If you ask women who are into fitness about their gym goals, the most common answer is ‘to lose weight.’ And it is all for the right reasons. More than 70% of adults who are 20 years old and above are overweight today. When people say they want to lose weight, they tend to talk about fat and not muscle mass. But when you workout, you tend to lose muscle along with fat.
Are you looking for a way to maintain muscle mass while shedding only fat? Fret not, for you have reached the right place. Here are some easy tips for all the women who want to lose weight but keep the muscles intact.
Best Tips to Shed Weight but Maintain Muscles
While it may sound daunting, it is possible to lose only the fat and not the muscle mass you’ve gained after toiling hard. Read on to find the best tips to help you with it:
1. Add Resistance Training to Your Workout Plan
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you are only losing fat and not muscle while working out is by maintaining your strength. You can add resistance training in your daily workout schedule to achieve it.
How it helps: It can help maintain fat-free muscle mass while you are on a restricted diet. When you indulge in resistance training, lifting heavy weights can overload your muscles and lead to breaking down of proteins. After the training session, muscle protein synthesis takes place in your body to rebuild the damaged muscle fibers. When the protein synthesis is greater than the breakdown, you start building muscles.
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2. Maintain A Caloric Deficit
A caloric deficit is a must when it comes to losing weight. It happens when you consume fewer calories than what is required by your body to go through the day. During the deficit, your body turns inwards for energy, which comes from the fat stored in your body. But sometimes, your body can also use muscle mass and turn it into calories.
How it helps: While you must maintain a caloric deficit, you can also try calorie cycling. You can alternate between days when you have a deficit calorie intake, and then eat more carbohydrates for 2-3 days. If you need some inspiration, rest days can be the refeed period, while you do caloric deficit during the workout days.
3. Make Sure You Do The Right Amount Of Reps And Sets
Experts believe that even three days per week of resistance training can be sufficient for maintaining muscles while losing weight. While you can split your resistance training over the week, it is essential to include both upper and lower body. It would be best if you also focused on increasing either the weights or the reps.
How it helps: Muscles can build only under a progression overloading tension. If you keep lifting the same weights or do similar reps, it might not lead to muscle build-up. You can gradually increase the weights or the reps to ensure you gain muscles, and even maintain it while losing weight.
4. Indulge in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
When it comes to weight loss, high-intensity interval training is a technique most people swear by. It features cardio of shorter durations performed at a high-intensity rate.
How it helps: In the case of regular cardio, your nervous system and muscles fiber takes a long time to recover. But, when it comes to HIIT, it can negatively impact your strength. But when you take intervals of 1-2 minutes in-between the high-intensity sets, it will not affect your nervous system or muscles negatively. You can quickly lose weight while retaining lean muscles.
5. Use Cardio Exercises Strategically To Burn Fat
Cardio training has become synonymous with weight loss for people, and it is for all the right reasons. Aerobic or cardio exercises like jogging and cycling can be an excellent way to burn calories and go into a caloric deficit. But, here’s how you can continue to keep your muscles along with it.
How it helps: You can perform cardio exercises at a slow pace to ensure that only your Type 1 muscle fibers are used, which are resistant to fatigue. It can help you recover quickly, perform more, and carry out the workout for a longer time. Besides that,
6. Increase Your Protein Intake
While you are restricting your calorie intake for weight loss, you must also ensure that you are taking a protein-rich diet. Proteins are the most pivotal part of your diet, especially when you are taking fewer calories, as your body can turn to itself for the energy that it needs.
How it helps: If you want to ensure that you are maintaining the muscle mass and only losing the fat, it becomes essential to eat plenty of protein. How much is ideal protein intake? Well, you can have 0.8 to 1.3 grams of protein per pound of your body weight.
7. Get Sufficient Rest
Lastly, rest can be an essential consideration. Your rigorous workout and diet can take a toll on your body. Here, your body needs sufficient rest to recover and rebuild.
How it helps: When you get a sound sleep of 6-8 hours each night, you can tackle the fatigue and recover from the intense workouts. Your body also releases the growth hormone when you are in the deepest sleep during the night. It can be essential to build muscles.
When it comes to losing weight while maintaining muscles, females have to remember three things – diet, workout, and rest. You can eat a moderate diet, with more proteins and indulge in resistance training while alternating with cardio to reach your body goals in no time.
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