Losing fat requires calorie deficit with saying that you have a change of losing muscles.
When that caloric deficit is present, your body is forced to find some alternative source of energy on your body to burn instead. Ideally, this would ONLY be your ugly stored body fat. However, it can also be your pretty lean muscle tissue.
Sure, you might want your body to just burn body fat and not muscle, but your body doesn’t really give a crap about what you want. It just knows that in order for it to survive and function under the current conditions, it will need to pull stored energy from somewhere. And that can mean fat, muscle or a combination of both.
But below are what I’d consider to be
The 10 Ways To lose fat without losing muscle mass
- Eat Enough Protein
A sufficient daily protein intake is the single most important dietary requirement for maintaining muscle. It’s not meal timing, or supplements, or the exact size of your caloric deficit, or the quality of the foods you eat (more on that nonsense later), or anything else diet related.
Nutritionally speaking, losing fat without losing muscle is all about eating enough protein every day. Numerous studies have proven this to be true. Even in the absence of a proper weight training routine, more of the weight you lose will be body fat rather than muscle mass just as a result of an increased protein intake.
So, the first step of any muscle-preserving diet is always getting your ideal amount of protein for the day. The question is… what is ideal?
Well, research and real-world experience have shown that something in the range of 0.8-1.3g of protein per pound of your current body weight is the sweet spot for people with this goal. (Note: those who are significantly overweight/obese should use their goal body weight instead.)
- Eat Enough Carbs
Low-carb diets are not better for weight loss, and actually are worse in several ways for us fitness folk.
For example, studies show that…
- A low-carb diet doesn’t help you lose fat faster.
- A higher-carb diet results in lower levelsof stress and fatigue.
- A higher-carb diet is betterfor preserving performance and lean mass when calories are restricted.
- It’s generally easierto overeat on a low-carb, high-fat diet than a high-carb, low-fat one.
Make sure don’t got low carbs
- Take supplements to prevent Muscle loss
Supplements aren’t the key to fat loss, but if you combine the right ones with a proper diet and exercise routine, you can dramatically prevent Muscle loss
Here is my personal “stack” that I use and recommend:
- Cut fewer calories
Obviously, if just cutting calories is going to result in so much muscle loss, you want to back away from any low-calorie diet. “In general a female should reduce calories by about 300 to 400 calories and males about 400 to 600 calories
- Lift Weights 2-4 Times Per Week
To lose fat without losing muscle, it’s important to do some form of strength training.
Lifting weights is essential when it comes to holding on to the muscle you already have. Without it, you’ll end up looking like a smaller version of your current self, with many of the flabby bits still intact. The “skinny fat” look is common in people who rely on diet and cardio, or even just diet alone, to lose weight.
A crucial part to fat loss and muscle mass maintenance is strength training. Consistent weight training helps prevent muscle mass loss and can increase the amount of lean muscle mass.
Strength training should be done for about 20–30 minutes per session. Try to work every major muscle group during each training. Make sure to work: core (back, abs and glutes), chest, arms and legs.
Strength training activities include: weight lifting, isometric exercises and classes like yoga or pilates.
If you’re just starting out with weights or strength training, start with low weights and a few repetitions. Do not start out with overly heavy weights or train for long periods of time – this could cause injury.
Limit your training frequency for each muscle group to every other day at a maximum. Each specific muscle group should only be directly stimulated one to two times per week in order to allow for full recovery time.
do check out my article 4 of the Best Workout Routine For Men To Build Muscles
- Maintain Strength Levels
And now here is the single most important training requirement for anyone who wants to lose fat without losing muscle. Simply put, the primary training stimulus required for maintaining muscle is maintaining your current levels of strength.
You know how gradually getting stronger (aka the progressive overload principle) is what signals your body to begin the muscle building process? Well, on a fat loss diet, just maintaining your current levels of strength (aka intensity, aka the weight on the bar) is what now signals your body to maintain muscle.
If that signal goes away, your body’s need to keep your pretty muscle tissue around goes away right along with it.
Make sure you life the same amount of weight or lift more heavy
- Reduce Weight Training Volume and/or Frequency
A caloric deficit is really an energy deficit, and while this is fantastic (and required) for losing any amount of body fat, it kinda sucks for all things training related (recovery, work capacity, volume tolerance, performance, etc.).
What that means is, the workout routine you were (or would be) using with great success to build muscle, increase strength or make whatever other positive improvements to your body under normal circumstances (where there is no deficit present) has the potential to be TOO MUCH for your body to handle and optimally recover from in the energy-deficient state it is currently in.
And do you know what this scenario will ALWAYS lead to? One in which you’re not recovering properly from your workouts? A loss of strength.
And do you know what a loss of strength will ALWAYS lead to, especially while in a caloric deficit? A loss of muscle.
Make sure you train with less volume and frequency by adjusting your weight training program to compensate for the drop-in recovery that comes with being in a caloric deficit. That means reducing training volume (the total amount of sets, reps and/or exercises being done), reducing training frequency (the total amount of workouts being done per week and per muscle group), or a combination of both.
- Take Diet Breaks When Needed
The exact definition of what a diet break is will vary based on who you ask, but I think of it as a 1-2 week period where you come out of the deficit and back up to maintenance level for the purpose of briefly allowing all your body hormones to recover and come to base line.
As prolong dieting take a heavy toll on your body.There are dozens of potential benefits (some physical, some mental) that come from taking diet breaks like this, but the reason I’m mentioning it here are for its performance and recovery related benefits. Why? Because any improvement there will help with our goal of maintaining muscle and strength while we lose fat.
- Get Enough Sleep
If you want to burn fat, preserve muscle and wake up less hungry when you are dieting, sleep more…8+ hours a night to be exact.
- Avoid Excessive Amounts Of Cardio
This all goes back to what I mentioned 100 times already about recovery being reduced as a result of calories being reduced. For this reason, ALL of the exercise you’re doing (not just weight training, but cardio as well) may need to be reduced or adjusted to some extent to compensate for this and help prevent muscle loss.
Now, weight training obviously still needs to be kept around as it provides the primary signal that tells our bodies to maintain muscle and only burn body fat. But cardio? That’s completely optional.
Make sure to do moderate amount of Cardio
There you have it… the 10 best ways to ensure you lose fat without losing muscle in the process. By following the tactics laid out in this post you can diet (‘cut’) with confidence, knowing that you’re going to minimise the amount of muscle you lose if you lose any at all.
- Train using moderate to heavy weights
- Reduce your overall training volume & frequency
- Don’t use more than a moderate calorie deficit
- Eat enough protein
- Don’t overdo the cardio
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