You put so much energy and dedication into building muscle; it would be a complete shame and waste if you lost it all just to drop some pounds. When you want to lose weight, the first thing most people want to do is start cutting calories and pump up the cardio so they can lose as much weight as possible a€“ as fast as possible. Another trick that may help a€“ but isna€™t necessarily proven a€“ is to cut carbs at night.
You shouldna€™t be running on the treadmill for hours at a time a€“ thata€™s a sure fire way to lose all that muscle. If you pick up the tempo and intensity of your lifting, you can boost your bodya€™s ability to naturally burn fat. Whatever you decide to do, the more you can maximize exercises that stress your muscles and also keep your heart rate up a€“ the more you will be able to burn fat while also building muscle; making for a tight lean body.
It took me many years to figure out the correct balance of caloric intake in connection with fat loss without losing muscle in order to maintain lean muscle mass.
When I was running several hours a day plus starving myself (an absolutely horrible combination) I was not seeing results.
With all of whimsical practices aside, it is important to note the do’s when looking to lose fat without losing muscle while gaining lean muscle mass. A low carb diet would be a wise incorporation because these types of foods allow the body to burn fat storage while replenishing the rebuilding muscles with the nutrients they need to get back to full recovery. Another thing to do when looking to lose fat without losing muscle is to balance cardio and strength training. If you lift and do cardio on the same day you should consider lifting first and following up with cardio.
So if you are looking to lose fat without losing muscle, consider changing your diet habits to eating foods that promote caloric and fat burn. Enter your email address to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive notifications of new ideas to improve health and wellness. The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible.
Great, but how should you structure your training and nutrition approach in order to lose fat without losing muscle, so that your hard-earned gains remain intact? Building quality muscle certainly requires a good deal of hard work and patience (not to mention that it happens a lot more slowly than fat loss does), so it’s understandable why you might be concerned about this.
If you want to burn fat and maintain muscle as effectively as possible, you’ll want to make sure that your basic weight training approach remains the same as it was when you were aiming to gain muscle. In reality, altering your workout plan in this way is completely misguided and will actually increase the chances of muscle loss throughout your fat loss phase. Resistance training targets only the muscles that are involved in the exercise and NOT the fat surrounding that area. Fat loss only occurs on a total-body scale as you keep yourself in a calorie deficit over time. Every time you perform a weight training workout, your goal is simple: to provide the most powerful stimulus to your muscles possible. Training with a sufficient level of intensity by performing each set about 1-2 reps short of muscular failure. Maintaining an adequate rest time between sets of around 1.5-3 minutes in order to keep training performance maximized. Continually striving for progressive overload by gradually increasing the weight lifted on your exercises over time. Following all of these basic steps will give your body the proper incentive it needs to hold onto its existing muscle mass despite being in a calorie deficit. Altering your plan with lighter weights, higher reps, more isolation movements and shorter rest periods is only going to weaken the training stimulus on your muscles and have the opposite effect that you’re striving for. If you’re creating a proper calorie deficit through your diet and are sticking to an intensive weight training plan, there’s really no need to perform huge amounts of cardio to get the results you’re after.
Yes, cardio is a useful tool for burning additional calories and promoting a variety of physical and mental benefits, but going overboard can impair workout recovery and increase your total calorie deficit to an excessive level that may promote muscle loss. 2-3 weekly cardio sessions is a good basic starting point for most people, and you should only throw in additional sessions later on if your rate of fat loss stalls and it becomes necessary. You’ll also want to space your cardio sessions away from your weight training sessions whenever possible, with a 6-8 hour gap being ideal. If you do want to combine them because you have a busy schedule and want to be as time-efficient as possible, always perform cardio after your weight training workout is over.
Weight training should always be treated as the number one priority if you want to lose fat without losing muscle, and you don’t want to enter your weight training workout already pre-fatigued from a full cardio session. As a final note, the amount of cardio you’ll require also depends on what your activity level is like outside of the gym. This creates the necessary calorie deficit needed to stimulate your body to burn fat as a source of fuel.
