So the question we are starting with – Which is more important, the loss of body fat or the increase in muscle mass? – is easy to answer (gain muscle). But if this is so, why do the vast majority of people who start an exercise program do so with the expressed intention of “losing weight,” by which they really mean losing body fat?
Because they don’t know any better, unfortunately. The popular culture’s perspective on the subject is pretty uniform: Healthy = Skinny. And as usual, I’m telling you that this is wrong. In the effort to lose weight (body fat) by engaging in endless "cardio" you are actually going to end up losing fat and muscle. The lose of muscle along the way is a major mistake, but again it is just lack of knowledge on the subject matter. Thirty plus years of the medical community telling us to do "cardio" will take some time to undo.
A strength training program MUST be engaged in if you expect life long fat loss changes. You can actually gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. We currently have several clients doing this and experiencing great success. A fair assessment of the changes to the body can only really be measured by a body composition test, which we hope to to able to perform at HIT Strength very soon.
So engage in regular strength workouts and continue with some cardio without beating up your body. Your task of fat loss, weight maintenance, and general health will always come easier.