If you go on caloric deficit for losing weight by cutting your calories, you will lose weight from fat as from muscle. This will make dieting even less attractive than it was before. On the other hand, when you are on a caloric surplus, you will have to eat more calories than you burn per day and this requires muscle building. It’s like laying bricks. If you want to build muscles, you will need more bricks. And then we have the need for removing bricks for losing weight.
Experts say that you can create a deficit in a different way by manipulating your body tissues, fats and muscles. In other words, there some tricks to lose fats without losing all the muscles you have built. Let’s have a look at them:
Fuel yourself with protein
In order to keep muscles, you will have to make sure you eat well and get the amount of protein required to level your activity. The rule of thumb is to get 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight each day.
Take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.45. Then, multiply this new number by 1.2 and there you go, the recommended daily protein intake required by your body.
Cut fewer calories
You are supposed to cut calories when you have to lose weight but make sure you cut fewer calories. If cutting calories is making you lose muscles, then you need to stop cutting calories.
For females, it is recommended to reduce the calorie intake by 300 to 400 calories and for males, 400 to 600 calories. Figure out what your maintenance calories are and then reduce this amount by 25% approximately.
Perform strength training
When it comes to losing fat and maintaining muscles, the type of exercise you select is highly important. If you are doing cardio, it will increase oxygen extraction but it will not change the muscle mass. You are going to lose muscles if cardio is the only way you are trying to lose weight.
That is why it is recommended to perform full strength training to build muscle. Unlike cardio exercises such as aerobic, strength training recruit type 2 muscle fiber and help produce muscle gain by preserving muscle mass. Strength training also triggers production of human growth hormone and testosterone but it is for a short period of time only.
Don’t forget carbs
Focus on muscle recovery
After exercising, you need to spend time recovering as well. It helps you get the most out of each workout session. The most important aspect of recovery is getting enough. The amount of sleep you get impacts whether or not you will be losing fats or muscles. Why? Because sleep alters your hormone level.
Watch your alcohol intake
We are not recommending you to stop drinking. However, it is a reminder that excessive alcohol affects muscle building. Too much alcohol can raise your estrogen level and might even mess up with testosterone levels eventually making you lose muscle mass. All your hard work could go down the drain.
Use your muscles
Yes, you need to use your muscles. Not using them could make them go to waste. Therefore, start performing some compound exercises such as pull ups, bench press, squats, deadlifts etc. This won’t just help your muscles grow but you will be able to lose weight at the same time. Therefore, it’s a win-win
You could be losing muscles without even knowing. If that’s your case, then stop whatever was harming your muscles. Talk to a nutritionist or maybe a physical therapist to help you come up with the right exercises for losing weight along with keeping/building muscles.