How to Reduce Body Fat Without Losing Muscle
If weight loss and fat loss is your overall goal, it is important to not lose muscle mass while achieving your goals. Maintaining muscle mass is important as muscles are often considered the “engine” of your body’s calorie and fat burning capacity. When trying to lose weight and implement a calorie deficit diet – your body will burn muscle tissue for fuel, however, there are ways to ensure you reduce body fat without losing muscle
4 Effective ways to maintain muscle mass
1. Slowly reduce your calorie intake.
Calories provide us with energy, and we need energy every day to function – and to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you eat. By cutting calories slowly, you can maintain a steady approach to gradually reducing calories, every day. Cutting calories to reduce body fat too fast can lead to muscle loss. Generally, it is advised to cut no more than 500 calories per day to start with. This can be done by cutting out a snack each day or reducing down your portion sizes.
2. Consistent fuelling.
Make sure you eat every 2 or 3 hours. Your body needs a constant supply of energy to maintain muscle mass, so this is the best way not to lose too much muscle while dieting. It also keeps your metabolism working and helps promote fat loss. Incorporating a dedicated prepared meal plan service such as Clean Cut Meals will take the stress out of cooking and meal planning for you.
3. Protein is king for muscle maintenance.
Increase your protein intake. The recommended allowance is 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8grams per kg) of body weight (The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.36 grams of protein per pound (0.8 grams per kg) of body weight. However, the amount of protein required will depend on a lot of factors, such as the level of exercise or training you do on a daily basis, your overall health, your age, weight loss or fitness goals. If you are training regularly and performing intense workouts, you should increase your protein intake, by including additional protein it will help to promote muscle growth while strength training.
4. Reduce your body fat with varied exercise.
It’s important to incorporate a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, to reduce your body fat and maintain muscle. Anaerobic exercises such as strength training can provide particularly good results, however, make sure to slowly build up your repetitions and level of weight resistance and fully tire out or fatigue your muscles. This is key! Exercising regularly is important for weight loss, but rest is also important. You need to listen to your body and, if you are in pain, make sure to stop.
Understanding how your body works is the first step towards a healthier you. Set realistic goals, stay focused on these and keep track of your weight loss progress. You will soon begin to see the benefits!