How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscles
This article’s main focus is on how you can conserve lean muscle while losing fat. If you want to know how to lose fat, read this article.
Many people just focus on the weight on a scale, and if the weight is going down fast enough, they think they are doing a good job. Are you sure though? You might just be losing water (70 percent of your body is water), bone mass, or organ weight!
Many weight loss programs promote restricting calories and prolonged cardio-only sessions for faster results. The result, though, is that one not only loses a lot of muscle mass, but health deteriorates as well.
When engaging in any weight (fat) loss program, it is imperative to focus on reducing only the adipose tissue (fat) and nothing else.
Doing these five critical things will ensure that you conserve muscles when losing fat:
1) Consume 1.4 – 2.0 grams of protein/kg of bodyweight when trying to lose body fat. To know more read my article on how much protein one needs to have everyday for best results.
2) Weight train two to three times per week. Weight training build muscle, and building muscle burns fat at a higher rate. Muscles are catabolically more active tissues than fat, meaning they need more energy to survive. So if one gains 10 pounds of muscles, he will burn roughly 50 to 70 extra calories per day without moving. Isn’t that awesome? Besides, weight training has an EPOC (Energy post-oxygen consumption) effect and can boost your metabolism for up to 16 hours (sometimes even more, depending on the intensity of your workouts). This added advantage of elevated metabolism results in more calorie burn without doing anything!
3) Lose fat slowly. Most experts suggest that you can lose between one and two pounds of fat per week. When starting off any weight loss program, losing up to two pounds in a week is fine, but as you progress, the body’s natural defenses kick in. The body loves fat; that’s how we are genetically built, so eat only slightly less than your total daily energy expenditure, or TDEE (10 – 20 percent less at most).
However, there are certain individuals blessed with good genetics who can keep losing fat at a higher rate without losing muscles. Keep an eye on your muscle mass to make sure you are not losing too much. Read my article on how much fat you can lose in a month for more details.
4) Forget about long, boring, low intensity cardio; do HIIT instead. Consider this: Trapp, et. al., conducted a study in which young women performed HIIT for 15 weeks with three 20-minute sessions per week. HIIT consisted of an 8-second sprint followed by 12 seconds of low intensity cycling, repeated for 20 minutes. Another group of women carried out an aerobic cycling protocol for 40 minutes each session. Results showed that women in the HIIT group lost 2.5 kg of subcutaneous fat, whereas no change occurred with steady state aerobic exercise. Fat loss over 15 weeks of HIIT was attained with 50 percent less exercise time and a similar energy expenditure to that of steady state exercise.
5) Don’t try to build muscles at the same time. Many experts claim that it’s possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. In a few cases, this might be true, especially when you are beginner. Many ectomorphs fear that losing fat might eat up their muscles, but it’s not the case. Fat is like cotton, and muscle is a like a piece of iron. When you lose fat you become smaller but toned.
Psychologically it can play havoc on the mind of a skinny guy who doesn’t have enough muscles to show when his body fat drops below 15 percent. I have suffered from this mental agony time and time again, and as a result, I started to eat more, thinking I might lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. In the end, eating more only hindered the process of losing fat.
So, focus on one thing at a time—either fat loss or muscle gain—and you will reach your goals faster. I always advise that before you think about gaining muscles, your body fat should be less than 15 percent, and ideally around 12 percent. Gaining muscles requires you to eat more than your TDEE, and a little bit of fat gain in that case is acceptable.
How to Know if Your Weight Loss is Fat Loss
Bio-electrical impedance is a pretty decent way to analyze your fat levels. Fat calipers can help too. However, I personally get a pretty good idea whether I am losing fat without losing muscles by closely observing how my clothes fit. If my shirt is not getting lose around my shoulders, I know I am not losing muscles. And if my trousers are getting lose, I am definitely losing fat.
Another indicator that you might be losing muscles is to closely watch your strength in the weight room. I work very hard to make sure my strength doesn’t decrease. Since I weight train only two or three times per week, I am quite charged up for my workouts and give 110 percent every time.
Observing changes to the fat on my face is also another indicator. (I never said I was not vain.) Once I see my jawline getting more and more defined my face starts to get more angular, I am positive I am on the right track.
I see a majority of people measuring their weight almost every other day, which I believe is futile. By weight, 70 percent of your body is water, and water loss or gain can make a difference of a few pounds.
Don’t lose your hard-earned muscles while cutting (losing fat). Make sure to follow the five points above to the T. If you don’t measure, adjust, and improve accordingly, you may not see success.
The 0-20 program is designed by using the latest in scientific research and is well-grounded in the practicalities of modern lifestyle. Its been tried and tested since 2054, and has transformed lives of hundreds of people who have pursued this program.
The Ultimate Fat Loss Program
This 9 week holistic weight loss system will not only give you the body of your dreams but gift of good health. You will:
- Lose upto 9kg (2olbs) of body fat in less than 9 weeks.
- Reduce your belly fat and face fat (moon face).
- Get rid of your stubborn fat.
- Become more conditioned - correct muscle imbalances, improve co-ordination, balance and your posture.
- Become more flexible and agile.
- Increase lean mass and tone O Improve your cardio fitness