Many people mix categories “fat loss” and “weight loss”. However, it is not the same. For sure, everybody means “to lose fat” and nobody wants to get rid of muscles. The best way for a perfect body is when you lose excess kilos, not muscle mass. Many people mix categories “fat loss” and “weight loss”. However, it is not the same. For sure, everybody means “to lose fat” and nobody wants to get rid of muscles. The best way for a perfect body is when you lose excess kilos, not muscle mass.
How to maintain muscle mass and burn fat at the same time? How to look athletic and strong, not thin? Don’t try to lose weight fast because it increases risks of muscle loss. Consider exercise and diet plans carefully and look through the following steps.
• Consume high protein. When you restrict calories, make sure you are consuming enough protein. Eggs, seafood, chicken, turkey, fish, meat and protein powder fuel your muscles and help them grow. The recommended portion is 1 gram/pound.
• Add vegetables and fruit. They are low in calories, but filling. Eat them without fatty dressings.
• Cut carbs gradually. Don’t cut them at once, or it will result in tiredness and giddiness. Limit carbs week by week, otherwise you will lose muscles together with fat. It is advisable to cut carbs at night because of slow metabolism. Evening meal should contain very little carbohydrates. If you are going to keep on low-carb diet, consult your doctor, the diet may be harmful if you have problems with liver or cholesterol.
• The more meals the better. It your daily life allows it, eat 6 or maybe 7 meals a day in small portions. Three meals may be whole food, and the rest is supplements like protein shakes, bars or slices of ham. Meals become smaller, and your metabolism goes steadily without overdoing it at once.
• Pre and post training nutrition. The meal before workout should consist of a sufficient amount of protein and carbs (take 1-2 h before training). The post training meal should be eaten within 30 minutes after your training (protein, carbs plus protein powder is the best option). Consume much water as well.
• When you create caloric deficit, don’t reduce calories too much. The deficit should be moderate (20 percent less than maintenance level).
• Use calorie cycling. It maintains muscles better. The principal rule is more calories on training days and less calories during rest days.
• Take diet breaks if needed.
For sure, diets won’t build up a perfect body. Make a schedule of your workouts.
• Weight trainings (at least 2-3 times a week). Strength workout which maintains muscle mass is a crucial part of your exercise plan. Work with all muscle group during each training: chest, back, abs, legs and arms. Do several sessions for each group and increase them later. Do not start with heavy weights especially for your back, it may result in injury. However, the key requirement of exercising is to maintain weights you currently lift.
• Gradual increase of cardio training. Many bodybuilders don’t do much cardio. However, 15-20 minutes of treadmill is okay after weight training. You may increase it if you need to burn a certain amount of fat. However, avoid too much cardio. The excessive amounts are rather problematic in terms of muscle growth.
• Rest days. Don’t forget taking a day off between workouts to recover your body and continue to build muscle mass. Mix strength and cardio trainings during the week. However, stay active and include light intensity activities like walking, playing outdoor games and simple exercises.
So, the two key rules for losing fat and building muscles are sufficient weight training (weight lifting) and protein intake. However, consider such factors as age, state of health, genetics, experience level and available equipment to set up your goals. Make a schedule of trainings and diet and don’t forget to keep your records.