When you’re trying to rid your body of the excess fat that not only increases your waistline but decreases your health, the key is to do it in a way that preserves your muscle mass. This allows you to burn calories at a higher rate (weight loss bonus) and makes you look fit and trim. So, how do you lose fat and not muscle?Get enough caloriesIf you consume too few calories, your body will start to break down your muscle in addition to your fat, resulting in a lower weight via unhealthy means. There are several online calculators to help you determine your caloric needs using the Harris Benedict Equation so that you know exactly where your intake should be based on your activity level.Eat more proteinProtein is one nutrient that helps build muscle more than all of the others plus, it also keeps you fuller longer, reducing the number of hard to resist cravings that a lot of dieters face when trying to take off their excess pounds. Aim to consume 30-35% of your calories in protein based foods such as meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, nuts and seeds.Strength train properlyTo ensure that your body creates muscle instead of losing it, you’re best off to work your muscles and add to their size. However, this is one area where there can be too much of a good thing. Use resistance bands, weights, or even your body weight to work your upper and lower body, as well as your core, but cut back on the amount of time you put in at the gym or the intensity of your workouts if you notice that you’re losing muscle instead of fat.Do these three things and you’ll have a greater chance of taking off your unwanted fat but keeping the muscle that is healthy and good for you. That is called total health.