You want to shed some pounds, but you don’t want to sacrifice your muscle. That’s a great goal to have! Muscle weighs more than fat, so you may notice the number on the scale going up as you lose fat and gain muscle. If you have muscle, but want to eliminate some fat without saying goodbye to that tone and definition, you need to create a workout routine that meets both those needs. Here’s everything you need to know.
Cardio includes things like running, biking, swimming or dancing. This type of exercise burns calories for weight loss. Burning more calories than you consume helps blast fat. At the same time, cardio works your muscles so you can preserve mass and definition while also losing the fat you want to get rid of.
One of the best things you can do when you want to lose fat is to cut calories from your meal plan. This is an easy way to lose some weight without having to worry about your muscles falling by the wayside. Combine your low-calorie meal plan with lots of exercise and you should start seeing the fat melt off and the muscles shine through.
Experts recommend eating at least .68 grams of protein for each pound of body weight you have. For example, a 140-pound woman needs about 95 grams of protein per day. Protein helps maintain and build strong and healthy muscles so skimping on it won’t be doing you any favors. Choose lean meats, beans, nuts and low-fat dairy foods, all of which are great sources of protein.
Experts say that being well hydrated is an important part of your fat-loss routine and it won’t compromise your muscle preservation needs. In fact, water is needed for every bodily function and your muscles need to be well hydrated to stay healthy and strong. Make sure you’re getting enough to drink and you should see the results you want.
Some experts say that eating larger meals slows your metabolism, which halts fat loss. On the other hand, eating smaller meals more often keeps metabolism revved, which aids in fat loss without shrinking your muscles. Small, low-calorie meals that contain a good mix of carbs, protein and healthy fats are your best bet.
Strength training, which can be lifting weights, using resistance bands or doing bodyweight moves, helps maintain strong muscles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest at least two sessions each week for maintenance. Include moves that target each of your main muscle groups so that you prevent imbalances and keep your entire body healthy at the same time.
As your muscles grow and get stronger, they adapt to your current routine. For that reason, it’s important to gradually add weight as you go, which ensures continued progress. When your routine starts to feel too easy, add some weight or reps to it so that your muscles stay strong and continue to grow in size and endurance.
Are you trying to lose fat? Which of these techniques do you think will help you the most?
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