Skip to content

10 Best Tips To Lose Weight & Build Lean Muscle

These pro tips provide a foundational framework to propel your journey.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Achieving your goal of losing weight while simultaneously building lean muscle mass requires a strategic approach. This entails integrating targeted workouts, improved nutrition, and cultivating effective lifestyle habits that align with your goals. Despite its inherent challenges, these 10 best tips to lose weight and build lean muscle provide a foundational framework to propel your journey.

Drawing from years of coaching and honing my expertise, I've crafted this list to address the common aspirations shared by countless clients, including yourself. You can optimize your progress and realize tangible results by prioritizing consistency and efforts across all facets—exercise routines, dietary choices, or healthier habits.

Keep reading for my top 10 tips to lose weight and build lean muscle. And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 6 Best Pilates Exercises to Improve Your Balance & Coordination.

Emphasize strength training.

fit woman holding dumbbells in front of yellow background, concept of dumbbell workout for abs in 30 days

Incorporating strength training exercises into your workout routine is crucial for building lean muscle mass. Focus on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and rows, which engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously and lead to efficient muscle development. Aim to strength train at least three to four times weekly, allowing adequate recovery between sessions to maximize muscle growth. Look to switch up your strength training every four to six weeks to keep things fresh and provide a new challenge.

People Swear by the 'Drunken Monkey' Exercise for Better Sleep: 'You'll Sleep Better, I Promise'

Don't skip cardio!

female runner in park demonstrating how to jog your way to a lean body

While strength training is paramount for building lean muscle, incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your routine can support weight loss and improve overall fitness. Engage in activities like jogging, cycling, swimming, or brisk walking at least weekly to enhance calorie burn and cardiovascular health. Additionally, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts can maximize calorie expenditure in a shorter time, and circuit intervals can spice things up. Don't overlook the positive effects of consistent steady-state cardio, though—it's tried and true for a reason!

Train hard, recover harder.

woman restful sleep in bed, sleep habits to live longer

All your efforts in the gym won't bring the success you're looking for in weight loss and gaining muscle if you don't prioritize recovery. Quality sleep is crucial for weight loss, muscle recovery, and overall health.

Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to support optimal hormone function, including those involved in metabolism and muscle repair. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and optimizing your sleep environment can help improve sleep quality and facilitate weight loss and muscle-building efforts.

10 Best Low-Impact Exercises To Melt Belly Fat

Stay hydrated.

Black woman drinking bottled water

Hydration plays a significant role in both weight loss and muscle building. Drinking enough water throughout the day supports optimal bodily functions and helps maintain muscle tone and performance during workouts. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily or 100+ ounces, adjusting intake based on activity level, climate, and individual needs.

Prioritize protein.

protein powder smoothie

Ensuring adequate protein intake is vital for building lean muscle while losing weight. High-protein foods such as chicken, fish, tofu, beans, and Greek yogurt can help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating while providing essential amino acids necessary for muscle repair and growth.

Aim for around 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. Consider increasing your protein intake beyond the standard recommendation for enhanced performance during rigorous workouts. This adjustment can be particularly beneficial for preserving and fostering the growth of lean muscle mass.

10 Functional Strength Exercises To Boost Mobility as You Age

Monitor caloric intake.

reduced calories dial concept

To lose weight and build lean muscle, it's essential to maintain a caloric deficit while consuming enough nutrients to support muscle growth. Tracking your daily caloric intake using a food journal or mobile app can help you stay accountable and make informed choices about portion sizes and food selection. Focus on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to fuel your body while keeping calories in check.

Limit processed foods and sugars.

woman saying no to donuts, demonstrating how to lose body fat everywhere

Minimizing processed foods and added sugar intake can aid in weight loss and promote lean muscle development. These foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients, which can lead to cravings and energy crashes.

Instead, opt for whole, minimally processed foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support overall health and satiety while facilitating weight loss and muscle building. Look to "shop the walls" of grocery stores, where you'll typically find fresh food.

10 Strength Training 'Rules' to Follow for the Best Results

Practice mindful eating.

woman eating a salad

Being mindful of your eating habits can help you make healthier choices, control portion sizes, and prevent overeating. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, eat slowly, and savor each bite to enhance meal satisfaction and enjoyment. Avoid distractions while eating, such as watching TV or using electronic devices, as these can lead to mindless eating and increased calorie consumption. Staying hydrated can help moderate your appetite as well!

Stay consistent.

mature man doing dumbbell exercises, concept of strength workouts for men over 60

Consistency is key to achieving long-term weight loss and muscle-building goals. Establishing healthy habits and sticking to them consistently over time is more effective than sporadic efforts. Set realistic goals, create a structured workout plan, and commit to making healthy lifestyle choices daily. Remember that progress may be gradual, but staying consistent will yield the best results over time.

Seek professional guidance.

trainer going over workout goals with client

If you're unsure where to start or how to optimize your weight-loss and muscle-building journey, consider seeking guidance from a qualified fitness professional or registered dietitian. They can provide personalized advice, create tailored workout and nutrition plans, and offer support and accountability.

Investing in expert guidance can help you navigate potential obstacles, stay motivated, and achieve your goals more efficiently. This helps alleviate the efforts of developing a plan and allows you to focus your energy on implementing rather than constructing!

Jarrod Nobbe
Jarrod Nobbe is a USAW National Coach, Sports Performance Coach, Personal Trainer, and writer, and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 12 years. Read more about Jarrod