It is promoted as a promoter of muscle mass gain.


Bodybuilding and weight loss are two facets of a weight loss program that work together to provide you with a healthy and fit body. This is true whatever your gender. How extreme you take this combination depends upon your goals.

Bodybuilding may be a form of exercise. It may be your way of losing weight. Bodybuilding may also become a sport in which weight loss is only part of the overall competitive goal. All methods are a means of helping you lose and keep off weight. They do not, however, work alone. Without the right type of weight loss program, which includes proper nutrition, you will not lose the desired weight. Always talk to your medical professional before you decide to embark upon this path. Make sure you understand what is involved before you make bodybuilding part of your overall weight loss plan.


1 Andersen, RE; and Jakicic, JM (2003). “Physical Activity and Weight Management Building the Case for Exercise.” Physician and Sports Medicine, 31(1): 39-45.

2 Coopersmith, GB (2007). Fit † Female.Hoboken,NJ: Wiley and Sons.

3 Little, John (2008). Beginning Body Building.New York: McGraw Hill.


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