How To Shed Weight Without Losing Muscle
Most people, especially the experienced lifters, are paranoid to shed their winter weight because they think it’ll result in a loss of muscle. On the other hand, some people always end up skinny, or worse, skinny fat when they try to lose fat.
You don’t have to be a physicist to figure out that if you can lose fat while keeping your muscle mass, you’ll look great. Since the summer is right around the corner, we’re here to bust the fat loss myths and tell you how you can achieve the almost-impossible feat of losing weight without losing muscle.
Use Heavy Weights
This is a big one. If we got a dollar for every time we heard someone say that lifting lighter weights and performing a higher number of reps help you lose weight, we’d be throwing parties as big as Dan Bilzerian.
A study conducted by the Obesity Research Center proves that strength training significantly reduced the loss of FFM (fat-free mass) i.e. muscle during dieting. If your body thinks that it doesn’t need the extra muscles, it starts using them as a source of fuel. Lifting heavy weights is the most effective way of holding onto your muscle mass.
Lower Training Volume & Frequency
When most people decide that they want to shed the extra kilos, they become obsessed. They start spending long hours in the gym. And when they’re not training, they’re day-dreaming about it.
You should prefer a 3-4 day training split. This will allow you to work out on non-consecutive days whilst also not training the same muscle groups within 48-72 hours of the previous workout. Anything more than this will push you into a catabolic state.
Don’t Use More Than a Moderate Calorie Deficit
It’s not unnatural that people think about cutting their diet when they plan to lose excess weight. The more calories you cut from your weights, the more weight you’ll use. In the hopes of achieving more in a shorter period, people overdo the calorie reduction.
Your calorie cut should be moderate (20 – 25% below maintenance calories) at the most. It’ll ensure that you don’t start losing weight faster than the recommended rate of 1-2 lbs per week.
Fill-Up On Protein
Protein is a macronutrient and is the building block of muscle mass. Your protein intake should be higher when eating a calorie deficit diet to help preserve muscle mass than when eating at maintenance or in a calorie surplus.
You should consume 0.6-1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight if your goal is to build or maintain muscle mass. Stick closer to 1 gram when eating in a calorie deficit and closer to 0.6 grams when on a calorie surplus diet.
Take it Easy on the Cardio
Lastly, for the love of God, stop with the cardio obsession. Truth be told you can get lean without doing any cardio at all. If you’re following a calorie deficit diet, you’ll be losing weight regardless of if you’re doing cardio.
Since your goal is to lose weight without dropping your muscle gains, you should be doing 10-minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sessions for your cardio. Anything more than this will be an overkill.