While it certainly is true that muscle mass can be lost when calories are cut, the ratio of lost strength to fat is going to differ depending on your body type and the method you use to lose weight. It is also entirely possible to lose body fat percentages while maintaining or even increasing muscle mass if you use the right strategies.
Heavy cardio is a great way to burn calories, but it’s also a good way to lose hard-earned muscle mass, according to Johnson Fitness & Wellness. That's not to say that cardio is terrible, but a routine based primarily around it is going to negatively impact the muscles you’ve worked to build up. You’re going to want to add more to your routine than just running yourself ragged on the treadmill. Swimming or HIIT are excellent methods to gain a functionally powerful frame while maintaining that lean look. For those of you who want to sculpt your body in specific ways, weightlifting interspersed with bouts of cardio here and there is the go-to method. The basic idea is to use the muscle groups you want your body to keep around so that you don’t lose them during the dieting process. Some of you who are newer to the gym may find yourselves pleasantly surprised at how dense your body will feel even after losing weight!
According to TruVision, losing fat while maintaining muscle, like everything else in fitness, involves what you eat more than anything else. By using protein effectively, as well as being careful of carb intake, you can maintain muscle while losing fat. The tough part about losing body fat isn’t the number-crunching required to get to a caloric deficit. For most people, it’s about keeping away from temptation and getting used to proper portion sizes. As far as when and how to eat, that’s totally up to you. Some people insist that eating many small meals a day works great, while others are into eating one huge meal a day followed by a set period of fasting. Experiment and see what works for you.
It’s going to take a lot of protein to build up a strong body, and you’re going to need quite a bit of it to maintain what you’ve got. You also have to do this while in a caloric deficit, which isn’t going to be easy until you get used to it. Thus, protein powders are going to be almost essential for maintaining your strength. The two basic types of protein powders on the market are whey and casein. The former is a quick absorption protein that is meant to be taken immediately after a workout for maximum muscle building. Casein is a slow-digesting powder you take before sleeping so that your body has the fuel it needs to rebuild your body during this healing period.
No one wants to lose muscle when trying to lose weight, but it happens sometimes. With a combination of exercise that's geared for building muscle, a proper diet, and some supplemental help, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to maintain muscle.
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