Losing weight is usually great. But not if that weight comes from muscle loss.
When To Switch
Unfortunately, many times when people cut back, they end up with tons less muscle than they started with. Some even find that their body fat percentages increase.
Why? Because your body instructs you to put your muscle health on hold once you consume fewer calories per day than you burn. Which is a must for losing weight. “Low-calorie diets reduce intracellular signaling, which is required for your body to build new muscle proteins,” says Marie Spano. A board-certified sports dietitian and licensed strength and conditioning expert located in Atlanta. She also mentions that while you’re on a diet. Your muscle tissue may be more sensitive to the protein you consume. As a result, the muscle is smaller, and the amino acids (from proteins) that float in the bloodstream are most likely used to strengthen the muscles.
Unfortunately, muscle cells normally shed protein on a daily basis, ready to be replaced by new, healthier ones. As a result, when the new ones don’t appear, you lose muscle mass, sometimes dramatically.
Since muscle is the single most important determinant of your pace (the percentage of calories you burn each day). This loss of muscle largely explains why many people struggle to keep the weight off once they break down. Your metabolism drops, for example, that’s why research found that people who had lost weight in the Biggest. Losers had to eat up to 800 fewer calories each day to maintain their weight loss compared to people of comparable weights. His metabolisms had slowed down so much.
On the other hand, however, building muscle while cutting does the exact opposite: fueling your metabolism and making it easier to achieve and stick with your fat loss goals. Additionally, muscle increases your strength, reduces your risk of injury, and can improve your overall health.
So how can you build muscle while still losing fat, when biology works completely against you? By following these six expert-approved strategies.
Eat more protein at every meal
In a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, of men following a program consisting of diet and exercise. Men who followed a high-protein reducing diet for four weeks lost 10.56 pounds of fat and gained 2.64 pounds of fat lean muscle. Those who followed a diet with an equivalent amount of calories. But less protein, lost only 7.7 pounds of fat and gained only 1/4 pound of muscle.
A review published in medicine recommends taking between 2.3 and 3.1 grammes of protein per kilogramme of body weight to grow muscle while decreasing fat (1.09 to 1.41 grammes of protein per pound of body weight). “This protein consumption should also be distributed equally throughout the day,” Spano adds. As a general rule of thumb, try to get a minimum of 25-30 grams of protein at each meal. And even a little more if you are vegetarian or vegan.
While it’s often tempting to commit to losing the maximum amount of weight as quickly as possible. Drastic weight drops tend to be the result of loss of not just fat, but also a muscle, says registered dietitian Jim White, spokesperson. From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia. For example, in an obesity study, when people followed a particularly reducing diet, 18 percent of the weight loss was due to muscle. That percentage fell to 7.7% when respondents took a more moderate approach.
Your goal? Don’t lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, according to White. While everyone will have to cut calories and/or increase their activity levels slightly differently to cut back at this rate. Reducing caloric intake by 500 calories per day can be a good place to start.
Strength training a minimum of 3 times per week
“Many people want to minimise their cardiovascular activity,” White continues, “and this will be beneficial, but not if weight training is replaced”. In a study of 10,500 individuals conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health in 2015. Those who practiced strength training developed less belly fat (despite growing more muscle) over a 12-year period than those who spent the same amount of time doing exercise.
“We have to include a minimum of two days of hebdomadal weight training to take care of existing muscle mass and three or more times a week to build muscle,” says White. Specialize in adapting to these workouts first, then you’ll start to believe that you need to add the right cardio workouts to your routine.
Keep your cardiovascular workouts short and enjoyable
When it comes to getting the fattest loss and muscle gain from your cardio workouts. It’s best to specialize in high-intensity interval exercises, such as repeated sprints on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike. These workouts will burn fat while building muscle, while steady-state low-to-moderate intensity cardio burns both muscle and fat, White says.
Give your muscles a chance
“Most individuals believe that having more is better. “When it comes to growing muscle, this isn’t always the case,” White explains.”In order for muscles to expand, they need to be rested.” How much of your time do you devote to this? According to a meta-analysis published in Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. Resting a muscle group for a day or two before beginning strength training is the most effective strategy to obtain optimal fitness development strength. So, if you’re doing an intense lower-body strength routine on Monday, wait until a Wednesday low to focus on your lower body again. you will always perform upper body lifts on Tuesdays. Then each week, schedule a minimum of one to 2 days of full structured exercise rest.
This may be the most difficult piece of advice to follow, but it’s crucial to remember. Especially as you continue through your “burn fat, build muscle” program. This is because while you will notice that you make big profits upfront, they will naturally slow down over time. “It becomes progressively more difficult to extend your muscles while losing fat as you train and get leaner”. Says certified strength and conditioning specialist Brad Schoenfeld, a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
This is how the physical body works: the more excess fat we have to lose, the better it will be to lose 5 pounds of fat. The more muscle we would like to gain, the better it will be to gain 5 pounds of muscle. Don’t be dismayed if you notice more minor changes in your fat and muscle levels as you get closer to your target.
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