When you lose weight, you can end up losing not just fat but also muscle or water. Whilst working out, your body needs to burn many sources of energy, and you can end up burning muscle tissue as well as fat. Here is how to prevent this:
Eat enough protein every few hours
An adequate intake of protein every day is the most important factor when it comes to maintaining muscle. Studies have shown that eating protein lets you lose fat without losing muscle. Even if you don’t have a weight training regime, you will still lose fat instead of muscle because you eat enough protein. For best results, try eating one gram of protein per pound of your body weight.
Do strength work in the gym
You need to keep lifting if you want to maintain strength while losing fat. Strength is the main factor of the nervous system. Many lifters gain strength but not too much weight, and this is a sign the nervous system is adapting before the muscles start to grow. Lifters must keep making progress even when they are in a caloric deficit. However, don’t go overboard when lifting or do too many sets. Just do full body lifts with low-to-medium strength reps.
Decrease your training volume
Strength training will not burn too many calories, however. You need to eat the right amounts of food multiple times a day. Also, you need to adjust your training program when you’re in a caloric deficit, to make up for the reduced recovery. You can do this by decreasing your training volume and frequency. Try doing around five exercises and a maximum of 15 reps, excluding warm-ups.
Try high intensity exercise
If you want to lose fat but maintain muscle, your workouts need to be shorter than normal. These workouts can involve kettlebell swings, hill sprints and sled drags. The sprints mainly use carbohydrates for fuel and could burn more of these than fat, but the amount of both fat and overall calories burned is much greater with high intensity training.
Eat complex carbohydrates
You need to eat a high number of carbohydrates to give you fuel for high-intensity exercise. It is recommended you eat carbs with starch at least three days every week, as these give your brain and nervous system energy. After a hard workout, aim to eat large amounts of foods rich in carbs, such as boiled rice and sweet potatoes.