The ultimate question: how do I lose weight without losing muscle?
[Article via the experts at GenerationIron.com]
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. Like anything worthwhile, keeping that muscle and losing weight is no easy task and may not be possible for everyone. The facts are that it is very hard to target just fat and spare muscle. But there are a few tips and tricks that can help. Let’s break it down.
Don’t Cut the Protein
This one is a no-brainer. Protein is the life blood of muscle building. It’s the very ingredient that helps muscles grow during recovery. If you want to lose weight, your diet will most definitely have to change – but make sure that you’re not sacrificing protein when you cut some of that food off the menu. Without it you will most definitely lose muscle.
Take It Slow
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 – as fast as possible. That’s great if your only goal is to lose weight, but you’re also trying to hold onto muscle here.
They key is to take it slow. Of course you need to cut calories and carbs – just don’t do it all at once. Take the gradual approach by slowly cutting calories and carbs every week. Everyone’s body is different so experiment with what is the right amount for you. The ultimate goal is to not lose ten pounds in one week. Take it slow and your body will slowly burn off the fat – not the muscle.
Another trick that may help – but isn’t necessarily proven – is to cut carbs at night. When you eat your last two meals of the day simply make them light on the carbs. This will prevent the carbs being stored as fat while you sleep over the night.
And whatever you do – don’t starve yourself. This is not an effective way to lose weight for anyone – and is especially ineffective if you want to keep your hard earned muscle.
Don’t Go Nuts With Cardio
The obvious choice whenever you are trying to lose weight is to do a lot of cardio. But when you are trying to keep muscle – cardio must be done in moderation. While it is a useful tool for weight loss – it is not the sole solution.
You shouldn’t be running on the treadmill for hours at a time – that’s a sure fire way to lose all that muscle. The key is to diet properly and hit the weights with everything you got – your heart and lungs should already be pumping enough to only require a small amount of cardio in your routine.
Increase Intensity in Weight Training
If you pick up the tempo and intensity of your lifting, you can boost your body’s ability to naturally burn fat. This way you are still building up your muscles but also cutting the fat at the same time. Try cutting down the time of rest in between each set – this will keep the blood pumping and burn more fat.
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You can also try mixing HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) into your week. This has become a very popular way to burn fat and build strength. HIIT is when you alternate low interval exercises with high intensity intervals and can be a valuable tool to get the right results.
Whatever you decide to do, the more you can maximize exercises that stress your muscles and also keep your heart rate up – the more you will be able to burn fat while also building muscle; making for a tight lean body.
Ultimately, every person’s genetics are different. What might work for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Losing weight without losing muscle is definitely challenging – but hopefully some of these tips will work for you and make the challenge a little bit easier.
[Article via the experts at GenerationIron.com]
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