Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle

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When people start dieting, their aim is to reduce weight and body fat percentage. However, since they do not understand body energy mechanisms, they start to lose muscle or lean body mass. This is detrimental to the aim of both fat loss and health. Losing weight needs planning and effort in the right direction. Yes! Despite all the measures if you lose weight you will have some amount of loss of muscle mass too. However, there are certain tricks that one can adopt to minimize that.

Do Not Cut Too Many Calories

To lose weight one has to be calorie deficient. This means one needs to reduce calorie intake below the maintenance level. Once the negative balance is achieved, the body starts to use stored fuel which is in the form of fat, muscle, and some carbohydrates. If we have a large calorie deficit, the body compensates the same with fat and muscles. This results in loss of muscle mass and hence decrease in resting metabolic rate.

As a benchmark, one should not be more than 15 to 20 % calorie deficient. This will allow one to carry out activities normally without experiencing any loss of strength and muscles.

Eat Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks. It is the nutritional stimulus for building muscle. So, when dieting or cutting calories by reducing food intake is adopted, it should not be in the form of cutting proteins. Remember we need at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for a light activity lifestyle. Higher the activity level, the more protein we require.

Strength Training Not Cardio

While dieting, we are already maintaining negative energy levels. If we do cardio, we go further deep inside negative energy which may lead to burning muscle mass to meet body fuel requirements. It is advisable to do more strength training. By doing so, we will also increase our resting metabolic rate which will help keep the lost weight away.

Low Carb Diet

Carbohydrates are the first source of fuel that the body utilizes to meet the requirements. However, if we are maintaining a low-carb diet, the body has to turn quickly towards the other two sources that are fat and muscle. If we make an effort to maintain muscle, the bulk of loss will be in the form of fat loss.

More Repetitions Instead Of Heavy Weights

By lifting lighter weights but more repetitions, we are able to consume more calories thus keeping the benefits of muscle growth the same. Hence, lightweight and higher repetition is the best trick to lose fat and retain muscle mass.

Reduce Training Days

By training less, one will not go deep inside the calorie deficient state and hence will be able to lose fats rather than lean body mass. Training 4 days a week is the best technique to get the best results.

Eat Natural

People do lose weight during dieting. But those food habits cannot be retained for life. Hence it is important to do dieting in such a way that it can be adopted as a lifestyle. It is okay to have cheat days. However, adopting a practiced diet is the only option to keep the lost weight away forever.

Pre-Workout And Post-Workout Nutrition

Training will yield better results if pre and post-nutrition are planned. Pre-workout nutrition should be such that one is able to put in maximum effort during training. It should not happen that our dieting is keeping our energy levels low leading to no energy left for constructive workouts. At the same time, post-training nutrition needs to be something that will help us recover faster and be ready to face the daily work with energy and zeal. A simple technique is to eat a protein and carbohydrate diet about 2 hours before the workout and a protein-rich diet within 30 minutes after the workout.

Take home message

One chart planning cannot be given to everyone as everyone is different. However, the basics of planning and dieting need to be understood well and adopted for healthy living. Remember not to lose muscle mass. To lose fat, you should never adopt extreme starvation methods. Lose weight slowly and in methods which can be adopted for life.

Article by: Capt Jitender Harjai Fitness Expert H2FCare

3 thoughts on “Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle

  1. A very good article written in a simple language for all to understand. Loss of muscle mass is never given due importance in loosing weight which is the biggest mistake everyone does. Thanks for this wonderful write-up. This will put many people on the right track of healthy weight loss.

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