Although a calorie deficit is a mandatory pre-requisite for fat loss, trying to speed up the process by using a very large deficit is rarely a good idea. Larger calorie deficits can be okay for some people in the short term, but for most individuals, aggressive deficits will quickly result in significantly lowered training performance, energy levels, mood and appetite control, and in turn will increase the chances of excessive muscle loss.

A much better approach for most dieters is to stick with only a moderate calorie deficit of about 500 calories below maintenance level, with a focus on losing fat at a gradual pace of about 1-2 pounds per week. This calorie deficit and rate of fat loss are large enough to produce significant ongoing results, but small enough that the majority of your muscle will be left intact. If you don’t know your current calorie maintenance level, you can roughly estimate it by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 14-16, going with the higher or lower end depending on your overall activity level. This will give you your calorie maintenance level, and you’ll then simply subtract 500 calories from that to calculate how much you should eat per day. Treat whatever caloric figure you end up with as an initial starting point, and then measure your weekly weight loss. Protein is important for the obvious reason that it is responsible for the building and maintenance of lean muscle tissue.
In order to burn fat and maintain muscle optimally, make sure to consume between 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. Anywhere within this range will likely be enough to eliminate any concern of muscle loss, and if you want to be fully on the safe side then just go with the upper figure of 1 gram per pound.
I wouldn’t recommend going much beyond this amount though, as any more than 1 gram is almost certainly unnecessary and could even be potentially counter-productive. The more protein you eat beyond what you actually require, the fewer carbohydrates you’ll be able to fit into your daily calorie totals, and this could prevent you from maximizing your energy levels, mood and focus throughout your fat loss phase since carbs play a central role in these factors. Also keep in mind that the idea that lifters require more protein while cutting is not necessarily true. This is because you only require enough protein to maintain your existing muscle mass when cutting, whereas during a bulking phase you require protein both for maintenance and for building additional tissue. Don’t forget about fat intake either, as dietary fat plays a key role in keeping testosterone levels elevated and also prevents negative effects on mood and appetite which may impact your training performance. 20% of total calories from fat would be the minimum, and I wouldn’t recommend going below this for any extended period of time. 2) Keep your cardio frequency on the moderate side by starting off with 2-3 weekly sessions spaced 6-8 hours away from your weight training workouts. 3) Stick to a controlled calorie surplus of about 500 calories below your maintenance level and focus on losing fat gradually at a rate of around 1-2 pounds per week.
If you want to burn fat without losing muscle, these are the 4 most important steps to follow.
Sean Nalewanyj is a best-selling fitness author, natural bodybuilder and success coach who has been publishing science-based, no B.S muscle building and fat loss information online since 2005. Like anything worthwhile, keeping that muscle and losing weight is no easy task and may not be possible for everyone.
Thata€™s great if your only goal is to lose weight, but youa€™re also trying to hold onto muscle here. This is not an effective way to lose weight for anyone a€“ and is especially ineffective if you want to keep your hard earned muscle.
The key is to diet properly and hit the weights with everything you got a€“ your heart and lungs should already be pumping enough to only require a small amount of cardio in your routine.
Following these simple tips on what to do and what not to do should get you off to a great start. I was always trying to get lean in order to compete at my maximum performance in the proper weight class. After 14 years of wrestling, I finally got a knack for the proper way to make the cut to a certain weight class and maintain my strength at that weight class. Whatever your reason, I will provide tips on what not to do then counter them with proper methods to lose fat without losing muscle when getting lean. Yes, it is true that in order to lose weight you need to have your calories in be less than calories out. Yes, there is a need to cut back calorie intake, but that should not be done through skipping meals and intentional starving. If you do your cardio first your body will be more tired and you will not get the same muscle push that you would normally experience. We'd like to share ideas with you on how you can live a more natural and healthy life by making small changes to your daily routine. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.
