In this article, you are going to read the 6 proven ways to lose fat without losing muscle.
It’s natural to lose some amount of muscle mass when you try to lose weight.
Yet, no one likes to lose their muscles even if it’s little.
To prevent losing too much of your hard-earned muscles…
Here’s what you can do…
Don’t Cut Too Many Calories
The best possible way to maintain muscle mass while losing fat is to cut your calories slowly and gradually. Cutting them too fast will probably result in muscle loss no matter what you do.
It’s important to follow a calorie deficit diet to burn fat, but, starting with maintenance calories is a good strategy to prevent muscle loss and hitting weight loss plateau.
Maintenance calories are the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain your weight.
Once you know your maintenance calories, subtract 500 calories from it and you will get the number of calories you need to eat per day to lose weight.
Start with a smaller calorie deficit of 500 calories per day, then gradually increase your calories as you progress.
A small calorie deficit helps you lose fat slowly and prevent losing muscle, which you may lose in a larger calorie deficit.
For Example – This study shows that athletes who reduce weight slowly lose more fat and gain 2 pounds of lean muscle mass, while athletes who reduce weight fast lose less fat and don’t see any changes in muscle mass.
Eat More Protein
Protein is the building block of our body and is the most important nutrient regardless of your fitness goal. When aiming for fat loss, never cut calories that come from protein.
Eating more protein helps maintain and increase muscle mass during fat loss.
How much amount of protein you need per day to lose fat without losing muscle?
According to this study, recommendations for protein intakes for elite athletes during weight loss to prevent muscle mass is 1.6-2.4 g protein per kg of body weight a day.
Normal people should consume between 1.5-1.8 g protein per kg of body weight a day. Eating 20-30 gms of protein every meal is the best practice for weight loss.
Train For Muscle Mass
Many people are a victim of this myth that high reps with low weights help in fat loss. By doing that, you are training for endurance, not for muscle gain which may result in muscle loss.
To maintain muscles, you must train for muscle & strength building with heavyweight and moderate reps between 10-12.
Focus on compound movements like deadlift, bench press, military press, squats, etc. unlike aerobic exercises, this type of movement if done heavy recruits type 2 muscle fibers, which help prevent and increase muscle mass.
Heavy lifting also triggers the production of HGH (human growth hormone) and testosterone that support muscle building and retention.
This study shows that resistance training prevents muscle mass when in a calorie deficit state.
Limit Typical Cardio & Start HIIT
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. HIIT is a short, intense method of physical training followed by intervals of the shorter rest period.
For example – Sprints on a treadmill for 2 minutes then slow down for 30 seconds and continue sprinting until exhausted. HIIT is effective at burning calories both during and after exercise.
And unlike traditional cardio, it recruits type 2 muscle fibers which helps prevent muscle loss. Have a look at this HIIT workout you can do at home.
HIIT has been proven to lose fat without losing muscle.
Don’t Avoid Carbohydrates
Carbs are the main source of energy and provide the body with minerals, vitamins, and fiber. A low carbohydrate diet is not necessary to achieve weight loss. Diets low in carbohydrates may impair muscle maintenance and growth by limiting your exercise performance.
You don’t need to go low on carbs as long as you are under calorie deficit and eating high-quality carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole grains, etc.
The best time to eat carbs so they don’t store as fat is to eat them at breakfast or before a workout. Eating carbs before workouts improve performance and aid in better recovery.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for recovery and helps you get the most out of your workout. Your sleep also impacts muscle loss by influencing hormone levels.
Poor sleep is associated with high cortisol levels which hinder weight loss and support muscle degradation. Meanwhile, getting enough sleep increases human growth hormone, mostly peaks at during sleep, and aids in muscle growth.
This study on women’s found that individuals who sleep less than 7 hours a day are more likely to be overweight or obese as compared to people who sleep for 8-9 hours per day.
Thanks for reading this article, I hope this information will help you lose fat without losing muscle.