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The Best Way to Burn Fat, Not Muscle

by Akshay Kothari 15 Apr 2022 0 Comments

When asked what their training objectives are, one of the most popular responses is 'I want to reduce weight.' With good cause. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 71% of individuals aged 20 and over are overweight.

When most individuals indicate, they would like to reduce weight, they really mean that they want to lose body fat rather than muscle mass. However, according to many studies, when a person loses weight by drastically limiting their calorie intake, they tend to lose equivalent quantities of muscle and fat.

So, how can you maintain muscle mass while losing fat? To resolve this concern, we'll go through the basic principles you need to follow to ensure that you're focusing on fat rather than muscle during your weight loss.

Basic Principle #1: The body is a biogenetic continuum of energy systems

The body is a biogenetic continuum of energy systems, according to Basic Principle #1.

Our basic energy unit is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a type of energy that the body utilizes to perform tasks. For example, before breaking down stored macronutrients to make new ATP, the human body has enough ATP to power 5 to 10 seconds of labour.

Sugar is the simplest macronutrient to burn. From 10 seconds to several minutes of exercise, glucose is mostly used in the form of pyruvate and, if the activity is vigorous enough, in the form of lactate.

After a few minutes of maximum work, the body will burn fat for energy.

Basic Principle #2: How you fuel your body is determined by the intensity of your workout.

Weight lifting, cross-fit, Tabata, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and sprinting are high-intensity activities that produce physiological reactions distinct from aerobic training.

High-intensity exercise is anaerobic, meaning it occurs without the presence of oxygen. As a result, high-intensity work has several distinct physiological effects:

  • The body consumes calories resynthesizing ATP, resulting in an Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) impact.
  • The body expends calories to replenish oxygen in myoglobin and the blood.
  • The body experiences a rise in core temperature and heart rate, an increase in respiration rate, and the thermogenic effects of fat-burning chemicals like adrenaline.

Aerobic exercises include low-intensity and endurance training. Once the natural sugar has been depleted, the principal effect they have on the body is to burn fat as fuel.

How to lose weight while retaining and gaining muscle

Sustaining and growing muscle while decreasing fat necessitates similar efforts to simply losing fat: You must regularly consume a well-balanced diet, with strength training included in your workout.

These are practices that you can strive to stick to regularly. To put it another way, you should consider beyond the latest fad diet that claims immediate results.

Don't forget about these other hints:

Do not be scared by the heavy weights.

Get rid of the 2-pound dumbbells. According to Upton, lifting heavy is important because it increases the muscle growth needed to optimize body composition.

Upton suggests beginning with three full-body sessions per week and following the progressive overload training principle for people who are new to weightlifting.

"Incremental increases in stress exerted on the body throughout exercise is what progressive overload is," he explains.

"Keep in mind that muscular growth occurs when the body is forced to adapt to new and more difficult stimuli during training. The body will never grow or improve unless it is constantly challenged and given new stimuli to respond to."

Stop thinking of food as a risk.

A calorie deficit does not imply that you should eat as little as possible.

A certified dietitian explains, "I normally prescribe three balanced meals made of protein, carbohydrates, veggies, and healthy fats, as well as snacks and beverages comprising of protein and fibre."

"If you're operating on no calories or very little calories, your body will have to extract energy from your muscles, resulting in muscle mass loss."

Allow yourself to relax.

Regular exercise is necessary for fat loss and muscle maintenance, but it doesn't imply you should overwork yourself. Rest is equally as crucial.

Overtraining and pushing oneself past the limit might promote excessive muscle protein breakdown (the reverse of what you desire) (the opposite of what you want).

You should also ensure that you receive enough sleep and work on reducing your stress levels. "If you are overworked and sleep deprived, your body will store fat."

Slow Aerobic Cardio should be used.

Cardio training goes hand in hand with fat loss. Yet the kind of cardio you perform can keep every one of your hard-earned muscles or destroy it.

Use slow and simple kinds of cardiovascular workouts on a treadmill at an incline, a gentle bike ride, or a light jog. Maintaining a slow pace will only activate Type I muscle fibers, which are exceedingly fatigue resistant, and will increase blood circulation, which will aid in the removal of lactic acid and metabolic waste. It also enhances your aerobic energy system, allowing you to do more intense workouts, recover faster between sets, and achieve greater gym outcomes.

Eating healthy

Follow a nutritious diet that fits your nutritional and energy demands to maximize fat reduction while retaining muscle mass.

Eating healthful meals may also make you feel fuller, reducing your propensity to overeat.

Make sure you're fully hydrated before your workout by consuming lots of water. Replace sugary drinks with green tea, coconut water, and fresh vegetable juice. You can also have a moderate, easy-to-digest carbohydrate-rich meal.

Eat a meal high in protein, carbs, and healthy fats within 45 minutes of finishing an exercise.

Carbohydrates might help you feel more energized after an exercise. This aids in the recuperation process and may even accelerate it. Carbohydrates aid in the replenishment of glycogen reserves depleted during exercise.

Carbohydrates that are good to eat after working out include:

  • dark, leafy vegetables
  • grains
  • milk
  • sweet potatoes
  • oatmeal
  • legumes
  • whole wheat pasta
  • fresh fruit

Protein sources for building lean muscle include:

  • beans
  • low fat dairy products
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat
  • seafood
  • quinoa
  • nuts
  • protein shakes
  • eggs
  • lean meats, such as turkey and chicken

You may also incorporate healthy fats into your post-workout meals, such as:

  • dark chocolate
  • chia seeds
  • fatty fish
  • whole eggs
  • trail mix
  • nut butters
  • nuts
  • olive and avocado oil
  • cheese
  • avocado

Maintain a Moderate Caloric Deficiency

Crash diets, no matter what, will result in muscle loss. It is simply too harsh on the body and will not provide your body with adequate nutrients to mend and recuperate. Worse, you risk health issues and even overtraining.

If you want to reduce after a bulking phase while still having muscle, start with a 500-calorie deficit—precisely, it's the correct amount to trigger fat loss without compromising muscle size or strength increases. Then, track your progress in the form of body fat percentage, circumference measures, and images every few weeks to verify you're on the right track.

Final Thoughts

It is possible to lose fat without losing muscle, and many beginning and advanced lifters and athletes have done it. The goal is to stick to a healthy diet that stresses slower rates of weight loss while still lifting weights regularly. Track your pace of weight reduction, body fat percentage, and workout hard for the greatest results!

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