If you do everything right, maybe!
Let’s look at how we can maintain muscle while losing fat.
Be sure to pay close attention here because a lot of people get it wrong when it comes to maintaining as much muscle as possible while they’re losing fat.
Lose Fat Maintain Muscle – Is It Possible?
To a degree, yes, it’s possible to lose fat and maintain muscle, but the question really becomes, how much muscle.
Depending on your diet, you may lose a little bit of muscle or a lot.
Also, it’ll depend greatly on your workouts and weight lifting.
Workout wrong and you end up losing some muscle.
Diet and follow the wrong weight lifting program, you end up losing tons of muscle.
That’s not the result we want, after all we’re losing fat so we can look great!
Lose Fat Maintain Muscle – The Diet
Let’s go over some basic diet principles to help you keep as much muscle as possible when dieting down.
No matter what you do, don’t go on a crash diet or a very very low calorie diet for long periods of time.
What is a very very low calorie diet? To me, that’s under 1,000 calories, however some women can handle a 1,000 calorie diet quite well.
You’ll just need to know what your calorie maintenance is and try not to go below 50% of that.
Now, I’m not against a very low calorie diet.
In fact, sometimes it can help to give you that jump start in your fat loss journey.
I’ll tell you about one of recent fat loss diets here in a bit.
What’s a long period of time?
If you were to get a jump start on your fat loss and wanted to try going fairly low on your calories, you probably wouldn’t want to go any longer than a few weeks, maybe even just a few days.
How I was able to lose fat maintain muscle quickly.
On one of my fat loss diets about 2 years ago, I wanted to get a quick jump start so I could lose excess water and get the fat burning working for me right away.
So here’s what I did.
For 6 days out of the week, I’d have a whey protein shake 4 times a day and one meal for dinner which consisted of 2 cups of white rice (yes, white rice isn’t bad for you!) and usually some chicken.
Depending on the brand of the whey protein shake, you’d be looking at anywhere between 120 calories to about 150 calories or more.
Let’s work with 150 calories.
So 4 protein shakes times 150 calories gave me 600 calories.
The 2 cups of rice has about 200-250 calories. Let’s work with 225 calories times 2 gave me about 450 calories.
The chicken gave me about 250 calories.
So the total for that one meal is roughly about 700 calories.
Add that in with the protein shakes and we’re looking at about 1300 calories or so, quite low since my maintenance is about 2300-2500 calories.
On Sundays, I’d basically eat whatever I wanted but still keeping in mind that I was on a fat loss journey, so I wouldn’t binge or anything like that.
I did this for only 2 weeks and I lost almost 10 pounds quickly.
That jump started my fat loss.
My muscle? Probably no loss because my strength was still there.
To lose the least amount of muscle as possible, try not to cut your calories to low for too long.
Lose Fat Maintain Muscle – The Training
I’d say that training is the most important thing when it comes to losing fat and maintaining muscle.
If you’re not weight lifting optimally, you’ll end up losing way more muscle than you’d hope for.
A lot of times, people will lighten up the weights in the hopes that they’ll get “cut up”.
But lightening up the weights should never be done when you’re losing weight.
You want to give your muscles the same stimulus that you gave it to make it grow.
Here’s a few pointers when it comes to maintaining your muscle mass when dieting down:
1) Keep the weights heavy (let your muscles know that we still need it)
2) Don’t go to muscular failure on ANY sets (we’re not looking for muscle growth, just fat loss)
3) Just 3 workouts a week (when you’re going heavy, you don’t need a lot of workout days)
4) Your workouts should consist of 97% compound movements (we want multiple muscles working)
5) Just 2-4 sets for each muscle group (any more than this might lead to over training)
6) Keep the reps the same (we’re not looking for growth so no need to strive for progression)
These 6 tips will help you to keep as much muscle as possible.
Always remember that when you’re looking to lose fat, focus on that. When you’re looking to build muscle, focus on that.
In other words, one goal at a time.
Don’t be looking to progress on your exercises or to really push the limits by going to muscular failure when you’re dieting down, you’ll only end up losing muscle.
When you’re looking to lose fat maintain muscle, these 6 tips along with the diet guidelines above will get you looking your best in no time flat!