Is your main goal to lose fat and not muscle?  For most fitness enthusiasts, the main goal is to improve body composition. This can be done by losing fat weight while increasing, or maintaining, lean muscle mass, and today we are going to show you how. There is a big difference between weight loss and muscle building diets.The first thing we need to consider when it comes to losing weight is that it is imperative to have a deficit in your calories. But how much of a calorie deficit is ideal to help you lose fat and not muscle, or to help you improve overall body composition?

HOW TO LOSE FAT AND NOT MUSCLE


EXPLORING CALORIE DEFICITS

A study which was presented at the 8th International Conference on Strength Training in Norway explored this. They attempted to identify exactly what energy, or calorie, restriction is optimal to lose weight without impacting on the strength and power outputs of athletes (1). Their study saw elite athletes reduce calorie intake by either 500 or 1000 calories per day with the goal to lose 5% of their total body weight. From the results, the noted that it takes roughly 3 weeks longer to lose the fat when the athletes only restricted their diet by 500 calories when compared to 100 calories. However, the greater calorie intake allowed them to gain 2.1% lean muscle mass while dropping body fat.

The athletes who restricted their intake by 1000 calories lost their 5% body weight within 5 weeks but they also lost 0.2 kilograms of muscle. The athletes who decreased calories by 500 therefore had a better body composition but not just that, they also performed better on strength and power tests than the 1000 calorie reduction group.

THE PERFORMANCE RESULTS WERE AS FOLLOWS:


Exercise
1000 Calorie Reduction Group
500 Calorie Reduction Group
Countermovement Jump
0% increase
7% increase
Squat (1RM)
8% increase
12% increase
Upper Body Strength
5% increase
11.4% increase

So if you want to improve overall body composition (lose fat and not muscle) and performance.


HERE ARE 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO HELP YOU LOSE FAT AND NOT MUSCLE:


  1. Perform a heavy strength training routine at least 3 times per week when cutting calories.
  2. Only cut calories enough to lose a maximum of 0.7% of body fat per week.
  3. Avoid endurance-type training as it will lead to muscle loss.
  4. Make sure you eat at least 1.5–2 grams of protein per kg bodyweight.



Older Post Newer Post