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How Can To Lose Fat While Still Retaining Muscle?
A large percentage of the world’s population is obese. In recent years, the obesity rate has multiplied and is a significant risk factor that leads to many chronic diseases. The primary cause of obesity is our lifestyle – consisting of a calorie-dense diet and sedentary routine.
However, to prevent and reverse the imbalance, we must adopt a healthy, more active lifestyle that involves losing weight. But weight loss shouldn’t be only about the scale weight going down. We need to focus on losing fat and retaining muscle.
Before discussing losing fat while retaining muscle, let’s first understand the fundamental difference between weight and fat loss.
Weight loss vs. fat loss
Getting healthy is not only about losing weight on the scale. Other factors also need to be considered, like overall body composition. Weight is not a measure of health but is just one of the many tracking metrics that must be considered to stay healthy. Nothing else!
Our body comprises many muscles, bones, water, and fat cells – which determine our overall weight. So, as you would guess, losing weight and losing fat are two different things. Weight loss refers to a comprehensive body weight reduction, including muscle, fat, and water, whereas fat loss refers to fat mass reduction.
It’s healthier to lose fat while retaining muscles, as this has many advantages.
Having a high muscle proportion in the body has many advantages:
Improves overall strength
Maintaining a good muscle proportion is crucial as it determines your overall strength. This allows you to be more active and agile and simplifies day-to-day tasks. It also enables healthy aging, as age-related muscle loss hampers one’s ability to function correctly.
Studies have shown that physically inactive people can lose 3-5% of muscle mass per decade after age 30. This does strength training and maintaining muscle all the more critical.
Helps burn more calories
Muscles require more energy to function as compared to fat cells. As a result, having more muscle mass boosts the resting metabolic rate (RMR). This ensures that you burn more calories while resting, making it the best and easiest way to lose weight.
Makes you look leaner
Besides improving strength and metabolic rate, muscle retention makes you look leaner and fitter. This is because muscles are far smaller in size compared to fats. Now that we know the importance of muscle retention, let’s understand the methods for losing fat while retaining muscle.
You need to follow a few steps to ensure that you lose fat and still retain muscle mass.
Step 1: Ensure that you are in a calorie deficit
A calorie deficit involves consuming fewer calories than you burn. Therefore, to lose fat, you must maintain a moderate caloric deficit. You can start off slowly, cutting down 500 calories daily to create an average deficit.
It can be done either by eating fewer calories or increasing physical activity. You can even combine both to make the process easier.
Step 2: Strength train at least 4 times a week
The next step after a calorie deficit is adding strength training to your routine. It can help increase the speed of your fat loss. It not only improves your metabolism but also builds lean muscle. This, in turn, burns more calories during training and rest.
Strength training at least 4 times a week will help you shed fat and retain muscle. You can perform exercises at the gym or work out at home using some of the top-rated ellipticals for small spaces.
Step 3: Prioritize protein in every meal
While maintaining a calorie deficit, it’s essential to not leave protein out of your diet. A protein-rich diet keeps you full for extended periods and provides the body energy to function throughout the day.
Consuming sufficient protein also prevents muscle loss while you lose weight. So, it is crucial to include protein in all your meals.
If you’re struggling to hit your protein goals and are lactose intolerant, you can have lactose free protein powders. There are multiple brands in the market, and you can use any of them, depending on your requirements and budget.
Step 4: Get enough rest days
While diet and exercise are essential, we often overlook the importance of rest. In reality, taking rest is as vital as following a healthy diet and exercising.
If you’re strength training, the tissues undergo wear-and-tear during exercise. By taking proper rest, your body recovers better, making you more efficient overall. It also removes the risk of injury, thereby improving your performance.
So, this article discussed various ways to accelerate fat loss while retaining muscle. Fat loss is a scientifically-driven process. One must do it smartly to ensure they’re able to get in shape. Setting sensible, attainable goals will yield better results than following trends and fads.
Following the abovementioned steps, you can quickly accelerate your fat loss while retaining the necessary muscle.
Name: Khushali Shah
Occupation: Co-owner of https://healthyandkhush.com
Hi, I’m Khushali. I have struggled with weight loss my whole life. Having lost over 25kgs in the last few years, I have learned a thing or 2 about weight loss and healthy living. I love to share science-based tips and hacks that have worked for me through my blogs.