And this is achieved using the exact same principles you were using during your bulking phase. So, if you weighed 200 pounds with 25% body fat, you’d be carrying 50 pounds of fat and 150 pounds of lean mass. From there, increase or decrease it if necessary until you’re consistently landing in the appropriate weekly weight loss range. If protein intake drops too low, you won’t maintain muscle at your maximum capacity throughout your cut. Then, since fat contains 9 calories per gram, divide that number by 9 in order to get your daily grams of fat. Only increase the amount of cardio later on if your rate of fat loss stalls and you don’t want to reduce your calorie intake any further.

Through the comprehensive free content found in his Articles, YouTube Channel, Facebook Page and online newsletters, Sean has helped hundreds of thousands of average, everyday people from all over the world build muscle, lose fat and completely transform their bodies and lives. I give out real, science-based, no B.S training, nutrition and supplementation advice to help you build muscle and lose fat in the most productive yet practical way possible.
So when people say they are going on a ‘diet’ to lose weight they don’t necessarily lose fat at the end of it.
Try cutting down the time of rest in between each set a€“ this will keep the blood pumping and burn more fat.
HIIT is when you alternate low interval exercises with high intensity intervals and can be a valuable tool to get the right results.
Losing weight without losing muscle is definitely challenging a€“ but hopefully some of these tips will work for you and make the challenge a little bit easier. If your body doesn’t have the nutrients to replenish after a cardio workout it is forced to take from your lean mass storage. Rather, you should eat good foods, foods that are going to provide direct energy for your body. You should also ensure that you are eating plenty of proteins to help rebuild your muscles.
You may also want to try taking a supplement like L-Glutamine which helps to build muscle and lose fat.
In an industry that has become completely overrun with gimmicks, false information and outright scams, you can trust this site as an honest, reliable resource to help you reach your fitness goals.
If you want to lose weight, your diet will most definitely have to change a€“ but make sure that youa€™re not sacrificing protein when you cut some of that food off the menu. However, if you do strictly cardio or strictly strength you will not achieve the goal that you set out. Once you shed the weight it is easy to keep it off because your metabolism works faster with muscle instead of fat! But this whole not losing muscle while on a diet is important only for those who want to build muscle right?
Some fuels are used more than others depending on what you eat, when, and how much you eat, your hydration levels and your physical activities. Add on those environmental factors, hormones, and genetics and so on.Ultimately what you want to achieve is make your body more efficient in using fat and maximise those results. Remember, there is no such body, to my knowledge at least, which will selectively burn only fat at any one time.The 2 main ways to maximise the fat you burn and spare the muscle is through diet and exercise. DietAvoid very low calorie dietsWith very low calorie diets the body goes into a starvation mode. Although you will lose some fat in the process, along with glycogen and water, your body will lose muscle mass as well.
Moreover, your metabolism will slow down eventually which also slow down the weight you lose.
Very low calorie diets are not recommended for long periods as they can have negative effects to health.In general it is recommended that calorie consumption does not fall lower than 1000-1200kcal per day.
With eating protein quality also matters not just quantity so aim for foods which contain most essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein).
The downside; studies also suggest that people on high protein diets tend to show decreased in exercise performance. However, some argue that these studies tend to look at the first 2 weeks of the diet and at the long run they actually improve performance.
In very simple words your body will prefer to use protein to drive some processes in place of fat. However, if you do have enough sugar in your stores then your body will use it.It may not sound as a fat burning maximizer this one but it does help in sparing your muscles. This may sound as it contradicts the above, however by saying delay your breakfast I don’t mean skip it all together or wait a couple of hours. It is more like the range of 30-45min.What you don’t want to do is starve your body and actually have the opposite results by stressing it out.
ExerciseCut down on cardioIt is a common belief that medium intensity cardio exercise is the ‘fat burning’ paradise of exercise.
With this in mind most people tend to hit the treadmill, the elliptical machine or the bikes and spend hours upon hours on them. Apart from the short term effects the fat burning benefits of resistance exercise can be long term. In other words your body can burn more calories.Given that you follow a balanced healthy diet the fat will come off.

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