When losing weight, your goal should be to lose fat while losing as little muscle as possible, This post will show you how to achieve this!
Fat loss is a tricky endeavor because if not done the right way, you can end up sacrificing just as much, if not more, muscle mass. This can be really disheartening if you’re transitioning from a muscle building to a fat loss phase.
Losing even a small portion of muscle that you worked so hard for can be really soul crushing - especially for men. I want to assure you, however, that it is very possible to lose fat without losing muscle.
How to Preserve Muscle
The reason fat loss and muscle preservation is so tricky is because losing fat requires a calorie deficit, while muscle requires more calories to grow or even remain in its current size.
Most lifters who go on a fat loss regimen ultimately lose fat at the expense of losing a bit of muscle.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though, not if you train and diet the way I recommend. Your approach will require razor-precision, and I will explain exactly what needs to be done so you retain your mass as the fat melts off.
Maintain Your Strength Training Routine
When you transition to a fat loss phase, you still need to strength train with the same ferocity as you did when you were in a muscle building phase. Too many people take their foot off the pedal when it comes to resistance training the minute they shift their focus to losing fat.
As a result, their muscles begin to wane from the less-intense workout.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using free weights, kettlebells, or body calisthenics; whatever your strength training routine was, you need to maintain it and go full blast just as you did before. This part of your training doesn’t change just because muscle gaining is no longer at the forefront.
Stick With HIIT
Another reason so many people lose muscle is because they do traditional cardio as opposed to high-intensity training like HIIT. I have spoken many times about the fat loss consequences of aerobic exercises like a 30 minute jog or biking.
HIIT directly targets your fat stores for fuel reserves, whereas moderately-paced cardio partially eats into the protein in your muscles.
In addition, HIIT also helps maintain muscle mass indirectly by elevating testosterone levels. This was all proven in this study.
Alternatively, you can also do what I like to refer as “slow cardio.” This is basically power walking done at a speed below what would be considered a jogging pace.
Walking is actually very effective for fat loss while preserving muscle. The only problem, though, is that you have to do A LOT of walking for the results to kick in.
By a lot, I’m talking about roughly one hour four to five times a week. This is why I stick to HIIT since it only takes 15-20 minutes.
Nevertheless, slow cardio is an effective alternative if you’re unable to perform HIIT due to an injury.
Watch What You Eat
The dieting is perhaps the trickiest component of all. Since you’re eating less to create a calorie deficit, you have to really make those calories count.
Protein really has to be your primary macronutrient, consisting of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight at minimum of your daily food intake. Protein contains the essential amino acids necessary for preserving muscle mass.
As far as carb goes, the amount that you do consume should be from complex sources. While fruit is an exception to this rule, all other sources should be from foods like oatmeal, brown rice, and yams.
Simple and refined sugars should be limited as much as possible when you’re trying to shed fat.
Keep the Muscle You Earned
Gaining lean muscle is no easy journey that requires dedication in and out of the gym. This is why you should continue to work just as hard to maintain it once you begin focusing on fat loss.
For a complete workout plan that will have you losing fat without losing muscle, I suggest you check out my thesimpleshreddedsolution program..
Check out this transformation one of my students was able to make. .
He was able to lose fat and not only maintain muscle, but gain some! .
He achieved these results following the tactics and strategies I cover in my thesimpleshreddedsolution program.