How to lose fat without losing muscle requires us to look what you need to do to lose fat and build or maintain muscle.. This can be achieved, but requires you to be consistent in your habits in achieving it.
The problem is that when you try to lose fat, you could lose weight which can result in a loss in fat and muscle. There are ways that you can focus on losing fat only.
The Difference Between Weight and Fat Loss
When you are losing weight, it is the loss of your mass due to gravity. It is your overall body weight which includes your muscle, fat and everything in between. When you are losing fat, you’re decreasing your overall body fat percentage which is ideal to get toned or shredded.
Weight can be lost a lot easier than fat, because all you need to do is not eat and exercise a lot. Majority fat loss can be achieved through maintenance or growth of muscle, while being in a calorie deficit.
How to Lose Fat
To lose fat you must be in calorie deficit, eating less calories than you burn. You can achieve this through eating less calories in food only or you could exercise to burn more calories than you consume.
You can use MyFitnessPal to calculate how many calories you need to consume daily to be in a calorie deficit. This is an app that guides you based on your age, height and weight. Otherwise, you can use the following calculation to calculate how many calories you should eat:
Calculate Basal Metabolic Rate (The Amount of Energy Used at Rest)
Women BMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men BMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Activity Factor (Weekly Activity)
- Amount of Exercise/Activity
- Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
No exercise or desk job
TDEE = 1.2 x BMR
2. Lightly active
Light exercise – sports 1 – 3 days/week
TDEE = 1.375 x BMR
3. Moderately active
Moderate exercise – sports 3 – 5 days/ week
TDEE = 1.55 x BMR
4. Very active
Heavy exercise – sports 6 – 7 days/ week or training 2x per day or physical job
TDEE = 1.812 x BMR
How to Build or Maintain Muscle
Muscle is only built through sufficient resistance placed on the muscle. This is due to micro tears that occur in the muscle, that result in the growth of the cells as they repair and recover the muscle tissue.
It is important that you continue doing resistance training when you’re trying to lose fat, because your muscles contain mitochondria (energy powerhouse of cells) which causes your body to use more energy to maintain the muscles. This will lead to more calories being burned and a calorie deficit for fat burn.
You muscle does most of its growing during recovery, therefore ensure that you give your muscles at least 24 hours of rest before the next time you train the muscle.
How to Get It Right
1. Don’t Overdo the Deficit to Lose Fat
When you have identified your calorie intake goals, you must not focus on achieving a high calorie deficit, because this can lead to weight loss. The best way is to ensure that you do resistance training that ensures growth of your muscle, like heavy lifts, but then you do cardio at the end of your workout to burn calories.
Your deficit should be gradual and not drastic as it can lead to you losing more weight (including muscle) than fat. Aim for 200-300 calories less per week.
2. Eat Nutrient-Rich Food
Your nutrition is important in that you must ensure that you eat food that is nutrient-rich. I have put great macro nutrient sources that you can use to ensure that your body is fueled with the right nutrients for muscle growth and fat loss.
3. Train Intensely in Building Muscle
As was said before, the more muscle that you build, the more energy your body will burn to maintain that muscle. When you have an intense workout, you have more micro tears in the muscle for it to repair, recover and grow.
The ways you can increase the intensity of your workout is through heavy weights (70-80% of 1 RM for reps of 6-12), increased reps when the weight is lighter or through less rest between sets.
It is all dependent on the resources that you have at your disposal, but anyone can achieve this anywhere they are, but it’s easier with lifting heavy weights and doing cardio. It becomes even more important when you’re trying to achieve a certain weight to compete or something.
You will ultimately become more toned and shredded in this pursuit.